LMD employee becomes qualified driver assessor for the company

Interview with Mick Dysart, LMD Managing Director


Mick, your company, LMD Vacuum Excavation, is based in Staveley some five miles from the centre of Chesterfield. Has the area always been home?


I have lived in Chesterfield all my life, mainly in the village of Brimington where I still live today.


Vacuum excavators are expensive and complex pieces of equipment that have only been used in the UK for fifteen years or so. How did you get involved in such a specialist sector?


Up until about five years ago I think you could have described vacuum excavators as specialist pieces of equipment. Today, however it is becoming the norm for excavation work on housing developments, utilities, motorways and more.

I saw my first vacuum excavator at the SED plant show back in 2006. It was a single fan with limited power and a ‘floppy’ suction arm. I wasn’t impressed at all as it was being demonstrated incorrectly.

I was working for M&B Groundbreaking at the time. In April 2007, M&B bought their first vacuum excavator, this time with a power arm and double fan. You could see the potential straight away. M&B immediately ordered two more, and then another five. Eight in total.

I still have three of the original M&B vacuum excavators in the LMD fleet and completely overhauled the first one last year.


So how did you get from working from M&B to setting up LMD Vacuum Excavation?


M&B were principally a gas mains replacement contractor and weren’t really set up to provide vacuum excavation as a separate service.

In July 2015, with the support of my wife Sandra, I took the plunge and purchased three vacuum excavators from various sources. Business was slow to build and by the end of 2017 we had only grown to five vacuum excavators, one of which was purchased from Dijon, France.

From 2018 onwards, however, we have achieved strong growth every year. We doubled the fleet to ten by the end of 2018 and doubled it again to twenty by the end of 2020.

In the eighteen months that have followed, we have grown to 40 vacuum excavators. The 40th was delivered on 3 August 2022. I am planning to have 44 vacuum excavators in the fleet by the end of 2022…and maybe more!


What changes have you seen in the market since 2015 and how do you think it will develop in the years to come?


The biggest change is that vacuum excavation is now considered to be best practice and is mandated by developers, utilities and highways contractors alike.

We are going through a period when there is not enough capacity in the market – even with forty vacuum excavators.


What is LMD doing to ensure it stays ahead of the competition?


LMD Vacuum Excavation is now big enough to employ its own training specialists, health and safety manager, and team of internal and site-based fitters. I am particularly proud of our apprenticeship programme for fitters as that is the route I followed after school, qualifying as a Motor Vehicle Technician through Chesterfield College.

Not only do we have the second largest vacuum excavation fleet in the UK, our fleet is the most diverse. We have powerful tracked excavators that can work on the railways or off-road; we have six-wheel drive vacuum excavators to cope with difficult terrain; left tip excavators for work on motorways and so much more. This diversity, our focus on achieving and retaining industry accreditations, and our commitment to the quality of service we provide; all these factors combined set us apart from the pack.

There is no respite, however. We have to continue to improve in every aspect of our operations. My goal is for LMD to become synonymous with quality vacuum excavation; the ‘go to’ providers. If we can achieve this, we’ll need a far bigger fleet in the years to come.

LMD takes delivery of its 40th vacuum excavator

LMD Vacuum Excavation has taken delivery of its fortieth vacuum excavator. LMD is already acknowledged to have the UK’s most flexible and agile fleet of vacuum excavators, and the latest arrival reinforces its credentials as the fastest-growing vacuum excavation operator in the country.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield visited LMD’s operations in recognition of the landmark occasion. They were greeted by LMD Managing Director, Mick Dysart, and his wife Sandra whose support has been fundamental to LMD’s success. The Mayor, Tony Rogers, climbed into the cab of the MAN TGS 26.510; no mean feat for a man of 83 years of age. Mick explained how the vehicle worked and the Mayor and Mayoress then had a demonstration of the power arm and tipping mechanism in action.








LMD Vacuum Excavation was established in 2015 with the purchase of three used vacuum excavators. Initial development was slow, but from 2018 onwards strong growth has been achieved year-on-year. LMD doubled its fleet to ten by the end of 2018 and doubled it again to twenty by the end of 2020.

According to Managing Director, Mick Dysart, LMD has its sights fixed on further expansion:

‘By the end of 2022 I am planning to have at least 44 vacuum excavators in the fleet. It may be more; it depends on the ability of manufacturers to meet demand.

When LMD first started up, we had to educate users and convince them of the merits of vacuum excavation. Today, vacuum excavation is considered best practice and is mandated by developers, utilities and highways contractors alike.

My goal continues to be that LMD becomes synonymous with quality vacuum excavation; the ‘go to’ providers. If we achieve this, we’re going to need a much bigger fleet in the years to come.’

Depending on the exact specification, each vacuum excavator costs between £400,000 and £500,000. This demonstrates the commitment of LMD Vacuum Excavation to the construction industry and the economy of the East Midlands in general.

LMD Vacuum Excavation’s Day at the Races


Fifty-five LMD team members and their partners enjoyed a fantastic day at Doncaster Races on Saturday 17 July. According to Managing Director, Mick Dysart, the day out was arranged to thank the team for their hard work and dedication throughout the pandemic:

‘Covid-19 has brought uncertainty and opportunity in equal measure in the sectors in which we operate. Agility has been the key to dealing with both, and the team has provided the flexibility which has enabled us to maintain high levels of service for our customers throughout lockdown. In the stress and pressure of the day-to-day it is all too easy to overlook the effort and sacrifice being made by the team, and the race day provided an opportunity to show the team that their hard work is recognised and valued.’

LMD sponsored the feature race of the day, the LMD Vacuum Excavation Handicap. Mick and wife Sandra, who was chief organiser, were asked to choose the best turned out horse. They selected Colony Queen, which turned out to be the winner of the race itself. Mick and Sandra presented the successful stable girl with a £200 prize for her efforts, and their generosity received a mention in the pages of the Racing Post.

The race itself wasn’t without controversy with the then race leader, Aerion Power, mistaking the half-furlong post for the finishing line allowing Colony Queen to run past. The jockey received a twenty-eight days ban for, ‘failing to ride out on a horse that would have finished first.’

‘I think everybody enjoyed the day. It was great to be able to relax and socialise together for the first time in eighteen months or so, and lovely to see the team spirit and camaraderie.’

You can watch a replay of the race, including the dramatic finish, at LMD Vacuum Excavation Handicap.

Clive Breakwell appointed as Training and Compliance Supervisor

Clive Breakwell, one of LMD Vacuum Excavation’s first employees, has been promoted to Training and Compliance Supervisor. Clive will primarily be tasked with LMD projects in the West Midlands and the South.

Clive has worked with Mick Dysart, LMD Managing Director, since 2006. Mick and Clive have been active in the vacuum excavation sector since 2007, working together on the first vacuum excavator to be introduced into the UK. Clive has since racked up almost fifteen years as an operator.

In his new role, Clive will be training LMD Vacuum Excavator operators as well as undertaking site compliance audits. Mick Dysart welcomed Clive to the LMD management team:

‘Clive and I have worked together for a long time, including eight years at LMD. Clive is a great asset to LMD. He has a very calm and reassuring demeanour, and his knowledge and expertise are invaluable.’

LMD achieves ISO 9001 accreditation

Chesterfield-based LMD Vacuum Excavation has achieved ISO9001 accreditation. It is possibly the first vacuum excavation company in the United Kingdom to achieve this honour.

First published in 1987, ISO 9001: 2015 is the international quality standard that demonstrates an organisation’s ability to consistently provide products and services that meet both customer and regulatory requirements.

Ian Buchanan leads the LMD Vacuum Excavation quality team and was responsible for the ISO 9001: 2015 submission to the audit team from QMS:

‘The ISO 9001 process has been really useful. We undertook a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis which forced us to take a long and hard look at our existing processes to ensure they were fit for purpose.

The analysis identified several areas in which we could streamline processes to ensure efficiency and eliminate waste and unnecessary duplication. This included introducing new identifiers for each project to make ‘cradle to grave’ traceability much quicker and more effective.’



Mick Dysart is LMD Vacuum Excavation’s Managing Director:

‘Ever since I first set up LMD Vacuum Excavation, our focus has been on quality and customer service. The ISO 9001 accreditation and audit by QMS is basically recognition from an independent third party of that fact.

Ian deserves great credit for his patience, persistence and attention to detail during the ISO 9001 accreditation programme which coincided with a huge increase in activity levels across the business. Although Ian has previously dealt with our FORS, Constructionline, Achilles and SMAS accreditations and audits, it was his first experience of ISO 9001.’

Photo shows Mick Dysart (left) with Ian Buchanan (right) in front of an LMD Vacuum Excavator.

LMD Vacuum Excavation working with Chesterfield FC

LMD Vacuum Excavation has sponsored a banner promoting its services at the Technique Stadium, home of Chesterfield Football Club.

Mick Dysart, Managing Director of LMD Vacuum Excavation, has been a lifelong supporter of his home town club. Mick has seen them hit the heights of an FA Cup semi-final at Old Trafford in 1997 to the depths of last season when the team flirted with relegation from the National League, the fifth tier of professional football. This season, however, things are looking up with the Spireites in a strong position to reach the play-offs.

Hopefully the banner will get more exposure next year as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and spectators return to sporting events.

LMD Vacuum Excavation places major orders with MTS for 2022-23

LMD Vacuum Excavation has placed substantial orders with MTS for new vacuum excavators. The commitments which reach up to the end of 2023, will reinforce LMD’S position as one of the largest vacuum excavator operators in the UK.

Mick Dysart is LMD Vacuum Excavation’s Managing Director:

‘The very first vacuum excavator in the LMD fleet was an MTS. We’ve recently refurbished it and it’s still going strong. The LMD fleet is dominated by MTS vacuum excavators, and I’m more than happy to commit my business to the MTS brand.

Although it’s always good to add extra capacity, our main driver at LMD is to continue to build on our reputation for having the most diverse and adaptable fleet of vacuum excavators in the UK. We’ve just taken delivery of the first MTS six-wheel-drive vacuum excavator in the country and added to our fleet of MTS vacuum excavators built on the Mercedes Benz Econic chassis. These are equipped with DirectVision cabs that provide superb all-vehicle visibility for works in busy city centres.’

Russell Fairhurst is Managing Director of Mammoth MTS, distributor of MTS vacuum excavators in the UK:

‘I’ve worked with Mick from the very earliest days of LMD Vacuum Excavation and have seen at first hand the work and dedication taken to build the business to what it is today. Achieving ISO 9001 accreditation is a high-profile acknowledgement of Mick’s ongoing dedication to quality and customer service.

These are exciting times in vacuum excavation. I look forward to working with Mick and his team over the years to come.’

LMD’s CitySafe Vacuum Excavator – Five Star TfL Direct Vision Rating