Don Burton, Founder and Chairman of Don-Bur, today celebrated his 80th birthday. Don religiously comes to work every day and his birthday was no different, starting with a traditional 18 acre factory walk-around to keep abreast of production progress.
Don used to be the General Manager for Welford Truck Bodies, which the owners sold to him in 1981 in one of the first management buyouts in that era. It was renamed to Don-Bur. Since then, the business has grown from a humble 7 acre plot to the £50 million annual turnover organisation it is today.
To his credit, Don has demonstrated a keen business acumen, coupled with strong desire to innovate and stand out in terms of quality and durability. This ethos has not gone un-rewarded. Don-Bur is responsible for the birth of Lifting Deck trailers, Longer Semi Trailers, Buckle-less Curtains, Safe Ground Coupling devices, mechanical "Ratchet" decks and, of course, the highly appraised Teardrop™ which has become such a familiar sight.
When asked about his success, Don is pragmatic "It's a people business and you need to build solid customer relationships. I've seen lots of companies come and go over the years... systems and processes change, but when it comes down to it, you need to offer the right product and service to the right customer at the right price."
It's a simple enough mantra, but one that Don-Bur has successfully implemented for the majority of the UK's top operators and whilst the industry consolidates and adapts to suit an ever-changing world, Don-Bur has retained its core values.
Don added "I'm very proud to be a traditional British manufacturer. There are so few of us left now that actually make something.".