Case study

A1 Plant & Haulage York

“4, 6 and 8-Wheeler Tipper Hire"

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  • Popular York-based tipper haulage business.
  • We provided tax advisory and inheritance tax (IHT) advice. 
  • Switched to, and trained-up in cloud-based accounting software. 

haul in a day’s work

York-based tipper haulage experts A1 Plant & Haulage started life in 1973. Back then, Roy Handley’s operation was a small car hire company. Over time A1 became a van hire business, then expanded into light haulage, before transforming into the tipper haulage company of today. The current A1 fleet features 4, 6 and 8-wheeler tippers for construction waste removal of recycled and quarry aggregates.

Through this time, A1 retained its reputation for high-quality service as well as its trademark orange wagons, renowned by the people of York and surrounding areas.

family guy

Managing Director Gary Handley took over the business from his father, (which he understandably described as his biggest challenge to date), and he also rents out commercial property.

Whether it’s the haulage wing of the business or the property, Gary has kept it in the family. Although he has the final say, all decisions are discussed with his mother and sister. And it’s worked very well, with Gary describing steady growth with no borrowing as the business’s biggest success story.

planting the seeds of success

Since A1 teamed up with Fortus three years ago, they’ve sought financial advice in many areas from us, time and time again. Which just goes to show not only how reliable we are, but how wide our scope of expertise is.  We’ve helped A1 with the following.


We advised A1 on their current remuneration structure, as well as the benefits of company pension schemes. To date, they’ve saved more than £100,000 in Corporation Tax, courtesy of our remuneration planning.


Fortus identified a historic transaction by a shareholder, which qualified for Business Asset Holdover Relief. We were able to undertake a review of the transaction and associated work, resulting in a Capital Gains Tax repayment in excess of £40,000.


We undertook a review of A1’s property portfolio, and were able to quantify unclaimed capital allowances in excess of £475,000. This resulted in an immediate Corporation Tax repayment and reduction in excess of £25,000. Long-term, A1 continues to benefit, year-on-year, in a reduction in tax, payable due to the allowance we identified.


By completing a review of the business’s bookkeeping and VAT procedures, we identified significant efficiency savings through the introduction of Xero. We helped A1 move from a spreadsheet-based bookkeeping system to Xero, the cloud-based digital system. And the company also benefitted from an in-person training session on Xero, plus continual post-implementation support. Using Xero has resulted in a significant efficiency saving for Gary and his family, and gives them real-time insight into their company’s performance.


We’ve undertaken a range of IHT planning for A1 and shareholders, offering and implementing several strategies in order to manage any potential exposure.

tipper the hat

Gary’s very appreciative of our services, noting the difference between our approach and other accountants. ‘I’ve never had this level of expertise before, or the keenness to help in all kinds of areas. The Corporation Tax savings have made a real difference. And I was nervous about switching to Xero after all this time with old-school spreadsheets! But they helped me get to grips with the software soon enough and it’s saving us lots of time now. I’m not going to be looking elsewhere for help with money matters, that’s for sure.‘

If you’d like to find out how we can help you and your business, with everything from R&D tax relief to audits & assurance, get in touch. Call Fortus today on 0330 162 4389.


Alex Legg Associate Director
01904 558300

‘In the three years we’ve worked with Fortus, they’ve helped us thrive and grow. They provide so much more than our previous accountants, and have helped us with our tax and estate planning. They’re always on hand when we need advice. The future looks rosy together.'

Gary Handley, Managing Director A1 Plant & Haulage York