A BETTER offer for homeowners is needed if we are to reduce emissions from buildings by 2025, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the Liberal Democrats manifesto published today.
Ifan Glyn, FMB Senior Hub Director, said: “The Lib Dems' pledge to cut VAT on home insulation is a step in the right direction and is an area that we have been lobbying on for a number of years through the Cut the VAT campaign.
"However, I feel that it needs to go further and VAT should be cut on the labour element of home improvement work across the board. Doing so would simplify the VAT system and send a clear message that boosting jobs and consumer demand in this space is a priority. We know that homeowners are more likely to request energy efficiency upgrades as a bolt on to other building work being carried out on their homes. Cutting VAT across the board would therefore incentivise the de-carbonisation of our homes further."
Glyn concluded: “On a positive note, I strongly welcome the Lib Dems’ pledge to enforce big businesses and government agencies to adhere to the prompt payment code. Smaller building firms are being held back by the abuse of retentions and late payment practices that are rife. Getting tough on serial offenders will help small businesses get back to doing what they do best, which is delivering quality work and training the next generation of builders.”
MINI fine-tooth ratchets with a steel handle only nine centimetres long are the latest addition to the family of 80-tooth fine-tooth ratchets at Stahlwille.
Now reduced to take up minimum space, they allow access to fasteners where a thicker, longer handle would not have room to move. The ergonomically shaped, particularly slim handle lies securely in the hand and allows fatigue-free working.
The slim, space-saving design comes into its own where every millimetre counts. Use of this handy ratchet can be decisive when it is a question of whether panels and components have to be dismantled using clumsy, time-consuming methods or whether the fastener can be accessed directly and easily. Examples of typical applications can be found in servicing jobs on aircraft, cars and motorcycles, in many production processes and in repair work in the heating and sanitary sector.
As with the existing fine-tooth ratchets with two-component plastic handles, the ratchets with the steel handle provide a ratchet angle of 4.5 degrees. No less than eight teeth engage simultaneously. Despite the compact dimensions, this enables extremely smooth running and high power transmission without damaging the mechanical systems.
There are two versions of the Stahlwille mini fine-tooth ratchet with the steel handle. The 418QR has a QuickRelease safety lock that firmly locks insert and shell tools in place. They cannot inadvertently fall off inside inaccessible places. The technology still enables rapid tool changes. Thanks to its screwless design, it is also predestined for use in safety-critical and FOD sensitive areas. The 418B mini fine-tooth bit ratchet, which is otherwise identical, is intended for use with screwdriver bits.
Both mini fine-tooth ratchets are manufactured to the high precision standards for which Stahlwille is renowned. The drop-forged chrome vanadium shank is highly resilient and ensures a long service life. The fine internal mechanics are reliably protected from dust, dirt and moisture by a particularly resistant plastic cover.
|Mini fine-tooth ratchet 418QR||Mini fine-tooth bit ratchet 418B|
|Length||90 mm||90 mm|
|Width of head||22.5 mm||22.5 mm|
|Shank diameter||12.5 mm||11.0 mm|
|Weight||74 g||70 g|
LEADING manufacturer and distributor Morris Site Machinery has taken on two engineering apprentices as it looks to invest in and develop young talent.
The new apprentices will spend two days a week at its base in Four Ashes, Wolverhampton, gaining on-the-job experience. They will also study at college in Wolverhampton on a three-year course to work towards a Certificate of Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering.
Managing director Allan Binstead said: “We are an established business that looks to the future. We want to give opportunities to young people to help set them on a career path and develop their potential. In Jacob and Sam we have promising candidates who are willing to learn and gain practical skills and experience; we wish them well.”
Jacob Davies, one of the apprentices said: “It’s a great opportunity for both of us. Morris Site Machinery have made us very welcome. We are learning so much already and enjoying the variety of work.”
The business is known for its SMC mobile lighting towers, which it sells worldwide, and for its range of other high-quality site equipment including generators, welders, pumps and pressure washers. It is also investing in its future production capacity with plans to move to a new purpose-built base on the i54 South Staffordshire high-tech business park.
Morris Site Machinery is part of Shrewsbury-based fifth-generation family business group Morris & Company which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
BRIGHTON Tools & Fixings knows all about premium-quality equipment – which explains why it is now running four new Mercedes-Benz vehicles supplied by local dealer Rossetts Commercials.
Three stylish Citan vans are allocated to Sales Representatives, who visit construction sites and other locations across much of East and West Sussex, and parts of Kent, to promote the company’s comprehensive range of power tools and manual tools, fixings and other site consumables.
The Citan is the smallest van ever to wear a three-pointed star, and offers exemplary comfort, practicality, reliability, and safety. It is also a big winner at the pumps. Packed with clever features, Brighton Tools & Fixings’ Long-bodied 109 CDI variants deliver outstanding economy in the combined cycle of up to 65.7 mpg, and CO2 emissions as low as 112 g/km.
The fourth vehicle, an X-Class pickup, is now the personal transport of managing director Matt Hyde. The imposingly styled four-door, five-seater combines robustness, functionality, strength and off-road performance, with the classical design, comfort, driving dynamics and safety characteristics of a true Mercedes-Benz.
A top-of-the-range X 350 d model, it is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel which delivers a muscular 258 hp and 555 Nm of torque over a wide engine speed range, and is paired with a 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic transmission featuring steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.
Mr Hyde founded Brighton Tools & Fixings in 1991 with his father Arthur, who retired a decade ago but remains a director. The company, which operates from headquarters on the Centenary Industrial Estate, stocks a large range of power tools by some of the industry’s biggest names, together with laser and routing products, hand tools and consumables.
“The X-Class is exceptionally smooth to drive, with a refined and very well-equipped interior,” confirmed Mr Hyde, who also uses his pickup to visit sites, as well as to attend meetings with customers, and for general support purposes. “The substantial payload allowance of just under a tonne is useful too, as it means I can transport everything I need without having to worry about exceeding the weight limit.
“Our sales representatives are equally pleased with their new Citans. They were in car-derived vans previously, and the Citan represents a definite step-up in terms of prestige, comfort and all-round quality. It’s also a more practical vehicle in which to carry product samples, catalogues, literature, and the like.”
Equally important to Brighton Tools & Fixings is the Mercedes-Benz ServiceCare Plan arranged by Rossetts Commercials. As a truck and van specialist, the Dealer understands the importance of keeping businesses moving, so offers night-time vehicle maintenance and repair support.
Meanwhile, like all new vans sold through the official Mercedes-Benz Dealer network, the operator’s new Citans and X-Class are backed by three-year, unlimited mileage warranties, and came with MobiloVan cover, which includes free, 24-hour emergency roadside assistance.
“The back-up was a key factor behind our decision to switch to Mercedes-Benz,” confirmed Matt Hyde. “The business is going well and has been growing strongly, but we operate in a tough market. As an independent we have to differentiate ourselves from larger competitors by providing a higher level of service. That means our vehicles must be available for work when we need them, not laid up in a workshop.”
Rossetts Commercials took back the company’s three previous vans and its MD’s former pickup in part-exchange against its new Mercedes-Benz vehicles. “Van sales executive Martin Gearing was very attentive, and I was pleasantly surprised by the competitive cost of the package he put together,” recalled Mr Hyde.
“For less than I expected we’ve been able to upgrade to better vehicles that can only enhance our image in the eyes of established and prospective customers, and hold out the promise of proper, commercially-focused aftersales support.”
CHRISTMAS is just around the corner and KNIPEX knows just how to give the festive season even more cheer! The pliers specialist is launching its fantastic advent calendar on 1 December - and there’s a prize to be won every day.
Just follow the KNIPEX Facebook or Instagram page to answer a question every day throughout December. All correct answers will go into a draw and a winner will be selected at random. There will be up to two prizes awarded each day which will include the KNIPEX Twistor16®, KNIPEX CoBolt, KNIPEX Cobra ®, Cable Shears, Diagonal Cutters and many more favourites. And the big prize, to be won on December 24, a KNIPEX Tool Case Big Basic Move, Electric.
The KNIPEX advent calendar is ready to make the festive season a very jolly one.
HOUSEBUILDING and ground working contractor M M Miller Ltd of Wick, Caithness, is one of the first to take delivery of the all-new Volvo EC60E compact excavator, launched earlier this year at Plantworx.
The pair of machines have been supplied by SMT GB’s utility equipment dealer for the north of Scotland – CS Machinery Sales Ltd.
M M Miller are no strangers to owning and operating Volvo Construction Equipment products. The company has larger excavators in its plant fleet, as well as two Volvo A25G articulated haulers. “They’re good machines,” is the verdict of managing director David Miller. “We’ve been operating them for a good while and they represent good value for money. They are reliable and appreciated by our operators, as far as creature comforts go. They also hold their value very well, with high residuals when we do decide to change them out.”
The new six tonne arrivals are being deployed to support the company’s main activities, which include housebuilding and ground working projects. Particularly for the latter, one of the EC60E’s has been equipped with a Steelwrist Tiltrotator, making it a highly adaptable and flexible machine for this purpose.
The Volvo EC60E is powered by a Volvo 2.6 litre Stage V low emission engine, producing 58 hp. The machine’s engine is also fitted with a load sensing hydraulic system, which provides fast cycle times and smooth control.
The machine offers a generous horizontal reach of 6.4 metres, a dig depth of 4.0 metres and a lift capacity of 650kg at full reach across carriage in the worst position. The EC60E follows on from the tradition of the EC55 it replaces by boasting a comfortable, spacious cab with a wide and uncluttered floor that is unrivalled in its size class. The instrument panel provides operators with at-a-glance monitoring of all key functions. Operator fatigue is also reduced through the inclusion of easy-grip, high response joystick control levers. The rubber-mounted cabs reduce whole-body vibration and external noise, minimising the rigors of the jobsite. Air conditioning, with well positioned vents, is also a standard feature on these machines.
Operating throughout the Highlands, M M Miller is one of the most successful building and civil engineering contractors in the north of Scotland. The company has its headquarters located in Wick, Caithness, with a regional office based in Inverness. Founded by Callum Miller in 1964, the company is now in the hands of Callum’s son David, who is backed by a strong team of experienced professional surveyors and contract managers.
Working on a diverse range of projects, from minor maintenance works to complex design and build developments, M M Miller has built a solid reputation for itself over the course of the 55 years that it has been in business. The company has also secured street lighting contracts for the local authorities that cover the north of Scotland.
Headed up by managing director Calum Shaw and based at Longman Industrial Estate, Inverness, CSM Sales Ltd is SMT GB’s utility dealer for the whole of northern Scotland.
SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products, which include: wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers, to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.
THIS year marked 50 years of GAP Group, and the hire company has been celebrating this golden anniversary throughout 2019 in a number of ways, including being generously gifted a custom-painted gold excavator by Kubota.
GAP’s gold excavator, named “Goldie”, has played a prominent role in the festivities, initially being revealed for the first time at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow for the company’s annual sales conference, which was especially turned into a 50th anniversary celebration this year. Goldie also joined a team of GAP employees at the 2019 Plantworx showcase event, and now the excavator is being put to use to fundraise for charity.
Goldie is being hired out to GAP’s customers and, for the first whole year, half of all hire revenue generated from the excavator will be donated to charity. To add to this, Kubota will match the amount donated by GAP each month, doubling the final total. The chosen charity is the Lighthouse Club – the Construction Industry Charity; the only charity that provides financial and emotional support to the construction community and their families, raising awareness of mental health in the workplace.
GAP is a long-time supporter of the Lighthouse Club, through which GAP promotes the Construction Industry Helpline to all staff. This is a confidential 24/7 helpline which offers assistance to all construction workers and their families seeking support in the UK and Ireland. The charity doesn’t receive any public funding and relies on the generosity of those within the industry to help them continue their important work.
GAP has always placed huge importance on raising funds for various charities for all kinds of causes and continues to do so. The fact that the Lighthouse Club gives such vital support to those so close to home for GAP has helped to establish the close relationship between the organisations and cement the huge amount of support the hire company gives to the charity.
Keep an eye out for GAP’s gold excavator and get in touch with GAP’s Peterborough Plant & Tools depot by phone (01733 555 516) or email ([email protected]) if you want the chance to hire out Goldie and help GAP raise money for a worthy cause.
THE urgent need to build more homes for everyone should be a key priority for all the political parties during the General Election campaign, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The FMB is calling on all the political parties to make house building a national infrastructure priority, along with 11 other key policy areas in its ‘Programme for Government’ published today.
The programme calls for the political parties to commit to the following:
- Make house building a national infrastructure priority and build 1.5 million new homes
- Free up more public land for housing and break it up into small plots for small builders
- Invest in local authority planning departments to speed up the planning process
- Promote vocational education and invest in Further Education
- Reform the UK Apprenticeship Levy so it works better for small companies
- Introduce a fair and balanced post-Brexit immigration system
- Licence all UK construction companies
- Introduce mandatory warranties for building control-approved work
- Create a new ‘General Builder’ qualification
Net Zero Carbon
- Create a National Retrofit Strategy
- Invest in upskilling builders to build and upgrade homes fit for the future
- Cut VAT on home improvement work to 5%
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “In this Brexit election the main political parties mustn’t lose sight of the big issues facing the UK such as the current housing crisis. We are still not building enough new homes, and this has led to an affordability crisis and over-crowding. This election is an opportunity for all parties to publish ambitious plans to turn this situation around. Small builders stand ready to help the new Government not only to build more new homes but also make our existing homes more energy efficient.
“Small building companies will also be instrumental in helping the future government tackle other major challenges facing the UK, from helping to tackle the climate crisis to helping to building the hospitals and schools of the future. Our Programme for Government gives 12 clear policies for each of the political parties to adopt to support SME builders. Politicians must not only give the country the gift of resolving Brexit this Christmas, but also a vision for the future of our built environment.”
MORRIS Site Machinery, a fifth-generation family run business, is hailing Scotland as one of its best performing territories for sales of its robust site machinery products with sales continuing to grow.
With manufacturing and service depots in Wolverhampton, Lincolnshire, Aylesford and Stirling, the innovative business exports to 25 countries worldwide and has announced that Scotland is a top performing UK territory.
The leading site machinery business has been renowned in Scotland for over 30 years where its range of generators, lighting towers, pumps and pressure washers have been powering sites and events across the whole of Scotland.
Heading up Scottish Sales is Stirlingshire man Kenny McKay who runs the dedicated Sales and Service Centre at Springkerse Industrial Estate in Stirling, working closely with fellow Scot, UK Sales and Service Director Richard Denholm. The dynamic duo have been working together for five years, originally at its Perth depot before the company opened its purpose-built premises in Stirling in 2014, allowing for stronger business links and accessibility to Glasgow and Edinburgh. The move from Perth added 130% additional space for the business, meaning the depot could hold more stock which is now available for next day delivery.
Kenny’s focus on servicing is paramount with Service Engineer Andrew Coles taking huge pride in providing the kind of service which has seen consistent growth – often defying tough market conditions.
A qualified engineer in his own right, Kenny explains why he believes the products and service hit the mark for the demanding Scottish hirer of site equipment: “Having an in-depth understanding of exactly how every one of our machines works definitely hits the spot. There’s no time for white noise here and I can come from the customer’s perspective on the technical advantages of our range and their applications. I find it makes all the difference and has helped me get close to my customers, understand their business and its needs which in turn means I meet their demands with the right product for the right application.”
He continued: “The brand names we offer like Denyo, ArcGen, Hilta and SMC mean something to Scottish hire businesses. We have a wide customer base from tool and plant hire to airports and construction companies who build wind farms, so it is important we have the breadth and quality of product required for this diversity.
“I have many customers who rely on our rugged machinery to withstand some pretty rough temperatures and terrains. They have to know that the quality and robust build of machines will perform under these conditions. Some of our latest lighting towers in the SMC range like the TL90 evolve and are particularly going down well and, with so many eco models now available like our SMC TL55 Battery and TL60 Solar, we are able to ensure we are supporting customers’ green and clean ambitions too.”
Richard Denholm commented: “We feel we are in tune with our regional markets and we know that Scottish business demands a bespoke and trusted service at its heart. That is why we invested and established our base here and why it is growing. As an engineer by trade myself, what you see here at Morris Site Machinery is what you get. Robust, fit for purpose products which deliver great value for customers year after year. Add to that the unique ‘Kenny factor’ and it’s a winning formula. Anyone who knows Kenny will corroborate that fact!”
Both Richard and Kenny were recently crowned as Morris Stars in the parent family Company Awards ceremony to mark its 150th year of successful trading. A measure of how they are viewed by colleagues and customers alike.
ONCE again HTL Group is exhibiting at ADIPEC, the premier oil and gas event in Abu Dhabi. Located in the National Exhibition Center from the 11 to the 14 November, the HTL team will be showcasing their 100% British Made, ever-increasing product range of controlled bolting tools and equipment.
Today, the Middle East is where we have seen major investments with some of the world’s largest companies, like the Royal Dutch Shell and BP having important trading relationships in the region. It’s well documented that the Middle East has high levels of oil reserves accounting for 40% of the world's known oil. This makes the area globally dominating in the oil and gas industry.
The UK is one of the most open economies for exporting its goods and services with the Middle East region being one of the most important markets of today, therefore, it’s important for industries in the UK, connected to the oil and gas sector, to engage and network with trading partners.
Acknowledging this importance, HTL Group remains prominent in the industry by showcasing and networking at events regularly, with ADIPEC being an integral part of this activity. Located on the UK Pavilion in Hall 8, the HTL team are back for the third year running, providing live demonstrations of the brand-new asset management software iCalibrate 2.0 and showcasing their OEM range of controlled bolting premium tools. Included with this equipment is the Working at Height Product Range that provides customers with ultimate operator safety, preventing dropped objects, increasing efficiency and durability with tools such as the DSX Hydraulic Torque Wrench.
ADIPEC provides a platform for companies just like HTL Group, offering a chance to engage with other likeminded companies as well as sharing innovative industry knowledge. Most importantly to HTL, it’s gaining potential partnerships within the region and building a customer base that aims to improve their controlled bolting processes with innovatively manufactured torque wrenches and tensioners.
For further information, visit HTL on Stand 8432, Hall 8 at ADIPEC or contact us before the event to arrange a meeting.