A successful demonstration sparks new business at D K Plant Hire

D K PLANT Hire of Aberfeldy, Perthshire has opted for a brace of Volvo compact excavators for the first time, following a successful demonstration by SMT GB’s utility dealer, CS Machinery Sales Ltd.

The machines chosen by the company include a zero swing, two and a half tonne ECR25D and the smaller one and a half tonne EC18D following a competitive demonstration and comprehensive machine evaluation, according to Proprietor Danny Kirk. “We established a very good relationship with Calum Shaw at CS Machinery and opted for the Volvo excavators for the first time, as part of an overall package for equipment,” says Danny. “They certainly have quality built in and, so far, I’ve been delighted with their performance and reliability,” he continues.

Both machines join a comprehensive range of equipment, including; site dumpers, rollers, excavators up to sixteen tonnes in operating weight, tractors and ancillary equipment, which is deployed on either non-operated short and long term hire, or for groundwork and landscaping contracts undertaken by D K Plant Hire.

The ECR25D is the smallest zero swing model in the Volvo compact excavator range, and is powered by a 1.1 litre low emission engine, developing 21hp. With an operating weight of 2.5 tonnes, the ECR25D is available with a choice of short or long dipper arm, giving a reach of either 4.48 metres or 4.77meters, and a dig depth measuring from 2.67 metres to a generous 2.96 metres.

The zero swing excavator design provides exceptional stability, and is ideal for working in confined spaces. Simultaneous control of slew and offset movements provides faster, more precise performance. All hydraulic functions are also performed in total independence, for more control and less delay when handling multiple tasks. An added bonus is the ability to operate the wide range of hydraulic attachments using proportional control, if required.

Both machines feature automatic two-speed travel, automatically shifting gear from high to low, according to the travel load. The EC18D also has a hydraulically extendable undercarriage as standard. Hammer/shear lines are also a standard feature on Volvo compact excavators.

Established eight years ago by Danny Kirk, DK Plant Hire offers comprehensive machine hire, together with a full ground working and landscaping service covering the whole of Scotland, based at Aberfeldy in Perthshire.

CS Machinery Sales Ltd is headed up by Managing Director Calum Shaw, based at Longman Industrial Estate Inverness, and is SMT GB’s utility dealer for the whole of the north of 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.


Final guest speakers announced for HAE EHA conference

HAE EHA has revealed the full, exciting line-up of guest speakers adding their insight and take on events affecting the hire industry at the third annual Conference at Loughborough on 1 October, which is themed around 'collaborate, innovate and inspire'.

The comprehensive timetable now features presentations by Dr Léa Cléret, CEO of The Leadership Trust, Frank Elkins Chief Operating Officer Trade Merchanting Travis Perkins, Sue Brandrick and Chris Lucas from HSE, Detective Superintendent Neil Austin from the West Mercia Police, while discussing mental health issues will be Phil Hemsworth (HSS), Brian Parker (AFI), Hans Fairley (Stihl) and HAE’s own Jim Maccall and Paul Gaze.

Dr Léa Cléret will explain the science behind leadership development programmes, and Frank Elkins is to offer up a CEO's perspective on dumper and digger safety. Kicking off the afternoon session will be HSE duo Sue Brandrick and Chris Lucas of the Construction Health Policy Team, followed by an overview of the UK construction industry and the country’s economic performance by Tom Hall, Chief Economist, Barbour-ABI and AMA Research.

Crime prevention in the hire industry will be the topic of Detective Superintendent Neil Austin’s presentation, while last but not least the final five will round off the conference with guidance on mental health policy at work before the closing address by James Dickson.

The latest announcement comes hot on the heels of the first round of speakers, which includes Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, a British computing, mathematics and language genius who founded Stemettes in 2013, a social enterprise promoting women in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. Taking up the theme of collaboration with no gender barriers will be a representative of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

HAE EHA Chairman, Brian Sherlock, will open the event before Commercial Manager Paul Gaze and Scott Ball from HireTrain join forces to give the low down on the steps the industry is taking to encourage a constant learning environment for new starters. The comprehensive list of speakers reflects the importance of the Hire Industry to the UK economy and the construction sector – Brexit and recruitment issues are also certain to be major talking points dominating the conference.

EHA members will have the chance to address the unique challenges event hire businesses face, giving them a glimpse into the future and enabling them to find out what opportunities could lie ahead for the industry to grow.

HAE EHA Chief Executive Officer, Graham Arundell, said: “We have a comprehensive line-up of speakers giving their insight and expertise on all the important issues facing our members and these are sure to inspire debate on the direction of travel for our industry.”

The HAE EHA Conference is open to all members but people wishing to attend need to register online on the website hireconference.org.uk

If you would like further information on exhibitor spaces and sponsorship options, please contact the team on 44 (0)121 380 4605 or e-mail [email protected].

HAE shortlisted for Business Innovation Award

HIRE Association Europe (HAE) has been shortlisted for an award at the prestigious Business Innovation Awards 2019 for developing V-Hire, the virtual reality training tool for the Hire Industry.

The Business Innovation Awards celebrate the best across the UK construction and building industries. HAE will be up against Cool Blue Brand Communications, Grain Connect, Joule Group, MacRail Systems, Marraum and ProDroneWorx for the Best Use of Emerging Technology award at a gala evening on Wednesday 23 October at the Midland Hotel, Manchester.

V-Hire is an innovative app using virtual reality (VR) technology to improve the safety of staff operating equipment, offering members and their clients a vivid and realistic learning experience that can be accessed from the safety of the office, or even the home.

Developed for smart phones using Samsung Oculus and Google’s Android systems, V-Hire currently has 19 modules covering topics such as Working at Height, LPG and Electrical Safety, the Dangers of Dust as well as numerous equipment tutorials; a variety of saws, compactors, drills, and generators.

Training modules are designed to test the user’s understanding of the workplace and tool safety, make customers safer, and reduce risk of injury and damage to equipment. Future modules include a framework for members to track users’ access and performance.

HAE EHA’s Group Marketing Manager, Ann Harrison, said: “Being shortlisted for this award is great news. Our V-Hire programme is a more inventive way to engage hirers so that they are more likely to recognise the safety issues associated with operating equipment, and have the opportunity to improve their skills and knowledge before they even make it onsite.”


BigChange afoot at GAP

FOLLOWING the announcement last year that GAP Hire Solutions had transformed its business with a BigChange to mobile operations, GAP has now completed the BigChange roll-out across the business.

Over 500 GAP vehicles have been fitted with the system and over 600 staff have been trained on best practice.

Called JobWatch, the cloud-based system incorporates a range of mobile apps with live tracking and job scheduling. It also links in real time to GAP’s back office systems, such as their central hiredesk and financial systems.

The mobile apps include electronic signature capture with proof of delivery (POD) and proof of collection (POC) records being automatically uploaded onto GAP’s Smart Office system. This eliminates the need for customers to call depots as all information is available immediately online.

The system has built-in data messaging and satellite navigation that automatically routes vehicles to their destination. GAP’s customer services team is able to see the exact location of every vehicle in real time to keep customers informed of ETAs and coordinate with the driver to ensure the correct drop-off location.

Frank McGrory, GAP’s Head of IT, explained: “Our company is driven to be forward thinking and innovative, with a focus on providing environmentally friendly and efficient hire solutions to our customers. Key aims of the BigChange project include enhancing customer interactions on-site, driving delivery efficiency with live scheduling and tracking, and significantly improving back-office processing and administration to make life easier for our customers and employees.

“Thanks to this rollout, we envisage that we will see a reduction of 8% in fuel use and a 5% reduction in the overall distance travelled by GAP’s HGV fleet. We also forecast a reduction in paper used from over 3.2 million to around 500,000 sheets. For example, we will be reducing the number of printed copies of despatch notes to a single copy with immediate effect.

“There are several aspects of the system that we are still looking to utilise more and ultimately customers will have the ability to access records of their hires themselves.”


HAE membership gives diamond blades business a cutting edge

THE UK construction industry brings in billions of pounds of new work every month. The sector relies on tool and equipment hire companies to deliver the kit needed to undertake these projects, so how can suppliers gain a competitive edge in such an important marketplace?

Established in 2003, Mexco has already grown from its Cornwall base to become one of the UK and Ireland’s largest privately-owned suppliers of diamond blades, core drills and tile drilling products to the construction industry. To help underpin its ongoing success story the company joined Hire Association Europe (HAE) in 2018 – and has never looked back.

Why join a trade organisation?

Mexco’s range of blades can cut through most construction materials, including asphalt, concrete and granite. Becoming a member of a trusted organisation like HAE helps boost brand awareness as well as reassuring those hiring the equipment for construction and demolition jobs that it is of a high quality, reliable and meets stringent industry standards.

HAE membership also gives access to products and services covering all aspects of hire, including terms and conditions, safety checks, publicity, equipment, responsibilities and general day-to-day requirements. It’s a one-stop shop for hire companies hoping to forge new business partnerships and for guidance on the issues and trends that impact on members.

How has HAE membership benefited Mexco?

As well as providing operational resources and business opportunities with other members, HAE membership offers hire firms the opportunity to gain recognised accreditations such as SafeHire Certification and Hire Industry Trusted Suppliers (HITS) status.

SafeHire Certification proves competence in safety, health, environment and quality and meets client demands for high standards of service, but it also demonstrates having a well-trained workforce to support customers as fully as possible. The HITS scheme is designed to help hire and rental organisations gain access to reliable, due diligence information secured by HAE and EHA from supply chain members and seeks to provide an industry standard to prove competence.

Accreditations a hit with Mexco

Achieving HITS status was the highlight of Mexco’s first year of membership, according to sales manager, Dean Hussey, who said: “HITS accreditation emphasises that our diamond tools are performing well and meeting the stringent requirements of the tool hire industry, which means you can be assured of quality and product longevity.”

The ethos at Mexco is to exceed customer expectations by providing diamond cutting and drilling tools that give the best possible performance at the right price. Displaying the HITS logo is a hallmark of quality in training, safety, environmental, R&D, production processes, data security and other related areas.


Mexco is going from strength to strength and is exploring new routes to market, confident that the benefits, customer confidence and practical assistance provided by its association with HAE will help the company’s expansion plans.

MSM's lighting tour hits the road with eco emphasis

LOOK-ahead hirers and buyers preparing for the lighting season can see the latest in reliable eco-friendly equipment as Morris Site Machinery’s ‘Towers on Tour’ hits the road.

The annual roadshow travels all over the country to showcase its growing SMC lighting tower range giving practical demonstrations during personalised visits to customers.

Morris Site Machinery’s knowledgeable sales team will spotlight the latest innovations to help fleets meet environmental concerns on energy use, emissions and noise.

This year’s line-up includes the next generation SMC TL90 Evolve – with its easy serviceable, ergonomic design and fuel-efficient running. It can be fitted with the standard four LED head, the ground-breaking Halo lamp head or a six LED head, making it the brightest mobile lighting tower created by SMC.

UK Sales Director Richard Denholm said: “We’re looking forward to meeting customers to show what our lighting towers can do and how they can benefit their business. We’re happy to answer technical questions and share our advice and experience. 

“We’re committed to delivering first-class customer service and our roadshows deliver evidence of this to current and potential customers.”

To book a Towers on Tour experience please contact the sales team on 01902 790824 or visit www.morrismachinery.co.uk

Morris Site Machinery is part of a fifth-generation family business group. It manufactures and supplies world leading site machinery brands and products to serve the hire industry across a range of sectors.


Electric JCB digger in full production

JCB has made manufacturing history by going into full production with the construction industry’s first fully electric mini excavator – with more than 50 machines already delivered.

The 19C-1E models - JCB’s first-ever electric diggers - are now coming off the assembly line at JCB Compact Products in Cheadle, Staffordshire, with orders rolling in from customers from across Europe and North America.

The machine is a staggering five times quieter than its diesel counterpart and can be fully charged in under two hours. The model is expected to be a big hit with companies working inside buildings and in emissions and noise-sensitive inner-city areas. Fully charged, the 19C-1E can put in a typical full day’s shift for a mini excavator.

The 19C-1E will also offer customers great cost-of-ownership benefits, with research highlighting that over the first five years, charging costs will be 50 per cent cheaper for customers who would otherwise be using red diesel. Servicing costs are also expected to be up to 70% lower compared to the diesel model.

JCB Chief Innovation Officer Tim Burnhope said: “In urban environments in particular, contractors are understandably very keen to operate zero emissions equipment whenever possible, including outdoors. I’m delighted that the model is now in full production after successful feedback from customers in many key markets during the evaluation stage.”

JCB Compact Products’ MD Robert Winter said: “This is a historic moment for JCB and for JCB Compact Products. We are delighted to go into full production with the industry’s first fully electric mini excavator. The machine has a very promising future ahead of it.”

Using leading automotive battery technology, the zero emissions and low noise 19C-1E delivers all of the performance of a conventional diesel-powered 1.9-tonne mini excavator. The machine comes with JCB’s LiveLink telematics as standard.

The machine is perfect for working indoors or outdoors, in factories, tunnels or basements, for digging foundations, or on utility projects.


Anglia Access adds Genie platforms to expanding hire fleet

EAST of England powered access hire specialist Anglia Access Platforms has added two new Genie platforms to its expanding hire fleet.

Authorised Genie distributor Access Platform Sales (APS) has delivered a Genie Z62/40 articulating diesel boom lift and a Genie GS-5390 RT scissor lift.

Anglia Access Platforms, based at Barford, near Norwich, in Norfolk, has a ready supply of hire customers for both machines, especially in the construction sector. The company, in business since 2003, is a firmly established powered access hire specialist in East Anglia and has firm plans to expand its fleet.

Anglia Access Director Mark Pratt said: "We work with a lot of cladding installers and the Genie GS-5390 scissor is very much one of their go-to platforms. It's very stable, has a good platform size and can sit right up against a building so installation operatives can work safely and quickly."

Fast service from APS is also a big plus when it comes to being able to select the best platforms, as well. Mark said: "With APS, you get quick delivery, so you receive the access platform when you need it. That's important when new business can come onstream quickly and a customer needs support straight away."

APS Major Accounts Manager Linda Betts said: "We're delighted Mark and the team at Anglia Access Platforms are so pleased with our Genie access platforms. A major benefit of Genie platforms is their residual value. After 10 years or so of excellent service, hire companies like Mark's can get good prices for their Genie scissors and booms."

The diesel-powered Genie GS-5390 scissor lift has a maximum working height of 18.87m, a double extension deck providing 7m of working space and a lifting capacity of 680kg.

During cladding operations, for example, that allows up to three operatives plus tools and fittings to work comfortably around most cladding panels. With up to 50% gradeability, rough terrain tyres and proportional lift and drive, the scissor lift is also designed to cope well with uneven ground. The diesel-powered Genie Z-62/40 boom lift has a maximum working height of 20.87m and a very impressive horizontal outreach of 12.42m.

This makes them ideal for a wide range of uses, including structural surveys, digital communication mast installation and maintenance, and construction, including cladding and glass installation.


CESAR Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV) project set to complete evaluation phase

A JCB Hydradig became the first piece of construction plant to be fitted with the prototype Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV) label.

Fixed alongside the standard “CESAR triangle” this new version of CESAR provides an immediate visual check on compliance backed up by a scannable QR code. The service is specifically aimed at those charged with monitoring compliance with Low Emission Zone requirements.

The initiative is being developed as a response to the demand for an easy and reliable way to confirm the emissions category of construction equipment used within Low Emission Zones and “green” construction sites.

The ECV development team are evaluating feedback from the latest round of stakeholder consultations with a view to the full launch of the scheme later this year. 

Rob Oliver, Chief Executive of the CEA, said: “The ECV application for CESAR is the single biggest development since the scheme was launched as an anti-theft initiative in 2007. With the introduction of Low Emission Zones and “green” construction sites, there is an urgent demand for the quick identification of the certified emission levels of machines brought on to sites.

"In developing ECV we have had some great input from HS2, the Energy Saving Trust and London boroughs, who are demanding increasingly stringent NRMM emissions standards. The mix of a secure database of machines’ vital information plus an easy-to-read-and-scan visual sticker cuts out a lot of work for construction site managers and local authorities.”

"We have had some welcome feedback to our consultation process to ensure the scheme reflects industry requirements and the CESAR team are following through on all the idea, requests and comments received.”

Colin Smith, Programme Manager at Energy Saving Trust, commented: “Energy Saving Trust, in partnership with HS2, has helped the CEA in understanding the issues around NRMM policy and will continue to work with the project to align further label development with machinery that has been retrofitted with EST NRMM approved emission reduction systems.

“Knowing the air pollution impact of construction plant is key to reducing the environmental impact of construction activity. Currently the only way to know if an excavator is emissions stage IIIA, IIIB, IV or V is by reading an engine plate buried somewhere in the engine bay.

"To have a prominent CEA CESAR ECV label applied to the machine indicating the emissions stage backed up by a robust database will enable plant owners and operators, contractors and site managers to comply with any local policy or contractual obligation in place regarding machinery emissions level. The CEA CESAR ECV scheme has huge potential going forward. It could include data such as fuel consumption to help with GHG emissions or energy reporting and support corporate social responsibility activity. This could lead to smarter NRMM fleet management to realise cost savings and recognition of plant owners and operators taking action to reduce their environmental impact.”   

Charles Stevenson, General Manager JCB, commented on the new scheme saying: “JCB is leading the way in clean technology and reducing harmful emissions, especially in urban, air quality sensitive environments and enclosed spaces, so we are delighted to be the first to embrace the ECV marking and will be fitting it as standard once the scheme is fully launched later this year.

“Identifying emissions compliance with a uniform and easily recognisable symbol will bring a multitude of benefits to the customer, not least of which will be easy site access on major projects and in cities where ULEZ is enforced.”


Nixon Hire and AJC Trailers – A green partnership

IN recent times the motivation to supply sites with sustainable, energy saving equipment has gained significant traction within the UK hire industry.

One of the hire firms that are leading the way in this cause is the plant, accommodation, welfare and toilet hire company, Nixon Hire. With its head office in Newcastle upon Tyne and depots nationwide, it is able to supply the whole of the UK with a range of environmentally sound equipment.

Central to its eco-positive hire-fleet is a line of products manufactured by AJC Trailers. Marketed under AJC’s EasyCabin brand, Nixon Hire has invested heavily in AJC’s eco welfare and temporary accommodation units, each designed to reduce the carbon output on site and save fuel costs for Nixon Hire’s clients.

This investment means that Nixon Hire can deliver and install a complete sustainable site set-up facility that operates from a combination of carbon-free battery power and renewable energy.

Electricity on site has been traditionally provided by diesel powered generators. However, with Nixon Hire’s stimulus, AJC designed and manufactured a power pod that produces up 30kVA power, principally from a combination of solar and battery power. Entitled the H2O Solar Pod (Patent Pending), it combines solar PV with a back-up generator and large water tank, providing a comprehensive facility in one sustainable module.

In addition, Nixon Hire now offers AJC manufactured portable solar and LPG toilets. An operator just needs to add water and they are ready to provide efficient, hygienic toilet facilities. These toilets are particularly useful in remote areas.

The use of renewables continues following Nixon Hire’s recent purchase of a fleet of AJC’s solar powered lights. The AJC solar light has a powerful 20w output making it ideally suited for construction sites, compounds, car parks, and pathways.

“We value our partnership with Nixon Hire highly,” stated Jav Samsa, AJC Trailers Managing Director, “Their commitment to expanding the use of renewables is equal to our own ambitions to produce equipment that drastically reduces the use of fossil fuels.

“Nixon Hire’s market intelligence is unsurpassed. They are completely in tune with the demands of the marketplace and they are continually bringing new ideas to us. This is great for the industry and the wider environment.”

Graham Nixon, Nixon Hire’s Managing Director, concurred saying: “AJC Trailers always have an open mind when we make suggestions for developing new, eco-styled equipment. This arrangement helps to keep Nixon Hire at the vanguard of delivering sustainable products to our clients.”

Founded in 1967, Nixon Hire is a family-run business employing nearly 500 people with ambitious plans to grow its depot network. The company has over 50 years of experience in supplying equipment for construction sites and events.

AJC Trailers operates under its EasyCabin brand and manufactures a wide range of sustainable temporary accommodation and welfare units for UK industry. Their environmental credentials have been confirmed by being recipients of three Green Apple Awards.



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