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Executive Report : Executive news
HSS opens Oxford centre
Catherine Stratton, EHN’s financial correspondent and the author of the highly respected Plant Hire Investment Report, officially opened the latest HSS depot in Oxford in April. It is a large ‘supercentre’ facility offering a broader range of equipment, with extended opening hours, and follows the opening of a similar centre in Brighton earlier this year.
Speaking at the Oxford depot opening, CEO Chris Davies said that the new branch would “complement our nationwide presence and consolidate a spine of logistical capability throughout the country. Despite the difficult economic conditions of 2009, we felt it was important to keep investing in our branch network, opening 12 new locations in as many months, and we’re now carrying that momentum into 2010.
“The Oxford centre will help us to deliver an improved scale and scope of service for customers in the heart of the country. It offers much more floor space, allowing for an extended product range, including specialised Powered Access and Lift & Shift equipment.”
High interest in Vertikal Days
Now in its fourth year, the dedicated access and lifting equipment event, Vertikal Days, will take place once again at Haydock Park on 16 and 17 June. More than 100 manufacturers of access machinery, cranes and telehandlers will be represented, as well as suppliers of replacement machine parts, hire software and safety training.
Industry associations such as CPA and PASMA will be holding workshops and seminars during the event, while IPAF will be running a competency course, called Do The Test, on the demonstration area. For more details, visit www.vertikaldays.net
• For news of the latest developments in low-level access equipment, see our dedicated Market Report.
HireMee expands Volvo fleet
Tool and plant hirer, HireMee Ltd, which has depots in Royston and Ware in Hertfordshire, and Bathgate in West Lothian, has added three more Volvo mini excavators to its fleet, along with three EC27C models.
“We continue to specify Volvo minis because of their relatively high residual values, reliability and customer acceptance,” said MD Magnus Mildwater. The EC27C has superseded both the previous EC25 and EC30 models, and has been designed to combine the compact dimensions and performance of the two machines. The HireMee fleet includes Volvo minis ranging from 1.5 to 6 tonne.
Barford dumpers in administration
The parent company of Barford Construction Equipment, Wordsworth Holdings plc of Grantham, went into administration in March. The administrators, Deloitte, have been seeking to sell the Barford business together with the other Group operations, including Fruehauf tipper trailers.
Wordsworth Holdings was created in 1988 when Duncan Wordsworth rescued the Aveling-Barford name and products, which at that time included dump trucks, graders and deadweight rollers. Barford site dumpers were added to the line-up in 1994.
The production of rollers and graders ceased some years ago and in 2007 the Aveling-Barford name and design rights to the dumper trucks were sold to Moxy in 2007.
Although production of Barford site dumpers had been adversely affected by the recession, Wordsworth Holdings had appointed Graham Stansfield as MD of Barford Construction Equipment last September to rebuild the business.
He had been seeking to officially launch two machines previously exhibited as prototypes, namely the rubber-tracked Big Trax 10 tonne payload dumper and the Big Jaw mobile crusher carried on a dumper chassis. There were also plans to re-enter the 1 tonne dumper market.
SGM acquires ASG assets
Grounds care hire specialist SGM (UK) has purchased the business and assets of All Seasons Groundcare, the operation formerly known as Swan Plant. SGM, which has its headquarters in Fife, will integrate as required ASG’s fleet of 1,200 assets into its nine locations throughout the country. This will bring the SGM fleet to more than 5,000 items, consolidating the company’s position as the largest grounds care hirer in the UK.
“This acquisition is a very good fit for us,” SGM’s MD Steven McInroy (pictured) told EHN. “ASG had its headquarters in Warrington and another depot in Market Harborough, and had built up a good spot hire customer base from these locations, which will now complement our chief activity of supplying equipment to long-term hire clients.
“SGM has recently won several new contracts, with others being renewed or extended, for customers including Tamworth Borough Council, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, and High Peak Borough Council. To support these, we have been adding new equipment to the fleet, including a Takeuchi TB125 mini excavator, Great Dane pedestrian mowers, Kubota ride-on mowers and E-Z Go utility vehicles.”
JCB on track with LiveLink Lite
Having established its LiveLink telematics system for larger machines, JCB is now offering a Lite version for the remote monitoring and security of compact and mid-range models. LiveLink Lite can be supplied on new JCB machines or retrofitted to older equipment (including other brands) already in hire fleets.
It offers GPS tracking for fleet management purposes. Users can update the location information every two to three minutes while the machine is operating. Geofencing allows a virtual area to be to set up, from within which the machine is authorised to operate. If it goes outside these boundaries, an alert is sent to the owner to warn of potential theft. Real-time reporting of starting, stopping and running time can also be obtained. Machine hours are constantly monitored and the data can be relayed to a web site to calculate service intervals.
DeWalt targets dust
DeWalt has just launched a low-vibration cordless drilling system with integrated dust extraction, namely the DC234KL 36v rotary hammer in conjunction with the new D25302DH adaptor. The latter’s independent motor draws its power from the drill battery, and is designed so as to ensure there is no reduction in performance.
A spring-loaded extendable nosepiece attaches to the handle, and a hose connects to the dust collector. This means that the extraction system works directly on the work piece for immediate dust collection. The vacuum starts as soon as the trigger is pressed and remains on for several seconds after the switch is released to ensure all hoses are clear. The dust collector has a HEPA filter and is emptied by simply removing the cartridge and disposing of the contents into a bin.
HAE wins training funding
HAE has won a bid for funding to provide increased training opportunities for members at reduced rates, following a successful application to the Management and Supervisory Development programme (M&SDP), part of ConstructionSkills (formerly CITB). Gill Bridger, the Association’s Head of Training & Professional Development, said, “In the next few months, we will be looking to develop an Environmental Management System training programme and various Chartered Institute of Environmental Health programmes related to sustainability and environmental issues, all of which will be subsidised by the M&SDP funding.”
• HAE’s Awards of Excellence 2010 will take place at The Landmark London hotel on 8 May.