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July/August 2010
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Executive Hire News › Archives › July/August 2010 › Executive Report: Executive news

Executive Report : Executive news


ArcGen Hilta has acquired the business and trading assets of lighting tower manufacturer and generator supplier Sandhurst Manufacturing Co Ltd (SMC). The SMC brand name will remain, and the company will continue to operate from its base in Gosberton, Lincolnshire.
ArcGen Hilta Chief Executive Mark Hodgkins told EHN that the development continues the policy of planned expansion implemented after parent company, Morris & Co, acquired ArcGen in September 2006. “We identified two strategic issues, namely to increase the existing customer base and expand the equipment offering. Hirers increasingly want to deal with fewer suppliers that have larger product portfolios, and the SMC purchase follows our acquisition of pump manufacturer Hilta, and our distribution agreements for BBA pumps, Allmand lighting towers and Addco variable messaging boards.
“We now have the opportunity to develop export sales for SMC’s UK-manufactured products and this will, in turn, create additional markets for ArcGen Hilta’s other ranges.”
SMC International Sales and UK Account Sales Manager, Iain Curran, has become General Manager of the Gosberton site and has joined ArcGen Hilta’s management team.
EHN understands that former owner Tim Dean continues to run Sandhurst Equipment Rental, the Kent-based supplier of hydraulic plant attachments.
SMC’s flagship product is the TL-90 mobile lighting tower, which has a mast that automatically descends for safety if the handbrake is released. Designed for environmental friendliness, the machine’s PowerTilt option enables precise rotation of the lighting heads. The range also includes diesel generators offered under the Genpac name.

Obart offers extended warranties

Obart Pumps is now offering a three-year guarantee on all Tsurumi submersible pumps, a range that it has distributed in the UK for more than 30 years. The products are popular for applications where performance and reliability are paramount, such as land drainage, sewage treatment and flood damage restoration.
“Tsurumi has always invested heavily in research and development of its products and we know they are built to last,” said Obart MD Matthew Hill. “We are setting a benchmark in the industry and regular users of Tsurumi submersibles will not be surprised to know that we are backing this warranty 100%, at no extra cost.”
• The September issue of EHN will include a dedicated Market Report on Pumps, Driers, Dehumidifiers and Flood Damage Restoration Equipment.

Speedy opens Edinburgh Supercentre

Scottish curling ace Eve Muirhead, skip of the GB team at this year’s Winter Olympics, cut the ribbon to open Speedy’s new Supercentre in Edinburgh recently, the hirer’s first such depot in Scotland. 15,000ft2 in size, it will provide a very broad product offering, including small tools, lifting and survey equipment, light plant and fencing.
General Manager Leigh Cummings, says, “Being located at the heart of the city, the Superstore will enable us to serve a much wider region.” Three of Speedy’s existing seven branches in and around Edinburgh have closed, with staff transferring to the new centre. Also at the opening were, from left, Speedy MD for Scotland John Cummings, David Graham, UK Hire MD, and Depot Manager Ryan McGurk.
“Increasingly, we are serving markets that expect a product offering that is more than tools and equipment,” David Graham told EHN. “Our aim is to understand what customers need and deliver it as efficiently as possible. Where appropriate, consolidating resources in Supercentres is a way of achieving this.” Speedy opened its first such facility in Stoke earlier this year, and plans to have more than 30 throughout the UK by 2012, complementing its traditional depot network.

TowerLight UK established

TowerLight srl, the Italian-based manufacturer best known for its range of lighting towers, has established a sales and service support operation in the UK, located in Milton Keynes. Unsurprisingly, the company will trade as TowerLight UK Ltd and is based in a 15,000m2 facility in Garamonde Drive, Wymbush. According to highly experienced International Sales Managers, Paul Hay and Ray Caulfield, who will head up the new operation, “this new facility will ensure that we can fully support our current customers and aid our expansion plans to extend the TowerLight range of equipment across the UK and Ireland. This central location is less than an hour from London, enabling us to reach most TowerLight users’ products swiftly and efficiently. A complete stock of spare parts is available from Milton Keynes, and we also provide maintenance and repair facilities. On site repairs will be carried out by approved, independent service agents.”
The full TowerLight range of lighting towers will be available from this location, together with its range of super-silenced contractors’ pumps from 4-12in. The company has also appointed Martin Dickson as Pump Sales Manager to head its developing pump sales activity. In addition, TowerLight will start to distribute products manufactured by a new division, trading as DF Ecology. This activity designs and develops products described as “innovative construction site machinery that incorporates a range of environmental features.” The DF range currently comprises the Dust Fighter dust suppression range and the WW220 wheel wash cleaning system. The Dust Fighter DF7500MB recently won the European Rental Association Rental Product of the Year Award for 2010.


AWS welcomes The Princess Royal

The Princess Royal showed a keen interest in the products and services offered by Chorley-based Adlington Welding Supplies (AWS) when she visited the company at the beginning of July.
“The idea of the Princess coming to see us was first mooted six months ago,” Director Howard Turner told EHN. “The Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire’s office wanted to visit businesses in the county that are involved with the preparations for the London Olympic Games. We were surprised and delighted when it was eventually confirmed.
“Princess Anne met all 30 staff before putting on safety spectacles to watch a welding demonstration. She later unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit. She showed genuine interest in our family owned business, and her visit will be a day to remember for all our staff.”
AWS has hired mobile welding equipment, Mig welders and consumables such as rods and wire to contractors working on the main Olympic stadium and the Aquatics Centre. Pictured with the Princess at the unveiling are, from left, AWS Finance Director Mark Hunt, Howard Turner and his brother, Director Nigel Turner.

Multi-coloured Belle

Following an exclusive invitation from Belle Group MD Ray Neilson, EHN seized the opportunity to visit the company’s manufacturing facility in Sheen, Derbyshire, for a preview of its latest product developments, including several from the ranges of parent company Altrad, which acquired Belle last year.
The Fort Cosmo wheelbarrow is now available in four new eye-catching colours, specifically for the UK market. UK & Ireland Key Accounts Executive, Samantha Johnson, who played an important role in creating the new range, believes the lime, lavender, blue and pink hues will appeal to fashion conscious gardeners and people with horse stables. She adds that hirers can offer them as retail items. 16 fit on a Euro pallet and they can be delivered in mixed colours.
Also new is the first specifically Belle-branded barrow, the 100-litre Warrior, finished in the company’s traditional orange livery. Ray Neilson describes it as “ideal for contractors, as it has a virtually indestructible high-density polyethylene tray that is easily cleaned and enables bricks and materials to be loaded quietly. The deep-tread tyres resist punctures and a heavy-duty electroplated frame is incorporated.
It is perfect for use with Belle’s popular MiniMix 150 mixer.”
Other newcomers include the 85-litre Weekender, which has a galvanised tray and uses the same frame as the Cosmo, and the
100-litre TK-100, nicknamed the Rancher, which is dark green and suitable for gardening and light construction use. There are also three additions to the Limex barrow line-up: the Garden 80 for homeowners, the Standard 85 for building contractors, and the larger Standard 100.
Belle is also introducing a number of staircase tower systems utilising Altrad’s ‘contur’ compact, modular scaffolding range. “This represents a great opportunity for hirers who do not offer conventional system scaffolding,” says Ray. “It enables them to benefit from demand for the kind of access solution required during refurbishment work at schools, hospitals, houses and other buildings, as well as at loading bays. These products are typically needed for several weeks at a time.”
• Belle will display some of these new products at IOG Saltex in Windsor, from 7-9 September. Details of launches from other companies are included in our Gardening & Grounds Care Market Report.


Hilti creates new General Manager role

Gareth Lewis has been promoted to the newly created role of General Manager Great Britain & Region Head of Northern Europe for Hilti. The position, which replaces and expands on the preceding Managing Director’s role, will see him initiate a new hub responsible for sales, marketing and purchasing across several countries, including Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Denmark.
Gareth joined Hilti in 1999 and was previously General Manager South in North America. Prior to that he held senior positions for the company in the US, Europe and Great Britain. “Despite the recession, Hilti is in a very strong position in terms of brand, product innovation and project expertise,” he said. “By utilising our strengths in key areas, such as supply chain management, technical support and Health & Safety, with products designed to minimise risks associated with dust, working at height and HAV, I see strong growth potential.”

Ammann’s Show success continues

Ammann Equipment continues to enjoy a steady stream of orders as a direct result of exhibiting at this year’s Executive Hire Show. It recently delivered four Yanmar SV15PR minis and three Yanmar ViO30 zero tail swing machines to Harrison Hire & Sales based in Milford, Surrey.
“Our customers have been asking us for a true 3 tonne mini,” said MD Francis Harrison, who is pictured, left, receiving the machines from Ammann’s South East Regional Sales Manager, Gary Wingrove. “Having seen the 3270kg ViO30 at the Show, with its massive cab and impressive dig depth, it ticked all the boxes. This is the first zero tail swing machine in our fleet, and as its movement is contained within its tracks, it reduces the risk of damage.
“I have owned Yanmar B15 minis from the earliest days of Harrison Hire, and they have always proved reliable. When I wanted to expand the fleet, the 1535kg SV15, which has reduced tail swing characteristics, was the obvious choice.”


EHN Special Correspondent Ben Colledge, on work experience, talks with Artisan Hire’s Chris Comer.
Celebrating 10 years this September, Artisan Hire, like most independent hirers, has been affected by the recession. According to Chris Comer, “It has affected us in some ways, but not in others. In November 2008 at the depth of the recession we experienced one of our best months, yet the early part of 2009 was actually our worst period. Since then business has recovered relatively well.
“We are continuing to invest heavily in new equipment. We have purchased a fleet of JCB mini excavators, both 1.5 tonne 8014s and 800kg Micros. We have also purchased a new delivery vehicle from KFS Special Vehicles. This has proved a very useful addition as it delivers our larger plant and also because you can load mini excavators straight onto the lightweight beaver tail body. We have also purchased a fleet of GenSet generators with outputs from 6-20 kVA.”
A particular purchase at this year’s Executive Hire Show was a Kanga mini skid steer loader from distributor Red Band. “We purchased the Kanga because it has both good customer demand and hire rate, since it can be used for various applications and is adaptable with many attachments. For example, it can drill a large quantity of holes efficiently, which is ideal for fencing contractors.”
Artisan has also made additional investment in powered access equipment. It has added Power Towers, from Red Band, and a Genie TZ34-20 trailer-mounted platform. “Access equipment is certainly the way forward and we will definitely be investing in more access equipment in the future.”

Pop-Up appoints Leach Lewis

Pop-Up Products has appointed Leach Lewis Industrial, the new sales division of Leach Lewis Plant, as its southern England distributor for the Pop-Up and Pop-Up+ push-around scissor lifts. Leach Lewis will also offer the new Pop-Up Push series when it enters production later this year.
Leach Lewis, which is based in Waltham Cross, has established a specialist low-level access sales and customer support team, which will be assisted by the nationwide Pop-Up spare parts service provided by IPS (Independent Parts and Service). The company has also invested in demonstration models to assist in developing new sales opportunities.

Wacker Neuson and Caterpillar partnership agreement

Munich-based Wacker Neuson SE and Caterpillar of the US have signed a 20-year agreement regarding the design, distribution and support of Caterpillar mini excavators up to 3 tonne. Wacker Neuson will begin manufacturing the machines, which will be Caterpillar designed and branded, from mid-2011 at its Austrian factory in Linz.
Caterpillar currently offers three models in this size range. The new line-up will comprise seven machines from 0.8 tonne upwards, and will be clearly differentiated from comparable Wacker Neuson models. Both companies believe that the partnership will enable them to spread the costs of developing and manufacturing across higher volumes.



It is with great sadness that we report the death of Richard Macleod, at the age of 54. He died of heart failure whilst on holiday in Morocco.
Richard had worked for the Youngman Group since 1997 as National Account Manager, with responsibility for Speedy Hire and Brandon Hire.
In addition he acted as a Quality Auditor for the company. He was widely acknowledged as an expert on towers and ladder use. Richard had held senior positions at Marwood and Action Plant, and was a director of his own plant hire company in his early career.
His knowledge was also put to good use in the Ladder Association, where he was Chairman of the Training Committee, and at Youngman, excelling at devising product solutions and incorporating modern technology. We extend our sympathies to his wife, Patricia, and his son, Russell.


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