Executive Hire News › Archives › April/May 2011 › Executive Report : Executive news
Executive Report : Executive news
Plantool adds Camon line-up
Plantool Hire Centres, which operates six depots across the south Midlands, has taken delivery of 28 machines from Tracmaster’s Camon range of gardening and grounds care equipment, comprising 12 C50i chippers, six TC07 turf cutters, five C2000 tillers, four LA20 lawn aerators and an LS42 scarifier.
“We were looking for a small chipper that would fit inside a small vehicle so that homeowners could collect it easily from our depots, and having looked at several from other suppliers, the C50i was the only one we felt was robust enough,” said Plantool Director, Ben Jones. “We have bought two for each of our locations, in Daventry, Kettering, Lutterworth, Nuneaton, Stratford and Warwick.
“We then realised this was a great opportunity to add more Camon equipment in readiness for the new gardening season. We were very impressed with the heavy-duty TC07, and bought one for each depot, and the other equipment fills gaps in our overall fleet.” As we reported in March, Plantool won the Executive Hire Show questionnaire draw, and put its £250 prize towards its purchases.
Other recent Plantool additions include 14 compaction plates from Fairport Construction Equipment, and a Ford Transit Connect vehicle from Gordons Ford of Bolton, which joins five long wheelbase Transits that the company already operates in its delivery fleet.
Selwood’s £7m fleet investment
Selwood reports that it has already placed orders this year for £7m of plant and pumps for its hire fleet. This total includes £1.4m spent with Ammann Equipment on mini excavators, breakers and rollers. Significant orders have in addition been placed with Thwaites for dumpers, and Hyundai for larger excavators.
This also includes an order worth £3m for Selwood’s own pumps, including electric submersibles and super silent units. The company says that its manufacturing facility near Southampton has benefited from an improvement programme designed to increase efficiency and capacity. This will allow for standard products to benefit from shorter lead times.
Sales Director Richard Brown commented. “Although this is a large investment in a short space of time, it is important that we continue to increase and update our fleet to meet customer expectations. 2011 has begun well for us and this investment is essential for us to maintain growth.”
Brandon launches community initiative
Brandon has launched a nationwide tool sharing scheme to help groups throughout the country to finish community based building projects. One of the first beneficiaries of its Tool Share initiative is Failand and Portbury Cricket Club, a registered charity in Bristol. It applied to Brandon for the loan of equipment, including a hydraulic earth auger and a leaf blower, to improve its facilities. Robert Humphreys from the cricket club, said, “We are incredibly grateful to Brandon Hire, as we rely almost entirely on volunteers and donations.”
Brandon believes that, during the current economic climate when money is tight, tool costs can make or break a local scheme. Tool Share aims to tackle this problem by offering groups the chance to apply for free hire to complete work on time and within budgets.
MD Tim Smith said, “Although the Government’s ‘big society’ is empowering communities, many projects are in trouble simply because of a lack of cash. Hopefully Tool Share will provide some practical support during difficult times.” Our picture shows Brandon’s Kevin Baber, wearing his hi-viz jacket, with players and volunteers from the cricket club.
New MD for Wacker Neuson Ltd
Jonathan Vaines has been appointed as MD for Wacker Neuson Ltd, UK and Ireland, replacing Andrew Howells, who has left to pursue a career in the engineering industry. Jonathan was formerly Sales Director for the organisation for the past six years, and his previous industry experience includes having been Operations Director for HSS Lift & Shift.
“We are in a good position to move forward,” he told EHN. “Our sales team have been working very hard during the current challenging economic climate, and we are now seeing an upturn in business which should develop as better trading conditions take hold.”
EHA’s Paris study tour
The Event Hire Association (EHA) recently sent a delegation on a two-day study tour of event hire businesses in and around Paris. The party included senior representatives from Blue Sky Event Solutions, Ev-ent Hire, Allens Catering Hire, Co-ordination Catering Hire, Jaspers Hire and Bentley Brown, whose hosts were CSL, Aktuel and Groupe Jaulin, three of the largest catering, furniture and marquee hire companies in France.
Delegates assessed operational aspects of the businesses, such as warehouse management and storage systems. The UK team included HAE/EHA MD Graham Arundell, who said that “supply chain issues were also a major topic for discussion, especially as Groupe Jaulin holds over 150,000 chairs in stock.”
Brisk business for Fairview
Fairview Lifting Gear Services, which we profiled in September 2009, reports brisk business at two new depots it has opened in recent months, at Ipswich and Hayes.
“We were very fortunate to be able to employ two teams of staff at the new facilities, all with previous experience in the lifting equipment industry, led by Barry Scott at Ipswich and Sean Small at Hayes,” Operations Manager Kevin Smith told EHN. “Both depots have seen excellent results in their early stages of development. Our existing branches at Rainham and Epsom have also seen significant growth.
“Our customers have remained loyal and if the current trends continue we hope to open a fifth depot in the Birmingham area by the end of the year.”
Rawley Plant achieves half century
Rawley Plant Ltd of Basildon has just celebrated 50 years of trading. Chairman Colin Rawley recalled that the company’s first hire order in Easter 1961 was for a ladder and scaffold board to a local painter and decorator, to the value of 30 shillings (£1.50).
“My father Jim, who was a house builder, had seen the potential for hiring tools and plant. It was a new concept, but it quickly caught on. We had thought that do-it-yourself householders would form the main customer base, but small and medium-sized builders saw the value of hiring, too.”
The business developed, adding workwear sales, site accommodation and toilet hire, but in 2003 it decided to specialise in toilet hire, recognising the increasing demand that was being driven by new construction site Health & Safety regulations, and growing business from outdoor event managers. Rawley Plant has also developed its own Combi-Gen welfare cabins and portable sanitation units.
Bobcat loaders help Japan’s recovery
Remote controlled Bobcat loaders have been sent to help with the disaster recovery work following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Bobcat is working with QinetiQ North America, a responsive services company, to provide the equipment and training to help with the operation.
Two T300 compact tracked loaders equipped with 2m wide industrial grapple attachments have been supplied, with Robotic Appliqué Kits from QinetiQ, which turn them into unmanned machines in just 15 minutes, enabling access in less stable environments without an operator in the cab.
The loaders also include cameras, night vision devices, thermal imagers, microphones, two-way radio systems and radiation sensors.
They can be operated from more than a mile away to safely remove rubble and debris, dig up buried objects and carry smaller equipment. The kits also permit remote operation of Bobcat attachments such as buckets, tree cutters and hydraulic hammers.
Stoke hirer adds Teupen
Stoke-based hirer, AM Access, recently took delivery of a Teupen Leo 18GT compact tracked platform from distributor Ranger Equipment. The machine measures only 0.78m wide, but provides a maximum working height of 17.9m.
Director Adam Gwynne said “the machine’s auto-levelling outriggers provide fast setup on any terrain, and the remote control enables smooth and safe manoeuvring. Customers also appreciate its low floor loading, narrow chassis width and generous outreach.”