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July/August 2012
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Executive Hire News › Archives › July/August 2012 › Executive Report: Executive news

Executive Report : Executive news


DeWalt has enhanced its XR Li-Ion range of cordless tools with the introduction of a 4.0Ah battery pack offering up to 33% more capacity than their 3.0Ah equivalents, improving tool runtime and efficiency. The manufacturer believes that, depending on the application, the batteries could enable tradesmen to work all day without having to re-charge them.
The new additions are identical to their 3.0Ah counterparts in terms of weight and dimensions. They are being launched with a range of dedicated power tools, while being compatible with existing XR Li-Ion products within the same voltages.
The line-up includes 14.4V and 18V tools, and encompasses drill drivers, impact drivers, impact wrenches, a reciprocating saw, jig saw, angle grinder, circular saws and rotary hammers. A system incorporating an ‘intelligent’ trigger design and variable speed switch is designed to offer greater control in relation to a given application, and this helps to prolong the life of the battery and that of the tool.
LED lights on the front of the products provide illumination in poorly lit locations and, for additional convenience, a belt clip and magnetic bit carrier are mounted to the grip sides. They can be switched from side to side, depending on the preferred handedness of the user.

AirBench offers dust solution

Responding to last issue’s Crosshire, which discussed potential risks to employees from dust and contaminants present in off-hired tools, the manufacturer of the AirBench downdraught workbench suggests that its product can provide a self-contained solution by capturing dust blown from equipment during cleaning.
“For a small investment relative to a capital intensive business, we believe we can improve employees’ health and wellbeing, and reduce risks for employers,” AirBench Ltd MD Simon Cook told EHN. “It also shows customers that you take Health & Safety seriously. Our finding has been that, in particular, smaller independent operations are enthusiastic and keen to work with us, and customers to date include WHC Hire Services in Worcester, Hire It! - Kidderminster, and Mark 1 Hire in Rayleigh.”
Equipment placed on the AirBench can be blown clean with an airline, with dust being drawn into the bench and captured within internal filters.
• A specialist training consultancy also advises on dust hazards in our article on page 23.

A-Plant fleet additions

A-Plant has bought nearly 200 generators worth approximately £2.5m from SDMO Energy. The Rental Compact machines range from
10-150kVA and are Tier 3 compliant, with bunded long-run fuel tanks.
The hirer also recently added 50 solar powered variable messaging signs manufactured by PWS, which will be offered through its A-Plant Lux traffic control and management depots. The signs are claimed to be able to operate for up to a whole year without needing external re-charging.
A-Plant’s newly published 2012/13 catalogue details other recent fleet additions, including Hilti’s TE 3000-AVR breaker, the XLPed temporary pedestrian crossing from Pike Signals, and Pop-Up Platforms’ Eiger advance guardrail mobile tower.

Leach Lewis becomes Ammann dealer

Leach Lewis Plant has been appointed as the authorised dealer for the full range of Ammann compaction equipment in the south east of England. At the end of July, Leach Lewis will terminate by mutual agreement its arrangement with Bomag (GB), for which it had been its light equipment distributor in the south of England.
The appointment covers the counties of Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, East Sussex, Kent, Greater London, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, Essex and Suffolk and will operate from Leach Lewis’ depots in Waltham Cross, Oxford and Maidstone.
The announcement was made on the opening day of the Hillhead International Quarrying and Recycling Show, held near Buxton, at which both companies were exhibiting.

Terex moves parts distribution to Europe

Readers will recall that Crosshire in our June issue alluded to “unconfirmed rumours” that a well known construction manufacturer was to re-locate its spare parts distribution from the UK to a more central European location.
Shortly afterwards came the announcement from Terex that, from July, compact construction equipment parts deliveries would come direct from an 8000m2 distribution centre in Rothenburg, Germany. This includes components for Terex machines built at Coventry that were previously served by the manufacturer’s Warwick parts centre, which is now up for sale.
According to Terex, distributors and customers placing Vehicle Off Road (VOR) parts orders (up to 70kg) with Rothenburg before 4pm will receive delivery the next working day, with a 3pm cut-off time for next day delivery of parts weighing more. Head of Terex Parts Sales, Dave Wills, said that the cost of parts would not be affected, adding that “we will not be losing the many years of knowledge and expertise of our UK customer support team members as they will continue to be a part of our team at the Coventry factory.”
Crosshire, and doubtless other hirers, will be monitoring the operation’s performance with interest.

Oswald Record acquired by LSGI

LSG Industrials (LSGI), an industrial investment group, has acquired Oswald Record, the construction plant sales and services company, which has depots in Manchester, Stirlingshire, Birmingham and London, as well as its head office in Chesterfield.
Anthony Record, retiring MD and majority shareholder, said, “It was important for me to leave the business in suitable hands that would value what the company has achieved to date and allow the potential growth of the firm.”
Frank Iszard has been appointed as Commercial Director for the business. He has previously worked with HSS and Hewden, and was most recently UK and Ireland Sales and Operations Manager with Leach Lewis Plant. Malcolm Bowers, Chairman of LSGI, commented, “By introducing simple measures like new distribution agreements and marketing tools, we believe we can sustain and expand on the company’s 90 plus years’ successful trading.”

PowerTower goes Nationwide

Nationwide Platforms is to add 220 new PowerTower Nano SP and Nano SP+ low level access machines to its fleet throughout the remainder of this year. The hirer’s Executive Director - Sales and Marketing, Richard Miller, said, “Since the emergence of low level access platforms in around 2005, we have seen a significant and growing demand from our customer base. In particular we’ve seen this from clients in retail and facilities management who are looking for safe, efficient and cost-effective alternatives to more traditional means of access.”
The Nano SP provides working heights of up to 4.5m and has a compact footprint of 0.75 by 1.2m. The Nano SP+ offers the same working height capability, but has a larger 1m cantilever deck, giving a 1.5m outreach. This makes it suitable for tasks where work over shelving or machinery is required in retail, warehouse or industrial environments.

Wacker Neuson opens larger factory

Wacker Neuson has re-located its compact construction machinery factory in Linz, Austria, to a purpose-built facility in the district of Hörsching. Situated close to Linz Airport, it has a covered area of 48,300m2.
"Given the increasing demand for our own products, plus the cooperation with Caterpillar for the production of excavators up to 3 tonne, we were being pushed to our capacity limits," said Martin Lehner, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Wacker Neuson SE, who is responsible for the compact machinery division. “The new factory is a development and production location for compact construction machines of up to 14 tonne, including compact and mobile excavators, compact loaders, wheel dumpers and crawler dumpers.”

PSM adds ten Yanmar minis

PSM Plant & Tool Hire Centres, based in Blackfen near Sidcup, has taken delivery of ten new Yanmar SV15PR 1.5 tonne mini excavators to add to its fleet.
Director Mick Clegg said he chose this model because of its reliability and straightforward operating characteristics. Each machine has been fitted with an immobiliser and Datatag security protection, and carries a three year warranty.

ArcGen Hilta wins MoD contract

ArcGen Hilta has been awarded a long tenure procurement contract with ALC, official service supplier of construction plant to the Ministry of Defence, for its SMC TL-90 lighting tower. The multi-million pound contract will see SMC, part of ArcGen Hilta, manufacture bespoke TL-90s with specific features for MoD/NATO use, including trailers, fire extinguishers, fitted spare wheels, wind-down legs to enable self-levelling, 24V LED rear lights, and powder coated finishes in MoD colours.
Phil Winnington, Commercial Director at ArcGen Hilta, told EHN, “The challenges of special projects like this help us to develop enhanced products that will also meet niche requirements for other markets, such as those of hirers’ customers with specific applications.”

Niftylift launches boom duo

Niftylift unveiled two new articulated self-propelled booms at a recent customer open day at Towcester Racecourse. The Heightrider HR 28 Hybrid 4x4 is the larger of the two, and is claimed to be the world’s largest battery electric powered boom. Indeed, it is Niftylift’s biggest boom to date. It offers a 28m working height and 19m working outreach, with a basket capacity of 280kg in the 180° rotation platform.
Final positioning of the basket is facilitated by the 150° range of the articulated jib movement and a continuous 360° slew, thanks to the heavy-duty battery pack being mounted on the superstructure. Weighing 14500kg, the HR28 is said to be more than a tonne lighter than many competitor machines. It also has a shorter stowed length of 9.6m, which can be reduced further to an overall length of 7.5m with its articulated jib fully ‘tucked under’, without increasing travel height. Power options include straight diesel 4x2, diesel 4x4, or Hybrid/Bi-Energy 4x4.
The second new machine is the Heightrider HR15D. Weighing 4250kg, the 15m unit is more than two tonne lighter than the model it replaces. It offers a maximum working outreach of 9.2m and a working height of 15.6m. The Tier 4 compliant engine is fitted with a particulate filter to further reduce emissions. Like the HR28, the HR15D offers 180° basket rotation and 150° articulated jib rotation. Both 2x4 and 4x4 drive variants will be available, and almost all the running gear is common to the existing HR17.
As we alluded to in Executive News in our last issue, among the 100 or so customers at the open day were Stephen and Michael Dorricott, Directors of Leigh-based Astley Hire, whose powered access offering includes several Niftylift 120T trailer-mounts, eleven HR12 machines and two Narrow HR15 units.
“We target our access equipment at the industrial market, rather than construction, and although we have a bias towards JLG for our booms and scissors, the new HR15D is something we would consider as we plan to replace six platforms this year,” Michael told EHN.

Coinford chooses more Volvos

Surrey-based Coinford Plant has bought eight new Volvo compact excavators to supplement its existing fleet of 120 machines. The order comprises two 2.7 tonne EC27C models, four 5.5 tonne EC55Cs, and a pair of 8.8 tonne ECR88 Plus machines, representing both replacement and additional units.
Director Lee Burlton said the purchasing decision was largely based on machine reliability and good service backup. “We cannot talk more highly about our fleet of Volvo compact excavators. They have given us a high degree of reliability and operating uptime, and that includes some of the older models in our fleet.”

Vp acquires survey business

Just after we had completed City News which assesses Vp’s annual results, the company announced that two of its subsidiaries have acquired hire activities from Balfour Beatty for £4m cash.
Hire Station is buying the contractor’s survey, safety and communication business, which has depots in London and Glasgow. This will expand ESS, Hire Station’s safety activity, and the deal includes a three year framework agreement to supply Balfour with these services. In addition, Vp’s telehandling operation, UK Forks, is acquiring Balfour’s plant hire activities operating from Croydon and Exeter.

Speedy self-service

Speedy has developed a secure, self-service hire facility to give customers access to the tools they need on site, as they need them.
The ePod containerised system, which has been designed in association with software supplier, Codegate, tracks the location of the equipment and allows access to it via an RFID (radio frequency identification) scanner and key fob. The concept can also be used as the secure entrance portal to warehouses and other large storage facilities.

PASMA seeks clearer injury statistics

While welcoming a modest reduction in fatal injury statistics shown in provisional figures for 2011/12 released by the Health & Safety Executive, PASMA (the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association) suggests that a more forensic analysis of the data is required.
The statistics show there were 173 workplace fatalities, compared with 175 for 2010/11, more than half resulting from falls from height. However, the Association says the figures do little to help identify the cause of the incidents, which is required to help target information and initiatives at those areas needing them most.
Neil Tomlinson, PASMA’s, Head of Marketing and Communications, said, “Only in this way will we be able to prioritise, direct and take the action necessary to influence the figures, and be able to demonstrably show progress on significantly reducing accident statistics, not only in the UK, but ultimately, internationally.”



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