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Executive Report : Executive news
H.E. SERVICES CELEBRATES
H.E. Services celebrated its 40th anniversary in style recently with an Olympic-themed open day at its head office in Strood, Kent, attracting more than 2,000 visitors. After an Olympic Flame-style opening ceremony, visitors took part in challenges such as testing their operating skills by using a JCB 3X to open a champagne bottle and fill six glasses, or seeing how far they could drive a Komatsu PC14 mini excavator into an area of deep water. Guests were also able to go on several theme park rides that are normally in operation at sister company Diggerland’s four locations in Kent, Yorkshire, Devon and Durham.
Chairman Hugh Edeleanu said that the family-oriented day was focused on allowing children and adults to interact with a variety equipment from the company’s 2,500 items of plant in its fleet. JCB’s Dancing Diggers stunt team put on a display, and Masterhitch UK, which provides the hirer with hitches and buckets, demonstrated its Plant Tree, a revolving showpiece comprising Komatsu PC450, PC80 and PC14 machines linked together.
H.E. Services has also continued to expand its fleet with the purchase of 40 Ammann tandem vibrating rollers. The chosen models range from the AV12-2 (80cm clear sided) to the AV26-2 and AV33-2. The machines are designed for low levels of HAV and whole body vibration.
Peter Durey, MD of H.E. Services, said that the purchasing decision process took into account several factors, including machine performance, customer acceptance, after sales service, reliability and residual value.
Belle’s Diamond Jubilee winner
To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Altrad Belle ran a competition in which the prize was a limited edition Minimix 150 mixer, painted patriotically in red, white and blue. Visitors to the company’s website were invited to answer two questions combining the themes of the Jubilee and Belle products.
The winner chosen at random was Rob Manley of Thorncliffe Building Supplies, based in Denbighshire, whose activities include a builders’ merchant, tool and plant hire, skip hire and waste recycling, with three sites in north Wales. Thorncliffe’s owner, Tim Harper, is pictured (right) accepting the mixer on Rob’s behalf from Altrad Belle’s Paul Buxton. Tim says the unit has now been added to the fleet and that all revenue raised from hiring the machine will be donated to a local charity.
TowerLight’s bright idea
Brightlights, the Essex based national mobile lighting equipment hirer, has purchased a fleet of bespoke lighting towers from TowerLight UK.
The manufacturer developed its existing VB9 model into a dedicated product for the Brightlights fleet, named the BL1EVE.
Andrea Fontenella, CEO of Italian parent company TowerLight SRL, who is shown (left) with Brightlights MD Ricky Barnett, says that tests show the machine can reduce fuel usage by as much as 72% compared against conventional units, without compromising the metal halide lighting output.
It incorporates a 170-litre capacity fuel tank giving running times between refuelling of up to 340 hours. Powered by a diesel engine with electric start, and fitted into a soundproof canopy, the unit is designed to allow easy access for maintenance and has large lockable doors.
Neil Fenwick, Brightlights General Manager said, “We held a series of meetings with TowerLight and were impressed with their knowledge of the lighting market, coupled with their flexibility to produce a lighting set that met with our exact requirements.” Brightlights was acquired earlier this year by Eve Trakway, which supplies temporary access systems, barriers, traffic management and similar services.
Tool & Engineering Services wins Power Tools Questionnaire iPad
We’re delighted to report that we received over 100 completed questionnaires following last month’s Power Tools survey, which asked a number of detailed questions about the way our industry buys, repairs and services a wide range of products.
In our prize draw to win an iPad 3 Wi-Fi 16GB for completing the questionnaire, the first name out of the hat was Mark Houlton, Manager of Tool & Engineering Services Ltd (T.E.S).
We are now analysing the data that we received from the Power Tools questionnaires and we will share the results with you in the next issue.
E.P.S. Hire highlights Husqvarna
Hebden Bridge-based E.P.S. Hire Centre became so disillusioned with its previous supplier of disc cutters that it considered dropping the range from its fleet completely. According to Director Jason Fielden “we had several problems, namely starter cords failing prematurely and issues with filter housing bolts, which made standard servicing more frequent, thus costing us more time and money.
“Switching to the Husqvarna K760 has rectified all these problems - the cost of servicing and maintenance came down and customer satisfaction went up. This gave us confidence back in the product range, which is one of our Top Ten hire items and is now one of our better earners.” The addition of the K760 to E.P S. Hire’s fleet has also increased its long term hire opportunities. The K760 Oilguard is designed to prevent engine damage resulting from an incorrect oil-fuel mixture. “Several units are now in their second year on long term hire and we simply never see them in the depot.”
The K 3000 Vac is one of the hirer’s latest Husqvarna additions. “By attaching a special ‘sled’ accessory to the machine’s blade guard, and connecting this to a vacuum cleaner, dust is collected at source.” In addition to these electric disc cutters, E.P.S. Hire now operates a fleet of nearly 40 K760 disc cutters, along with a number of FS400LV floor saws, TS350E masonry saws and DM230 diamond core drills. Spares for the entire fleet are ordered on-line using Weborder, described by Jason as “always offering next day delivery.”
Metabo hammers it home
Metabo has launched the KHE 3251, a 3kg class combination hammer which incorporates a new anti-vibration system that has been registered for a patent. A foam-mounted bolt elastically connects the tool to the main handle, and both spring and damping elements are designed so that minimal vibration is transferred to the user.
The KHE 3251 weighs 3.5kg and provides a maximum impact energy of 3.1 Joules, with up to 4,470 impacts/min. The manufacturer says that the tool can make holes with diameters of up to 32mm in cement, stone and masonry, or used with core bits of up to 82mm. Without the impact function, it can be used to drill diameters of up to 35mm in wood and 13mm in steel, and a rotating carbon brush bridge is designed to provide the same power in both clockwise and anti-clockwise rotation. For more details visit www.metabo.com
A-Plant’s Olympic message
A-Plant Lux Traffic Control & Management helped to keep vehicles moving at venues in London and other UK locations during the Olympic Games. The company supplied over 80 portable variable message signs to display directional and parking advice to minimise the impact on local areas.
The signs, manufactured by PWS, were used at the Olympic Park, Wembley Stadium and Lord’s Cricket Ground, as well as Brand’s Hatch, Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium and Manchester’s Old Trafford ground.
Jim McLachlan, Business Development Director for A-Plant Lux, said that messages on the LED signs could be remotely updated within minutes as they can be operated via an intuitive web-based programme. The solar powered units are silent in operation with no emissions and, according to the manufacturer, can run for up to a year without the need for external re-charging.
100th Hydrema for AJK
While this might be somewhat large to be considered as compact plant, this news certainly merits publication because it represents the 100th Hydrema ten tonne Dumptruck sold to AJK Plant Hire of Northwich in Cheshire.
AJK, which specialises in low ground pressure equipment, was one of the first companies in the UK to own and operate these 4x4 machines, having bought them initially in the late 1980s. This latest addition is a 912D Multitip swivel tip version. The company says it finds these trucks ideal for work on golf courses and nature reserves, since the flotation tyres cause little ground damage.
AJK was founded by John Denis Percival in 1963. His son Kenneth took over the reins in 1977 and now runs the business with Debbie and Robert, his daughter and son.
Leach Lewis Plant folds as rubber tracks division rises from ashes
Leach Lewis Plant Ltd, one of the best known names in plant distribution for more than 40 years, went into administration on Wednesday 8 August. Most of the manufacturers represented by Leach Lewis Plant seemed to have been aware of this impending meltdown, as by the Monday evening prior they had managed to collect their machine stock from the dealer’s premises ahead of the formal administration process.
Leach Lewis Plant was ultimately a victim of the savage recession that first struck in 2008. Once it had fallen into administration following the failure of the proposed MBO led by MD Peter Whittall, any potential sale of the business as a going concern was dependent on the support of the manufacturers it represented. Without this support, the administrators had no option but to close Leach Lewis Plant on Monday 20 August.
However, a separate team, comprising Leach Lewis Plant Directors Mick Brown, Gary Blake and Nick Leach, had its bid accepted by the administrators on Thursday 16 August and they have acquired the goodwill and assets of the rubber tracks activity, widely accepted as being the most profitable division of Leach Lewis Plant. The new owners, each of whom has been actively involved in the former rubber tracks division since its formation in 2001, have formed Leach Lewis Rubber Tracks Ltd and have retained the three-strong internal sales team that worked for the previous company. Currently based in Leach Lewis Plant’s former HO in Waltham Cross, the new company is looking to re-locate to new premises by the end of this year.
JCB immobilisers now standard
JCB has announced that all its mini and midi excavators sold in the UK will now feature its 3-star Thatcham approved immobiliser fitted as standard. This means that all of the manufacturer’s 16-machine line-up, from the 1.5-tonne 8014CTS up to the 8-tonne 8085ZTS, now have the immobiliser system, which is available as either a key transponder immobiliser or a key pad push button pin system.