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November/December EHN issue
Executive Hire Show latest
Ensure engines comply
In prime position
New kids on the block
Power tools survey
Search for the Stars
From horses to hire
Market Report: Compact Plant
Steady progress maintained
Wacker Neuson digs in
Re-thinking plant funding
More add-on capability
Hire continues to attract private equity
Beat the cheats
Executive Hire News › Archives › November/December 2012 › Executive Report : Executive news
Executive Report : Executive news
ANDREWS SYKES OPENS NEW CHARLTON DEPOT
Andrews Sykes Hire Ltd, justifiably termed the UK's largest specialist hire company, offering air conditioning equipment, heaters, pumps, chillers and boilers, has opened an impressive new depot in Charlton, south east London. The company has actually operated in Charlton since 1928 when Henry Sykes Ltd bought 51 acres of land on the Greenwich marshes adjoining the Woolwich Road at Charlton and moved its steam pump manufacturing business into the borough. When manufacturing ceased in 1982, Sykes re-located its hire depot onto the site from Erith.
Group Managing Director Paul Wood (pictured left), who originally joined Sykes in Charlton as an apprentice engineer in 1978, is proud of the new facility. “From this new 1.5 acre site, we offer a hire fleet of 1,400 Andrews air conditioners, from the 2kW Polar Breeze to the 15kW PAC 60 units, over 1,000 Andrews heaters from 2-400kW and 300 Sykes pumps from 2in to 12in diesel units, as well as 2in to 12in submersibles. The depot, as with all our UK network, offers both a guaranteed four hour delivery service to the Greater London area. In addition, we offer a
full 24/7 emergency service, on all products to all customers, 365 days per year. Strategically, we can offer this facility to preferred partners within the hire industry.
“The new site has enabled us to increase these ranges of equipment and, now under one roof, we have certainly improved our operational efficiencies and we definitely have better staff working conditions. Greenwich is a particularly environment-conscious borough and we have invested heavily in the new site to meet its environmental demands. We have an acoustic canopy around the test area and fuel inceptor tanks to ensure that no oil spill can enter the drainage system. Our fuel store is fully bunded and our spray booth is an explosion-proof design. The site also has impressive repair facilities for our fleet of diesel and electric submersible pumps, with the capability of full refurbishment.”
Andrews Sykes is the shirt sponsor of Charlton Athletic FC, and so it was appropriate for the new depot to be officially opened by Charlton FC’s manager, Chris Powell. Olympic Judo silver medallist Gemma Gibbons was also in attendance.
• For Andrews Sykes’ latest results, see City News.
Ammann makes it easy for Already
Already Hire, which has depots in Slough, Heathrow, London City and Dartford, has taken delivery of a package of machinery from Ammann Equipment that includes Ammann tandem rollers, Yanmar 1.5 and 3 tonne excavators, and Cormidi tracked carriers.
MD Trevor Goodwin, who is pictured, right, with Ammann’s Regional Sales Manager, Gary Wingrove, said, “Ammann Equipment is a very easy company to deal with. It can supply leading brands direct from the manufacturer across a range of key categories, and all the machines were available from stock. Ammann was also able to dispose of my used equipment at good prices.”
Yanmar products are backed up by Ammann Equipment’s mobile engineers, with spares provided on a next-day basis from its head office in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Plantworx exhibitors get ready to dig
The organisers of the inaugural Plantworx construction equipment exhibition, which will take place at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, from 14-16 May, claim that it will be the UK’s largest working construction event in 2013, spanning over 100,000m2.
The Construction Equipment Association (CEA), which is staging the biennial exhibition, says that all types of machinery used in the industry will be represented, from compact plant, access platforms and cranes, to site clearance equipment, attachments and related products. Approximately 150 exhibitors have confirmed their attendance, and visitor numbers are expected to exceed 12,000 over the three days.
The Show will be divided into several ‘Zones’, enabling visitors to focus on equipment most relevant to them. The Dig Zone will include earthmoving demonstrations, with exhibitors including Ammann Equipment, Avant Tecno, Buckhurst Plant Hire, Finning Caterpillar, Hyundai, JCB, New Holland, Speedy, Takeuchi, Thwaites and Wacker Neuson. Participants in the No-Dig Zone, displaying machinery such as telehandlers, cranes, dumpers and rollers, will include Bomag, Merlo, Manitou and Promax Access, while Taylor Construction Plant and
Dig-a-Crusher will be amongst companies with stands in the Site Clearance Zone for demolition attachments, crushers and screeners. Also, a dedicated Security Village will highlight products such as plant tracking equipment, fencing, chains and CCTV systems.
Other exhibitors will be accommodated in a 3,500m2 pavilion, and the CPA will host the Training and Education Zone, an area dedicated to colleges offering construction courses, which is explained in more detail in our article on page 27. For more details about the Show visit www.plantworx.co.uk
Generation Access on Award shortlist
The Generation Access depot in Silvertown, east London, has been nominated as the first shortlisted candidate for the 2013 Hire Network Award, which recognises excellent service at an individual depot. Two other finalists will be chosen in November and December, with the winner being announced at the Executive Hire Show in February.
“Generation Access is one of the many suppliers that we added to our database when we amalgamated with the Accesscaff International operation several months ago,” Hire Network MD Barry Dean told EHN. “We have already placed a considerable number of hires with the company, for items like towers and steps within the M25 area, and they always make efficient deliveries and collections, which is no mean achievement given the London traffic.”
Generation Access is a specialist light equipment division of Generation Hire & Sales which, as we reported in our April/May issue, was acquired by the Altrad Group earlier this year.
Secure solution from WHC
WHC Hire Services, which has depots in Worcester and Tewkesbury, reports that the Track Lock it developed in-house for the safe transportation of 1.5 and 3 tonne mini excavators on trailers without the aid of straps, is proving popular with customers.
“The excavator is loaded with the blade facing forwards, and guide bars are fixed to the trailer bed to allow for correct positioning of the machine,” said MD James Clutterbuck.
“The Track Lock bars are then placed across the tracks and clipped into place using a lynch pin, and the ditching bucket is put into the front cradle which stops any movement from the boom. The tracks cannot move and the excavator is totally locked down. This system, which we offer with all our mini excavators, can be altered to fit any make of machine.”
• Plant Trailers is the subject of a dedicated article within our Compact Plant Market Report.
PASMA’s Singapore mission
PASMA is talking with the Ministry of Manpower in Singapore to explore ways in which the Association’s expertise relating to safe work at height might be adapted to suit that country’s requirements.
“The Ministry has set a target of reducing work at height related fatalities by 50% within 12 months,” Neil Tomlinson told EHN. “There is a lot of building activity in the region, and the government realises the advantages in adapting existing standards rather than starting from scratch. The UK is recognised as having some of the highest safety standards in the world.”
Roger Verallo adds that one of PASMA’s strengths is that its dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders, from manufacturers and standards committees, to hirers and trainers.
• Speaking from a Euro Towers perspective, Roger says that “business is good, and we have received significant tower orders from independents such as Artisan Hire Centres and The Hireman, both of which have just opened new depots. There is a lot of work at the moment, especially in London, where many construction sites have re-opened following The Olympics.”
Nixon’s triathlon challenge
A team of employees from Nixon Hire recently spent three days undertaking a series of challenges around Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland to raise funds for charity. These included a 27 mile cycle, a walk over a similar distance, and a 2 mile kayak race. Staff from several of the Newcastle-based company’s depots participated, from as far afield as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Wakefield.
Joint MD Chris Nixon said, “As an expanding company, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the day to day running of the business. An integral part of our vision is that we harness the power of everyone within the company to help those less fortunate. We have set targets to raise £10,000 per year, rising to £15,000 by 2015 and £20,000 by 2020, through fundraising activity.”
The triathlon raised £13,600 which has been donated to the Calvert Trust Kielder. The charity helps people with disabilities to develop their confidence and ability in a structured and secure environment, and the funds will pay for equipment and furnishings in a new self-catering holiday lodge.
Thwaites appoints Ernest Doe
Thwaites Dumpers has appointed Ernest Doe as its new distributor for Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, an area previously covered by Leach Lewis Plant, which went into administration in August.
“In selecting a long-term partner to work with, Ernest Doe ticks all the boxes in terms of territory coverage, financial stability and a desire to increase market penetration,” said Sales Director, Ian Brown, who is pictured, left, with Graham Parker, Sales Director of Ernest Doe. “Both our companies have been established for many years, and both remain under family ownership. These factors provide customers with the stability needed in uncertain economic times.”
“Thwaites products will sit happily alongside the machines from the other manufacturers we represent such as Hyundai, New Holland Construction and Manitou,” said Graham Parker.
Expansion at SAS
Safe Access Solutions (SAS), a Wolverhampton-based hirer that was established in June, has appointed Tim Kendall as Sales Director, to help the company expand its customer base.
“Tim and I were in the same team when we were previously employed by Nationwide Access, and we also worked together for an access equipment hirer in the Middle East,” MD John Corrie told EHN. “We now have a staff of six and our fleet includes more than 70 machines, ranging from Pop-Up compact scissors to Niftylift booms. Most of our customers are in the West Midlands, but we try to meet all demands and recently supplied a machine to a client in north east England.”
New premises for Leach Lewis Rubber Tracks
Leach Lewis Rubber Tracks Ltd, the rubber tracks activity plucked from the ashes of the meltdown at Leach Lewis Plant in the middle of August, has moved to new offices in Stansted, Essex. Director Nick Leach comments, “We are extremely pleased with our first two months trading, and the response from our existing customers, and the construction industry as a whole, has been very encouraging.
“Our stock of rubber tracks is still being stored and despatched from a logistics warehouse in Southampton, and, since forming Leach Lewis Rubber Tracks, its commitment to stocking tracks has increased substantially, with over 1,000 units arriving in the next three weeks.”
Leach Lewis Rubber Tracks’ new address is, 3 The Exchange, Station Road, Stansted, Essex CM24 8BE. Tel: 0845 009 7444.
Youngman scissors please Prolift
Somerset-based Prolift Access reports steady demand for its growing fleet of Youngman Boss compact scissor lifts, which now comprises 25 machines, including X3X push-around models and X3X-SP self-propelled units.
Prolift MD Andy Pearson said, “We had trials of a few different makes of small scissor lift which showed us that, in our opinion, Youngman offered the best combination of performance, lightness, ease of maintenance and parts interchangeability.”
Supplied through Access Platform Sales, the machines have proved popular with customers such as heating and ventilation specialists and electrical contractors.
Prolift Access was established three years ago and has its headquarters in Wellington, with a second in Roche, Cornwall.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Whether you’re talking about an individual copying a person, or a company modelling itself on another business that it admires, it’s flattering because it shows you want to be like that person or that organisation.
But when a company actually poses as a competitor, hoping to take advantage of a stronger brand, then that’s simply a step too far. Sadly, as we have discovered on two occasions in recent months, competitors are using the internet to trade off the Brandon Hire name, rather than their own.
This is clearly dishonest and bad practice. In both instances undertakings have been given that this won’t happen again. From our perspective, we have spent time and resources building our image and have no intention of letting competitors use our name to benefit their business. It’s also not fair on our competitors’ customers and doesn’t say much about how they regard their own reputation. I know times are hard and we are all looking for new ways to drive sales and win customers. But this isn’t the answer.
Most recently, as soon as we found out what was going on, Brandon Hire took immediate action against the company and the situation was quickly resolved. But the incident did make me stop and think and remind myself that, although ‘all’s fair in love and war’ as far as healthy competition goes, there are some rules that we should follow.
Tim Smith, Group Managing Director, Brandon Hire
I am writing to correct some minor inaccuracies in the very good article featuring HAE products and services, which appeared in the previous edition of EHN.
Under the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme; a joint initiative with CITB-ConstructionSkills, apprentices will stay with their host employers for up to two years.
The HAe-learn online suite of online learning modules covering health & safety; hire products and business development will allow companies to have as many HAe-learn licences as they require. The new hire-specific competence scheme being launched by HAE in November is called HireAbility. We would be happy to provide further information from any interested parties on the above.
Graham Arundell, HAE Managing Director