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June 2016
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Executive Hire News › Archives › June 2016 › Executive Report : Executive news

Executive Report : Executive news


Generac Mobile Products recently delivered a fleet of lighting towers to the Ayrshire depot of GWF Energy Rental, for a road construction project in central Scotland. The VT-Hybrid machines are the hirer’s first mobile lighting sets, and incorporate a combined battery and diesel system with an automatic charging capability. The unit typically runs on 90% battery power and 10% fuel, reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy.
The lighting towers are being used on a project adjacent to the intersection of the M8, M74 and M73 motorways as part of a programme to upgrade the network linking Glasgow and Edinburgh. They are providing illumination at site compounds and directly on the highway throughout various contraflow sections.
GWF’s Kath Argent said, “Generac staff were very helpful and accommodating, considering this order was an urgent one in the cusp of their peak season, and they worked with us closely throughout.” The GWF Energy Rental operation, which has its headquarters in Bishop’s Stortford, was established last year to complement its parent company’s Glasgow-based Cummins generator dealership.
• Generac has also appointed David Gray as its new Sales Manager. Nikolas Luketic, UK Sales Director said, “David’s experience and his knowledge of the UK hire market will add a new dimension as we seek to expand our operations.”

PASMA launches new course

PASMA has launched a new advanced training course, called Towers with Cantilevers. The Association says this reflects the growing use of such structures in more complex and demanding applications, and it has been developed after consultation with members, users and manufacturers.
It is aimed at professionals in a diverse range of industries, including construction, refurbishment, cleaning and facilities management, where access is often required over fragile surfaces and large or awkward structures.

JCB proves versatile in Wales

A JCB 1CX-T tracked backhoe loader is proving a popular addition to the fleet of TJ Wales Plant Hire, based in Haverfordwest. The machine is designed to combine the capabilities of a mini excavator and a compact tracked loader, and the company reports that it avoids customers having to source two machines for small projects, and increasing efficiency as only one operator is required.
Owner, Tudor John, said, “The machine is so versatile it is always in demand, particularly from small builders. Being tracked it exerts low ground pressure, which is important when working on soft ground, and provides greater stability when digging, as well as more power when shovelling. We see great potential with our other construction customers and within the farming community.”

Actavo ready for action

Dorset’s Tank Museum called on Actavo Hire & Sales for the supply of barrier equipment for crowd safety at its public events and activities this summer. The company’s Bournemouth depot has supplied 250 crowd barriers and 65 fence panels, which will be put to use over the coming months.
The Museum, which is in Bovington, houses a collection of over 300 armoured vehicles. Actavo’s Bournemouth Depot Manager, Dominic Sheppard, said, “It is a major attraction and holds a number of special events, particularly during the school holidays. With heavy tanks and armoured vehicles thundering around at its displays, safety is obviously an important consideration.”

Hilti offers more power

Hilti has launched its next generation of 22V batteries, which are claimed to increase tool running time by up to 80% and to give performance that is the equivalent to or, in some cases, superior to traditional corded products.
The new B 22/5.2 battery pack has a 5.2Ah capacity and is designed for demanding jobs, such as using angle grinders, circular saws and heavy duty rotary hammers. The 2.6Ah capacity B 22/2.6 is lighter and more compact, and designed for use with tools like drills and small hammers.
The manufacturer believes that its recently launched ON!Track system can facilitate the management of items like batteries in hire fleets as, when they go missing or get damaged, the cost of replacement can be as much as the original tool itself. It also says that good batteries can often be removed and replaced with seemingly identical ones which may be old or damaged. The tracking system ensures every item is tagged and can be identified, so that the correct off-hired item can be verified.

Seddons supports speed record attempt

Seddons is to supply Honda portable generators for use by technicians preparing for a world land speed record attempt next year.
The team behind the Bloodhound supersonic car is aiming to break the current record of 763mph, and the vehicle is designed to exceed 1,000mph. The organisers’ first goal is to achieve 800mph on a special track in South Africa.
“We will be providing five generators for the re-fuelling rigs to be used during the attempt,” said MD Stephen Seddon, “and Honda Power Equipment will be supplying a further five models.”

Hewden gears up for events

Hewden reports that it has invested approximately £2m on a range of non-mechanical equipment for customers in the events industry. This includes more than 25,000 fencing panels, 10,000 crowd control barriers and 1,500 ground protection mats, and follows the purchase of other machinery earlier this year, such as SDMO generators and JCB skid steer loaders.
Sales Director for Events, Jeff Schofield said, “We have recently won several new orders from organisers of music festivals, concerts and major sporting events. 2016 will also see the launch of our Event Renter service, offering a temporary hire depot that houses kit on-site, with an engineer available round-the-clock, as well as a shop selling tools and accessories.”
• Hewden also recently purchased the hire activity of Firefly, the manufacturer of hybrid generators, which will now concentrate on product design and development.

HAE Award Winners announced

HAE presented its 2016 Hire Awards of Excellence recently in London. Winning hirers included Kent-based PSM Plant & Tool Hire Centres, which came top in the Company of the Year (up to £10m turnover) category, while Nationwide Platforms won in the class for companies with a turnover in excess of £10m. Hire Station was named as the SafeHire Company of the Year for consistency in safety standards.
Staff from AFI-Uplift proved successful, Leanne Kelleher being announced as Hire Manager of the Year and Lee Tidball Workshop Manager of the Year, with the latter also named as overall Hire Achiever of the Year. HAE Chairman Andy Martin presented the Chairman’s Trophy to Douglas Anderson, Joint MD of GAP, and inspHire won the Supplier of the Year Award.

Advanced motoring experience

Driving at 120mph on a racetrack in pouring rain is not for the faint-hearted, but that is what Ian Knight, MD of Advanced KFS Special Vehicles, successfully undertook in a Classic Sports Car Club event at the Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk recently.
Ian is also competing in several other events during the summer, driving his specially adapted Volkswagen Golf GTi, which has been fitted with a turbocharged engine developing 318hp. Supported by his main sponsor, chassis manufacturer AL-KO, he will be racing at the Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire on 13 and 14 August, in an event which will be televised.

Mobile Mini helps training project

The Aylesbury depot of portable accommodation hirer, Mobile Mini, is helping a local social enterprise build careers for young people after donating a storage container to house tools and materials.
The ToolShed initiative, based in High Wycombe, offers training courses in construction to young people aged from 16 to 24, but was running out of space to store essential equipment. After an 18-week course, the trainees are able to find employment through an in-house enterprise that offers personnel for site clearance, and painting and decorating services for residential and commercial customers.

Access Alliance expands

The Access Alliance has added three more independent hire companies, bringing its total to 18, with a combined network of 40 depots. The new members are Warren Access, GFL Access and Extreme Access, which have locations in Newcastle upon Tyne, Huntingdon, Conwy, Hailsham, Shepperton and Coventry.
Founded in 2010, the Alliance says it now offers a combined hire fleet of more than 8,000 powered access platforms, along with non-powered access equipment. At its recent quarterly meeting, held at the Telford headquarters of equipment distributor, IAPS, Jonathan Till of GT Access concluded his year as Chairman, handing over the role to Tony Crawford from Mr Plant Hire.


It is with great personal sadness that we have to record the sudden death of Paul Bidwell, Marketing Manager of Manitou UK Ltd, on Friday 13 May at the untimely age of 58. Paul was certainly one of our industry’s characters.
Having previously worked in the UK office of Case Poclain in the 1980s, he continued his association with red machines from France by joining Manitou UK in 1990. There he moved from sales administration into marketing, where his distinctive, often quirky, style helped him to forge good business relationships with colleagues, dealers, customers and industry magazines, such as ourselves.
Paul Bidwell’s skills in organising exhibition stands, promoting products and organising often legendary customer visits to the French factories and overseas exhibitions greatly contributed to the success of Manitou UK.
Such was Paul’s popularity that there was standing room only at Poole Crematorium that hosted the celebration of his life, and we were proud and privileged to pay our respects to a good-hearted and passionate guy. We will certainly miss him.
We offer our condolences to his wife Rosie, his son and daughter, and all in the Bidwell family.

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