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Executive Report : Executive news
ARDENT FOR THWAITES
Ardent Hire has placed an order for 300 Thwaites dumpers in a deal said to be worth more than £9m. As well as replacing some machines, this will expand the hirer’s existing fleet, and includes 3-tonne to 9-tonne straight and swivel-tip models.
Ardent has also invested in a new fleet of Thwaites 6-tonne and 9-tonne cabbed dumpers to help customers address on-site safety concerns.
Working with Trackunit, the machines have been modified to integrate telematics data into Ardent’s Site Manager system, which provides real-time information on safe usage.
Ardent CEO Jeremy Fish, pictured (right) with Thwaites MD Ian Brown, said: “The majority of our fleet is now Thwaites machines, which are very well-built and reliable.”
Ian Brown added, “We are delighted to be working with Ardent and their innovative approach is welcome at a time when customers are looking for solutions that can save them money and improve safety.”
Morris wins three-year Coates Hire order
Morris Site Machinery is to supply more than 100 of its SMC portable lighting towers to meet the first stage of a major order from the Australian hirer, Coates Hire. The manufacturer has secured a three-year contract with the firm.
The order comprises SMC TL90 Ultimate Extra Low Voltage lighting towers with anti-glare Halo lamp heads, as well as the compact SMC SL80 Pallet LED model.
Phil Winnington, International Business Director, said: “The lighting towers started landing in August for use across all territories for night working and events. We are working to build more partnerships in Australia where our SMC brand has proven it can deliver in demanding terrain and climates, while meeting Health & Safety requirements, as well as the need to be more sustainable and environmentally aware.”
Smiths acquires Formby Tool Hire
Blackpool-based Smiths Equipment Hire has acquired Formby Tool Hire. This gives the business two new depots serving Merseyside, in Formby and Southport.
This brings the company’s network to 14 outlets serving the north-west of England. Work begins to re-brand the two new locations as Smiths Hire-It Centres over the coming months.
Joint MDs David and Thomas Smith said, “Formby Tool Hire is a successful family business just like ours and has been trading for over 20 years. We believe they are a perfect cultural fit and will now benefit from additional investment, greater depth in resources and a broader range of kit availability moving forward.”
Hooka grabs Griffiths Hire Shops
Griffiths Hire Shops, which has depots in Oswestry, Wrexham and Whitchurch, has become the first Welsh hirer to add the Hooka compact pick-and-carry crawler to its fleet. It has been painted specially in the company’s bright yellow livery.
Measuring only 1m wide and having a 1.5-tonne lift capacity, the Hooka is ‘size matched’ to handle building materials such as bulk bags and pallets. The manufacturer, Hook-up Solutions Ltd, says the unit reduces manual handling and increases efficiency. Its Load-lock technology is designed to ensure stability by effectively converting the suspended load into safety ballast for the machine.
Director Kevin Griffiths told EHN, “The Hooka went out on hire three times in its first week and all customers were thrilled to bits. We see demand from landscapers, contractors installing bi-folding doors in homes who need to move large I-beams to the rear of the property, and for shifting bags of materials in areas that are too cramped for a telescopic handler.”
JCB electric mini enters production
JCB’s first fully electric mini excavator has gone into full production and the company reports that more than 50 machines have already been delivered to customers.
The 19C-1E is said to be five times quieter than its diesel counterpart and can be fully charged in under two hours to enable a typical full day’s work. JCB sees the machine as particularly attractive for construction tasks inside buildings and in inner-city areas where achieving low levels of emissions and noise is a priority.
JCB claims that the machine offers significant cost-of-ownership benefits. Its research suggests that, over the first five years, charging costs will be 50% cheaper for customers who would otherwise be using red diesel. EHN gave a hands-on assessment of the 19C-1E in our July/August 2019 issue.
Nationwide Platforms opens Didcot depot
Nationwide Platforms has opened a new depot in Didcot to serve the company’s growing number of customers across Oxfordshire and along the A34.
Situated between the hirer’s London and Bristol depots, it can accommodate more than 400 access platforms and will also serve as a training facility delivering a range of working at height courses.
This brings Nationwide’s depot total to 35 across the UK, which is set to increase as the company look to expand throughout the Midlands in 2020 and beyond.
MD Colin Hotchkiss said, “This latest depot addition improves our overall operational efficiency, helps reduce our carbon footprint with fewer transport movements and will support our aim of providing a seamless powered access hire service.”
CEA anticipates new Cesar resource
Organisational and priority changes within the Metropolitan Police led to the suspension of the theft prevention activities of the Plant and Agricultural National Intelligence Unit (PANIU) earlier this year.
The CEA (Construction Equipment Association) has confirmed that it is looking forward to the formation of a new national police resource to co-ordinate the fight against plant theft and to complement the work of both the Cesar (Construction Equipment Security and Registration) scheme network and that of the Combined Industries Theft Solutions group (CITS).
Rob Oliver, CEA Chief Executive, said, “The main donors providing funding for PANIU came from the insurance industry. Consequent on the suspension of that unit, we are working closely with insurance representatives and key national policing leads with the objective of forming a new national police resource. This is providing us with the opportunity to ensure there is an alignment of the work of the police, the Cesar network, CITS and others dedicated to combating plant theft in all its forms.”
Eveready rolls out more Bomags
Eveready Hire has added more Bomag compaction machines to its fleet, bringing its total to nearly 200.
The company’s latest order comprises four BW 138AD-5 and eight BW 120AD-5 tandem rollers, plus six BMP 8500 remote controlled trench compactors. All were placed on hire very soon
Eveready Director Colum Mannix said, “We have run Bomag equipment from day one. They are well-built machines with the durability to stand up to real-world site use.” The company was established in 2002 and has four depots In Leatherhead, Godstone, Yateley and Watford.
Unite launches silica register
The Unite trade union has launched an online register to allow workers who have been exposed to silica dust to log their exposure. This could assist them with potential future legal cases if they experience long-term health problems.
Silica dust (respirable crystalline silica) is created when cutting, grinding, drilling or polishing, natural substances such as rock, and is a major constituent in bricks, tiles, concrete and other building materials.
Inhaling the dust over a long period can cause silicosis, lung cancer, tuberculosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Unite says that, as symptoms can take many years to develop, making a register helps identify when and where workers were exposed. It is the employers’ responsibility to prevent workers from exposure, by using dust suppression measures or issuing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).