Volvo places construction companies ahead of the pack

HOLMES Plant and Construction Ltd have been so impressed by Volvo’s compact excavators that they have expanded their hire fleet by a further seven vehicles.

SMT GB’s utility dealer, Contractors Equipment Sales Ltd (CES), delivered four zero-swing, 2.5-tonne ECR25Ds and three larger five-tonne reduced swing ECR50Ds to the company at Otley near Ipswich.

This bringsHomles Plant and Construction's total number of Volvo compact excavators to 12 in a large multi-branded hire fleet.

Good, robust machines

Holmes Plant and Construction Ltd’s co-Director, Ben Holmes, said: “The Volvo compact excavators are good, robust machines.

“They are easy to operate, they wear well and keep their appearance. We have regular clients who request them by name and since we find them very reliable, we tend to hire them to customers with projects further afield.

Just as importantly, we have developed a very good relationship with the team at CES who we find extremely helpful on technical and parts support when we need it.”

The ECR25D is the smallest zero swing model in the Volvo compact excavator range and is powered by a 1.1-litre low emission engine developing 21hp.

The larger ECR50D features a fuelefficient Volvo D2.6A four-cylinder engine that brings a useful powerincrease at 41.8hp.

Faster, more precise performance

The zero or short radius swing excavator design provides exceptional stability and is ideal for working in confined spaces.

Simultaneous control of slew and offset movements provides a faster, more precise performance and all hydraulic functions are performed in total independence for more control and less delay when handling multiple tasks.

Toolbank become exclusive distribution partner for ToughBuilt

AS OF January 2019, Toolbank are pleased to announce it has been appointed as the exclusive distributor for ToughBuilt products in the UK and Ireland.

Toolbank is incredibly proud to be able to complement ToughBuilt’s range of products and add it to their portfolio.

The new products on offer include the Saw Horses and Jobsite Tables, Mitre Saw Stands, Toolbelts and Pouches, Toolbags and Totes and Knee Pads – all backed by Toolbank’s proven service and support.

Joe Manners, Brand Manager at Toolbank, said: “The introduction of this new range of high quality, professional tools and accessories to help save time, hassle, and money on-site.

“This marks an exciting development for both Toolbank and ToughBuilt in this demanding sector where performance is everything.

“The partnership between Toolbank and ToughBuilt offers customers a real point of difference in this innovative and fast developing market.”

ToughBuilt create innovative products to help trades build faster, build stronger and work smarter.

They listen and research how professionals work, then create the tools to help them save time and hassle, and provide a cost-effective solution.

If it is not better, they do not make it. It is as simple as that. They invent, engineer, test, and verify every ToughBuilt product in the USA, manufacture each product to strict quality standards and back them up with a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

The full range of ToughBuilt product will be available to buy from February 1 and will be showcased at Toolbank’s Spring Tradeshows in March and April.

For more information on the new range of ToughBuilt Storage Products please contact your local Toolbank Branch or Sales Representative, email: [email protected], or ring 01322 321460.

Trusted partnership is a perfect pairing for Red Fever hand tools launch

TOOLBANK is pleased to announce that it will be partnering Milwaukee Tools to become the preferred wholesaler and distributor for their upcoming professional Red Fever hand tool range in the UK and Ireland.

The leading specialist distributor will be stocking over 300 Milwaukee hand tool and storage lines.

The official launch of the range of high quality, new and innovative products is planned for mid January 2019 with stock available from 1 February.

Nigel Blow, Group Product Manager at Toolbank, said: "The introduction of a new range of high quality, trade specific Milwaukee hand tools is probably the most exciting thing to happen in this sector for some years.

"The partnership between Toolbank and Milwaukee offers customers a real opportunity to show and sell something new to the market."

As part of the launch, impactful display options including eye-catching, full size stands, metal counter top displays and cut cases have been pulled together in a full colour supporting brochure which highlights all the retailer support and offers available.

Additionally, there will be four dedicated Milwaukee-hand-tool-only salespeople on the road, each with a fully kitted out Milwaukee-hand-tool-only van to allow customers to see and try the products first hand and make informed purchase decisions.

The range will also be showcased at Toolbank’s spring tradeshows up and down the country in March and April so make sure you visit their stand to get some hands-on product time.

For more information on the new range of Milwaukee hand tools please contact your local Toolbank branch or sales representative.

Innovative system to aid environment generates award success

A PIONEERING storage system to help site generators work more efficiently to save on costs and reduce emissions has won a UK-wide innovation award, delighting distributor Morris Site Machinery.

The company commended the success of Tangent Energy as winner of the pollution category and overall winner in the Highways UK Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge.

Its microgrid renewable energy storage system triumphed at an event attended by the largest firms in the construction and highways industry.

John Mustarde (pictured above left), Managing Director of Tangent Energy, said: "Our solution is proven to have a huge impact in reducing pollution. We’re delighted to have received this award, as it shows the industry sees tackling emissions as being fundamentally important."

Morris Site Machinery is the UK distributor for Tangent’s intelligent hybrid battery pack which can be fitted to any generator with an auto start function to respond to changing power requirements to save on fuel, CO2 emissions, noise and running costs.

Technology sensing demands

Technology could shut down a generator at night when power requirements are low and use the power it has stored instead.

If the system runs low or the energy demand rises, it will automatically re-engage the generator to deliver the energy needed.

Switching to the storage systems means lower fuel consumption, saving on costs and emissions to help improve air quality. With the generator switched to battery operation, the silent power will mean less noise pollution too. 

UK Sales Director, Richard Denholm (right) said: "The accolade for Tangent Energy is well deserved and recognises the value of its innovative work. We are proud to be a partner.

"Demands and legislation to be more environmentally aware are increasing. We want to help operators at construction sites to reduce their carbon footprints and to use generators more efficiently."

Morris Site Machinery manufactures and supplies world leading site machinery brands and products to serve a range of sectors.

BGF backs Plantforce with £4.7m investment for growth

PLANTFORCE, the largest provider of heavy equipment rentals in the South West, has received a £4.7m growth capital investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF) to further scale its operations.

The company – whose clients include Kier, Costain, Balfour Beatty, and BAM construction groups – will use the funding to support its growth plans in expansion, acquisition and geographical locations.

Founded in 1999, Plantforce operates from four depots in Bristol, Exeter, Bridgwater, and Birmingham. It has one of the most modern and diverse ranges of excavator equipment in England, comprising over 750 machines and 250 attachments.

Claire Trott, Managing Director of Plantforce, said: “This is an exciting time for Plantforce. We have a clear vision of the future and we’re very pleased to have BGF’s support at this crucial stage in our growth phase.
“The investment will not only enable us to diversify and expand our fleet, but also to continue and strengthen our service offering.”

The business is highly accredited and focuses on providing specific bespoke services across all sectors of the construction industry, including skilled operators and 24-hour customer support.

Plantforce is one of only a small number of contractors to hold approved supplier status for both nuclear sites and network rail.

The company has provided machinery for ground investigations at HS2, and is currently the largest supplier of specialist equipment for the construction of Hinkley Point C: a new nuclear power station providing low-carbon electricity across the South West.

Ned Dorbin, an investor at BGF, said: “Plantforce has established a strong position in the construction market as a provider of quality machinery supplemented with round-the-clock customer care.

"Providing operated kit is one of their key differentiators and we believe the company is well-positioned to capitalise on several large infrastructure projects over the coming years.

"We’re very happy to be backing them ahead of what looks to be a very exciting time for the business.”

Bahco’s new tool storage system saves valuable time for aerospace engineers

GLOBAL hand-tool manufacturer Bahco worked with aerospace engineers to develop their latest ergonomic tool storage and management system to help professional users to save valuable time.

Displaying groups of tools logically in the smooth-sliding drawers of Bahco’s tough storage trolleys enables engineers and technicians to find whatever they need without delay. A ‘push’ device enables easy removal from stain-resisting foam inlays.

Utilising Bahco’s ‘configurator’ software, engineers can choose the size and colour of trolley they prefer, as well as the number of drawers and inlay format.

Colour coding in each drawer shows where a tool has been removed, helping to combat the risk of foreign object damage.

For professionals on the move Bahco offers a range of heavy-duty portable tool boxes, all with colour-coded foam inlay drawers - which are lockable for security when travelling.

Specialised Bahco ergonomic tools, ideal for working on engines or avionics, are designed to protect even the toughest hands from painful muscular and skeletal disorders.

Virtually indestructible

Bahco’s ‘toolbox’ is virtually indestructible and is designed to enable airport security staff to approve it for travel without undue delay.

It is a popular product across various sectors such as aerospace, automotive and oil/gas industries.

Precision torque tools include electronic torque angle wrenches and mechanical torque wrenches with adjustable head.

Also available are electronic torque wrenches with a fixed or reversible ratchet head torque screwdrivers with pre-set torque values, electronic torques, and angle measuring adaptors.

MHM Plant expand into Northern Ireland with Glendun Plant

IN LINE with their current ambitious expansion plans, the UK supplier of generators, lighting and welding machinery, MHM Plant, has confirmed Glendun Plant Sales Limited as their distributor for Northern Ireland.

Glendun Plant Sales is based in Dungannon, County Tyrone and is an established and well-respected dealer and distributor for a wide range of plant, tools and equipment.

Commenting on this latest distributorship for Glendun Plant, Dermot Cunnie, sales director said: “We had seen the success that MHM was having in Great Britain through various trade publications and online media.

"Our interest in the product developed after a very positive meeting at our offices. The quality is a main factor – we're already familiar with the lighting tower products and the MHM generators are a very good fit to our profile."

Following these successful discussions, Glendun Plant Sales placed an initial order for a stock of MHM petrol and diesel generators from 3.0kVA to 25kVA.

They also received an immediate order for a 3,000-litre fuel cube from one of their regular customers and an order for 6.0kVA generators from Balloo Hire Centres.

Glendun have committed to keep in stock a wide range of fast moving items, which will build up as customer demands become apparent in their area.

Dermot added: "Mat and the team have been a great help in getting us up and running. They know the product, market and the business, so it’s onwards and upwards!”

MHM managing director, Mat Llewellyn said: “We are naturally delighted to have Dermot and the Glendun Plant team marketing our range of equipment in Northern Ireland.

"Their success in promoting a complimentary range of machinery drew us to the conclusion that Glendun was the company we should be working with to increase our market share."

MHM Plant was incorporated in February 2010 and they currently operate from two locations. MHM West is located in South Wales and MHM North in Coatbridge, Scotland.

A London depot, MHM South, is currently under development. They have recently invested over £5m (€5.6m) in their exclusive re-hire fleet dedicated to the UK and Irish rental markets.

Door handle manufacturer sees surge in 'Dual-Tone' hardware

This year's interior door furniture shows Dual-Tone finish tops the popularity ratings.

One of the UK’s leading door hardware distributors has seen a surge in demand for Dual-Tone door handles, with popularity soaring as Dual-Tone becomes one of the biggest interior design trends of 2018.

Birmingham-based Hiatt Hardware has a rich experience of 35 years supplying high-end interior door handles and accessories to the DIY & trade retailers.

Hiatt Hardware's Nipun Agrawal said: “The Dual-Tone has become our most sought door handle finish followed by Chrome this year.

Designers, Tradesmen and DIYers alike are using two tone pieces as focal points to tie rooms together. Upsurge in the volumes demonstrates these handles being used as features in modern interior design.

Monitoring the trends in interior design, the company has experienced a consistent growing demand for Dual-Tone finish door handles and accessories, demonstrating the increasing popularity in modern interior home designs.

Nipun added: "Although door furniture, particularly interior door handles are relatively small parts of the wider interior design canvas, they can impress a sense of style and class upon a room.

“Dual-Tone door handles are not only aesthetically attractive and at the forefront of chic design, but they also have an added advantage to easily match the finish with other door accessories and room interior.”

Direct customer contact and product promotion: Mirka are becoming social media masters

Customer service was once about answering telephones and responding to written requests, but our fast-paced, social media-driven society has put this function firmly in the spotlight.

Consumers now post on a variety of social media platforms about anything from a positive experience with a product to an issue, or with an item being out of stock.

With the rapid evolution of these channels and the immediacy of the content, we have started to see the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram become customer service portals as well as places where people can publish selfies or thoughts on the job at hand.

This change is a good thing for the customer service side of the business, as it allows organisations to see what consumers are saying about their products as well as providing them with channels through which they can build relationships, educate, advise and highlight key messages to a large and engaged audience.

At Mirka, we use Twitter not only to promote our products but also to direct customers to other areas such as customer services.

Sometimes 280 characters (formerly 140!) are not enough to provide all the information required, so we aim to drive traffic back to our website, where users can find out more detailed information and potentially look at other solutions.

We also point users to our added value services such as our approved service centres and we use social media to ask for feedback to help us continually improve what we are offering.

While some companies may view that there is a downside to these channels, as they offer an immediate way to get in contact with the brand, often in a negative way, they have a strong upside if handled correctly.

A good customer service team would respond to comments or questions within 30 minutes to one hour of receiving them. Even if the posting is negative, the person should feel warmer towards the company because he or she is being listened to.

With Twitter, businesses should think carefully about the tone of the response. At Mirka, we aim to answer in a more conversational voice, as it humanises the brand and makes people feel as if they are talking to a real person instead of an automated system churning out generic answers.

We prefer to direct message, or take the query offline so we can make contact and provide full details as required.

For Instagram, the platform is used more as a customer service tool to educate users through product imagery shown in its natural environment, as well as provide them with relevant information. For example, where to find products or how to register a warranty.

The advice and information posted on social media is starting to play a bigger role as part of the customer service strategies of businesses, because having a good online presence shows your customers you care about them and are willing to listen to their queries or issues and are very accessible.

This, in turn, will lead to a greater rapport being built with them, leading to goodwill towards the brand, the end result of which is usually increased sales and greater profitability.

FEIN UK & Andy Robinson Race Cars combine to notch, grind and weld

FEIN manufacturer modular belt grinders which are optimally adapted to metalworking and metal machining applications, and are popular tools for Andy Robinson Race Cars.

Andy Robinson Race Cars is a Hampshire-based business which fabricates and builds off-road/rally, touring and racing hot-rod cars.

The kit-car specialist company, run by Andy Robinson himself, uses a wide array of machinery to create the exclusive motor vehicles.

More specifically, Andy and his team uses fabrication machines to focus on tubing and welding work to produce role cages, chassis and other work.

Having already used one of FEIN’s multitools (MultiMaster), Andy investigated and found FEIN provide large ranges of metal working machines too.

Andy said: “We use a wide range of metal tools to deliver our projects, but I am really pleased to have the FEIN belt grinder in the collection as the product’s tooling and GRIT settings enable the team to deliver the notching results we need with our pipe work.

“Aside from various fibre-glass and carbon-fibre body work, usually sourced from Canada, and a local partnership with a CNC shop, we can pretty much build a racing car from scratch.

We’ve worked on some incredible projects, such as building a McClaren display car and a replica chassis for a Shelby Daytona.”

When building car chassis and building roll cages – both of which require tube bending and welding work to produce – Andy needs to notch the tubing using a belt-grinding machine.

Representatives of FEIN UK were invited to Andy’s car shop to watch a demonstration of a FEIN GX 75 belt grinder, and see the accompanying units.

FEIN UK’s representatives observed the tubing being measured and notched using the system, which is often done in one sitting.

The belt grinding demonstration was for a project Andy’s staff members were working on, which involved placing the suspension on a Barracuda.

FEIN representatives were also given a tour of the workshop, where they saw a further six vehicles at varying stages and various angle grinders.

Andy added: “Our local dealer EC Hopkins provided us a superb service, securing all of the specialist tooling required.

“Compared to anything else on the market the machine offered great quality in terms of build but was very mid-level in terms of cost - making the purchase one of superb value in our eyes.”

Andy by trade is a design engineer, starting his career serving as an apprentice with Detras Training Aids and GA Platon. He now has a strong team of eight in his workshop, including his son Luke.


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