A brace of Volvo six tonners for M M Miller

HOUSEBUILDING and ground working contractor M M Miller Ltd of Wick, Caithness, is one of the first to take delivery of the all-new Volvo EC60E compact excavator, launched earlier this year at Plantworx.

The pair of machines have been supplied by SMT GB’s utility equipment dealer for the north of Scotland – CS Machinery Sales Ltd.

M M Miller are no strangers to owning and operating Volvo Construction Equipment products. The company has larger excavators in its plant fleet, as well as two Volvo A25G articulated haulers. “They’re good machines,” is the verdict of managing director David Miller. “We’ve been operating them for a good while and they represent good value for money. They are reliable and appreciated by our operators, as far as creature comforts go. They also hold their value very well, with high residuals when we do decide to change them out.”

The new six tonne arrivals are being deployed to support the company’s main activities, which include housebuilding and ground working projects. Particularly for the latter, one of the EC60E’s has been equipped with a Steelwrist Tiltrotator, making it a highly adaptable and flexible machine for this purpose.

The Volvo EC60E is powered by a Volvo 2.6 litre Stage V low emission engine, producing 58 hp. The machine’s engine is also fitted with a load sensing hydraulic system, which provides fast cycle times and smooth control.

The machine offers a generous horizontal reach of 6.4 metres, a dig depth of 4.0 metres and a lift capacity of 650kg at full reach across carriage in the worst position. The EC60E follows on from the tradition of the EC55 it replaces by boasting a comfortable, spacious cab with a wide and uncluttered floor that is unrivalled in its size class. The instrument panel provides operators with at-a-glance monitoring of all key functions. Operator fatigue is also reduced through the inclusion of easy-grip, high response joystick control levers. The rubber-mounted cabs reduce whole-body vibration and external noise, minimising the rigors of the jobsite. Air conditioning, with well positioned vents, is also a standard feature on these machines.

Operating throughout the Highlands, M M Miller is one of the most successful building and civil engineering contractors in the north of Scotland. The company has its headquarters located in Wick, Caithness, with a regional office based in Inverness. Founded by Callum Miller in 1964, the company is now in the hands of Callum’s son David, who is backed by a strong team of experienced professional surveyors and contract managers.

Working on a diverse range of projects, from minor maintenance works to complex design and build developments, M M Miller has built a solid reputation for itself over the course of the 55 years that it has been in business. The company has also secured street lighting contracts for the local authorities that cover the north of Scotland.

Headed up by managing director Calum Shaw and based at Longman Industrial Estate, Inverness, CSM Sales Ltd is SMT GB’s utility dealer for the whole of northern Scotland.

SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products, which include: wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers, to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.

www.smt.network

Scotland is a growing territory for Morris Site Machinery

MORRIS Site Machinery, a fifth-generation family run business, is hailing Scotland as one of its best performing territories for sales of its robust site machinery products with sales continuing to grow.

With manufacturing and service depots in Wolverhampton, Lincolnshire, Aylesford and Stirling, the innovative business exports to 25 countries worldwide and has announced that Scotland is a top performing UK territory.

The leading site machinery business has been renowned in Scotland for over 30 years where its range of generators, lighting towers, pumps and pressure washers have been powering sites and events across the whole of Scotland.

Heading up Scottish Sales is Stirlingshire man Kenny McKay who runs the dedicated Sales and Service Centre at Springkerse Industrial Estate in Stirling, working closely with fellow Scot, UK Sales and Service Director Richard Denholm. The dynamic duo have been working together for five years, originally at its Perth depot before the company opened its purpose-built premises in Stirling in 2014, allowing for stronger business links and accessibility to Glasgow and Edinburgh. The move from Perth added 130% additional space for the business, meaning the depot could hold more stock which is now available for next day delivery.

Kenny’s focus on servicing is paramount with Service Engineer Andrew Coles taking huge pride in providing the kind of service which has seen consistent growth – often defying tough market conditions.

A qualified engineer in his own right, Kenny explains why he believes the products and service hit the mark for the demanding Scottish hirer of site equipment: “Having an in-depth understanding of exactly how every one of our machines works definitely hits the spot. There’s no time for white noise here and I can come from the customer’s perspective on the technical advantages of our range and their applications. I find it makes all the difference and has helped me get close to my customers, understand their business and its needs which in turn means I meet their demands with the right product for the right application.”

He continued: “The brand names we offer like Denyo, ArcGen, Hilta and SMC mean something to Scottish hire businesses. We have a wide customer base from tool and plant hire to airports and construction companies who build wind farms, so it is important we have the breadth and quality of product required for this diversity.

“I have many customers who rely on our rugged machinery to withstand some pretty rough temperatures and terrains. They have to know that the quality and robust build of machines will perform under these conditions. Some of our latest lighting towers in the SMC range like the TL90 evolve and are particularly going down well and, with so many eco models now available like our SMC TL55 Battery and TL60 Solar, we are able to ensure we are supporting customers’ green and clean ambitions too.”

Richard Denholm commented: “We feel we are in tune with our regional markets and we know that Scottish business demands a bespoke and trusted service at its heart. That is why we invested and established our base here and why it is growing. As an engineer by trade myself, what you see here at Morris Site Machinery is what you get. Robust, fit for purpose products which deliver great value for customers year after year. Add to that the unique ‘Kenny factor’ and it’s a winning formula. Anyone who knows Kenny will corroborate that fact!”

Both Richard and Kenny were recently crowned as Morris Stars in the parent family Company Awards ceremony to mark its 150th year of successful trading. A measure of how they are viewed by colleagues and customers alike.

www.morrismachinery.co.uk

A-Plant Accommodation expands fleet with eco-friendly welfare units

A-PLANT Accommodation has recently expanded its fleet of eco-friendly welfare units. The investment, supplied by Boss Cabins, is worth £2 million and is due to their ongoing commitment to deliver a greener, more environmental fleet to the market.

With more than 20,000 units already available nationwide, the new eco-units ranging from 12ft to 16ft will complement A-Plant’s existing product offering.

The cabins are 100% corrosion resistant and are constructed from high-grade stainless steel. With a minimum lifespan of 25 years as opposed to the average seven years for a mild steel cabin, 90% of the materials used can be recycled at the end of the cabin’s life.

Fitted with an eco-electric system that means that many of the cabin’s functions run off 12V battery instead of generator power, the new units give users a 33% average reduction in generator run-time and fuel consumption.

The cabins additionally offer a 16% increase in occupancy, as they can accommodate seven people instead of the industry standard of six. The units meet all the HSE regulations and provide a high standard of accommodation and comfort, whilst also demonstrating a commitment to sustainability.

Ian Needham, director of A-Plant Accommodation, said: “The new greener units will support our continued fleet investment as well as our commitment to reducing carbon emissions on a whole. Their light-weight and robust structure makes them ideal for the industry, while offering market-leading value and safety that will make a real impact to our customers on-site.”

Matthew Wordsworth, Boss Cabins director, added: “We are really pleased to be able to support A-Plant in their continued investment and growth. As a business, we are committed to helping our customers’ day-to-day operations by supplying units that are energy-efficient, safe and user-friendly with low running costs, extended service intervals and comprehensive aftercare support.

“Our products are designed to have the lowest environmental impact with real benefits in reduced fuel use, water consumption, carbon emissions and noise. In addition, the stainless steel build chosen by A-Plant is the most sustainable on the market, greatly extending the life of their fleet.”

The new eco-friendly cabins will be utilised at various sites across the UK. Their eco styled livery make them easily identifiable as a sustainable accommodation unit.

www.aplantaccommodation.com

GAP Group hits record profit as turnover exceeds £200m

GAP GROUP, the UK-based plant, tool and equipment rental company, has announced record annual profits and turnover in the year the Group celebrates a half-century in business.

GAP achieved a pre-tax profit of £18.7m in the year to 31 March 2019, an increase from £16.7m in the preceding 12 months, as annual turnover rose by 8.8% to £203m. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation soared to an all-time high, rising from £73.1m to £80.4m. For the first time in the company’s history, net assets have climbed above £100m as shareholder funds grew to £109m in the latest accounts.

Founded by Gordon Anderson in 1969, the family-owned and operated business has been run by his sons Douglas and Iain Anderson since 1988. With nine divisions, 142 depots nationwide and a total workforce of 1,858, GAP is the UK’s largest independent hire company.

The secret to its success: adaptation. In recent years GAP has diversified significantly beyond its traditional plant and tool hire offering with the launch of several specialist divisions: Lifting & TIC, Non-Mechanical, Trenching & Shoring, Survey & Safety, Welfare and Events Services. The new divisions which often require bespoke solutions, now account for around one-third of turnover and an even-greater proportion of pre-tax profits.

In addition to broadening its product offering and adapting to their customers exacting requirements, such as the introduction of their same-day delivery promise on Club 100 tools, GAP harnesses new technologies and innovative ways of working. For example, with a focus on providing environmentally friendly and efficient hire solutions to their customers, GAP has recently completed the roll-out of a cloud-based mobile resource management system called JobWatch from Leeds-based BigChange. The mobile apps include live vehicle tracking, job scheduling, photo capture on-site and electronic signature capture with proof of delivery and proof of collection records being automatically uploaded onto GAP’s Smart Office system. Over 500 GAP vehicles have been fitted with the system and more than 600 staff have been trained on best practice.

The family business also announced a new operational structure with an eye on succession-planning and to continue to meet their commercial and development aspirations. Four new Managing Director positions sit below the GAP Holdings Board which remains unchanged. Douglas Anderson’s son, Mark, has been appointed Managing Director of the business in Scotland and the North of England, and will be responsible for the profitability of the Plant, Tools, Non-Mechanical Plant, Trenching & Shoring and Welfare divisions. GAP is actively recruiting for two Managing Director roles tasked with taking advantage of the natural synergies existing between these branches of the business, overseeing the Midlands & South West and the South East of England regions respectively.

The restructuring recognises the need to provide greater clarity and focus on their Lifting and Survey divisions which are inherently more technical from an operational and sales perspective. Karen Greenshields, who is the daughter of Douglas and Iain Anderson’s sister Maureen Smith, has been appointed to this position. Both Mark and Karen will report to 25-year GAP veteran Kevin McEwan, who will be taking on a Group Operations Director role.

GAP’s excellent financial performance has been achieved amid political 'headwind' in Britain. In his statement on the accounts, Chairman Danny O'Neil added that GAP fully expects the trading environment to remain "challenging and competitive" but highlights the company's financial strength and increasingly diverse product range. With 50 years of continuous growth behind them and a flair for adapting to the economy, customer needs and the marketplace, GAP is well-positioned to continue its success story.

www.gap-group.co.uk

Nixon Hire champions carbon-saving Solar Pod

NATIONAL hire company, Nixon Hire have announced that in just four weeks, over 129 tonnes of carbon emissions have been saved on a single customer's site as a result of using their popular Solar Pod product.

The Solar Pods were selected to power a large site up due to their provision of a sustainable power source without the needs for a mains supply or a separate generator. 

The site configuration saw 30 Nixon Hire sleeper cabins, otherwise known as Snoozepods, powered by nine solar pods.  

By opting for a Solar Pod in favour of a traditional generator the site reported huge carbon savings of 129,599kg in local CO2 emissions, the equivalent to planting 5,890 trees.  

A silent running time of 93% was also reported, a substantial noise pollution saving! 

Graham Nixon, Nixon Hire's managing director, said: “With the largest solar product fleet for hire in the UK, Nixon Hire have heavily invested into the ever-growing renewables sector and the company has positioned itself as the industry leader in solar innovation.  

"Solar Pods generate energy by effortlessly harnessing sunlight via solar PV panels. This energy is either instantly converted into power or surplus is stored in an internal battery bank. The unit is further supported by a back-up generator which only kicks in when the solar resource has been depleted. 

"In short, free and zero carbon energy is used and created as long as sunlight is available to the unit, making it suitable for use in the UK all year round. 

"We are delighted that the hard work that we have put into developing and promoting the Solar Pod has been recognised by a Green Apple Award. We look forward to collecting this in November.” 

Nixon Hire plan to further increase their Solar Pod fleet size and have also launched additional solar products such as Solar Lights and the Solar Welfare Van.

www.nixonhire.co.uk

Six of the best! Scotland’s Arvill Ltd takes up Trime’s X-ECO LED lighting towers

ARVILL Ltd, the Airdrie-based plant and tool hire firm, has ordered an initial six X-ECO LED lighting towers manufactured by the leading supplier of engine and hybrid powered LED site lighting, Trime UK.

The order was finalised between Arthur Shevill, Arvill’s managing director and Trime UK’s sales manager, Andrew Owen at the Executive Hire Show Roadshow held in Glasgow.

This is the first order from Arvill Ltd for the X-ECO LED sets.

Commenting on this order, Arthur said: “We were impressed with robust design of X-ECO LED and Andrew put up a strong case for its comparatively low whole life costs. Also, Trime having an experienced repair and maintenance support service based locally, helped to push us in the direction of the Trime sets.

“We are looking forward to integrating them into our hire fleet ready for when the clocks turn back and demand for site lighting increases.”

The X-ECO LED has a number of environmental qualities and safety aspects. The set is fitted with the AMOSS safety system, which automatically lowers the mast if the lighting set is moved whilst the mast is still erected. The complete unit features an external emergency stop button, a fully bunded fuel tank, four height adjustable stabilisers and site levels for guidance during deployment. The energy saving LED lamps will work for up to 50,000 hours without replacement.

Established in 1985 by Arthur Shevill, Arvill Plant and Tool Hire is a family business and one of Scotland’s largest independent hire companies. Based in central Scotland they are ideally situated to service works throughout the country. With around 4,000 items in their hire fleet they provide a comprehensive service to local authorities, national rail contracts, large construction projects, small builders and DIY enthusiasts.

The Trime Group has over 50 years of experience in the development and marketing of environmentally sustainable lighting sets for the rail, off-shore, event, construction and rental markets. Trime UK is headquartered in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire; their manufacturing plant is based near Milan, Italy.

www.arvillplantandtoolhire.co.uk

A-Plant opens state-of-the-art Manchester hub

THE UK’s leading plant, tool and equipment hire company has opened its biggest service centre to date in Chadderton, Manchester.

The state-of-the-art Manchester hub is situated in prime position in the North of England at J21 Business Park next to the M60. 

The flagship centre employs over 100 people and is home to the company’s specialist divisions which serves construction, utilities, infrastructure rail and FM industries across the North. 

The new hub also provides 60,000 sq.ft workshops and 18,000 sq.ft welfare, office and training facilities.

Andy Wright, Chief Operating Officer at A-Plant said: “The investment in our new Manchester hub will support our on-going growth whilst further enhancing the service that we offer to our customers across the North. Our new depot will allow us to serve our customers faster, and with multiple divisions housed in one hub we can also support our Manchester and North West trades more efficiently.

“No other hire company has the breadth and depth of products that we do and we are confident that our Manchester hub will provide us with the opportunity for continued growth whilst affirming our position as market leaders.”

Operating from the new hub are; A-Plant, A-Plant Rail, A-Plant Powered Access, Tool Hire Express, Astra Attachment Solutions, FLG Services and PSS Hire.

www.aplant.com

GAP Event Services celebrating at The Showman’s Show 2019

GAP Hire Solutions, the UK’s largest independent equipment rental company, has been commemorating its 50th anniversary throughout the year, and the company’s award-winning Events Services team are continuing the celebration at this year’s Showman’s Show 2019.

Not only are GAP’s Events team celebrating the Group’s 50th birthday, but 2019 also marks five years since the Event Services division was formed and officially launched at 2014’s edition of the show.

The Showman’s Show 2019 is being held at Newbury Showground in Berkshire on 16 and 17 October and GAP’s Events Services team will be at Stand 180 on Avenue C. The annual event is a complete exhibition of products, services and entertainment for the outdoor, festival and special events industries, attracting an average of 4,500 visitors. This will give GAP’s specialist team the opportunity to showcase their product and service offering and reach key players and markets.

GAP’s Event division offers full installation services and 24/7 access to specialist project management resources for event organisers across the UK. From February 2019 to the end of August 2019 the team supplied to and supported 310 events, with 144 of them taking place in the month of August alone. There are numerous and various types of events GAP’s team can and have supplied for including marathons and other sporting events, concerts and festivals.

GAP was awarded the contract to supply all fencing and barriers for the European Championships in Glasgow 2018. Read their case study on the event here.

This year GAP’s stand will have an emphasis on introducing their newest product, front of stage barriers; a heavy duty, temporary barrier system ideal for high-level crowd control. The cost-effective system has most recently been hired from GAP by productions such as Cotton Clouds Festival in Greater Manchester and Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire for the British Moto GP as pictured below.

GAP is constantly releasing and updating new products and services meaning the Events team will showcase a broad range of equipment available for hire including fencing, barriers, ground protection, two-way radios, toilets, plant, tower lights and GPS & GNSS systems.

Daimon Dunhue, Head of GAP’s Events division, commented: “We are very excited to be celebrating the Event division’s fifth birthday as well as GAP’s 50th anniversary at The Showman’s Show next month. We have been inundated with work since our launch as customers trust the GAP name and know that we have the backing of our other divisions and the experience and expertise to deliver to their exact event specifications.

“Our ever-growing team is continuing to go from strength to strength, especially after our SafeHire Event Equipment Hire Company of the Year accolade at the Hire Awards of Excellence in April 2019.”

GAP’s specialist Events team will be available for any questions or enquiries at Stand 180, Avenue C on both the 16 and 17 October so come along and celebrate with GAP Event Services and find out what the team can do for all your event needs.

Register for your free ticket here.

www.gap-group.co.uk

A successful demonstration sparks new business at D K Plant Hire

D K PLANT Hire of Aberfeldy, Perthshire has opted for a brace of Volvo compact excavators for the first time, following a successful demonstration by SMT GB’s utility dealer, CS Machinery Sales Ltd.

The machines chosen by the company include a zero swing, two and a half tonne ECR25D and the smaller one and a half tonne EC18D following a competitive demonstration and comprehensive machine evaluation, according to Proprietor Danny Kirk. “We established a very good relationship with Calum Shaw at CS Machinery and opted for the Volvo excavators for the first time, as part of an overall package for equipment,” says Danny. “They certainly have quality built in and, so far, I’ve been delighted with their performance and reliability,” he continues.

Both machines join a comprehensive range of equipment, including; site dumpers, rollers, excavators up to sixteen tonnes in operating weight, tractors and ancillary equipment, which is deployed on either non-operated short and long term hire, or for groundwork and landscaping contracts undertaken by D K Plant Hire.

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. With an operating weight of 2.5 tonnes, the ECR25D is available with a choice of short or long dipper arm, giving a reach of either 4.48 metres or 4.77meters, and a dig depth measuring from 2.67 metres to a generous 2.96 metres.

The zero swing excavator design provides exceptional stability, and is ideal for working in confined spaces. Simultaneous control of slew and offset movements provides faster, more precise performance. All hydraulic functions are also performed in total independence, for more control and less delay when handling multiple tasks. An added bonus is the ability to operate the wide range of hydraulic attachments using proportional control, if required.

Both machines feature automatic two-speed travel, automatically shifting gear from high to low, according to the travel load. The EC18D also has a hydraulically extendable undercarriage as standard. Hammer/shear lines are also a standard feature on Volvo compact excavators.

Established eight years ago by Danny Kirk, DK Plant Hire offers comprehensive machine hire, together with a full ground working and landscaping service covering the whole of Scotland, based at Aberfeldy in Perthshire.

CS Machinery Sales Ltd is headed up by Managing Director Calum Shaw, based at Longman Industrial Estate Inverness, and is SMT GB’s utility dealer for the whole of the north of Scotland.

SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products, which include; wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed Customer Support Centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers, to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.

www.smt.network

Final guest speakers announced for HAE EHA conference

HAE EHA has revealed the full, exciting line-up of guest speakers adding their insight and take on events affecting the hire industry at the third annual Conference at Loughborough on 1 October, which is themed around 'collaborate, innovate and inspire'.

The comprehensive timetable now features presentations by Dr Léa Cléret, CEO of The Leadership Trust, Frank Elkins Chief Operating Officer Trade Merchanting Travis Perkins, Sue Brandrick and Chris Lucas from HSE, Detective Superintendent Neil Austin from the West Mercia Police, while discussing mental health issues will be Phil Hemsworth (HSS), Brian Parker (AFI), Hans Fairley (Stihl) and HAE’s own Jim Maccall and Paul Gaze.

Dr Léa Cléret will explain the science behind leadership development programmes, and Frank Elkins is to offer up a CEO's perspective on dumper and digger safety. Kicking off the afternoon session will be HSE duo Sue Brandrick and Chris Lucas of the Construction Health Policy Team, followed by an overview of the UK construction industry and the country’s economic performance by Tom Hall, Chief Economist, Barbour-ABI and AMA Research.

Crime prevention in the hire industry will be the topic of Detective Superintendent Neil Austin’s presentation, while last but not least the final five will round off the conference with guidance on mental health policy at work before the closing address by James Dickson.

The latest announcement comes hot on the heels of the first round of speakers, which includes Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, a British computing, mathematics and language genius who founded Stemettes in 2013, a social enterprise promoting women in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. Taking up the theme of collaboration with no gender barriers will be a representative of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

HAE EHA Chairman, Brian Sherlock, will open the event before Commercial Manager Paul Gaze and Scott Ball from HireTrain join forces to give the low down on the steps the industry is taking to encourage a constant learning environment for new starters. The comprehensive list of speakers reflects the importance of the Hire Industry to the UK economy and the construction sector – Brexit and recruitment issues are also certain to be major talking points dominating the conference.

EHA members will have the chance to address the unique challenges event hire businesses face, giving them a glimpse into the future and enabling them to find out what opportunities could lie ahead for the industry to grow.

HAE EHA Chief Executive Officer, Graham Arundell, said: “We have a comprehensive line-up of speakers giving their insight and expertise on all the important issues facing our members and these are sure to inspire debate on the direction of travel for our industry.”

The HAE EHA Conference is open to all members but people wishing to attend need to register online on the website hireconference.org.uk

If you would like further information on exhibitor spaces and sponsorship options, please contact the team on 44 (0)121 380 4605 or e-mail [email protected].

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