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Executive Report : Executive News
SMITHS BUYS MORE TOWERS
Blackpool-based Smiths Equipment Hire has enlarged its fleet of mobile lighting towers by adding two batches of Sitelights from BGG-Bruno. Director Thomas Smith says, “A lot of thought has gone into the design in respect of the quality of components and ease of service in the field. The canopy is built using hot dip galvanised sheet, which is then powder coated to give a durable finish. The smooth action of the mast, and the fact that the hydraulic pump and ram base is bunded and uses biodegradable hydraulic oil, are also good features.”
Ten Sitelights can be delivered on a standard 40ft flat trailer without having to dismount the tow hitch. The engine is coupled to an 8kVA prime power alternator, with spare power available via a socket kit mounted into the IP 55 control panel. BGG Sales Manager, Robin Parkin, says, “Fitting an oversized alternator avoids it working near to capacity powering the four 1000watt metal halide light heads.”
Loads of efficiency for Plantool
Plantool Hire reports that it has now taken delivery of its new low-loading delivery vehicle, developed by KFS Special Vehicles, and which we included in our Saltex show review in October. Operations Manager Ben Jones says, “It has been in use now for several weeks and the feedback from the lads has been very positive.”
A mini excavator or a small scissor lift can be loaded straight onto the deck of the vehicle, which can carry approximately 1600kg. There is no need for a tail lift to be fitted to the truck, which would require regular testing and maintenance, and anyone with a current full licence can drive the vehicle.
Balloo increases MacGen fleet
Balloo Hire Centres Ltd, which is based in Bangor, Co. Down, has added to its fleet of MacGen generators with a delivery of 40 machines in the 100-500kVA power range. They join 46 models bought earlier in the year, with outputs of up to 160kVA.
“The generators have proved hugely successful,” says Paul Lavery, Managing Director of Balloo, which has three other depots in Belfast, Lisburn and Ballyclare. “We have seen strong utilisation levels across the complete range due to our well diversified customer base in construction, industrial, civil engineering, utilities and facilities management markets.”
Fairview nominated for Hire Network Award
Fairview Lifting Gear Services' Epsom branch has been named as a finalist for the Hire Network Award, which recognises staff excellence amongst independents. The overall winner from three shortlisted candidates will be announced at the Executive Hire Show in February. “We use Fairview for hire business south of the M25,” says Hire Network MD Barry Dean. “They are totally reliable and never over-promise. Their equipment is good and they are a friendly bunch to deal with.”
Fairview offers hoists, jacks, materials handling equipment, powered access machinery, safety products and related items. “Business is excellent at the moment,” says Kevin Lewis, Regional Account Manager. “We are soon re-locating the Epsom operation to premises three times larger, and both our Rainham head office in Essex and our other depot in Liverpool are extremely busy. We are all specialists in lifting equipment hire and have a ‘small company’ approach that emphasises good customer service.”
HAE CREATES EHA
In a move that has surprised many hire industry observers, HAE has established the Event Hire Association (EHA). It will run alongside HAE and was officially launched at the recent Showman’s Show at Newbury.
“HAE has always had a membership that included event hire companies,” HAE Managing Director, Graham Arundell, told EHN. “We felt we needed to offer them a dedicated association. Indeed, some event members had left the Association over recent years. Although other trade organisations exist for the events industry, none deals specifically with hire.
“We are targeting potential EHA members in many markets, such as audio-visual, portable accommodation, catering, marquees, flooring, tables and chairs, linen and the like. This could cover as many as 10,000 companies, including hirers and supplier members.”
Services offered will include the use of specific EHA terms and conditions, insurance and training courses. Regional meetings are also proposed. “We had a positive response at the launch, recruiting members, and we have attracted back several former HAE members,” said Graham Arundell, who is also an EHA board member. Several other HAE board members are also on the EHA board.
• EHN comments: HAE must ensure that, in establishing EHA, it does not affect services to its main tool and equipment hire membership, particularly at a time of economic uncertainty. As administrative functions for the new organisation will be shared amongst existing HAE staff, care must be taken to avoid resources being spread too thinly.
While targeting a diverse range of potential members, the EHA could face having to represent the interests of many different markets and event related activities. Furthermore, if EHA were very successful in attracting many members, it could become larger than HAE itself.
WACKER NEUSON TRANSFERS DUMPER PRODUCTION
Wacker Neuson has announced that production of its range of dumpers is to be transferred from Tredegar in south Wales to the modern, recently expanded manufacturing plant at Linz in Austria. This facility currently manufactures the company’s ranges of tracked dumpers, excavators and skid steer loaders.
This move will undoubtedly help Wacker Neuson to open up export sales for its dumpers, as the manufacturer is keen to continue to develop world markets for these machines. The company also argues that the benefit to its UK customers is that the re-location to Linz will ensure high quality and
cost-effective production. Substantial stocks of dumpers and excavators, as well as spare parts, will be held at Wacker Neuson’s well-established facility in Waltham Cross.
Avant keeps Boss happy
Within a week of taking delivery of an Avant Tecno 528 multi-purpose loader, independent hirer, Boss Services, had hired it to the contractor, Costain. It required a small machine at the Hampton Water Treatment works, in Middlesex, to follow a large boring machine down a shaft and remove debris.
Jose Farinha, Costain’s Project Manager for the site, says, “We opted for a 4-in-1 bucket attachment for the Avant, and I am amazed at the number of tools available for it. You are effectively hiring several machines in one.” Boss Services has five depots throughout the south east of England.
Speedy goes electric
Speedy is expanding its fleet of battery powered delivery vehicles. Last year, the hirer introduced four of the electric vans for deliveries in London, and is adding six more for sites in Heathrow and Manchester. The vehicles are manufactured by Modec, which also supplies vans used to make home deliveries by Tesco.
Hire Station acquires Brighton hirer
Vp plc has announced the acquisition, by its subsidiary Hire Station, of the entire issued share capital of Power Tool Supplies Limited (PTS), a tool hire and sales company based in Brighton founded in 1983, for a cash consideration of £1.1m. In the year to 31 March 2008, PTS generated revenues of £2.3m and reported profit before tax of £0.4m.