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Executive Report : Executive news
Force 3 blows in from Supply UK
Richard Coffey’s Supply UK Hire Shops, one of the fastest-growing independent hirers over the last five years, has taken another significant step forward with the launch of a new division, Force 3. This operation offers specialist hire services to the damage restoration industry, promises 24 hours a day support, a personal account manager for each customer and UK-wide coverage.
According to Divisional Director Billy Cooke, “we named the new operation Force 3 because it has been established to respond to the three principal areas that cause such damage - flooding, fire and disaster events. With our constantly changing climate, weather patterns have been increasingly difficult to predict and our £1m investment in new products, technologies and techniques has been undertaken with this in mind. Force 3 has been established as a separate division with its own branded identity to Supply UK Hire Shops, and offers a comprehensive range of specialist equipment from leading manufacturers.”
A key appointment is that of Lee Forshaw as Technical Manager, who joined in May. Having been in the restoration industry for eight years, he knows what is needed. He had previously worked for Belfor, one of the UK’s leading fire and flood restoration contractors, as a National Operations Supervisor.
Force 3 currently operates from nine of Supply UK’s depots in Birmingham, Leeds, London, Widnes, Maidstone, Oldbury, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Stockport and a soon-to-be-opened location between Glasgow and Edinburgh. The operation has its own separate service and delivery vehicles and the equipment is only available to specialist contractors, not for the general tool hire fleet. According to Lee Forshaw, “an important part of my role is to train Supply UK fitters in the planned maintenance and repair of Force 3 products to ensure that we can offer the service levels required in this industry.
“In early July, we ably demonstrated our Force 3 capabilities in Huyton, Liverpool. The main water pipe had been ruptured during repair works causing widespread flooding, property damage and misery. We responded within an hour of the incident and, working under the close instruction of our client, within 24 hours we had set up a temporary support desk on site, supported the installation and actively managed more than 350 pieces of drying equipment. We contributed to limiting the distress and inconvenience to the residents of Huyton, whilst providing a strong link in our client’s chain.”
Typical products in Force 3’s fleet comprise Corroventa dessicant and absorption dryers, Air Maxx heated air movers, Air Manager air cleaner/sterilisation systems, Direct Air Drying (DAD) blanket systems and portable Speed Dry warm air room dryers, which are said to represent the latest in building dryer technology.
Savage adds JCB lights
Birmingham-based Savage Plant Hire, which chiefly supplies mini excavators, telescopic handlers and backhoe loaders, has expanded its portfolio by purchasing four JCB LT9 lighting towers, launched earlier this year.
Paul Savage, Chief Executive, said, “During difficult economic periods it obviously makes sense to introduce new potential revenue streams.
We identified an opportunity to supply lighting towers and so, when JCB entered the market with a high specification product, it was the natural choice.
“The LT9 design seems simple and robust, and our four machines are proving extremely popular with highways and airport maintenance contractors. They have also helped us break into the events market this summer.” Savage Plant Hire was established 40 years ago and emblazons the Union Flag on all the equipment in its fleet.
HSS joins ladder initiative
HSS is among the hirers and suppliers participating in the Health & Safety Executive’s Ladder Exchange initiative, and Craig Phillips, the builder who won the first series of television’s Big Brother, helped launch the scheme recently at the new HSS branch in Bootle.
The scheme encourages professionals and DIY users to exchange damaged or old ladders for new, safer ones. HSS branches are offering discounts on the purchase of selected products, and will recycle the traded-in ladders. In addition, the hirer’s training division is offering a 20% reduction on appropriate courses.
HSS Training has also announced a partnership with as asbestos training provider, NATAS, to offer a range of specialist courses for construction professionals.
Syrinx satisfies Smiths
Blackpool-based Smiths Equipment Hire, which has eight depots throughout the north west of England, has enhanced its efficiency by adopting the Syrinx hire management program from Higher Concept Software (HCS).
Director David Smith says that the business, which won the Passionate Independent Hirer Award 2008, evaluated two Windows-based systems. “It was clear that Syrinx would give us straightforward, uncomplicated control. HCS gave us unparalleled support during implementation, and there were no unforeseen difficulties. Our staff took to it with the absolute minimum of training.
“The customer web portal enables our account clients to view their information on-line anytime. This is helping us attract more business and it was a breeze to implement. Overall, Syrinx is proving to be the best investment Smiths has made in a long time."
GenSet targets hirers
GenSet has launched a new range of generators, including S and SS models, designed to meet the needs of hirers. The company says it has paid particular attention to the machines’ size, noise levels and ease of use, as well as environmental benefits. The footprint of the MG50SSP is now reduced by more than 10% compared with its predecessor, measuring 1972 by 900 by 1433mm, and this enables more units to be transported on a delivery vehicle.
Space restrictions meant we were unable to include this item on GenSet’s latest products in our Temporary Power Market Report.
KDM chooses MacGen lighting towers
KDM Hire, whose head office is in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, has bought a fleet of MLT4 mobile lighting towers from MacGen Power Generation. KDM’s Service Manager, Tony Gavigan, says that the machines are proving popular with customers in the event and construction industries, who appreciate their efficiency and ease of operation.
The MLT4 has external power sockets, enabling it to be used as a standalone generator when required, and the lights can also be driven by an external generator via a dedicated connection. The mast extends to 9m and, for safety, should the handbrake be accidentally released with the lights still in the raised position, the tower will automatically lower and an alarm will sound.
• A Profile article on KDM Hire, which won the Passionate Independent Hirer Award 2009 at the Executive Hire Show in February, is scheduled to appear in next month’s EHN.
Hilti launches new angle grinders
Hilti has added two new angle grinders to its line-up, both incorporating the manufacturer’s ATC Active Torque Control and AVR Anti Vibration Control systems. They are also fitted with durable dust hoods.
The 2,200watt DCG 230-D is designed for work on concrete and masonry. It has a rotating grip that the operator can adjust to give optimum performance, and the tool can cut to depths of up to 60mm. The other newcomer is the DAG 230-D, which has a 2,000watt motor and is especially suitable for cutting metal. Hilti also offers a wide range of diamond discs for the tools, incorporating special hole geometry to reduce noise emissions.
Getting the ArcGen Hilta message
ArcGen Hilta has created a new role to capitalise on its recent product acquisition and to build sales of its variable messaging signs. Rob Freeguard has joined the company as Business and Product Development Manager, having spent 17 years in a sales and development post at Hilti GB Ltd. He will play a key role in developing the Addco/Imago variable messaging business, which ArcGen Hilta took on in April.
Rob Freeguard’s previous career highlights include securing a major project on Heathrow’s T5 development and being voted, in both 2006 and 2007, winner of Hilti’s Executive Sales Club initiative. He said, “I am delighted to be joining ArcGen Hilta and working with a business that is continuing to expand its offering during these challenging times. There is a strong feeling of energy, passion and professionalism from the team, which I am looking forward to being part of.”
PSE’s Passport to training
Portable Sanitation Europe (PSE) has launched the Safety Passport Training Scheme for service operatives employed by members.
It initially comprises five modules, including general Health & Safety, service techniques, vacuum tank and small engine operation, manual handling, and the correct loading and unloading of HGVs.
Three modules will be available to members through the association’s web site. One of the other two is already available in DVD format, and a second DVD will be filmed this month. Each module also includes written testing, the pass mark for which is more than 80%. Candidates can complete each module when time constraints allow, after which a Safety Passport Card will be issued, bearing their name, company details and a record of modules undertaken. This will show site officers that operatives have appropriate qualifications.
Hire Direct appreciates Volvo service
Ascot-based Hire Direct Pant & Tool reports that its three ECR48C Volvo mini excavators are proving popular additions to its fleet, which overall includes 85 minis of various weights. Operations Director Mark Evans says it was the quality of service provided by Volvo to support larger models it already had that made the company choose the 4.8 tonne machines.
The ECR48Cs were supplied with fully automatic quick-hitches, Kosran anti-theft systems and hose rupture valves fitted to the boom cylinders. Hire Direct was formed 15 years ago and serves customers throughout the south of England.