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Executive Report: Executive news
JCB links with Volvo
In a surprise move, JCB and Volvo Construction Equipment have entered into a framework agreement under which they will co-operate on the engineering and manufacturing of skid steer loaders and compact tracked loaders. The resulting new generation of single, side-mounted arm machines will be sold under both the JCB and Volvo brand names, through the two companies’ respective global dealer networks.
It is envisaged that the first mono boom Volvo branded machines will be in production at JCB’s facility in Savannah, Georgia, by the end of this year. The deal will allow both companies to compete more effectively in the high-volume USA skid steer and compact track loader markets, in which the big players are Bobcat, Case and John Deere.
Volvo entered the skid steer loader market in 2002 with the purchase of the twin arm Scat Trak line. However, they were never homologated for Europe and Volvo has been lacking the increasingly popular compact track loaders in its portfolio.
Good auction prices for Speedy
Whilst on nothing like the scale of The Great Speedy Sale last March, the hirer’s auction back in late January, staged at its auctioneer’s Reading premises, attracted a good crowd of buyers. Lots included large numbers of non-op plant including mixers, generators, compressors, and bowsers, as well as smaller equipment and power tools.
Speedy Chief Executive Steve Corcoran told EHN, “the simple business case for the auction was to refresh and replenish our fleet, without increasing our borrowings. We looked at assets that were either surplus to requirements, seasonal or in product groups where new models are expected. I would encourage every single hirer to clear out his yard and convert old, under-utilised equipment to cash.”
Industry experts were surprised at the high level of many of the hammer prices achieved. Josh Llewellyn of GenSet believed that welders and generators went for good prices and Dave Chuck of Thwaites was pleasantly surprised when two “well-used” Alldrive three tonne dumpers were sold for much more than his estimate.
Even tired kit and non-runners made good money - a 2007 Thwaites one tonne Hi-Tip dumper (with a potentially expensive hydraulic drive problem) made £5,700 under the hammer. Buyers seemed to be taking the view that this was a good time to buy second hand plant - even items that had clearly had a hard life in hire. They sensed a pick-up in business, and were aware that some new plant will be more expensive and, even, on extended delivery.
Hire4Lower wins Hire Network Award
Hire4Lower of Lambeth was announced as the winner of the Hire Network Award at a special presentation during the Executive Hire Show. The trophy is awarded annually to an independent achieving the highest standards of service at an individual depot.
“We place many orders daily with independents across the country,” said Hire Network MD Barry Dean. “While standards can vary between depots of national hirers, many independents can always be relied upon due to the dedication of the individual management and staff at the branch. In challenging economic times, when it is tempting to cut resources and compromise on service, their quality stands out even more.”
P.E.T adds to its fleet
Carl and Barbara Banks, Director and Office Manager of P.E.T Hire in Crewe, purchased a variety of new equipment for the company’s fleet following their visit to the Executive Hire Show. “We bought a 420 VS floor grinder from HTC Floor Systems,” Carl told EHN, “to add to one we purchased at last year’s Show. Demand for our first machine has been excellent and it paid for itself in three months.
“Other items we bought during our visit this year included five dehumidifiers from Kroll, some Youngman ladders, and we took advantage of a special Show offer from SDMO on a package comprising three generators of 2, 3 and 5kW.
“The Show is always an excellent way of keeping in contact with existing suppliers and meeting new ones, as well as finding out about the latest products. The new Camon compact crusher from Tracmaster looks very interesting, and we will be arranging to see a demonstration of it soon.”
Supply UK spends £250,000 with Turner Access
While visiting the Executive Hire Show, Supply UK Hire Shops MD Richard Coffey (shown left) placed an order for 250 BetaGuard towers, worth approximately £250,000, with Turner Access MD Gary Gallagher to add to the hirer’s existing fleet. The system has only three main components, with bracing integrated into the frames, which provide advance guardrail protection.
“The BetaGuard is the standard tower in our fleet. Our future order book is strong and we went to the Show knowing we had money to invest. Turner Access made us a very good offer that we could not ignore. We have already had half the consignment delivered, and the towers are now in use at a substantial long-term project in the south of England.
“We also met a lot of potential new suppliers,” continued Richard Coffey. “Overall, the Show represented a strong statement from suppliers and hirers that our industry is surviving the challenging economic climate and we are working through it. The organisers are to be congratulated on the event, which has enabled us all to look forward to 2010.”
Speedy’s £750,000 Pop-Up purchase
During the Executive Hire Show, Pop-Up Products, finalised a £750,000 deal with Speedy Hire, which will see the hirer take delivery of 300 Pop-Up and Pop-Up+ push-around scissor lift machines.
The order includes the latest versions of both products. The Pop-Up+ includes a new auto-brake system, enabling contractors to operate the machine, which offers working heights of up to 4.5m, without the use of stabilisers. In addition, the units are fitted with improved shock absorbent, rugged castors to improve manoeuvrability, and a heavy-duty Trojan battery. The Pop-Up also now benefits from the new battery.
Paul Gallacher, Sales and Marketing Director at Pop-Up Products, told EHN “An order for 300 machines confirms the on-going popularity of these low-level push around scissor lifts. We’re keen to build on this position and are looking forward to launching in June the next generation of machines, the Pop-Up Push series, which we unveiled on our stand at the Show.”
On the Friday after the exhibition, Pop-Up also announced it had entered into a partnership with aerial lift manufacturer, UpRight Powered Access/Snorkel International, enabling Pop-Up machines to be offered in markets worldwide.
INDUSTRY SUPPORTS HAITI APPEAL
During the Executive Hire Party, held on the Wednesday evening of the Show, a collection was organised to raise funds for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Haiti Earthquake Appeal. A total of £2,240 was raised, and we thank you all for your very generous support.
Hire Station’s big Show order
Probably the largest deal concluded at the recent Executive Hire Show was Hire Station’s purchase of 100 mini excavators from JCB. According to Purchasing Manager Paul Smith, pictured left with JCB’s Keith Hoskins, “this purchase represents a significant investment for us in one of our core product lines. We have been operating JCB minis for three years and are more than happy with their performance, so the decision to re-invest was a logical step.”
ArcGen Hilta secures Speedy deal
ArcGen Hilta clinched a major deal at the Show to supply one hundred 300 AVC welding machines to Speedy, to meet growing demand from the petrochemical industry. The environmentally friendly product was the winning entrant in the Green Zone at the Show two years ago.
ArcGen Hilta Chief Executive Mark Hodgkins said, "The 300 AVC’s build characteristics make it ideal to cope with the harsh conditions that are encountered at a large number of units offshore. This robust quality also serves customers well at onshore sites at various refineries around the UK. It is a significant order and we are delighted to be working with Speedy, who are making a big commitment to this sector." He added that the Show was an important event for furthering such partnership arrangements.
Andy Connor, Supply Chain Director at Speedy said: "The ArcGen welder has a deserved reputation for its quality and we have taken this opportunity to enhance our fleet in the Industrial sector, which we have been concentrating on with great success. Our partnership with ArcGen has been growing for some time and this latest collaboration is the culmination of months of development work."
Martin Plant wins in the Energy Zone
Martin Plant Hire’s Buyer, Willie Greig, was the lucky winner in the prize draw held in the Energy Zone at the Executive Hire Show. Hirers voted for their favourite product by leaving a business card in the appropriate ballot box, and Willie’s was drawn from all those received. He won £500 towards the purchase of a Zone product.
“The Energy Zone was a great idea. Customers are increasingly asking hirers for products that use less energy and reduce waste. I was delighted to win the prize, and every extra penny helps in the current climate. We are still deciding what we will buy. ArcGen Hilta’s EcoWeld 300 looks very interesting, as does the Honda EU30i inverter generator that Seddons (Plant & Engineers) displayed.”
• Another Show winner was Clive Potter, of Essex-based Mark 1 Hire. He was one of many visitors who filled out an exhibition feedback form and his was drawn out of the hat from all those received. He wins a cheque for £250.
New Wacker Neuson dealer
In an arrangement finalised at the Executive Hire Show, Wacker Neuson has appointed SM Plant of Rugby as its site dumper dealer for the West Midlands. SM Plant is run by Simon (‘Spike’) Milligan and his brother Pelham. Wacker Neuson’s wheeled and tracked dumpers now join SM Plant’s extensive product portfolio, which includes machines from Atlas Copco (construction tools and attachments), Doosan I-R (compressors and generators), Dynapac (light compaction equipment), Gehl (skid steer loaders), Merlo (telehandlers) and Volvo (compact equipment).
Simon Milligan says that one reason he was attracted to the dumper range is the very controllable, trouble-free hydrostatic transmission used in the machines, which range up to 6 tonne. He also considers that the latest, purpose-built cab option should gain greater favour, given our unpredictable climate.
BTE opens in Leyland
Ben Elliott of BTE Plant Sales in Markfield, Leicestershire, has formed a new company called BTE (Northern) as a sales depot in Leyland. Operating from premises formerly used by the plant sales company PPS, the new facility has initially gained regional sales franchises for Terex machinery and Atlas Copco compressors and tools.
BTE (Northern) has employed ex-PPS man Simon Foster as its Parts and Service Director. Dave Hawley has joined as Sales Manager and he reports to BTE’s Sales Director, Jon Barnfield. Speaking on his stand at the Executive Hire Show, Ben Elliott said that expanding into the north west of England offers good future potential. He also reported a definite increase in sales activity in the last two weeks of January. Our picture shows Terex Area Sales Manager Andrew Snow (left) with Jon Barnfield (centre) and Ben Elliott.
Arrow’s Bow targets construction
Takeuchi’s longest-established machinery dealer, Arrow Plant and Tool Hire of Herefordshire, has expanded its dedicated Bow Plant construction sales business by establishing an additional branch in Garretts Green, Birmingham, to serve the West Midlands.
The operation is being headed up by Sales Manager, Richard Johnston. Besides Takeuchi mini excavators, the range includes Ausa dumpers and Ammann compaction equipment. “Expansion into the Midlands is an obvious way forward,” said Richard Johnston. “Bow Plant is well positioned to support this busy West Midlands region.”
Arrow, which became a Takeuchi dealer in 1996, has depots in Leominster and Hereford, in addition to its Kington head office.