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Executive Report : Executive news
CW OPENS SOUTHAMPTON DEPOT
Charles Wilson Engineers Ltd’s new large depot on the Nursling Industrial Estate in Southampton opened for business on 6 January. This outlet brings its network to 15, following the opening in Basildon in March last year, and will be followed almost immediately by Barking before the end of this month. The Southampton depot is part of CW’s expansion plans in southern England and will link up ts depots in Bristol with those in London and the Home Counties.
MD David Gallagher says, “Our new Southampton premises are well served by the M27/M3 road network, enabling us to serve Hampshire, Dorset and southern Wiltshire as far as Salisbury. Each of the three latest depots are located on superb new one acre sites and will offer CW’s full range of plant, powered access and specialist generators. We have also undertaken extensive building work to ensure each site meets both our, and our customer’s needs. We are already planning the second phase of Southampton’s development by adding a mezzanine level to accommodate our new power generation hire and service centre. “As a company, we are excited and encouraged by the recovery that is now taking hold across the entire construction industry.”
Bobcat octet for Martello
Martello Plant Hire of Eastbourne has bought eight new Bobcat minis for its fleet, comprising E10, E16, E26 and E50 models ranging from 1 to 5 tonnes.
Plant Director Phil Howell said, “The hire market has been reasonably strong in our area. Several new housing developments are about to begin in Eastbourne and Hailsham, so hopefully this will keep us busy. The home-owner market has also picked up, especially for refurbishment and extension work.” Employing a total of 12 staff, Martello Plant Hire offers equipment ranging from small hand tools to excavators up to 9 tonnes. Bobcat machines will be amongst equipment displayed by its parent, Doosan, at the Executive Hire Show.
Nixon’s Big success
Nixon Hire reports successful participation in ‘The Big 5’ construction exhibition held in Dubai at the end of November. The company took a stand at the event, having announced plans to increase the number of depots it operates in the Middle East.
MD Graham Nixon said, "This was a fantastic opportunity for staff from our UK and Middle East locations to meet both existing and new customers face to face. We were able to showcase our most popular equipment and provide customers with a more practical, 'hands on' approach to the machinery. We also had the opportunity to hear about the latest market developments, and network with current and potential supply partners."
During 2014, the company is opening two depots in Saudi Arabia, one in Jeddah and the other in Riyadh. It has operated a branch in Doha, Qatar, since 2009.
Campbell Plant adds GreenMech machine
Campbell Plant Hire of Inverness has added a second GreenMech chipper to its fleet to meet growing demand from local tree surgeons, who use it to process and reduce green waste before removing it from site. The machines are also being used by estate owners maintaining wooded areas and clearing storm damage.
MD Alan Campbell bought the company’s first Arborist 150 road-tow chipper 12 months ago. “Once customers tried the versatile machine, we found it was hardly in the yard, so the addition of another recently was imperative,” he said.
The Arborist 150 will be amongst the machines that GreenMech will be displaying at the Executive Hire Show.
Volvo minis in demand
R J Brooks & Sons, a plant hire and groundworks contractor in Crediton, Devon, has taken delivery of a Volvo ECR28 zero tail swing mini excavator, joining an EC18C model already in the company’s line-up. “The EC18C continues to be a cracking machine, but we just needed something that could provide a little extra in terms of reach and capacity, yet which was still compact for the type of work its used for,” said proprietor Simon Brooks.
An EC18C has also been purchased by Peter Furse, the proprietor of a building company in Hartland, also in Devon, which hires equipment in its local area on a self-drive basis.
Volvo will be exhibiting its latest compact plant developments at the Executive Hire Show.
Selwood upgrades its vehicle fleet
Selwood reports that it has spent £1.4m in the past year on upgrading its vehicle fleet. Throughout 2013, the national pump and plant hirer reviewed its van buying policy and decided to replace a sizeable part of its van fleet with Mercedes-Benz models, adding Vito, Sprinter SWB and Sprinter MWB vans.
Transport Manager Paul Green said, “This decision was based mainly upon comparable whole life cost, but important factors taken into consideration were the provision of a full seven year, fixed-cost repair and maintenance contract, the latest Euro5 engine technology, and improved vehicle safety features.”
Show hosts successful North West regional meeting
The Executive Hire Show has continued its series of Regional Hirer Meetings with a successful event hosted at Haydock Park racecourse for North West hirers. The dates of the meetings planned for 2014 will be announced in the spring.
JPoint’s rapid response
Dublin-based JPoint Software reports that, as the recovery gains momentum, increasing numbers of hirers are adopting its Easi-Hire software and benefiting from the efficiency of having a single system to control all aspects of their business.
The company launched its smartphone based proof of delivery application three years ago, and continues to develop it. At this year’s Executive Hire Show, it will announce a completely revised CRM/service module, designed to combine the power of web services with mobile technologies, to enable hirers to respond quickly to new business enquiries. Each opportunity is pinpointed using Google Maps, and data is automatically shared between hire desk staff and mobile users. The module integrates with web services like calendars, maps and email, and JPoint says customers trialling the system have reported improved response times.
Hire Network names shortlist
The Hire Network has announced the shortlist for its annual Award, which recognises excellence at an individual depot. Instant Hire of Southampton, and the Silvertown branch of Generation Access - a runner-up last year - join Supply UK’s Birmingham Aston branch, nominated earlier.
“Instant Hire always gives good, dependable service in supplying a wide variety of kit, while Generation Access’ Silvertown depot is consistently responsive and reliable in delivering towers and other equipment throughout a busy area of London,” Hire Network MD Barry Dean told EHN. The winner will be announced at the Executive Hire Show.
Gordons drives Brandon
Brandon Hire is investing more than £5m in its vehicle fleet, with an order for 130 new Ford Transits. The decision to buy the specialist vehicles was taken after MD Tim Smith was invited to see the latest version at the Gordons (Bolton) stand at last year’s Executive Hire Show. “Fuel economy, the environment and operator safety and convenience are all things we have to think about when it comes to our fleet and what impressed me about these vehicles is that they have been developed with these priorities in mind. So from Brandon’s perspective, we are meeting both our green agenda as well as the well-being of our staff.”
The Transits have a number of benefits such as auto-stop-start, which reduces CO2 and improves fuel economy, as does the six-speed transmission and the fact that they are 70mph speed limited. On the safety front, the vehicles have various features, which protect people specifically when they are loading or unloading. These include the dropside body with securing points, the tail lift with safety gates and the restraint straps.
Robert Brown leads MBO
Following a strategic review of its worldwide distribution arrangements, Swiss-based Ammann Group has sold its UK and Ireland distributor Ammann Equipment Ltd to a team of investors headed by the distributor’s MD Robert Brown, who has headed the operation since July 2000. With Ammann retaining its trading name, Robert Brown’s new business will trade as A&Y Equipment Ltd, but will continue to be based at its large site in Bearley, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
“The new company is the exclusive UK importer of Ammann compaction equipment, Yanmar mini excavators and tracked dumpers as well as Cormidi tracked carriers, and these leading brands have all been secured on long term agreements. The only Ammann product that we will not be distributing is asphalt plants, which has been transferred to an existing subsidiary, Ammann UK Ltd.
“Ammann’s subsidiaries in France and the UK were the only companies that distributed both Ammann and Yanmar machines. The companies had originally established a joint venture in 1989 to manufacture and distribute Yanmar minis, but Yanmar bought Ammann’s share of the venture in 2010.
“With 60% of our UK sales derived from non-Ammann products, the Group was effectively funding another manufacturer’s distribution, so the sale is in everyone’s best interests. This deal will enable Ammann to invest in other areas of the world, like China, Brazil and India for example, where it will get a direct return on sales of its own products. The buyout will enable us to continue to grow our already impressive market share of both Ammann and Yanmar products, and allow us to add complementary product lines to our portfolio.”
Just before the MBO was announced, Robert Brown appointed Pete Barfield as Key Accounts Manager, with the obvious aim of increasing the distributor’s sales penetration amongst national hirers. Pete Barfield is a well-known character within our industry, having spent much of his working life with Benford, one of the industry’s best known and most respected names in plant manufacturing. Robert Brown also spent six years as MD at Benford before joining Ammann Equipment. His current team also comprises several former colleagues.
Not only will A&Y Equipment be promoting its new business at the Executive Hire Show, but it has new products to showcase in the form of two new Yanmar mini excavators - the 2590kg SV26 and the 8 tonne Vi080-1 with Tier 4i engine, together with Ammann’s ARX tandem ride-on rollers from 1.5-4.5 tonne operating weight.