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Executive Report : Executive news
NEW CW HEAD OFFICE
In late January, 37 years after the initial opening in the same town, Charles Wilson Engineers opened its new head office in Harpenden. At the ceremony, the local Mayor congratulated Charles Wilson
MD David Gallagher, and thanked him for the company’s involvement in the local community for so many years. In turn, David Gallagher presented the Mayor with two donations to local charities, as well a donation to The Lighthouse Club, the construction industry’s charity.
This Head Office opening marks the start of an eventful year for Charles Wilson, as the hirer also opened its 17th depot in Manchester last month.
Ardent to open new Middlesbrough depot
Ardent Hire Solutions is to open a new depot in Middlesbrough, its twelfth location and its first in
the north east of England. The business was established from the amalgamation of Fork Rent and One Call Hire, as we reported
in our October issue, and it adopted the Ardent name earlier this year. The new site will cover 1.5 acres and will include 1,750ft2 of office space, as well as a 3,375ft2 workshop.
The company also recently bought 60 Kubota U17-3α
1.5-tonne mini excavators, designed for low levels of fuel consumption and emissions. Ardent Chief Executive Steve Corcoran said, “This order is just part of a £100m investment as we improve and extend our fleet,
and there is plenty more to come in the next few months.”
Vp acquires Higher Access
Vp has acquired Higher Access Ltd, which specialises in hiring tracked access platforms,
for £4.1m. The business operates from two locations,
in Burnley and Luton. Higher Access will operate alongside Vp's specialist material handling business, UK Forks.
Also, in a trading statement,
Vp said it had experienced a satisfactory winter trading period and the Board anticipates the Group will deliver full year results in line with current market expectations for the year ended
31 March 2016.
A-Plant’s accommodation achievers
Six members of staff from A-Plant’s Accommodation Division are amongst the first in the portable building industry to successfully complete a recently introduced Level 2 NVQ Diploma, specifically designed for personnel working with such products.
The qualification covers both the installation and dismantling of units on-site, and the completion of various maintenance and refurbishment tasks related to portable and modular buildings. Ian Needham, Director for
A-Plant Accommodation said, “This allows us
to upskill our employees. Once successfully completed, it also enables them to apply for a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card to cover the skilled work which they carry out on-site.”
Compact Avant solves loading challenge
A Lincolnshire toilet hire company has taken
delivery of the first Avant 220 compact tool carrier in the UK. Previously, Aqualoos, which is based near Bourne, used an ageing telescopic handler for loading toilets onto transport trailers, but it was proving too large to operate safely in the confines
of the storage yard.
Aqualoos’ Harvey Knipe discovered the compact machine whilst purchasing a batch of toilets and one was used to load his own trailer. He bought the
220 together with pallet forks, bucket and front and rear tow balls. “The little Avant is the perfect size for handling and loading units onto our trailers, which we can now also move around using either of the tow balls. Also, when we have a large number of units going to one site, we plan to take the machine with us to unload and place the loos in position, so that we will no longer have the arduous task of manhandling them.”
LOC Hire adds 60 Heimdall lighting towers
Specialist lighting towers, secure stores and welfare units hirer, LOC Hire Ltd, based in Bonnybridge, Falkirk, has quickly built up a fleet of 60 Heimdall lighting towers since the machine’s launch last year and, such is demand, MD Dan Wharton expects that number “could treble in the coming months.” He reports that the towers have been used to illuminate a range of construction sites and events, including Scotland’s summer music festival, T in the Park.
“The Heimdall unit was also the specified lighting tower during the construction of the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, as well as on an extension to Black Wind Farm in Lanarkshire, one of the biggest wind farm sites in Scotland. We have built our business on offering products with niche qualities and the Heimdall fits the bill perfectly. With its fitted Smart Stability system and integrated hydraulic support legs, the machine is a revelation in terms of safety and design.”
HAE scheme to boost apprenticeships
HAE has launched a scheme to encourage hirers to recruit apprentices.
It is making up to £100,000 available to provide support for a maximum of
60 apprentices, to enable employers to give an hourly increase in wages in year one from the government’s recommended £3.30, to at least £4.12, representing a top-up of £1,500 per apprentice in their first year. The Association believes this will help smaller businesses to take on trainees who will add value to their organisation.
Eligible companies need to be SafeHire certificated, to have been in HAE membership for at least one year and to have an annual turnover of less than £1m. The chosen apprenticeship scheme must be recognised and lead to an NVQ,
and only one apprentice per business will be eligible for funding.
BOA Plant expands with Show order
Bedfordshire-based BOA Plant Hire, a specialist supplier of cranes which is now expanding into offering other equipment, including smaller machinery, confirmed a deal at the Show for a variety of new products said to be worth £1.2m.
The order includes Thwaites dumpers from 1 tonne to 9 tonne, Atlas Copco breakers and rollers, and 36 Kubota mini excavators from 1.5 tonne to 8 tonne, comprising twenty-five KX015-4 machines, five KX61-3s, five U48-4 models and a KX080-4.
Hireforce wins Hire Network Award
The Birmingham depot of Hireforce has won the 2016 Hire Network Award, which was presented on the first day of the Show. “The Award recognises the all-round commitment to service from staff at an individual depot,” said Hire Network MD Barry Dean presenting the trophy to Hireforce’s Derek Gratton. “Hireforce can always be relied upon, from processing the order to delivering the kit, and it supplies a wide range of equipment throughout the West Midlands.” The runners-up were the Slough depot
of Already Hire, and Toolhirexpress of Bedford.
CPA discusses theft prevention
An Open Meeting staged by CPA during the first morning of the Show provided an update on initiatives to stop the theft of plant and tools.
Statistics provided by Sam Alcock from HSB Engineering Insurance revealed how the introduction of unique keys, immobilisers, remote tracking systems and registration of plant under the Cesar scheme had dramatically reduced construction machine theft since 2009. However, he reported that fraudulent theft is on the increase, and warned hire companies to be extra vigilant, highlighting the necessity of taking trade references and making credit checks before hiring to new customers. For personal collections at hire shops, he said it was essential to see two forms of ID, one with the customer’s picture and another with their address, as well as having CCTV monitoring the hire counter.
Also, as we reported in our January issue, Datatag, which manages Cesar, is developing a new identity system, set to be called Micro Cesar. Giving an update on progress, MD Kevin Howells said it will use specially embedded RFID tags and a new registration label with a QR code. He demonstrated how the code on a disc cutter could be read by a smartphone equipped with a new app. If the item has been reported stolen, the app will highlight its status as well as showing the unit’s ID number, maker, type and model number.
The screen displays data such as the registered owner and the registration date, and the QR code can enable users to access
the operating manual and safety instructions.
GAP’s red carpet event
GAP’s Event Services Division supplied equipment for the recent British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) Awards in London, including crowd control barriers, fencing and front-of-stage barriers.
A key requirement was to create a clear demarcation zone between the crowds outside and the red carpet guests, as well as to provide a safe working area whilst the site was being built. Installation of the equipment started four days before the ceremony, and it was collected the day after the event.
Contractors Plant wins Boss prize draw
At last year’s Show, Boss Cabins launched a year long competition. For every welfare cabin bought from the start of the 2015 Show to the close
of this year’s event, each purchaser would be entered into a prize draw to win a custom-built welfare unit, finished in the hirer’s own colours. The winning name plucked out of the hat was Contractors Plant & Tool Hire of Tadley in Hampshire, which had multiple entries in the draw, having purchased multiple cabins, comprising Big Space 16 and Comfort Space 7 units.
Boss Cabins MD Graham Stansfield comments, “The cabin for Contractors Plant is currently under build and will be delivered by the end of this month.
In the period covered by the competition, we enjoyed our most successful trading ever, as sales grew by over 10% in a competitive market place.”
• Another lucky winner is Michael Donnolly of KDM Hire, Co. Tyrone,
whose name was picked at random in our prize draw for hirers attending
the Show and completing our questionnaire. A £500 cheque is on its way.