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Executive Report : Executive news
JCB FOOD AID INITIATIVE HELPS OUT
JCB has been producing meals for communities near to its UK and India-based factories, working with local organisations to extend delivery services to the most disadvantaged adults and children.
To this end, the company’s catering crews are preparing over 37,500 meals per week at the moment - the UK team alone is producing some 2,600 cottage pies for delivery in the towns and villages close to its Staffordshire plant. This enterprise is the idea of Lady Bamford, wife of JCB Chairman Lord Bamford, and is conceived in response to requests from vulnerable adults and children who asked for help through the #StokeonTrentTogether hashtag.
Councillor Abi Brown, Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “People, businesses and individuals across the city have stood up and been counted in these testing times. JCB is one such organisation that we are proud to have as a business supporting Stoke-on-Trent. We are grateful to have a business of such calibre supporting the city where hundreds of its employees live and know it will make a huge difference to our most vulnerable residents that we are supporting through our #StokeonTrentTogether initiative. Our heartfelt thanks go to JCB.”
JCB’s Staffordshire kitchens are supported by organic farms at Daylesford in Gloucestershire, which has supplied over half a tonne of organic beef mince to the project, with staff working seven days a week to meet demand. Meanwhile Staffordshire Fire and Rescue has been helping to co-ordinate the distribution of the food, ensuring meals reach frontline staff at the Royal Stoke Hospital and providing the link to the city council to extend distribution to other parts of Stoke-on-Trent.
The operation scales up in India, where 45 JCB staff have been mobilised to cook more than 35,000 meals a week in the company canteens for communities around the company’s factories in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur.
Himoinsa in hospital support effort
Himoinsa, supplier of power generators at the larger end of the scale, has been listed as a key supplier to UK Support Services in the fight against the Coronavirus. The scale and speed of its support is noteworthy in itself.
The UK facility dispatched a record number of 200-500 kVA generating sets on Friday 4th April - to wit, five truckloads were prepared within just 24 hours of receipt of the order. Each of the substantial units was prepared to be hire-ready by the Power Solutions team at its Cheshire HQ and loaded for delivery within the required timesecale. Additional generating sets were later delivered direct to site in order to provide power to temporary hospitals built to house Covid-19 patients.
Himoinsa is among a number suppliers enlisted by the UK Government during the pandemic. Its factories continue to produce generators across worldwide platforms. A special effort by Himoinsa customers, production team, suppliers and its Power Solutions team ensures that UK Support Services can meet the power needs throughout these challenging times.
ECHO makes the cut
ECHO has launched the CS-621SX heavy-duty rear handle chainsaw, which is a reduced emissions version of its best-selling CS-620SX.
The CS-621SX has a new 59.8cc low emission, professional-grade 2-stroke ECHO engine, which is designed and manufactured in Japan. Moderately lightweight, at just 6.3kg, its balance and design offer manoeuvrability and precision, with dual bumper spikes enabling better control when sawing through stumps and thicker branches.
In terms of other features, a decompression button enables easy starting, there’s a side-access chain tensioner and a rotating plastic chain catcher protects the user from potential injury. Meanwhile, fuel and oil caps are larger for easier filling, and the fuel tank is translucent to show the fuel level. The ‘G-FORCE’ air cleaner system features a large air filter to keep debris out.
Ground-Guards Ltd has launched a new FastCover PLUS ground mat system, employing many unique features suited to the hire industry.
Building on the success of its existing FastCover FC115, the new mats offer interlocking lugs to fasten the mats together, inbuilt carrying handles for quick installation and a 14.5kg weight for easier lifting. Customers can choose to have their logos moulded in, while a honeycomb structure ensures a sturdy construction.
This mat system is ideal for temporary and construction site walkways, paving protection, interior floor protection, and even for permanent flooring in workshops and warehouses. The mats are also available in black and white for creating temporary pedestrian crossings.
Makita has launched two new metal cutting saw blades - the Efficut Metal 136mm or 150mm, for general purpose metal cutting, and the Efficut Metal 136mm or 150mm for stainless steel and thin metal cutting.
Affording improved cutting speeds, Efficut blades are 1.6 times faster than Makita’s standard blades for metal and 1.7 times than their standard blade for stainless steel, thus enabling operators to achieve higher levels of operational efficiency.
The new blades incorporate ‘chip breaker style’ saw tips, providing excellent chip ejection. The tips are strong enough to handle the most demanding of jobs and remain stable when cutting, therefore reducing the risk of breakage. The tips have been set to a varied pitch and are arranged in the optimum order so that the load on the blade tips can be distributed evenly and efficiently whilst keeping the saw blade stable when under pressure.
The design of the blades provides the ideal balance between durability and the thin 1.1mm Kerf produces less resistance during operation. It is therefore less draining on the battery and operators can work for longer with more cuts per charge, when paired with Makita 18V LXT metal cutting saws.
On the Hop
Rental software specialist HireHop has launched a new hire till system. The touch screen with cash drawer sits on the hire desk, just like a regular till, but it is connected to the hire software via the Cloud. This enables desk staff to quickly pull up tool and plant equipment data, and easily create quotes for customers.
HireHop has also revamped its back-end software to ensure that hirers with multiple depots or limited companies can view all data in a single window. The new system integrates with the most popular accounting packages, and HireHop is intending to add more accountancy integration over the course of 2020.
Tower of Power
Power Link, a leading Australian brand in lighting towers, used its first appearance at the recent Executive Hire Show to exhibit a 9-metre towable model. The MS2000 is available from just £8,381.
With an 80-litre, double layered fuel tank as standard, the manufacturer claims it will provide more than 24 hours of running on a full load, without the need to refuel. The MS2000 also includes safety features, such as automatic tower descent and it switches off if someone tries to drive it away while it is in use.
Boels bolsters fleet
Boels Rental has itroduced a new brand of compactors in its construction rental fleet - the Ammann APF 15/40 forward-moving vibratory plate compactor.
On Boels’ request, Ammann has replaced the unit’s standard engine with a Vanguard 200 single-cylinder, 4.9 Gross kW motor, which generates more power and halves service intervals. The first batch of compactors is expected to be delivered early March 2020.
The Ammann APF 15/40 vibratory plate compactor is easy to operate, and ideal for soil,asphalt and paving stone compaction. The compactor’s high-technology exciter unit provides the forward-moving power needed to handle challenging materials and steep grades, while requiring no maintenance. State-of-the-art guide handles with low hand-arm vibration protect the operator from unwanted vibrations and enables precise machine control.
Guy Cremer, director of fleet operations, is looking forward to introducing the Ammann APF 15/40 compactors to the Boels rental fleet: “Making the best quality, user-friendly equipment accessible to our customers remains a key goal for us. The new Vanguard-powered plate compactors offer customers an enhanced user experience by way of a simplified starting process and lower vibration, while providing powerful compaction. Also, the extended service intervals of the engine allow us to reduce our oil waste and recycling.”
Further enhancing the Boels rental fleet is a smaller plate compactor, the APF 10/33. Both units were scheduled to arrive in early March, so should be available right now.
Thwaites rolls on during lockdown
The global pandemic has caught many businesses off guard, and responses have varied from complete closure to business as usual - albeit within the current guidelines. For Thwaites, it has been a matter of sensible planning prior to the lockdown taking hold.
In view of current social distancing guidelines, the company has taken the decision to temporarily close its Warwickshire factory. In terms of maintaining its business otherwise, it has worked with its supply chain and workforce to ensure that the inventory of site dumper stock was built to sustain demand throughout the spring months.
Thwaites has 13 major distributors delivering from 27 outlets, all of which remain |open at present. The company keeps an additional stock of dumpers from 1-tonne to 9-tonne ready for despatch, and it maintains a team to deliver spares and service machines as required.
Dragon takes flight
Dragon Equipment’s new CR300 Concrete Crusher has just been delivered to Dale Hire. This order is the first of what is hoped to be many for the company, whose equipment is designed and built in Suffolk.
Jeff Haines, owner and designer at Dragon Equipment, enthused; “We’re delighted that our first order has come from a local company. Dale Hire has been providing plant and tool hire locally since 1978, so they certainly know their business, and we’re excited for them to start sharing the CR300 Crusher with their customers.”
Gordon Rogers of Dale Hire adds: “We have had very positive early interest since taking delivery of the CR300 Crusher, demonstrating it to our customers with some particularly large and dense blocks and getting some excellent responses. The communication, attention to detail and professional ‘can-do’ approach from Dragon Equipment made the decision to invest in their well thought out mini crusher an easy choice.”
The tracked CR300 Crusher can process up to six tonnes of concrete per hour. It is just 700mm wide weighs less than 750kg.
EC Hopkins has launched the ICS range of diamond chainsaws, which provide a much better depth of cut than circular saws. The latest electric model is the AGP ECS11, which is available in 110v or 230v versions. It is able to cut concrete and masonry up to 300mm thick, which makes it ideal for indoor usage without the inconvenience of a large hydraulic power unit.
EC Hopkins says the electric diamond chainsaws are also quieter than conventional saws. Features include a soft start electric clutch, while wet cutting ensures no dust. Also, there is no rotational kickback, thus helping to improve safety.
The Dutch company Betonblock has launched a new range of steel moulds for making interlocking concrete blocks. The company has been making moulds and block handling equipment for some 20 years, and these items are supplied to both block makers and specialist rental companies.
The use of moulds enables blocks to be made from both new and returned concrete, thereby creating useful products using some material that might otherwise be discarded. Typical usage of the resulting blocks includes crash barriers and sea defences, and other block types feature studs so that they can connect together like LEGO bricks.
DigiX has manufactured and provided push-to-talk (PTT) radios to hire companies for more than 30 years, with customers including A-Plant. Its new Horizon model combines the durability and simplicity of a traditional walkie-talkie with mobile phone connectivity. DigiX claims that this is the first product of its kind in the UK.
Key advantages over conventional PTT radios include better connectivity in London and other major urban areas, where reliance on radio waves can mean that operatives are out of reach for long periods. The Horizon also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G, and 4G coverage. Designed for hire and construction, it is IP67-rated, meaning that it is dustproof and water resistant.
The German company Lissmac Maschinenbau used this year’s Executive Hire Show to promote some of its latest cutting equipment. Prominent on its stand were the new Compactcut 300 and Compactcut 401E floor saws.
The Compactcut 300 is a brand new model with an 8.7kW (11.8hp) Honda GX390 petrol engine that utilises a 500mm diameter blade to provide a maximum cutting depth of 180mm. Replacing the former Compactcut 400E, the improved Compactcut 401E is an electric floor saw that has an 800mm diameter blade and can cut down to 329mm.