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July/August 2020
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Executive Hire News › Archives › July/August 2020 › Executive Report : Executive news

Executive Report : Executive news

Industry stalwart moves on

After 37 years in and around the hire sector, Bob Williams, UK & Eire Sales Manager at Altrad Belle, has left the company as of 30 June 2020.
Starting his career at Chesterfield-based Errut Products in July 1984, where he sold the company’s surface preparation and compaction equipment, Bob enjoyed a good early grounding in the hire business - perhaps even more so, given that Ray Caulfield (Trime) was his MD for many years.
His time at Errut Products saw Bob representing the company across the Middle & Far East, before he took on the role of UK National Sales Manager. People of a certain vintage might also recall Errut Products’ concreting & compaction training courses at its Chesterfield headquarters, although rumours suggest that the legendary Chesterfield nightlife also had much to do with their popularity. Bob readily testifies to this, since he ran the majority of courses!
Errut Products was acquired by Belle Engineering in 1990, which led to Bob becoming the group’s UK & Eire Sales Manager. Holding this position throughout, his responsibilities increased following Belle’s acquisition by the Altrad Group in 2009.
Bob’s enduring enthusiasm for exploring new sales channels has long been complemented by Altrad Belle’s R&D capabilities. Many major hirers, and the wider hire industry have seen numerous products that Bob and his sales team have successfully launched and promoted.
Always a staunch supporter of the hire sector, Bob has been at the forefront of his group’s involvement at every hire industry and customer exhibition, as well as being instrumental with the group’s support of the industry’s representative body, the HAE.
With semi-retirement now on the horizon, it looks like the nation’s rainbow trout should be getting worried as more fly fishing is definitely on Bob’s agenda. He also plans to spend quality time with his family and friends, however.
Speaking of his momentous decision, Bob said: “After 37 years, I am extremely grateful for all parts of my journey in what is a tremendous industry; but I feel that the greatest gift that I have been given is to work for a company and in an industry that has provided me with so much enjoyment and so many great memories.”
A prominent and popular figure in the hire industry, Bob has always been a friend to the magazine - and to the Executive Hire Show, in particular. After nearly four decades of service, some well-earned downtime is most certainly due. In the meantime, our very best wishes are with Bob in all his future endeavours.


Stay safe says PASMA

New guidance from PASMA helps managers keep scaffold tower users safe during the coronavirus outbreak, whether they're on a training course or using towers in the workplace.
In a free guidance document released, PASMA delves into issues such as how long the virus lasts on aluminium surfaces, how rescue plans will be affected, and even how workers can avoid passing instruction manuals around. The new advice also recommends ways to assemble a tower while maintaining correct social distancing, indicating that the single most effective method could be buying or hiring any of the one-person towers available.
As PASMA training begins to restart in some areas, the new guidance suggests the protective measures that managers can expect to be in place during a course, from e-learning to increased hygiene and cleaning. The document also explains that PASMA cardholders can get an extension if their qualification is due to expire before it's safe for them to visit a training centre.
To read PASMA's new guidance visit: www.pasma.co.uk/covid-19/keeping-scaffold-tower-users-safe-during-coronavirus-outbreak


Makita announces 40V XGT range

Makita has unveiled a new lithium-ion battery platform and a range of associated power tools.
XGT 40V Max is a standalone cordless battery system that is designed to work with a range of dedicated tools and chargers. Sitting alongside Makita’s current LXT platform, XGT boasts a number of benefits.
XGT is the most powerful battery platform in the Makita range, and the cordless machines using the system offer output that can rival corded tools and even some petrol engine machines - all as a result of advanced technology that balances battery run-times with the power required for heavy duty applications.
The new batteries have been engineered to minimise damage and withstand tough environments. A heavy duty outer casing and shock absorbing housing protects the battery if dropped. Meanwhile, an IPX4 rating means the batteries are splash and shower proof, and water ingress is limited. The design also prevents damage from dust.
The XGT batteries also feature Makita’s smart system technology. This in-built programme allows digital communication between the battery and the charger, as well as the battery and the tool, to provide protection against issues such over discharge and overheating. For example, if the battery has overheated, the charger cools it down before charging begins.
Makita has launched a number of new products for the 40V XGT platform; all designed to offer outstanding performance, ease of use and operator safety. The new line-up includes:
• TD001G Impact Driver - delivering 220Nm of max torque and ten tightening modes.
• HP001G Combi-Hammer Drill - providing 140Nm of max torque and 41 electronical clutch settings.
• GA004G, GA005G, GA012G and GA013G Angle Grinders - offering the same power as 1,100W corded grinders.
• HR003G and HR004G SDS-Plus Combination Hammers - which include anti-vibration technology and benefit from a HEPA filter dust collection system.
• HS004G Circular Saw - with a no. load speed of 6,000RPM, 480 bevel capacity and AWS wireless connection facility for use with compatible dust extractors.
• JR001G Reciprocating Saw - achieving 255mm capacity in wood and Ø130mm capacity in pipe.
All models are available as body only machines, or complete models with battery, charger and ADP10 Adaptor for charging LXT 18V batteries via the XGT 40V charger.
The XGT tools all benefit from Makita’s brushless motor. As there are no moving parts within, wear and tear and ongoing maintenance costs are minimised, and run times are increased as a result.
The 40V batteries can be purchased individually and are available in 2.5Ah and 4.0Ah versions. The batteries are light in weight, the 2.5Ah batteries weighing only 100g more than the 18V LXT alternatives. Charging, meanwhile, is courtesy of the DC40RA 40V Max fast charger, which offers charging times of 28 minutes for the 2.5Ah XGT battery, or 45 minutes for the 4.0Ah option. Makita has also developed an adaptor enabling LXT batteries to be charged on the XGT system. Using this adaptor, 3.0Ah LXT batteries charge in just 22 minutes and 6.0Ah LXT batteries in approximately 40 minutes.
Finally, Makita is offering a redemption deal on selected models, so contractors can claim an extra 40V battery completely free of charge. Head to www.makitauk.com/xgt for further information.


New HSC air conditioner

With the regulations changing regarding the refrigerant gases used in air conditioners, The Hire Supply Company has introduced the new Elite AC1400.
Superseding the AC1600, the AC1400 uses R290 gas to meet the new regulations and has a cooling capacity of 4.3kW, 14,600 Btu. The new model retains many of the AC1600 features, such as its A-Rated Cool Efficiency, a 24-hour timer, a 3 speed fan and a carbon filter.
In terms of new features, the AC1400 also has a digital touchscreen, allowing operators to easily control the many integrated functions from a single display.
The AC1400 is now available from stock for a next working day delivery. See www.hscmsc.co.uk for further information.


Back to work with BoSS

BoSS has devised a number of helpful video guides aimed at bringing tradespeople back up to speed with its range of mobile access towers.
The company has created nine new videos, each dedicated to individual BoSS systems - including the StairMAX 700, Ladderspan and Clima products - and all are available on the BoSS YouTube channel. Pretty slick they are too, quickly and concisely demonstrating the correct steps for assembly and safe use.
“We’ve always been proud that our BoSS range of mobile tower systems are easy to use and quick to adapt, and these product guide videos provide additional support for both seasoned tower builders and those who may need a refresher. This is crucial as by helping to educate those responsible for building towers and familiarising them with the BoSS range, this will ultimately help to minimise the risk of accidents when working,” adds BoSS Product Manager, Sophie Ellam.
Watch them all at https://bit.ly/2AsBt2N


Coveya Mist-Safe unveiled

As mentioned in last month’s Covid-19 products round-up, Coveya has just revealed images and information for its new ‘Mist-Safe’ system.
The Mist-Safe is a ‘plug-and-play’ sanitiser tunnel designed to sit above a conveyor belt. A sensor at the opening of the unit detects as items pass within, activating a spray of virus and bacteria-killing disinfectant. If nothing is detected inside the tunnel after 10 seconds, the Mist-Safe automatically shuts down.
The tunnel opening is 653mm wide x 472mm high, allowing for a maximum recommended item size of 640mm x 420mm. Sanitation is achieved by four misting nozzles, ensuring complete item coverage without saturation or damage. Double strip curtains at either end contain the mist, and any unused disinfectant runs back into a holding tank for recycling.
The Mist-Safe consumes 0.6-1.5 litres of disinfectant per hour, depending on item size and quantity. Recommended infeed is 1.2m/s and outlet is 2.4m/s, and the unit can process up to 360 boxes per hour. In operating at such speeds, and passing a cost of 3p per box to the customer, Coveya calculates that system costs can be covered within 175 days.
To find out more and see the Mist-Safe in action, visit www.coveya.co.uk


Sunbelt hits the Highlands

Sunbelt Rentals has extended its operations in Scotland with the opening of a new depot in Inverness.
The new depot serves the Scottish Highlands and offers customers a variety of products and services, from plant and tool hire, to traffic management and utility services. Two new job opportunities have been created initially, with several more planned as the depot grows.
“We are extremely excited to be able to expand our operations into the Scottish Highlands whilst working towards our long-term strategy to grow our operations across the UK,” says David Robinson, Sunbelt Rentals’ regional director for Scotland.
“There is significant investment underway in the North of Scotland and we’re keen to support our existing customers working in this area, by making sure that they have access to the equipment that they need. The new depot in Inverness will improve our service and products on offer, while allowing us to pursue new business opportunities from Highland based contractors, that are new to the Sunbelt Rentals brand.
“One of our key priorities for Sunbelt Rentals is to create a lasting legacy. The Inverness depot will create new jobs, upskill the local workforce and allow us to support the local communities that we serve.”


Snorkel supports the urban arts

Work platforms specialist, Snorkel, has branched out of its usual business in the support of noted street artist ‘Gent 48’, who used one of the company’s scissor lifts to help create an eye-catching COVID-19 artwork.
The wall-sized mural is located on Meriden Street in Digbeth, Birmingham, and was commissioned by Birmingham-based art4charity as part of its fundraising efforts. The charity commissioned Josh Billingham, a mixed media artist better known by the colourful sobriquet ‘Gent 48’, to create the first mural in his hometown. Titled ‘Forward in Unity,’ the image captures the return of community spirit in Birmingham during the pandemic.
To reach the full height of the wall, Gent 48 used the Snorkel S3370RT rough terrain scissor lift, which was supplied by TLC Platforms. With a maximum working height of 12.0m, the scissor lift provided a safe and stable platform with its roll-out deck extension for added working space.
Ten more artist creations are planned to help inspire continued fundraising efforts through art4charity. Whether they too make use of Snorkel equipment remains to be seen, but respect is most certainly due in the meantime.


Nationwide Platforms restarts IPAF training

After months of lockdown, Nationwide Platforms has now reopened 15 training centres throughout the UK to provide a range of working at height training, including IPAF’s 3a and 3b Boom and Scissor Lift training, and IPAF’s 1b Static Boom and PAL+ courses. It will also offer PASMA’s Tower Training at the majority of the locations.
Mindful of government and industry guidance, Nationwide Platforms carried out a comprehensive risk assessment of its training centres. The list of new measures implemented includes the sanitising of work areas and equipment before and after use, health screening of candidates, reducing the number of delegates on each course, provision of additional PPE and online learning wherever possible.
“Safety is our number one priority and for that reason we have been very careful not to rush the decision to resume our training before we were able to put measures in place that protected our customers and employees. We are confident this has been achieved and with job sites starting to re-open it is crucial that workers are properly trained and safe to operate the machinery on site,” adds Dan Smith, UK training director at Nationwide Platforms.
The list of depots now offering training includes Glasgow, Edinburgh, Durham, Leeds, Warrington, Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Taunton, Wellingborough, Uxbridge, Dicot and Southampton.


New Bobcat Stage V telehandlers and track loaders

Bobcat is launching new Stage V-compliant telehandlers and Stage V versions of its M-Series T450 and T590 compact track loaders.
The new machines are powered by Bobcat D34 and D24 Stage V high torque diesel engines, which are based on designs widely used in Bobcat machines worldwide.
The D34 Stage V engine allows users to operate their telehandlers in emission-regulated zones. The engine does not use Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), so there is no need for AdBlue. Another aspect of the D34 engine is an autonomous after-treatment system. DPF regeneration is performed automatically, allowing users to concentrate solely on the task at hand.
The D34 Stage V 56 kW (75 HP) engine provides an average 7% lower fuel consumption, and offers a 14% higher torque than the Stage IV engine.
A newly designed engine hood reduces blind spots by 15% on the right-hand side of the machines, while access to the engine compartment has also been improved.
11 Bobcat telehandler models make use of the new engine: TL26.60, TL30.60 and TL30.70 compact telescopic loaders, the T35.105, T35.105L and T36.120SL middle lift telehandlers, the T35.130S and T35.140S rental industry-oriented telehandlers; and the T35.130SLP, T41.140SLP and T40.180SLP high lift telehandlers.
The new T450 and T590 Stage V compact track loaders follow the recently launched Bobcat M-Series S450, S510 and S530 Stage V skid-steer loaders. All new M-Series loaders provide operators with increased performance, enhanced comfort and optimised maintenance requirements. Noise levels and vibrations have been lowered significantly, while the first oil service interval has been extended to 500 hours, and improved fuel filtration means less frequent filter replacements and reduced running costs.
Bobcat has also announced the 250S, 250M and 250L pressure washer attachments. Designed to be plug-and play with a variety of Bobcat loaders, these versatile units can be controlled from the cab or via the incorporated handgun - the latter attached to a 20m hose, allowing for more targeted cleaning or sanitisation operations.


New transport planning software

Optimisation software specialist, The Algorithm People, has launched a new transport planning tool designed to save hirers time and money.
‘My Transport Planner’, as it is known, is a web-based, pay-as-you-go route optimisation platform that is suitable for hire companies of all sizes. It uses algorithms to calculate the most efficient routes and schedules for equipment deliveries and collections, achieving up to a 20 percent reduction in total fleet mileage, and overall cost savings of up to 30 percent. Priced at 99p per vehicle per day, and with no further subscription fees, the platform can provide a quick return on investment.
Colin Ferguson, CEO of The Algorithm People, said: “Most businesses today use accounting and other related software. However, many hire companies are still manually planning their transport instead of using money-saving tools like My Transport Planner. Using this type of technology is an easy way to make a really positive impact on costs.”
My Transport Planner can also optimise electric and hybrid vehicles, either on their own or as part of a wider fleet. For further details and a free 30-day trial, see www.mytransportplanner.com


Trime partners with Caterpillar

The Trime Group has been appointed as an approved supplier by the construction equipment and rental specialist Caterpillar, under the ‘Cat Allied Vendor’ programme.
Trime successfully completed a stringent vetting process before being entered into the programme and has now been confirmed as a CAT dealer in Europe, Africa and Middle East territories, where it will supply its full range of solar, hybrid, battery and diesel powered lighting sets. Trime will also provide each Cat Dealer with advice, product training and demonstrations, together with a full spares and maintenance back-up service.
Cat Rental Stores, while not a major presence in the UK, have over 1,300 locations worldwide, covering such markets as general construction, industrial manufacturing, commercial and residential building, utilities, road building and landscaping.
The Trime Group is known for its large range of environmentally-focused lighting towers, with direct subsidiaries in the UK and the Netherlands, alongside distributors in more than 18 countries around the world. Its manufacturing base near Milan covers an area of 29,000 square meters and employs over 180 people.


Makinex appoints Multiquip

Makinex has announced that it has enlisted Multiquip as its exclusive distributor in the UK.
Multiquip has more than 30 years’ experience supplying construction equipment in the UK market. The new arrangement is well-founded; Multiquip’s customer-centric focus and hands-on approach aligning with Makinex’s core values, thus ensuring that customers continue to receive the highest level of support.
“Multiquip (UK) Ltd is happy to announce an agreement has been reached with Makinex Construction Products to represent the brand throughout the UK,” said Multiquip’s Sales Director, Kevin Cassell (pictured, lending a hand).
“The quality and integrity of the Makinex products complement our existing range perfectly and carry the attributes we always look for from a business partner; innovation, quality, practical design and safety. Our sales team is looking forward to bringing Makinex products in to the UK market. Our hands-on sales approach means that our clients can make a calculated decision based on our core selling principle; putting the equipment in the hands of the user.”


inspHire launches subscription-based software

inspHire, the noted providers of rental management software, has launched a new cloud-based application called ‘OnRent’.
OnRent is a low-cost, highly flexible application designed with the user in mind. It is particularly suited to start-ups, smaller companies seeking a flexible product to support their growth, or hire companies with a predominantly light hire/asset management requirement.
OnRent boasts a modern, uncluttered interface and is compatible with multiple web-enabled devices, including smartphones and tablets. It is simple to set up, utilising a straightforward pay-as-you-go payment model, and it is fully integrated with Sage Business Cloud.
Other features listed include a built-in CRM, easy invoicing and support for invoice runs; simple stock control and rental order processing; servicing, repairs and lost items management;
multi-currency and multi-company support; built-in document writer; intercom product support and a complete set of helpful guides.
Speaking of the new launch, Sales Director Martin Bestwick said: “The launch of OnRent is a very proud moment for everyone at inspHire and the Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS) group. What you will see when you log in to the product is a program that’s been designed from the ground up, leveraging modern web technologies that deliver a rich, simple end-user experience - fully optimised for working on any device, anytime, anywhere.
A full list of features and pricing information can be found at www.insphire.com/page/onrent. inspHire is so confident that OnRent will hit the mark with hirers that it is offering an obligation-free 30-day trial of the product.


Takeuchi’s new 1.7 tonne short tail

Takeuchi’s TB216 mini excavator has a new stablemate, in the shape of the 1.7 tonne TB217R. Offering the same operating performance, the new machine boasts a short-tail swing with a slew radius of just 730mm.
The TB217R also offers a dig depth of 2,390mm and a dump height of 2,545mm, which helps to maximise productivity on site. It is powered by a Yanmar <19kW Stage V engine with 11.5kW output, which combines nicely with excellent bucket and arm breakout force of 14kN and 8.2kN.
Access into tight spaces is unlikely to be an issue, thanks to an extendable track frame that ranges from 900mm to 1,300mm at its widest. Weight, meanwhile, is slightly lighter than suggested at just 1,680kg.
As with its sibling, the TB217R is sure to prove popular with hirers. Indeed, Dromgoole & Sons of Chester has just purchased the first four of the new machines, buying them from Parkway Plant Sales and getting the ceremonial ‘Big Key’ handover into the bargain. Good job!


New appointment at Kawasaki Engines

Lee Skinner has been appointed as Head of Sales at Kawasaki Engines European Division, taking over from Richard Harris, who retired from the position at the end of June.
Lee will have responsibility for business development across Kawasaki’s European trading area, including parts of the Middle-East and Africa.
Commenting on the appointment, Andy Pringle, Senior Product Manager and head of Kawasaki Engines in Europe said, “Lee joins us with a 13-year career in premium engine sales across key account and management roles, allowing us to strengthen our support and service to our customers. Richard will be greatly missed by staff and customers of the European engine department; however, we are confident that Lee will build on Richard’s successes and we anticipate an exciting future with him on board.”
Richard Harris leaves Kawasaki after 31 years. Initially recruited to sell ATV, Mule and engines under the area of Commercial Products, he moved to motorbike sales, before joining the European Engines Department in 2011.


Point of Rental ‘Essentials’ upgraded

Point of Rental’s cloud-based ‘Essentials’ software has added new features, with particular benefits for businesses large and small. Essentials is updated frequently, but version 3.0 marks the culmination of many larger-scale projects over the last year. These projects have produced major changes in the flexibility of the software, here listed.
Firstly, multi-depot companies will be able to create a single online storefront, which enables customers to select their ‘home’ store, while viewing inventory at that store or at all locations from one interface.
A new business intelligence system in Essentials allows companies to make custom reports and visualisations with exactly the information required. Analysts or accountants can drill down into multiple levels of data, link back into the application, create charts, graphs, and more.
Single-location businesses also benefit, especially those that perform maintenance on customer equipment. Now it’s possible to add parts and labour to your maintenance costs by item. Parts will be removed from inventory and users can track maintenance, parts, and labour costs. Businesses can also create custom statuses for maintenance, allowing them to track each step of the maintenance process easily and within the software.
Finally, a new menu system means that Essentials looks good on desktop or mobile devices. The online store is easier to use and, users can set blackout dates for items, and create custom messages that will show to customers when they attempt to book the item during restricted dates.
“As more companies with multiple locations use Essentials, we continuously innovate to accommodate the needs of a wider variety of rental stores,” says Director of Software Development, Robert Flach. “Version 3.0 adds several valuable features that haven’t been available in cloud-based rental software before and sets the stage for our next phase of enhancements.”

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