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PLANT PLANET ISSN 2631-4622

Cesar Ecv: emissions compliance made simple fast Exocet:

minimising downtime with fuel additives

The Move Towards Electrification

Plant Planet: The Digital Future 11th May 2021

Jim Longstaff: His Journey to ‘hire education’

9 772631 462007 >

Issue 15, April 2021


THE NEW NO.1 BEST IN CLASS

Altrad-Belle.com


Plant Planet is published by

Kiwi Media and Promotions Ltd 2nd Floor, 41-42 Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1ES

Copyright

A word from the editor: on The Roadmap to recovery

Kiwi Media and Promotions Ltd. 2019 all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited except with permission in writing from the company. Note to contributors: articles submitted to the Head of Editing and Design for consideration must be the original work of the author. Where photographs are included that are not the property of the company or contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been received from the owner of the copyright. Any views or opinions expressed within this magazine are not necessarily those of the company. ISSN: 2631-4622 Registered in England No: 09910499

It’s hard to believe that we’ve passed the anniversary of the commencement of first UK lockdown. One year on, Covid still looms large within the industry.

Conditions for Advertising

However, we are starting to see glimmers of hope that a semblance of normality will return by the end of the year. Many of the UK’s construction events set for the autumn are preparing to go ahead; and while this month saw Hillhead postponed for another year, the industry is really starting to embrace online events. See all the shows set to go ahead this year, both online and in person, on page 32.

All advertisements are accepted subject to the Kiwi Media & Promotions’ standard of insertion. For a copy of Advertising Terms & Conditions, please write to Darren Shelton at 2nd Floor 41-42 Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1ES

We are also excited to reveal that Plant Planet have just announced our first online conference. See more on page 71. As always, stay safe.

Hannah Bounford, Head of Creative

Find Us Online Www.plant-planet.co.uk

@Plantplanetuk 4 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


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Our Team

Management Team Darren Shelton

Brendon Cook

Hannah Bounford

Business Manager

Managing Director

Head of Creative

sales Team

Creative team

Max brook

kate Hutchison

Sales Consultant

social media co-ordinator

Phillip every

Ioana Palosanu

Sales Consultant

Digital Content Designer

6 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


COMFORT AND PERFORMANCE Designed and built by Volvo, supported by SMT GB. The ECR58F compact excavator provides outstanding levels of operator comfort and delivers the performance to match. Superior stability, breakout force, tear out force and lifting capabilities result in fast cycle times, even when taking on the toughest tasks. Trust in the full support and back-up from SMT GB, for the lifetime of your machine.

SMT GB Duxford, Cambridge CB22 4QX Telephone: 01223 836636

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10 Latest News

A round up of the news from the plant machinery industry over the past two months.

28 Topical Commentary

Recruiting Heavy Machinery Operators in a Post Covid-19 World Kate Hutchison explores the impact Covid has had on recruiting operators.

32 Topical Commentary Your Industry Calendar: Upcoming Events not to be missed.

Plant Planet round up the online and in person events set to go ahead this year.

8 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

36 topical commentary The Move Towards Electrification

Akvile Peckyte investigates the growth of zero emission machinery in construction.

57 Interview

Graham Nixon: Born to Hire Graham Nixon talks about strategy, remodelling, and his calling to the hire industry with Rachel Lambert.

65 topical commentary Why We’re Big On Compact Plant David Chuck sets out the increasing popularity of compact construction plant equipment.

71 Event Preview The Digital Future: 11th May 2021

Take a look at Plant Planet’s exciting new online conference.


Cover story CESAR ECV: EMISSIONS COMPLIANCE MADE SIMPLE Company Profile FAST EXOCET:

MINIMISING DOWNTIME WITH FUEL ADDITIVES

Interview JIM’S JOURNEY TO ‘HIRE’ EDUCATION

Jim Longstaff talks to Rachel Lambert about his life in plant and equipment and the day “he saw the light” Plant Planet • April 2021 • 9


Contributors

Written by the industry for the industry David chuck @KingstonPR David Chuck has worked in the Construction Plant industry for over 50 years. As well as being a contributor to Plant Planet magazine, David is a social media and website management consultant, and a Partner of Kingston PR.

Kate Hutchison Plant Planet Magazine

Zoe Lamb Jim Longstaff

Cesar ECV

Clements Plant and Access Hire ltd

Rachel Lambert @KingstonPR Rob Oliver

Rachel Lambert is a PR consultant and the founder of Kingston PR, a business she started over 28 years ago. A former magazine editor, she is also a freelance writer covering a range of sectors.

Construction Equipment Association

Hannah Bounford Akvile Peckyte @PlantPlanetUK Akvile Peckyte is an English Literature graduate from the University of Exeter. Akvile has a background in book and journal publishing. She has now joined Plant Planet as a blog and magazine contributor.

10 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

Neil Ryding

@PlantPlanetUK

Fast Exocet

Hannah has worked as the Head of Editing and Design for Plant Planet Magazine for 18 months. She particularly enjoys writing about new advances in construction plant.

Graham Nixon Nixon Hire


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Latest news

TV STAR MATT BAKER TAKES CONTROLS OF JCB MINI POPULAR

TV star Matt Baker deployed the might of a JCB mini excavator during a fly-onthe wall TV special about the rescue of his family’s organic sheep farm. Countryfile and former The One Show presenter Matt headed back to his family farm near Durham where he grew up to help keep it running after his mum had a serious accident. And with a list of repairs and renovations to complete, JCB answered the father-of-two’s cry for help and despatched a 1.8 tonne JCB 18Z-1 mini excavator manufactured at JCB’s factory in Cheadle, Staffordshire. Among the tasks the JCB machine tackled were the creation of a beach area for a woodland pond and pathway through the middle of a planted mini orchard, as well as general landscaping and maintenance. Matt said: “The JCB mini excavator is a great little machine and was really easy to use. It helped to punch a big hole in the long list of jobs we had to do on my family’s farm.” Matt’s efforts behind the controls of the JCB mini excavator will feature on a new More4 series, Matt Baker: Our Farm in the Dales, which is aired on Wednesday 31st March at 9pm.

12 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

Matt’s parents, Janice and Mike, live on an organic sheep farm that dates back to the 1600s. Matt still plays a very active role in running the farm, but when his mum had an accident last summer he had to move his wife Nicola and their two children north to run the farm. Matt added: “This is without doubt the most personal TV show I’ve ever made. Filming on the farm where I grew up with my whole family has been a wonderful and unique experience.” Returning to the remote farm, Matt is faced with the challenge of keeping it running and helping his mum overcome her accident injuries. Championing traditional craft and heritage skills along the way, he also calls on the services of local experts and friends to help out the family – and he even finds the time to save his Dad’s 1946 Dodge car that’s been left in a field for 20 years.

New Timings for CPA Stars of the Future Awards 2021

IN

light of the current status of the roadmap out of lockdown, the Construction Planthire Association (CPA) has reviewed the timings and plans for the CPA Stars of the Future Apprentice and Trainee Awards 2021 to ensure that nominees and winners receive the recognition they deserve. The original plan was to host the Stars of the Future awards ceremony on Thursday 1st July 2021. It has been decided to move the awards ceremony to Tuesday 14th September 2021 so a live physical event can be hosted at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Fillongley near Coventry. To take into account the new timings, the deadline for Stars of the Future nominations has been extended to Monday 31st May 2021. Nomination forms are available on the CPA website at www.cpa.uk.net. The headline sponsor for CPA Stars of the Future 2021 is Sunbelt Rentals UK. Kevin Minton, Chief Executive of the CPA said: “Stars of the Future is now in its ninth


Latest news year and it has become firmly established as the premier event of the construction plant sector for recognising and rewarding the skills and calibre of the industry’s apprentices and trainees. Even though physical events may well be allowed from 21st June 2021, there is still a great deal of uncertainty and we didn’t want to run the risk of limiting the event to a purely online awards announcement for the second year running. “By holding the awards ceremony a few months down the line, we hope there will no longer be any issues with events and our intention is to hold it as a live event at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre where winners are able to receive their prizes and receive rightful recognition for their efforts. Sponsors will also have the opportunity to meet and congratulate the nominees and winners face-to-face. “We also realise that colleges have only recently returned to live classes, so by extending the nomination deadline it allows more preparation time in terms of gathering information together for the nomination process.

others operating in the construction plant sector with apprentices and trainees in their workforce.

• College of the Year sponsored by Flannery Plant Hire

Stars of the Future is a national awards scheme for apprentices and trainees in the construction plant-hire industry, organised by the CPA, the leading trade association for the plant-hire sector in the UK. The CPA has over 1,700 members who supply 85% of hired plant to the construction industry.

• Judges’ Special Award sponsored by Flannery Plant Hire

The awards categories for 2021 comprise: • Plant Mechanic of the Year (Level 2) sponsored by L Lynch Plant Hire • Plant Technician of the Year (Level 3) sponsored by NOCN Group • Plant Operative of the Year jointly sponsored by L Lynch Plant Hire and ACOP Group • Lifting Technician of the Year sponsored by Liebherr • Hire Controller of the Year sponsored by L Lynch Plant Hire • Plant Installer of the Year sponsored by L Lynch Plant Hire

• Best Personal Statement sponsored by Wolffkran

Stars of the Future winners will be in contention for a number of prizes, as well as national recognition. Previous prizes have included Snap-on tool kits, iPads and an all-expenses paid trip to Germany to visit a Liebherr crane manufacturing plant. The national winners for Stars of the Future 2020 were Adam Rees of Machinery Movements and Crane Hire (Plant Mechanic of the Year), Rhys Nigel John of Marubeni-Komatsu (Plant Technician of the Year), Danielle Taylor of Flannery Plant Hire (Plant Operative of the Year), Luke Reddish of Wolffkran (Lifting Technician of the Year), Iveta Tomasevska of Flannery Plant Hire (Hire Controller of the Year), Senghan Carr of L Lynch Plant Hire (CPA Award for Best Personal Statement) and Scott Laurenson of EMN Plant (Judges’ Special Award).

We’d like to urge employers in the construction plant sector to nominate apprentices and trainees who they believe should be recognised as stars in the making,” Kevin continued. For Stars of the Future 2021, several awards can be won and nominations are welcomed from plant-hire and crane companies, manufacturers, contractors, suppliers and

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 13


Latest news

Brandon Hire Station in 70 machine Dumper Deal LEADING

UK Vp Hirer Brandon Hire Station has taken delivery of 70 x 1-tonne Hi-Tip dumpers, in a deal that will expand the company’s fleet, then via their circa. 160 branch network, satisfy the growing demand for Thwaites dumpers. The deal was facilitated by Thwaites approved distributor for the Midlands, North West and Yorkshire BTE Plant Sales. BTE Chairman Ben Elliott said “We have a long-established relationship with Vp Brandon Hire Station, I am delighted to have concluded this deal and thank the management team for their continued support and confidence. With the

14 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

marketplace strong and the outlook encouraging, we are always pleased to see major hirers such as Vp Brandon Hire Station purchasing Thwaites via BTE”. The deal was marked with a socially distanced outdoor photograph at the Thwaites Warwickshire factory, where Vp Brandon Hire Station MD Brian Sherlock and Thwaites Deputy Chairman Ian Brown joined Ben Elliot and Thwaites General Sales Manager Andy Sabin. Brian Sherlock who has led the company since 2014 through the acquisition of Brandon in 2017 said, “Thwaites have a great product, the design and build quality is second to none, with this being recognised by our customers, who find them safe and easy to operate, our

engineers who find them easy to maintain and our drivers who find them safe and easy to load and deliver”. Mr Sherlock concluded, “During the pandemic customers have considered carrying out landscaping and build projects themselves, whilst others have appointed local contractors. As a consequence this has driven demand, which has necessitated further significant investment in our Thwaites dumper fleet”. Thwaites Deputy Chairman Ian Brown said, “I am always pleased to welcome Brian and Ben, the 1-tonne hi-tip dumper in this deal continues to be in high demand, with hirers recognising the value, reduced cost of ownership and great residuals the machine delivers to their business”.


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Latest news

CATERPILLAR LAUNCHES THREE NEW CAT® UTILITY COMPACTOR MODELS IN THE 2- TO 3-TONNE CLASS CATERPILLAR expands its 2- to 3-tonne product offering by introducing three new tandem and combination utility compactors that deliver increased productivity, unmatched efficiency, simple operation and easy maintenance. The new line includes weightbased model nomenclature changes with the new Cat®

CB2.5 GC replacing the CB2.5, CB2.7 GC replacing the CB2.7, and new CC2.7 GC replacing the CC2.6. These versatile rollers take on a range of soil and asphalt applications, including parking lots, driveways, urban streets, landscaping and small construction sites. Designed for rental, the efficient Cat GC series compactors deliver low total cost of ownership, simplified maintenance and long-term durability. Powered by a

turbocharged Cat C1.7T engine rated at 18.4-kW, the CB2.5 GC, CB2.7 GC and CC2.7 GC models meet EU Stage V emission standards without an aftertreatment system, simplifying maintenance and lowering service costs. Advanced hydraulics and exclusive power management software help deliver equivalent performance with the smaller engine. Their new auto idle shutdown feature helps to conserve fuel and machine hours.

Simple and productive The reengineered operator controls feature simple rocker switches and an easy-to-read Cat display for intuitive operation, so even inexperienced operators can quickly learn. A switch efficiently controls low/high vibration frequencies, while auto vibration control ceases vibration when the travel lever is in neutral to prevent marking of the asphalt mat. Available dual propel levers help to improve operator comfort. Offering compaction widths from 1,000 mm to 1,300 mm, all new Cat utility compactors feature large 720 mm drum diameters for a smooth mat finish. Thicker, 14 mm drum shells deliver added durability and more compactive effort due to the increased weight.

16 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


Latest news The rollers’ 50 mm drum offset improves compaction efficiency when rolling next to curbs. A narrow frame design allows for improved visibility to the job surface and drum edge. Optional compaction measurement value (CMV) displays measured material stiffness to the operator, improving compaction performance, eliminating unnecessary passes and improving consistency.

Improved service and safety

The new GC series models incorporate a water tank gauge for continuous monitoring from the operator’s station, so the tank does not run dry. Better positioned nozzles on the spray bars improves water coverage on the drum to prevent material pick-up. The inventive new spray test mode on the water system facilitates testing and adjusting nozzle angle to ensure proper drum coverage.

To help service technicians quickly diagnose existing and potential issues, the new utility compactor line now features standard Cat ET (electronic technician) diagnostic software. When connected to the Electronic Control Module (ECM), Cat ET accesses diagnostic information such as status parameters display, active diagnostic codes viewing, logged diagnostic codes view, and diagnostic tests and calibration to help identify machine issues. Standard Product Link™ technology captures critical operating data, fault codes and machine location information to boost fleet management efficiency. Optional Remote Troubleshoot analyzes real-time machine data for diagnostics of fault codes without impacting machine productivity and

potentially saving a service trip to the jobsite. Allowing for machine software updates around the production schedule, optional Remote Flash ensures these utility compactors are operating with the most current version of software. The new Cat compactors now come with standard a 76.2mm high-visibility orange seatbelt to make jobsite safety visible. Slip resistance steps and platform help to improve operating safety. An operator presence sensor in the seat prevents unintended roller operation while not seated. Multiple optional LED lighting packages are available to help bring visibility on the jobsite and comply with roading regulations. Contact your local Cat dealer for more information about the new Cat Utility Compactor line or visit https://www.cat.com.

CAT UTILITY COMPACTORS at a glance Model

CB2.5 GC

CB2.7GC

CC2.7 GC

Engine

cat ® c1.7t

cat ® c1.7t

cat ® c1.7t

Power, hp (kW)

24.6 (18.4)

24.6 (18.4)

24.6 (18.4)

Operating Weight, lb (kg)

5,546 (2,521)

5,936 (2,698)

5,718 (2,599)

Compaction Width, in (mm)

39 (1,000)

47 (1,200)

47 (1,200)

Amplitude, in (MM)

0.020 (0.51)

0.020 (0.52)

0.020 (0.52)

Frequency, vpm (Hz)

3,720/3000 (62/50

3,720/3,000 (62/50)

3,720/3,000 (62/50)

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 17


Latest news

A New Marketing Approach for Volvo CE IN

light of evolving customer behavior which has accelerated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Volvo CE is announcing a new marketing approach aimed at even closer engagement with the company´s customers.

integration of developing digital and traditional marketing channels • Increased investment in digital channels and campaigns to reflect changing customer touchpoints and behaviors As a result, Volvo CE has decided not to attend Bauma Munich 2022.

The shift will involve:

Volvo CE will be refocusing on its own purpose-built audience outreach combining physical, digital and hybrid events. The move will allow for a more flexible, tailormade offer, however and wherever the customer wants to interact with Volvo products and services.

• Together with dealer partners, an increased focus on local market Volvo branded events to build stronger and more sustainable customer relationships • A commercial marketing approach aimed at seamless

Carl Slotte, Head of Region Europe

at Volvo CE, says: “Whilst physical interaction remains very important, we are beginning to see significant changes in the way our customers want to engage with us both digitally and face-to-face. This is driven both by technological possibilities of doing business more efficiently and the increasing need to do business more sustainably.” “Despite our withdrawal from next year´s event, we have not ruled out future participation at Bauma or other tradeshows,” he adds. “We will continue to review the way our customers want to interact with us and base our strategy on their needs and demands.”

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Latest news

Rob Oliver is the chief executive of the construction equipment association

ROB OLIVER, CEO Construction Equipment Association:

Super deduction Could be a ‘Super Bonus’ PLANNED

purchases of construction equipment may have come to a screeching halt round about quarter past one on Budget Statement day. This wasn’t due to a sudden collapse in the market, but a need to pause signing orders until 1st April when the new “super-deduction” policy comes into effect for payers of corporation tax investing in capital equipment. Never before, in my memory, has a change in the tax treatment of capital allowances set

20 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

plant companies’ financial directors’ pulses racing quite like this announcement. The Chancellor’s speech spelt it out with this example; “Under the existing rules a construction firm buying £10 million of new equipment could reduce their taxable income in the year they invest by just £2.6 million. With the super-deduction, they can now reduce it by £13 million. We’ve never tried this before in our country”. The superdeduction provides for 130% of a company’s investment to be treated as an expense to set off against tax. Think about it.

As I write this, it is not yet possible to answer the question “where’s the catch?” There are only eight lines about this and the change in capital allowance treatment for other qualifying assets on the government’s website. The obvious quid pro quo is the intention to raise corporation tax for larger companies to 25% in two years. Clearly a case of buy now, pay later. From the Construction Equipment Association viewpoint, we welcome the potential boost for three reasons. First, it provides our manufacturing members


with an incentive to renew their factory kit to meet what, we hope, will be sustained demand. Second, the relatively slow pace of investment in purchasing the latest generation of construction machines has been, understandably, held back by Covid-created worries. The “super-deduction” can give plant hire companies, contractors and the small operator an opportunity to spring free from those concerns. Third, we shouldn’t forget that there is a solid, creative and innovative construction equipment “sub-culture”. These are the companies that supply the excavator buckets, the planthire management software, telematics and the new ways of making our construction sites safe and secure. Let’s hope the Chancellor’s ground breaking initiative benefits our whole community in our world of construction equipment.

UK Construction equipment sales in February were 5.5% above 2020 levels Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment saw further recovery in February, ending up at 5.5% above 2020 levels. As a result, sales in the first two months of the year were 2.9% above Jan/Feb 2020 levels, as shown in the chart below. This is an encouraging start to the year and is consistent with statistics for the construction market suggesting that growth is continuing. The first significant impact of Covid last year was seen in sales from March onwards, and this will be taken on board in future

comparisons of monthly sales. The pattern of sales for the major equipment types in the first two months of the year shows that the growth in sales was driven by excavators. Both mini/midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes) and other crawler excavators saw growth above 6% in the first two months. Amongst the other lower volume equipment types, compaction rollers showed an encouraging start to the year, with sales at 11% above 2020 levels in the early months of the year. The construction equipment statistics exchange also covers sales on a regional basis in the UK and N Ireland. The map below shows the percentage differences for sales in the main regions in January and February 2021 compared with the same months in 2020. Sales in the North West were the strongest (+43%) at the start of the year, while London (-35%) saw the weakest sales on a year-on-year basis. Sales in the Republic of Ireland are also recorded in the statistics scheme, and they have shown a similar pattern to the UK in the first two months of the year, with sales at 3.5% above 2020 levels. All data is from the UK construction equipment statistics exchange run by Systematics International.

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 21


ODS Environmental ODS Fresh Filters

ODS

are the sole distributors of fresh filter systems for over pressure systems in the UK. Working with the best available technology, BAT, we are able to filter incoming air to the cab and create an over pressure inside to stop the ingress of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), asbestos, and silica dust, thus protecting the cab operator and ensuring compliance with health regulations.

Our systems can be factory fitted or retrofitted to older machinery already in your workforce. We can supply filters for our equipment and for many other systems too. With our new advancements we are able to let an operator remotely monitor the condition of each cab and have a record of what the working conditions inside the cab are. The operator can also keep on top of the due servicing dates and requirements. Air is passed through the filtration box with a selection of filters to suit the applications, P1, P2, P3< specialized activated carbon filter. The filters are the first barrier in the protection of the operator, so keeping them in working order is essential. www.odourdust.com

24 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


ODS Washrack ODS have just brought to the market our new washbay systems with closed loop recycling system, ideal for the washing down of equipment and plant . Designed to allow the pressure washing of equipment and machinery, the washoff materials drop through the grid area and into the sump. From the sump we can pump the material and liquid into our recycling plant where we then remove the solids and oil, before disinfecting the water to be reused through the pressure washer to continue washing down. Through our system we can save our customer and the environment thousands of litres of fresh water. Further, with the option to add a rainwater system to the equipment we can further reduce the use of freshwaster. The equipment is designed to be a modular build to allow us to supply a range of sizes to suit our customers and type of equipment to be washed down. We can supply fit new units, all compliant to UK regulations and offer service plans for customer’s existing equipment. We can also offer a breakdown service. Designed and built in the UK, we control build quality and availability. Find out more about our system at: odswashrack.co.uk

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 25


ODS Dust Control Odour and Dust Control Solutions have been in business for over 14 years, specializing in dust control and odour control. We are able to supply several different high pressure and low pressure spray systems, and dry misting systems to our customers. We can supply and fog cannons, mobile rotary atomizer units for both hire and for sale. Rotary atomisers can be fitted indoors for dust control, allowing the control of droplet size and flow control to suit each customer’s issues, we can also supply a mobile self contained machine. Dust control options include: • Fog cannons • Mobile atomizer • Wheel disinfection systems • Dry misting system • High pressure spray • Low pressure spray • Sprinkler system Using the correct droplet size and the correct machine for the application is one of the most important aspects of dust control, this why we offer different options to our customers at: www.odourdust.com

26 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


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Topical Commentary • Recruiting heavy machinery operators

Recruiting Heavy Machinery operators in a post Covid-19 world Kate Hutchison explores the impact Covid-19 has had on recruiting heavy machinery operators

HEAVY

Machinery is one of the biggest contributors of the construction industry. Nearly every construction project, from roads to skyscrapers and everything in the middle, in created by these innovative machines. Each one relies on the expertise of a heavy machinery operator.

with a majority of the globe starting to be vaccinated this year, equipment demand has begun to show signs of recovery and stabilization. Recent auction data displays a slow uptick in auction sale prices for construction machinery. The construction machinery market is expected to register a growth rate of over 7.5% during the forecast period, 2020-2025. As the industry starts to recover and sites begin to reopen, a demand for heavy machinery has become apparent, particularly due to the construction works that were delayed due to the pandemic. Companies are competing for heavy machinery that can help speed these delayed projects up. With the demand for heavy machinery comes the demand for heavy machinery operators. Heavy machinery equipment operators are one of the five crafts in highest demand. Yet despite

Companies are competing for heavy machinery that can help speed up delayed projects Covid-19 sent a shockwave throughout the globe with a heavy impact on the economy and the construction industry. Major equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. saw a major decline and reported decreases of 10 % to 15 % as well as a 30 to 40 % decline in global net sales for its agricultural and construction/ forestry divisions. However,

28 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

there being a high demand for these machines, there is a shortage of the skilled workers required to operate them. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), the job market outlook for equipment operators is expected to grow by 10 percent. It is predicted that workers who can operate multiple types of equipment have the best opportunities within the machinery operator recruitment sector. Skilled heavy equipment operators are valuable resources, not just because machines like backhoes, loaders and dozers can’t operate themselves, but they also must have a wide range of skills such as technical knowledge, quality control, safety, and collaboration. Recruiting for heavy machinery operators can be problematic and waiting for someone with the specific qualifications to appear can slow down your operations. It can sometimes be hard to predict when the need for new machine operators will arise. The role has high turnovers. Employees can →


Recruiting heavy machinery operators • Topical Commentary

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 29


Topical Commentary • Recruiting heavy machinery operators leave and emergencies can happen, particularly in an industry where safety cannot be guaranteed. Many young people are willing to get into these roles yet require training, while those who already are skilled may require a more competitive salary and so companies may find themselves having to pay more for the operators they need.

an operator who has already had some training, whether through an apprenticeship program or a trade school or industry training program. Operating some pieces of equipment requires a license or certification. In addition to operator training, companies often require operators to have a commercial driver’s license so they can haul the equipment from jobsite to jobsite when required.

technologies are an innovative way to attract and retain Generation Z employees. They offer several advantages over traditional training. First, they don’t tie up a company’s heavy equipment or put it through unnecessary damage when training. Second, they give students a taste of how the machine behaves and what it’s like to operate one without the risks in doing it for real.

New heavy equipment technology, including automated control, guidance systems, and VR simulators are becoming increasingly popular tools used to train new operators. New

Heavy equipment operators continue to fill a well needed and desired role in the construction workforce. As the shortage for Machinery Operators continue but the demand increases, the industry must continually look at new innovative ways to how they recruit more people into machinery operator roles.

New Technologies are an innovative way to attract Gen Z Employees Operators can learn via on-thejob training, but more often, companies today prefer to hire

30 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


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Independent tests show them to be 52% more durable than standard quality rubber pads. As well as stocking the standard bolt-on and direct-tochain or road-liner pads, we have developed a range of quick-fit clip-on pads which can be fitted in half the time of conventional pads, minimising labour costs and maximising machine uptime.

To find out more call us now on 0330 555 2000 or visit our website at astrakgroup.co.uk


Topical Commentary • Your Industry Calendar

Your industry calendar: upcoming events not to be missed Plant Planet round up the online and in-person events set to go ahead over the next year Digital Construction Online 2021 17-21 May 2021 This free event features over 100 speakers from across Europe. They will feature CPD accredited presentations, panel discussions and case studies from: contractors, architects, engineers, developers, specifiers and construction professionals. Featuring live Q&A’s, meet-

Plant Planet: The Digital Future 11 May 2021 Join Plant Planet for The Digital Future conference on the 11th May 2021, as the top speakers in the industry gather online to discuss how technology will impact the future of construction. Digital Technology provides a pivotal role in the Construction Plant sector that is only due to grow over the next few years. This two-hour virtual conference will be chaired by businessman, journalist and

32 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

up sessions, and a Women in Construction Morning, which is a networking session to empower women in the workforce, they will cater to a wide audience of BIM and digital construction professionals looking to develop their skills and make new contacts. Register for your tickets at https://www. festivalofdigitalconstruction. com/uk-europe.

speaker Declan Curry, who is famed for his role as business presenter for BBC News. Also speaking will be Bill Hill, CEO of Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity; Bill has been instrumental in raising the profile of the charity and launching the Construction Industry Helpline. Rob Oliver, the Chief Executive Officer of The Construction Equipment Association (CEA), the UK trade association for manufacturers and importers of construction equipment for over two decades, will also be joining as a speaker. The Digital Future features a host of speakers that you will

not want to miss, with more to be announced in the future. Register for a free ticket at https://www.plant-planet. co.uk/conference/. The first 50 people to sign up will receive a free VIP Conference Pass, featuring a welcome event box. Read more about this event on page 75


Topical Commentary • Company Profile Hillhead Digital 30-31 March 2021 Hillhead is the UK’s largest quarrying, construction and recycling exhibition. This year, their event focuses on recovery. They have launched the digital event in order to complement the live show,

and to pave the way towards a new start after the setbacks that Covid-19 brought to the respective industries. According to their website, the digital event will present “a multi-stream conference, virtual exhibition and extensive networking opportunities, all from the comfort of your own

UK Construction Week Online 6-7 May 2021 & UK Construction Week (NEC) 5-7 October 2021 Whilst the in-person London show has been postponed, construction professionals will be able to attend the virtual version of UKCW. On their website, UKCW describe their event as “the largest event dedicated to knowledge sharing, best practice, problem solving and product sourcing”, as UKCW creates “the environment

Subcon 14-16 September 2021 Subcon pride themselves on being one of the biggest subcontract manufacturing supply chain shows in the UK. Having been postponed earlier this year, it will return this autumn as an in-person fair in Birmingham. With over 350 exhibitors, the event will be a great place to build new

relationships with people in the manufacturing, fabrication, repair and maintenance industries, as well as connecting with world-class suppliers. Industry leaders will come together to share their insights and discuss the UK’s engineering and manufacturing projects. Attendance is free, and you can register your interest at https:// www.subconshow.co.uk/.

home or office.” They emphasise that the conference will engage in discussions on facing the challenges in the industry together. Free tickets and more information can be found at https://www.hillhead.com/ digital.

for the whole industry to discover, develop, discuss and do business; providing all the answers for how we build for our future.” As one of the UK’s largest construction events, it will be a great way to connect with the rest of the industry, as you will be able to connect with 200+ construction professionals. The event will feature various summits aiming to tackle the biggest issues in construction. UKCW are planning an inperson event in Birmingham from 5-7 October, with an in-person UKCW London show set to return in May 2022. See more at https://www. ukconstructionweek.com/.

See More Upcoming Events >> Plant Planet • April 2021 • 33


Topical commentary • Your Industry Calendar Executive Hire Show 9 & 10 February 2022 LAMMA 11-12 January 2022

means that 2022’s show diary will start with LAMMA at the NEC, Birmingham.

LAMMA, the UK’s leading Agricultural Machinery, Equipment and Technology Show was rescheduled for May 2021. Following the latest government guidance regarding public gatherings, the organisers have made the decision to cancel this year's event. The show will instead return to ‘its previously successful and proven slot at the start of the year’. This

LAMMA will take place over two days, with an exhibition spanning 11 halls of the NEC.

Hillhead 14th-16th June 2022

Hillhead event director Richard Bradbury explained: ‘Under these guidelines, it is clear that the show will not be able to operate legally in June this year.

It has been almost three years since Hillhead last took place. The 2021 return of the show was a much anticipated event in the UK construction plant industry. However, visitors will have to wait another year before returning to the UK’s largest quarrying, construction and recycling exhibition in person. The show is held in a limestone quarry in Derbyshire, allowing for both static displays and impressive live demonstrations. Visitors hoping to attend in 2022 are promised the return of these all important live demonstrations with The Quarry Face, Crusher Alley and Recycling and Registration Areas all set to host a range of plant and equipment. Of the show’s postponement,

34 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

The show is billed to attract over 40,000 visitors, from large agricultural firms to smaller engineering and machinery companies from across the UK. See more at: https://www. lammashow.com/

‘Our priority is to provide the Hillhead experience that our exhibitors and visitors have come to expect but, with the continuing uncertainty around travel restrictions and social distancing measures, this is not achievable in 2021. ‘By delaying the show until June 2022, the full benefits of a completed vaccination programme will have filtered through, allowing us to deliver a safe and vibrant event.

The Executive Hire Show has been a staple in the construction plant and equipment hire diaries since its inception in 2007. Last year, the show was the last that most people were able to attend before the country went into a nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has meant that this is another show that we won’t be visiting until 2022. Chris Moore, Executive Hire Show publishing and events director said of the decision: “It is with heavy hearts that we decided to move the event to 2022. Having surveyed our loyal exhibitors, this decision received the majority vote. We investigated all possibilities to stage the Show in 2021, but the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and ongoing uncertainties have made our decision unavoidable. We are 100% committed to supporting our exhibitors, visitors, and other personnel associated with hosting the event – their health, safety, and wellbeing must be our number one priority.”

‘The team look forward to welcoming you back to Hillhead Quarry, Buxton, from 21–23 June 2022.’

After the success of the 14th annual show in 2020, which attracted over 1,800 relevant hire industry visitors, many will be excited to see the return of the Executive Hire Show.

More information about Hillhead 2022 can be found at: https://www.hillhead.com/

See more about this staple event at: https://www. executivehireshow.co.uk/


Topical Commentary • The Move Towards Electrification

The move towards electrification Akvile Peckyte explores the growth of zero emission machinery in construction With the 2030 ban of petrol and diesel for cars and commercial vehicles on the horizon, the plant sector is also thinking about its future. It is more important than ever to use sustainable fuels in powering plant machinery, as our planet is under threat of continually rising temperatures from greenhouse gas emissions.

costs and cleaner, quieter building sites resulting in better protection of workers’ health in the long-term. Focusing on compact lithium-ion powered equipment, we will take a look at some of the most exciting electric machinery from industry leaders, and how it is being used to create buildings sites of the future.

The equipment: JCB In November 2020, JCB announced that they will be offering a fully glazed cab for the 19C-1E electric mini excavator. This is great news for those working in colder and rainier

JCB’s 18c-1E battery capacity allows for a full days work. Going electric certainly has its benefits for the plant industry, with a reduction in life-cycle

36 •April 2021 • Plant Planet

climates, as the 19C-1E will also be fitted with an electric heater to provide comfort to the operator and demist the windows. Charging in as little as 2.5 hours, the 19C-1E battery capacity allows for a full day’s work. The model has multiple charging options, including 110V, 230V and 415V fast charge, as JCB has also launched a new rapid charger, universally compatible with every E-Tech model that features an electric system from 48V to 96V. The 19C-1E is versatile, and able to operate a full range of attachments with double acting auxiliaries. JCB’s 2GO system ensures utmost levels of safety before operating. The deft mini excavator features a retractable


The Move towards Electrification • Topical Commentary undercarriage and is trailer towable, which allows for easier transportation. The machine is protected against site damage with a full-width rear cast counterweight and a lack of trailing cables. With the option of a cab expanding the regions where the 19C-1E can be used, we imagine this impressive mini excavator will continue to gain momentum.

Wacker Neuson and a case study of a zero-emissions site The WL20e is Wacker Neuson’s first purely electric wheel loader model. Its two electric engines, with one for the drive system and one for hydraulics, allow

the WL20e to function just as well as the conventional counterpart. The WL20e boasts up to 40% savings in operating costs, as well as needing maintenance less frequently. The versatile machine can use interchangeable attachments, and its ingenuity makes it a staple in a construction site. The WL20e has won and been shortlisted for multiple industry awards, including being “Highly Commended” in the Environmental Innovation category of the Plantworx Innovation Awards 2017.

Battery-powered excavator EZ17e The 1.7 tonne mini excavator has no rear overhang and is

small only in its dimensions; the EZ17e has the same performance level as its diesel version. With up to 7 hours of operating time in ECO mode and up to 5 hours in Power mode, the powerful lithium-ion battery ensures the machine runs for a typical workday. Conveniently, it can also be used while connected to a power source on 110V, 230V and 415V. The excavator includes two auxiliary circuits, with up to four available. The split canopy allows for an unrestricted line-of-sight and is easily dismantled. The nimble machine also features telescopic undercarriage and an integrated FOPS guard, ensuring higher standards of safety of the operator. →

The ez17e is a star in Wacker neuson’s electric range

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 37


Topical Commentary • The Move Towards Electrification The EZ17e is a star in Wacker Neuson’s electric range, having received SaMoTer’s Innovation Award in the “Hydraulic MiniExcavators” category. Construction sites without exhaust emissions and with extremely low sound levels? It’s

exemplified this by setting up a zero emission and noise free construction site in Vienna. The success of Wacker Neuson’s range of battery-powered machines shows an example of how inner-city builds will look like in the future. With up to 90 percent lower CO2 emissions – battery production and energy recovery are included here – electric machines don’t just make working on the construction site more pleasant, but also

the future of inner-city builds could lie within a fully electrified site. not just a dream for the future; it’s already a reality, say Wacker Neuson. The company have

38 •April 2021 • Plant Planet

contribute to achieving climate goals. The future of inner-city builds could lie within a fully electrified, CO2 and noise pollution free site, leaving both residents and workers healthier. The key benefit of going electric is just how much flexibility it brings. The low-noise, electric plants are ideal for inner-city, indoor, and out-of-hours work, and their impressive battery capacity ensures they perform just as well as their diesel counterparts. We are looking forward to what further innovative technology the future will bring.


Interview • Jim Longstaff

Jim’s Journey to ‘Hire’ Education

JIM

Longstaff is a fascinating and unassuming character, who has worked in the construction equipment industry for most of his life. He is the first to admit that he has come a long way. Today, Jim is Chairman and owner of Clements Plant and Access Hire, one of the Midlands’ largest privately owned hire businesses operating out of one depot in Coventry. Clements Plant and Access Hire has been trading since 1965, with a change of ownership over the years that has seen it switch from a private company, to being part of the Deeley Group, back to an independent, when Jim and the late John Jennings acquired the business in 2007. The business has always had

40 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

a reputation for evolving with the times, and Jim, together with “his incredible team” as he describes them, has been knowledgeably steering it to the next level. Clements today offers an extensive range of tool, plant and access equipment for hire alongside a wide choice of supporting services including repairs, sales of consumables and tools, transport, training and plant insurance. Modest about his achievements, Jim Longstaff is a shining example of how it is possible to take control of your own destiny. He jokes about his education, saying he was never “an academic,” confiding he has “one O-Level in Woodwork”. But as we talk further, it is clear to see that his self-deprecating manner is just a smokescreen. Jim has learnt a lot during his working life, and is without doubt, an astute businessman that knows his industry inside out. He remembers being told, “never let your education get in the way of your learning.” These words have evidently resonated with him. Jim started out in construction equipment working for Benford in 1985 and has many fond memories about the company. →

Jim Longstaff, Chairman of Clements Plant and Access Hire, talks to Rachel Lambert about his life in plant and equipment, and the day “he saw the light.”


Jim Longstaff • Interview

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 41


Interview • Jim Longstaff

In fact, Jim attributes Benford as being “the biggest influencer in his working career”. Starting as a Spares Clerk, Jim stayed there for 7 years with some role changes when Benford became part of BM Group. He then went on to work for a variety of companies, primarily in sales roles for access equipment businesses. Jim is quick to say, that he never felt he had any proper sales training, and admits he ultimately “lost his bottle for selling”.

hit him that he needed to go and make his own mark in the industry. “I was making a regular trip on the A1 feeling a bit demoralised, when it suddenly struck me that I needed to do something different. If I wasn’t walking this earth, it occurred to me that people might say, ‘not a bad bloke, but he achieved nothing’! It was like a beam of light that jolted me into change.” The next day, Jim found himself at Clements Plant Hire talking to its managing director, John Jennings who was both a good customer, and a friend. Clements at the time was owned by the Deeley Group, and Jim suggested to John that the pair

Jim started out in construction equipment working for benford And it was back in 2006, while Jim was working as a salesman for Skyking that he had, what can only be described as some sort of epiphany. The realisation

42 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

made Peter Deeley an offer to buy the company. Jim could see potential to further development the business. Peter accepted, much to the initial shock and dismay of Jim, “wondering what on earth he had let himself in for.” “I had a wife, young family and a large mortgage, so there was an awful lot at stake on a personal level to secure the funding. But, with the blessing and support of my wife, Vanessa, we took the risk and the rest as they say, is history. It was the best business move I have ever made.” Fortunately for Jim, his boss at the time (Mark Carrington at Skyking) was very understanding and supported him, giving him help and advice along the way for which Jim, to this day, remains grateful. Jim and John bought Clements


Jim Longstaff • Interview in 2007 and turned it back into an independent hire business. John, who was 21 years senior to Jim and a founder member of the Hire Association of Europe, retired in 2015 and Adrian Hutchinson, who had worked with Jim at King Trailers, joined as Managing Director that same year. Jim knew they clicked and worked well together. He is full of admiration for Adrian’s “phenomenal work ethic.” Adrian has since become a shareholder in the business that today employs 19 people. Sadly, John passed away in 2016 at the age of 71, a person that Jim describes as “a real character, who was ahead of his time, and someone we all miss.” While Clements continues to go from strength to strength, with a programme of investment in new equipment, Jim does not have any real desire to expand the operation to more than one depot. “There was a time when I wanted to take the business to a different level, but in all honesty, I am happy concentrating all our team efforts into the one depot. That is why I think we stand out. It is a formula that works for us, and for our customers. I haven’t the ego to take over the world, because I have seen the grief it can cause!” That is not to say that Jim isn’t ambitious or any less motivated. He says he focuses obsessively on the business having cash in the bank. “Too many businesses run down to the wire. They invoice discount, but we are not interested in going down

that route. We have excellent profitability, which I am proud of. Of course, we still want to increase this, and the turnover of the business,” continuing to say that despite the uncertainties of 2020, that “it wasn’t a bad year at all for us”.

battery powered plant, such as excavators and dumpers, Jim is quite sure that hydrogen could be key for large machines.

Brand loyalty plays a big part in the Clements Business ethos

While the hires were much shorter in 2020, the high demand for small equipment hire (especially during the first lockdown) was fuelled by a lot of people undertaking DIY projects, paying healthy hire prices upfront. Clements, like many plant and tool hire companies, was extremely busy. Throughout lockdown, construction of HS2 has continued with work less than two miles away from the Clements depot. Unfortunately, despite government promises to support local businesses, Jim says this is “nothing further from the truth.” He is disappointed that there have been no opportunities for them, despite their greatest efforts, with most contractors (and their hire equipment) being far from ‘local’. He believes there are too “many barriers to entry” for smaller suppliers. Successful as Clements is, Jim is quick to point out that they are not complacent and still have an appetite to constantly adapt and evolve. One such change is the shift towards investment in emerging technologies, especially from a power perspective. While being hesitant about some

Brand loyalty plays a big part in the Clements business ethos. “We invest in market leading equipment, so our hire fleet comprises 100% Kubota excavators, 100% Bomag Rollers and 98% Thwaites dumpers. In fact, we have just bought our first Thwaites 9-Tonne Cab dumper. BTE is one of our biggest suppliers of equipment and we have an excellent relationship with them.” Jim expands, “We continue to invest in access equipment too, and most recently have been buying Dingli which is turning out to be a superb product, with excellent back-up and support.” A recent order includes a 24 metre Dingli Lithium Boom which Jim describes, “as quite a departure for us, and one we’re excited about.” However, Clements has bought other brands of access equipment in the past, leading Jim on to talk further about the access side of the business. “While we continue to invest in access equipment, I believe the over-supply in the market is horrific. This is leading to a culture of ‘buying business’ which will inevitably result in casualties. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a big →

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 43


Interview • Jim Longstaff name fall this year. Access manufacturers are in, my opinion, their own worst enemies and are weak when it comes to reciprocating brand loyalty, which I find frustrating.” We move on to talk about training. Operator training is an area that has been earmarked for significant investment following Clements’ acquisition of a small training business. Clements is already an established IPAF training centre. However, it is also in the process of broadening its offering to include operator training for telehandlers, forklifts and CPC driver training. “Training is going to be a substantial area of growth for us over the next couple of years, and we are ploughing a lot into it.”

This subject swiftly leads us on to IPAF and other industry associations. Jim has quite strong views. “I am really starting to question membership with some of the industry organisations that seem to be constantly pandering to the large nationwide businesses, to the detriment of the smaller independents. Membership isn’t free and every pound spent needs to be justified. Industry bodies and organisations should not be elitist.” “For instance, we have long been members of IPAF. Adrian is now on the IPAF Council, and while he says they do a lot of work behind the scenes, I really don’t think they communicate it well to their members. Much of the income they receive is derived from the UK market,

but I do not believe it is proportionately reinvested back into the UK. I feel there is a disconnect with the membership.” While Jim is not afraid to speak his mind on subjects he feels passionate about, he is also a lot of fun to talk to, and naturally friendly. Many would say, ‘a good bloke who has achieved a lot’! As we conclude our chat on Zoom, it appears he is not Top Dog in the business! That accolade goes to Piper Longstaff, Jim and his family’s Cocker Spaniel who very much rules the Clements roost, coming “to work” on a daily basis.

Training is going to be a substantial area of growth

Piper Longstaff rules the roost

44 • April FEBRUARY 20212021 • Plant • Plant Planet Planet


Plant Planet • FEBRUARY 2021 • 45


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CESAR ECV • Cover Story

CESAR ECV: emissions compliance made simple For

over 13 years the CESAR scheme has been protecting construction plant equipment from theft and is the UK’s official Construction Equipment Security and Registration Scheme. Over 400,000 pieces of equipment have been marked with the unique multi-layered technology to give each machine a unique identity. The universally recognised triangular CESAR registration plate has become the industry standard identification mark and

is fully supported by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) and Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA). At Plantworx 2019, the CEA announced the launch of its biggest evolution of the CESAR scheme to date; the addition of Emissions Compliance Verification (ECV). ECV takes the machines engine emission standard from the engines EU Type Approval number and displays it on a simple to read colour coded plate. ECV provides a quick and easy reference point where machines are working on sites where they are required to

comply with Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) emission regulations. The CESAR ECV system combines the technology behind the security marking scheme with an additional colour coded plate showing the engine emission stage from stage 2 through to stage 5. All the information about the machine is then collated on a comprehensive, secure database accessible through a new ECV clearing portal. This information enables plant owners and operators, contractors and site managers to comply with any local policy or contractual obligation in place regarding machinery emissions levels. →

“CESAR ECV has really taken off from small beginnings as shown by our partnerships with HS2 and Balfour Beatty. I see CESAR as the go to resource for checking machine provenance and compliance for a range of applications in the future” - Rob Oliver, Chief Executive CEA Plant Planet • April 2021 • 47


Cover Story • CESAR ECV

Partnership with Balfour Beatty and HS2 With the movement towards measuring and understanding emission levels across the construction industry Datatag, who provide the technology behind the CESAR scheme, have worked closely with some of the biggest projects and construction companies, including HS2 and Balfour Beatty, in the development of ECV. Balfour Beatty have been a key partner to help develop the ECV product and associated clearing portal, in line with their Sustainability Strategy, Building

New Futures. Bekir Andrews, Group Head of Sustainability and Reporting at Balfour Beatty, noted: “Improving air quality is something that we are passionate about at Balfour Beatty. The CESAR Emissions Compliance Verification Portal is a welcomed development, one that will improve air quality on construction sites by simplifying compliance and providing improved transparency. The close collaboration between the Construction Equipment Association, Datatag, HS2 and Balfour Beatty, has allowed us to design an effective tool which will service the needs of many different stakeholders for years to come.”

“The CESAR ECV scheme is one of many innovations we are supporting, and it’s now our job to embed it in the industry by encouraging our suppliers to use the new scheme as a tool for compliance assurance across all our sites.” - Andrea Davidson, HS2 Phase One Quality Lead 48 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

HS2 roll out Following their announcement in June 2020 that HS2 had agreed to adopt the CESAR ECV scheme across their sites as part of their air quality strategy, CESAR ECV systems have been fitted to an

increasing number of both new and existing equipment across the industry. A range of main contractors for HS2 have increased their involvement with the scheme including Mace Dragados JV who have been specifying that all subcontractors fit the system on all machines. Andrew Kinsey – MDJV Euston Station Environment Lead says “Mace Dragados JV welcomes the introduction of CESAR Emissions Compliance Verification as a simple and effective way to quickly, easily, and safely verify that plant and equipment on site is compliant with strict emissions standards. As part of our commitment to continual improvement and best practice, we’re mandating its use with our supply chain on the HS2 Euston Station project. This requirement supports adoption of the scheme and creates a legacy that other projects can benefit from, as the machines are used elsewhere in future”


Cesar ecv • Cover Story Industry unitedly recognises value of scheme As the UK emerges from the pandemic the environment will increasingly dominate decisions around infrastructure and construction. They will result in Local Government clean air strategies being extended beyond road vehicles to include NRMM. Historically, with the exception of projects like HS2 and sites within the Greater London Authority area, emission from construction machinery was nothing more than a paragraph within the overall strategy. That is all set to change as local authorities across the UK embrace the ‘Build Back Better’ philosophy and this is where ECV can become a simple but powerful tool to enable plant suppliers and manufacturers to play their part and ensure that only the cleanest machines work

“JCB is leading the way in clean technology and reducing harmful emissions. We were delighted to be the first to embrace the ECV marking by fitting it as standard on all Stage V and electric products since 2019” - Charles Stevenson General Manager JCB on the most environmentally sensitive sites. Manufacturers across the construction industry recognise the value of the ECV scheme and the majority of the leading OEMs and machine dealers across the UK have signed up to install CESAR ECV across a range of their machines. Since the launch JCB, Hitachi, Cat® Finning and SMT Volvo all fit the scheme to new machinery as standard. JCB and Hitachi were among the first manufacturers

to fit the CESAR ECV scheme as standard in early 2020. David Roberts, CEO of Hitachi Construction Machinery (UK) said, “Helping our customers protect and optimise their Hitachi machines is an increasingly important element of our value proposition. CESAR is not only a proven theft deterrent; the addition of the Emissions Compliance Verification gives our machines a visible and traceable identity in regard to which emission stage they comply with” →

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 49


Cover story • cesar ecv

Sunbelt Rentals become the first Plant Hire company to upgrade existing fleet Thanks to the success of the CESAR security scheme there is a large quantity of machinery that already have CESAR fitted that will require upgrading to the new ECV system. All systems must be fitted by an authorised CESAR dealer to ensure the correct systems are fitted to each machine. Sunbelt Rentals UK are the first plant hire company in the UK to adopt an ECV upgrade programme across their fleet. Sunbelt have placed 2021/2022 orders for stage V equipment spanning excavators, dumpers, telehandlers, compressors and rollers to the value of £55m. Tom Welland, Sunbelt Rentals Business Development Director HS2, said “As part of the HS2 supply chain Sunbelt Rentals

50 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

recognise the need to report, easily, our Plant NRMM data to help achieve these targets. There is no universal recognition scheme for NRMMs, so currently it is a manual process to identify and ensure the correct policy is enforced. With a clear need for a simple system which could cut down in confusion, wrong deliveries, wasted time and money, as well as the risk of non-compliant plant being used, the ECV scheme created by Datatag ID in partnership with the CEA, seemed the logical scheme to get behind and support.” Sunbelt also recognise the need for the scheme outside of HS2. Tom added “This retrofit of our existing fleet will not only benefit our HS2 customers but it will allow us to ensure we have the most compliant fleet of plant when working in all major cities within the UK and forms part of our wider sustainability strategy”

Add ECV to your machines now Visit: www.cesarscheme.org/ ecv.php Or email: enquiries@cesarscheme.org


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Company Profile • FAST Exocet

MINIMISING DOWNTIME WITH FUEL ADDITIVES FUEL

additives are an integral part of the retail diesel we buy for road use. These chemical components help to keep fuel flowing, combustion optimised, and economy maximised. Such is the precision of modern engines that the road diesel standard (EN590) has been revised to include a measure of cleanliness – the particle count – and the engine manufacturers’ own global fuel standard - the World Wide Fuel Charter – now contains an injector cleanliness/fuel flow requirement, with the expectation that a fuel deposit control additive will be used.

The Problem and Prevention The root causes of mass fuel filter blocking issues in 2019 were never properly established. FAST point to elements of the much-increased volume of biodiesel component (FAME) dropping out. This was evident not only via blocked filters but also by the “scum” seen floating on the fuel surface within storage tanks.

Red diesel has its own fuel standard (BS2869:A2). It is highly unlikely to contain any of the fuel additives contained within white (road) diesel, but is being used in engines that are no less sophisticated and whose fuel delivery systems (injectors and pumps) are no less precise.

Although likely to occur more readily at lower temperatures, the dropout can also occur at ambient summer temperatures. Additionally, dropout and particulate accumulation and agglomeration worsens over time. Worryingly, the problems are not always visible. Even the poorest performing fuels in terms of filter blocking issues can look clear and bright.

There are two other aspects of red diesel that are worth highlighting:

With this knowledge, we look towards prevention. Plant operators who had been using FAST’s regular use diesel and gas oil additives for several months prior to 2019 problems did not experience any of the issues. Exocet® Gas Oil Supreme, Exocet® Gas Oil Conditioner and Exocet® Diesel Supreme all contain sufficient

i) The biodiesel (FAME) component is now maximised and on a par with road diesel, meaning the fuel will be: • More susceptible to water pick-up • Have a much-reduced shelf life

52 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

• Have a higher risk of instability – component separation and solid drop out ii) The emissions requirements that the engine manufacturers need to meet is the same for off-road equipment as it is for on-road vehicles. To conform, red diesel should: • Have a cetane number equivalent to or greater than white diesel • Contain deposit control additives


Minimising Downtime with Fuel Additives • Company Profile quantities of the dispersant and detergent chemistries to hold the biodiesel in solution, or to keep it dispersed so as not to result in filter blocking and fuel starvation issues.

Particle Counting Tests (IP 565) A test measured particle count during storage at room temperature over a period of time. One sample was stored in a clean vessel in the dark as received, and one was treated with Exocet Sludgebuster and stored under the same conditions.

The World Wide Fuels Charter

FAST Exocet® Fuel Additive Field Trials FAST supplied dispersantcontaining fuel additives for customers to carry out field trials. The field trials were immediately very successful and exocet Sludgebuster (XO1067S) became the first additive recommended to treat the problem. Those customers who had been routinely using Exocet Gas Oil Supreme prior to the FAME content increase in 2019 did not experience any fuel filter blocking issues. Exocet Gas Oil Supreme, Exocet Gas Oil Conditioner and Exocet Diesel Supreme became the additives recommended to prevent the problem by routine addition to the bulk fuel. →

Gas Oil 20743B with no additive

No. Particles / ml

12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 2000 0

No. Particles / ml

The three FAST additives listed above comply with World Wide Fuel Charter’s requirements, which are now reinforced by technical bulletins from the major OEMs. Not only are the soft particles managed, but the consequences of the FAME content are too. The required fuel additives are now recommended, if not expected. FAME has NOT gone away and sporadic repeats of fuel filter blocking issues continue to occur nationwide. Please don’t get caught out. Act to protect your fuel NOW.

8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0

0

3

Days

7

31

~75

Gas Oil 20743B with 1000ppm XO1067S

0

3

Days

7

31

~75

The first graph shows that the total number of particles increased during storage at room temperature. The second graph shows that with the addition of exocet Sludgebuster the total number of particles > 4µm decreased over the same period under the same conditions. This simple test indicates that the dispersant effect of the additive has broken up the particles and prevented agglomeration during storage. In conclusion, stored fuel containing relatively high levels of FAME continues to precipitate ‘particles’ over a short time frame, leading to precipitate build-up in plant fuel tanks and bulk fuel tanks, potentially causing fuel line and filter blockage. This can be alleviated by the addition of a dispersant-containing additive.

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 53


Company Profile • FAST Exocet Exocet® Fuel Additives FAST’s exocet fuel additives containing dispersants and deposit control additives, which prevent or inhibit the agglomeration of biodiesel components, are:

Exocet Sludgebuster, XO1067S • • •

A concentrated product for an existing problem For the rapid breakdown of already-formed ‘clumps’ Use only once before moving onto regular use products as below

Exocet Diesel Supreme, XO1964D •

Regular use additive formulated for on-road diesel To be used in off-road fuel and on-road fuel when a high level of protection against FAME precipitates is required Will prevent agglomeration of particles and subsequent filter blocking up to 4% economy benefit

Exocet Gas Oil Supreme, XO1249GO •

• •

Regular use additive formulated for off-road diesel Will prevent agglomeration of particles Provides protection against FAME precipitates AND allows fuel to meet the cetane number requirements of the latest engines and the (injector cleanliness) fuel flow parameters of the WWFC 2019

Exocet Gas Oil Conditioner, XO1258GO •

Used when fuel is stored for

54 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

more than 6 weeks • Regular use additive formulated for off-road diesel • Identical benefits to Gas Oil Supreme These exocet additives will treat and prevent filter blocking problems caused by precipitated biodiesel (FAME) particulates.

The Economics – Replacement Filters vs. Fuel Additives

3. The creation of fuel-water emulsions and sludge 4. The promotion of corrosive conditions Note. Fuel biocides are regulated products and should only be applied by professional users.

The Stages of Biodiesel Dropout

Exocet fuel additives, at the recommended dose rates, add around one penny to the price of a litre of fuel. In this context, consider the following: •

The price of new fuel filters for your plant and machinery

The price of new filters for your bulk fuel storage tanks

The labour charge to change these filters

The number of times fuel filters were changed during the peak of the crisis

A Typical fuel filter showing the early stages of biodiesel dropout

A Note on Microbiological Growth General tank sludge, biodiesel dropout and microbiogical growth (“the diesel bug”) can often be confused but hopefully the table opposite goes some way to explaining the difference. The diesel bug is associated with the presence of water and the growths can lie dormant for many years. It is critical to treat the fuel with a recognised fuelsoluble biocide quickly to avoid:

Brown grease of advanced biodiesel dropout

1. Rapid degradation of the fuel 2. Tank to tank transfer

Black sludge in bulk tank filter – poor housekeeping and biodiesel dropout


Minimising Downtime with Fuel Additives • Company Profile Cause Microbiological growth (diesel bug)

Observations • • • • • • •

Black, grey or brown slime Rapid proliferation Sour or sulphurous odour Indication of water in the fuel tank and starts at a fuel-water interface Fuel starvation Can be passed easily from tank to tank More common in warmer, humid

Remedies and Prevention • • •

The application of exocet® Anti Bug Kill The removal of excess water from the fuel tank The continuous use of exocet® Anti Bug Protect or exocet® Gas Oil Conditioner on non-infected fuel tanks

conditions • •

Biodiesel precipitates

• •

• • •

Hydrocarbon wax

• •

White deposits floating on the fuel surface Fuel starvation Sticky or greasy brown residue seen on fuel filters

Fuel starvation Associated with periods of excessive low temperature Can occur frequently at the transition time between summer to winter grade fuel and vice versa Larger hydrocarbons in the fuel blend solidify and precipitate Solids can be almost pure white, have a yellow tinge, or, in red diesel, a pink tinge

• •

• • •

• •

Sediment (‘dirt’)

Long-standing accumulation of solid material within the fuel tank Contamination from the local working environment and/or poor housekeeping

exocet® Gas Oil Supreme or exocet® Diesel Supreme are recommended for high turnover fuel tanks with every fill For tanks where fuel is kept for >6 weeks exocet® Gas Oil Conditioner is recommended immediate problems to be treated with exocet® Sludgebuster to disperse the solids

Use fuel appropriate for the time of year or elect to use winter grade all year round Use exocet® Anti Wax as a top treat to purchased fuel in order to lower the CFPP temperature exocet® Anti Wax must be used as a preventative – it will not cure already waxed fuel

Professional tank cleaning and fuel polishing is highly recommended exocet® Sludgebuster will lift and disperse small amounts of sediment but the bulk fuel tank must have a filter on its outlet and you must expect to change this until the tank is clear for diesel and gas oil tanks, the regular use of exocet® Gas Oil Supreme, exocet® Diesel Supreme or exocet® Gas Oil Conditioner will prevent excessive build on a clean tank.

PlantPlant Planet Planet • FEBRUARY • April 2021 • 55


managing fuel quality

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Graham Nixon • Interview

Graham Nixon: Born to Hire Graham Nixon talks about strategy, remodelling, and his calling to the hire industry with Rachel Lambert.

NIXON

Hire may be a long-standing name in the hire industry, but it is also one of the most progressive. Managing Director, Graham Nixon was ‘born to hire’. He talks about strategy and remodelling the business to Rachel Lambert.

Graham Nixon, Nixon Hire

Graham Nixon has literally grown up in the hire business. The company that is Nixon Hire today was started by his father John Nixon back in 1967, trading as John Nixon Ltd. John, at “89 years young” still holds the reins as Chairman, albeit he is less involved on a day-to-day basis. The fact that

John has an unwavering interest in the business, continues to attend board meetings, and still relishes getting involved in the “occasional deal here and there”, is only to be admired. However, today, it is Graham who as Managing Director steers the ever-evolving Nixon Hire business into the future. Over recent years, Graham and his management team have already made huge strides in transforming what was originally a regional business (a name predominantly operating in the north-east of England) into a national hire service, supported by a network of depots across the UK. →

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 57


interview • Graham Nixon Nixon Hire today comprises 13 depots across the UK. Nixon Hire’s flagship facility is its impressive, “ultra-modern” Central Support Office located in Newcastle upon Tyne. Its core hire offering broadly includes plant hire, site accommodation, welfare units/welfare vans, and portable toilet hire. The company also has a successful equipment sales division. The Nixon Hire group is still privately owned by the Nixon family and employs around 500 people across its sites. As we start talking, it is immediately evident that Graham is very focused about the future direction of Nixon

58 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

Hire. Just as his father John was entrepreneurial and “a real perfectionist”, Graham is not one to sit back and take the easy route. He, too, has ambitions to further expand and future-proof the Nixon Hire business, and take it into its next chapter.

balancing that statement with, “but I appreciate that many people don’t like the idea of change.” One significant change for the Nixon business has been to centralise its hire, logistics and service function all under the Nixon Direct banner.

“Being progressive and forwardthinking is really important to us,” says Graham. “We like to be innovative in the industry, and our vision is to create a very modernistic, dynamic business, but one that retains and respects the traditional values of family service.”

“Centralising our hire service has been a big change for us, and our customers. We were very conscious that it might not sit well with some of our customers, who had been used to dealing with their local depot managers. Understandably, they have established relationships and we have been working hard to help the more cautious customers adapt, and it is proving successful. We are now getting some excellent feedback.

With progression, often comes change. Graham openly admits to “loving change” while


Graham Nixon • Interview It is clear this is an initiative that Graham feels passionate about, and he stresses: “We want to encourage our customers to join us on our journey of progression and experience the benefits that are brought about by us being more efficient. Customer service is integral to everything we do, and always will be. We may have a centralised service, but we still have local representation and an external sales team. While modernising, we are still very much ‘a people company’ with family ethics.” Before Covid, it was the uncertainty of Brexit and other market conditions that was influencing business decisions. The prospect of Brexit ironically prepared Nixon Hire well for the events that followed. It forced

the executive management team to take a close look at performance and profitability across its depots, with return on investment placed firmly under the microscope. They scrutinised utilisation of all products across their locations, and identified what was delivering the most healthy ROI and where.

Plant was also removed from Nixon Hire’s Warrington depot with Graham explaining that it is the most competitive area in the UK for plant hire. “The market was saturated with plant companies and hire

The prospect of brexit prepared nixon hire well for the events that followed

While utilisation for site accommodation, welfare and toilets was high across all locations, plant hire was struggling in certain areas, such as Scotland where Graham says, “there is a distinct lack of infrastructure to drive demand.” The decision was made to pull plant from Nixon Hire’s Aberdeen and Highlands depots.

rates were too low. We were flying on cabins and welfare (still are!) so by pulling plant, this depot has provided valuable space for increasing our site accommodation offering in Warrington.” Brexit rang the first set of alarm bells, as far as the plant side of Nixon Hire was concerned. →

PlantPlant Planet Planet • FEBRUARY • April 2021 • 59


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Graham Nixon • Interview “We spent a lot of time in 2019 concentrating on our product mix and depot offering, getting a clear analysis of what was profitable and what was not. We made some good decisions and developed a strategy for the future, which was the catalyst for us remodelling the Nixon Hire business.” Such remodelling does not come without cost. Graham explains they have invested heavily in implementation of certain initiatives, as part of a much longer-term strategy for the business. So how have they faired during the pandemic? “2020 started really well for us, much better than expected, across all the divisions in our newly remodelled business. And then, Covid struck. It was like falling off a cliff face for plant hire, especially large plant. However, there was a flipside. We experienced an unprecedented demand for welfare and site accommodation, and chemical toilets – and that demand has not waned.” The centralised hire function really proved its worth during lockdown. It had already been set up pre-Covid at Nixon Hire’s Central Support Office in a hightech area full of screens which Graham likens to “the stock exchange”. This investment in technology made it easy for the 70 staff at the hire desks to work from home remotely on laptops with seamless business continuity. The depots remained open because they were supplying equipment to the emergency services. “Centralisation is so helpful to us

because we have comprehensive real-time data at our fingertips showing how our company is performing in all areas. We can instantly see what is moving and what isn’t doing so well. It makes the process of hiring equipment easier for the customer as it enables us to provide more efficient, fast-turnaround solutions. And even if we haven’t got something, we can help source it, through our Nixon Hire eXtra service. “We have used our time wisely during lockdown too and communicated internally better than we have ever done before. At the start of lockdown, we held daily Teams meetings with the executive management across all departments as part of a daily update. They proved to be so powerful, and constructive. Short and punchy, they were only 20 minutes a day, but 20 minutes very well spent.” Graham explains that plant hire is taking longer to recover and

The nixon hire fleet continues to evolve still hasn’t quite got back to the volumes that they were at before. He believes that the plant side is getting harder and harder as new business models for plant hire are introduced, which for some, he says is more about the sale of an asset. “Trying to keep the hire rates up is a big challenge, especially when you are competing against a different type of business model. Our business is all about hire, we are not a sales company. The erosion of hire rates is a real issue, especially on the plant side. That’s when relationships and the service we offer come into play.” Despite the climate being “a challenge”, Nixon Hire is still investing in plant, albeit predominantly maintenance CapEx, replacing old stock. →

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 61


interview • Graham Nixon The average hire fleet is about three years old, and they like to keep it updated. One of the most recent investments has been in some Thwaites Cabbed dumpers.

bigger stage. The industry is seeing more and more electric powered equipment, and this is only going to increase.” Looking ahead, Graham does have some concerns that there will be oversaturation of certain products in the market post-Covid.

“Trying to keep hire rates up is a big challenge” “CapEx across all divisions is actually the highest it has ever been in the history of the business. It covers a real variety of different products, including our transport/service fleet. We run a 5-year replacement policy on vehicles to ensure they are efficient, reliable and have up-todate safety features.” The hire fleet continues to evolve with a strong focus on eco-products. Nixon Hire has offered welfare eco products for many years now, however, it has also launched a variety of solar powered equipment, from solar pods to solar toilets. “We created the solar pods about three years ago now, and this has opened up many doors for us, and put Nixon Hire on a much

62 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

“There are always challenges in this industry, and always will be. It stops ups from being complacent.” Graham will certainly have seen a few changes in the Nixon business he has grown up with, from early memories of his Saturday job to starting full-time as a fitter 33 years ago. “I was in the workshop as a fitter repairing and preparing hire fleet machines as well as servicing vehicles for our vehicle hire fleet (which was sold) for about 3 ½ years. I then moved into what was at the time our newly created site accommodation division, taking hires as well as ordering in raw materials as we

used to manufacture our own fleet. “I loved my days a fitter, they were fun times. Having the Nixon name resulted in me being the subject of all sorts of pranks, but I still joke that I was the best fitter we have ever had!” laughs Graham. He describes himself as being “mechanicallyminded” and was “always destined to work in the family business.” That “bigger stage” looks set to get even larger, with Graham at the helm. “It is in our nature to expand and grow the business, and I am proud that we are still doing this even in the most challenging of times. We are keeping our eyes open for new depots in the South, to expand in that region. We have been through two major recessions, and now Covid, and each time we’ve come out a stronger business.” While Nixon Hire is run very much “like a corporate PLC”, it manages to retain all the family ethics that made it the success story that it is today. This a company that will certainly never stand still.


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Why We’re Big On Compact Plant • Topical Commentary

Why We’re Big On Compact Plant David Chuck explores the increasing popularity of compact construction plant machinery.

THE

construction equipment industry comprises a wide range of heavy machines which perform specific tasks. Construction equipment can be classified according to its size and capability. However, there have also been a few changes in classification based on design specifications and cost-effectiveness.

For many years, ‘compact construction equipment’ has been an ever-emerging term in the construction industry. The term ‘compact’ refers to small units which are designed to work on small commercial and residential sites. The main advantages of compact construction equipment are that they are low cost, lightweight and easy to transport and operate. However, there is currently

no industry standard to specify any requirements to be met for such equipment that is categorised under the ‘compact construction’ banner. Categorisation is more dependent on the type of application performed in a particular sector. Significantly, the compact construction equipment industry has shown a doubledigit growth rate over the past few years. The most →

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 65


Topical Commentary • Why we’re big on compact plant popular category of compact equipment is excavators.

hydraulic quick hitches, tilt rotators, and augers.

The major factors driving this demand are an everincreasing preference for small size construction equipment,

In addition, the private user and hire market, hobby farmers, landscaping contractors and so on, have all been contributing to the increasing adoption of compact construction equipment.

The most popular category of compact equipment is excavators affordable pricing, reliability and improved productivity. This is also being boosted by an increasing number of attachments available for compact construction equipment, such as

Another very significant driver for compact construction equipment was the introduction of the New Roads and

Street Works Act 1991. The main aim of this Act is to ensure minimum disruption and inconvenience to those in the vicinity and to those using the road, whilst construction and repairs are being carried out. The introduction of this very quickly led to contractors taking up less space to carry out work and the early adoption of compact construction equipment. There have been many changing trends. From pedal operation of machines to the use of joysticks, much improved machine ergonomics and improved seating, air conditioning at reasonable pricing, GPS tracking, telematics and GPS machine control systems, machine self- monitoring as well as auto-idle are just a few on the many features which are helping to drive the use and purchase of compact construction equipment. With most people spending more time at home during the pandemic, many have turned their attentions to home improvements and garden projects. Very often working in more restricted, tighter spaces, this has fuelled demand for compact machines, especially in the hire sector. An increasing number of people are discovering the versatility of compact machinery for these types of projects. Another very important trend driving the use of compact construction machinery is battery-powered machines. Not only are they zero emissions but they are also much quieter in operation, ideal for →


Why we’re big on compact plant • Topical Commentary

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 67


Topical Commentary • Why we’re big on compact plant operating around schools, hospitals private homes etc. The battery-powered range of compact construction equipment is continuously growing and now includes dumpers, excavators, telescopic

equipment to fit in small spaces and their versatility are key drivers for continued market growth.” Another factor is the UK housing shortage. This is leading to the UK building more houses per acre, which is yet another factor that has led to increased demand for these machines.

The battery-powered range of compact construction equipment is continuously growing handlers and compaction equipment. We are all used to seeing large crushing and screening plants on site but even these have been downsized over the years and are now available in compact plant versions. Volvo suggest: “the ability of compact construction

68 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

A subject which is not talked about much on sites is the potential health issue associated with noise levels. Regular exposure to consistent noise, while not being life-threatening, may be detrimental to health over a period of time. The use of compact plant with smaller engines, and especially those that are battery-powered,

helps to decrease site noise. In certain situations, such as sites in residential areas, there is the possibility of extending working day hours when using low noise equipment, which of course supports productivity. Because of the introduction of battery powered equipment there are some interesting advertising slogans starting to appear. Volvo is using ADD SILENCE and DON’T LET SLEEP STOP YOU FROM WORKING, showing a picture of a baby at home sleeping while the machines carry on working. On these pages are many images of examples of how plant has become COMPACT. Even the once mighty tree stump grinder is now remote controlled and COMPACT!


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Running co-located with Floodex, the National Drainage Show will serve both as a supply chain showcase, as well as an important event, where buyers and end users can meet leading suppliers, technical experts and consultants, to source the perfect products and solutions. Supported by: • National Association of Drainage Contractors • Drain Trader Magazine • UKSTT • LoDEG • UK Rainwater Management Association

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The Digital Future • Event Preview

The digital future: 11th may 2021 Take a look at Plant Planet’s exciting new online conference

DIGITAL

Technology provides a pivotal role in the construction plant sector. Over the past decade, advancements in the range and scope of technology used by the industry has vastly improved the way in which we use machinery on and off construction sites. From increased efficiency to enhanced site safety, our use of technology is set to grow exponentially in the future. For this reason Plant Planet are proud to introduce The Digital Future, our first online conference. Set to take place on 11th May 2021. Plant Planet: The Digital Future will see experts from across the industry gather virtually to discuss how technology makes an impact across the construction plant sector. →

Plant Planet • April 2021 • 71


Event Preview • The Digital Future

Speakers Include: Declan Curry Conference Chair Declan is a Journalist, speaker and presenter, famed for his role as business presenter for BBC News. As an accomplished awards host and conference chair, Declan will be heading up the conference.

Rob Oliver: Key Note Speaker CEO, The Construction Equipment Association (CEA) For over 20 years, Rob Oliver has been the Chief Executive Officer of The Construction Equipment Association (CEA), the UK trade association for manufacturers and importers of construction equipment.

Bill Hill CEO, The Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity Since joining the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity as CEO in 2013, Bill has been instrumental in raising the profile of the charity and launching the Construction Industry Helpline.

72 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


Event PReview • The Digital Future Why The Digital Future? Advanced telematics, augmented reality, autonomous machinery: a decade ago, these ideas felt like science fiction fantasies to the construction plant communities. Now, we find ourselves in an age in which technology impacts our daily lives and work in the construction industry. From the machinery we build, use, and maintain, to the way in which we communicate with our peers, technology has embedded itself into our working practices. The role that technology plays within the industry has become especially prevalent throughout the past year. The Covid-19 pandemic has been the source of widespread difficulties across the industry. It has also highlighted the key roles that technology plays within the industry.

74 • April 2021 • Plant Planet

The past few years have shown that technology to improve efficiency, safety, and sustainable machinery use has grown exponentially. A plethora of construction plant releases have shown this. In the last year, we have also seen technology provide solutions that have allowed the industry to survive and, in some cases, thrive during the pandemic.

What will ‘The Digital Future’ involve? Join some of the industry’s biggest names as we discuss the impact of technology on the sector. Plant Planet: The Digital Future will be an online conference chaired by veteran reporter Declan Curry, featuring talks from a range of industry professionals.

The two and a half hour long conference will feature a key note speech from CEA Chief Executive Officer Rob Oliver. Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthourse Construction Industry Charity will also talk on the construction industry helpline app. More speakers will be announced as the show approaches, so keep your eye out on our website and social media channels over the next few weeks.

How Can I Attend? The conference is free to attend for everyone. Alternatively, VIP passes include a welcome box with a range of goodies. Choose from our regular or VIP passes at: https://www.plant-planet.co.uk/ conference


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Plant Planet • April 2021 • 75


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80 • April 2021 • Plant Planet


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Profile for Plant Planet UK

Plant Planet - April 2021  

It’s hard to believe that we’ve passed the anniversary of the commencement of first UK lockdown. One year on, Covid still looms large within...

Plant Planet - April 2021  

It’s hard to believe that we’ve passed the anniversary of the commencement of first UK lockdown. One year on, Covid still looms large within...

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