PLANT PLANET Issue 25, December 2022 9 772631 462007 > ISSN 2631-4622 THOMAS PLANT: ‘Can do attitude’ drives Thomas Group to continued growth Kubota : 25 YEARS AS A LEADER IN THE UK & REPUBLIC OF IRELAND’S CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY EXECUTIVE HIRE SHOW PREVIEW THWAITES: BUILT TO LAST... BUILT TO BE THE BEST
It’s hard to believe that 2022 is almost over and 2023 just around the corner. This December, Plant Planet have our biggest issue yet to sum up our biggest year yet! With an incredible 136 pages of content, this December issue is packed to the brim with the latest industry news and interviews and will see the Plant Planet team reflect on our busiest year ever as well as all the developments within the industry over the last year.
This issue takes a look inside the 33rd edition of Bauma as it returned to the grounds of Neue Messe München, Munich, on the 24th October 2022 to 30th October 2022. We also look to the future in our preview of the highly anticipated Executive Hire Show, set to take place 8th & 9th of February 2023.
Be sure to check out Thomas Plant as our cover story. On page 58, Thomas Plant Hire delve into their continued success and company growth as well as their ambitions for 2023.
Meanwhile, on page 76, BTE’s Rebecca Bryson, takes us through becoming a majority shareholder and her ambitions for the future of the business, brought to us from regular contributor Rachel Lambert.
Thwaites Dumpers delve into their company history as the exclusive manufacturers of site dumpers that are built to last and built to be the best on page 103, while Kubota reflect on 25-years as a leader in the UK & Republic of Ireland’s construction industry on page 90 and their special events hosted throughout the year to celebrate this.
2022 surely was the year of events in which you will find our yearly events roundup at the back of this issue.
Wishing a Merry Christmas to all; we can’t wait for you to see what we have in store for 2023!
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4 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet
Find Us Online Www.plant-planet.co.uk @Plantplanetuk partners with: 2022 - A Year to Review!
Plant Planet team
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 5
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.
CONSTRUCTION PLANT-HIRE ASSOCIATION
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.
Kevin Minton, Chief Executive, Construction Plant Hire Association,has worked for the CPA since 2007 and has been instrumental in working with Members and other organisations to promote and develop the safe and healthy use of construction plant.
Akvile Peckyte is an English Literature graduate from the University of Exeter. She has now joined Plant Planet as a regular contributor.
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Contributors Written by the industry for the industry
ALEX WHITE MAGNI TELESCOPIC
SOCIAL MEDIA CO-ORDINATOR
Submit your stories: KATE@plant-planet.co.uk
PHIL EVERY SENIOR SALES EXECUTIVE
Brendon Cook Managing Director
kate Hutchison EDITOR
Tim Stimpson &
TRADE PLANT HIRE
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 7 ZERO NOISE ZERO EMISSIONS ZERO FUEL CONSUMPTION ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY www.merlo.co.uk MERLO eWorker EW 25. 5 100% ELECTRIC. 100% PERFORMANCE. 2WD or 4WD Option 5m Lift Height 40km/h Max. Speed 8 Hour Run Time 2500 kg Max. Lift Capacity
A round up of the news from the plant machinery industry over the past two months.
The Construction Plant Hire Association’s (CPA) annual conference comes to a close. Find out about The ABC of ESG and what you missed at the essential event for the plant hire sector.
HS2’s Herculean Transportation Operation:
David Chuck provides an update on the HS2 project as construction progresses through Warwickshire.
Choosing the Right Asset Finance Provider for You: Akvile Peckyte takes a look into asset finance and how choosing the right asset management provider can benefit you & your business.
Trade Plant Hire: Kate Hutchison sits down with CEO, Dr. Ivan Yardley and Director Tim Stimpson, the developers behind the Trade Plant Hire app, to learn about how the new app is making tool and equipment hire easy for the industry. Bauma: Plant Planet reviews this year’s Bauma show, the world’s leading trade fair for mining, construction machinery, vehicles and equipment as it returns for its 33rd year!
Thomas Plant Hire: Thomas Plant Hire explores the ‘can do attitude’ that drives Thomas Group to continued growth as well as delving into their ambitions for 2023.
Executive Hire Show: Plant Planet take a look into the highly anticipated Executive Hire Show and the new features ready for the 2023 event.
BTE Plant Sales: BTE’s Rebecca Bryson, takes us through becoming a majority shareholder and her ambitions for the future of the business, brought to us from regular contributor Rachel Lambert.
UKCW Birmingham: Plant Planet reviews this year’s UK Construction Week Birmingham show, find out what you missed at this year’s event!
Kubota: Kubota celebrate 25-years as a leader in the UK & Republic of Ireland’s construction industry and reflect on the special events that have taken place this year.
Machinery Health & Safety: As the days turn darker and colder, Martina Tonelli takes a look into the 10 tips that can improve the safety in construction work.
Thwaites: Thwaites Dumpers delve into their company history as the exclusive manufacturers of site dumpers that are built to last and built to be the best.
Saltex: David Chuck guides us through the 2022 Saltex event, the leading turf management show for grounds care volunteers, professionals, suppliers, and manufacturers.
A look at some of our advertisers’ exciting products and services.
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46 Interview 50 Event Review 58 COVER STORY
99 Commentary 103 COMPANY
110 Event Review 115 Product
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 9 128 COMPANY PROFILE THWAITES: THWAITES DUMPERS DELVE INTO THEIR COMPANY HISTORY AS THE EXCLUSIVE MANUFACTURERS OF SITE DUMPERS THAT ARE BUILT TO LAST AND BUILT TO BE THE BEST. 2022 – A Year to Review PLANT PLANET TAKE A LOOK BACK AND REFLECT ON OUR BUSIEST YEAR EVER AS WELL AS ALL THE DEVELOPMENTS WITHIN THE INDUSTRY OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS IN OUR YEARLY EVENTS ROUNDUP! Cover story THOMAS PLANT HIRE: THOMAS PLANT HIRE EXPLORES THE ‘CAN DO ATTITUDE’ THAT DRIVES THOMAS GROUP TO CONTINUED GROWTH AS WELL AS DELVING INTO THEIR AMBITIONS FOR 2023. 56 56 128 58 58 103 103
ROTAR CELEBRATES ITS 40TH ANNIVERSARY & SOME NEW INNOVATIONS
The world’s leading innovator of grabs, pulverisers and shears for the demolition, recycling and scrap metal industries is turning 40 and celebrating at the Bauma Show.
It all started with a screening drum for wheel loaders to clean paving stones. In the late 1970s, road contractor Hendrik Pleijzier invented and constructed this tool. It enabled him to do his work much more efficiently and easily. Not much later, his invention marked the inception of Rotar, which grew into a global company with ten innovative product lines in 40 years.
Today they offer their most comprehensive range of attachments for demolition, such as our demolition/sorting grab, combi shears, concrete crusher and scrap shears— state-of-the-art equipment for demolition of buildings, ships, infrastructure and the like. In addition, Rotar offers attachments for recycling, such as our demolition/ sorting grab and orange peel grab. A third component is attachments for scrap and scrap metal processing, such as our scrap shears and rail cutter. And finally, attachments for screening and sorting work for road construction, such as the segregator bucket and screening drum.
Innovation, excellent service and high-quality production
are paramount for all their equipment.
“We deliberately target the top end of the market,” says Managing Director, Louis Broekhuizen. “We are a premium brand with expert knowledge, and we constantly implement new techniques. We offer performanceenhancing attachments, which ensure fuel savings and lower CO2 emissions, through reduced drag, among other things. This allows crane operators to get the most out of their machine. We, always strive for durable, low-maintenance and highavailability tools.”
During the recent BAUMA Show, Rotar presented some new innovations. These included an expansion in the RCC Concrete Cutter series, with the introduction of the models RCC20 and RCC45, as well as the addition of a new Demolition Grab, the RG-55 in the RG Grab series. This attachment weighs 3,200 kilos and is suitable for 45-55 ton cranes.
They also introduced the two biggest scrap shears in the Rotar RSS range, meaning even more power! The new X LINE is the extra muscle version with larger cylinder diameters as well as 380 bar pressure of the excavator instead of only 350 Bar.
The two new scrap shears added to the RSS program are the RSS 100 X and the RSS 150 X.
All of Rotar’s range of attachments are available in the UK from their supplier Worsley Plant.
To find out more visit: www.worsleyplant.co.uk
WORSLEY PLANT LATEST NEWS
NEW E-LEARNING COURSE FROM GGR
Since 1995, GGR Group has been running training programmes, training thousands of people at their state-of-theart training centres in Oldham, Haddenham, and Blantyre, and they have proven to be very popular.
Terry Cheese, Group Training Manager at GGR Group, said, “I am delighted to be involved with introducing eLearning to GGR and the launch of this course is only the tip of the iceberg of what we have planned.”
accredited, so you can be sure that everything in them is technically correct and directly related to the equipment we supply.”
“We also want people to enjoy the experience of eLearning, to include ease of use and to have fun whilst learning new things. Our eLearning designs include things like interactive scenarios, high-resolution images, quizzes and tests, narration, videos and instructional films, animation, and downloadable documents.”
GGR Group has launched another LEEA accredited eLearning training course for the GML 500+ and GML 800+ floor cranes, as part of their Safe Use of Floor Cranes series.
After a successful launch of their online training and eLearning last month (October 2022), the addition of this new course demonstrates a further commitment to eLearning, with more equipment categories such as cladding vacuum lifters and glazing robots to be added in the coming months.
When it comes to innovative training courses for the lifting industry, GGR Group has always been a leader. They were the first UK company to offer CPCS A66 training for compact cranes, and they helped set up the UK’s first accredited training course for vacuum lifters with RTITB. The company also started the first LEEAapproved training for glazing robots and portable floor cranes in the UK in 2013.
“So far the courses have been very well received and we are already taking bookings via our online portal, which is shown on the GGR Group and GGR Training websites. Feedback to date has been excellent.”
He went on to say, “All of our programmes have been designed by us, and many of them are
“Our growing collection of eLearning is kept safe on our cutting-edge Learning Management System. It is easy to navigate and is broken up into manageable sections. Learners don’t even have to finish it all in one sitting. They can come and go as they please because their progress is saved as they go. We’ve also made sure that our eLearning works on a variety of devices, so learners can easily access our online training from their desktop, tablet, or phone.”
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GGR E-LEARNING COURSE LATEST NEWS
Terry Cheese, GGR Group Training Manager
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 13 To start eLearning with GGR, go to : www.ggrgroup.com/training/onlinetraining/ and look through the online training portfolio. When you find the course you want, click the BOOK NOW button to sign up.
RED KNIGHT 6 LTD AWARDED FULL UK DEALERSHIP BY RUBBLE MASTER
Rubble Master, manufacturers of world leading impact crushers and scalping and sizing screens have installed Red Knight 6 Ltd as their sole UK distributor. Rubble Master have taken the decision to re-organise their UK dealer network and the change sees RK6 take on the whole of the UK having previously focused on the midlands, East Anglia, South and South West.
Previously two dealers had been working within the UK, RK6 and Taylor and Braitwaite, but with the new streamlined approach Rubble Master will move to just one dealer. Red Knight 6 Ltd have worked with Rubble Master for the last 6 years and will be bringing both an experienced sales and service team to support customers in the region.
“We have worked tirelessly for 6 years to ensure the market not only understands the quality of the Rubble Master machines, but also has support from our sales, service and spare parts teams that is market leading. We are delighted to be given the opportunity to work across the rest of the UK and continue to grow the excellence of the Rubble Master offering,” said Paul Donnelly, Managing Director of Red Knight 6 Ltd.
14 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet RED KNIGHT 6 LATEST NEWS
out more about
Red Knight 6 can be contacted
01293 862 619
firstname.lastname@example.org. To find
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 15 T: 01206 875640 E: email@example.com W: www.ate-uk.com ATE (UK) Ltd, Anglia House, Haven Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8HT RHINO TXDP. BUILT WITH SAFETY AND DURABILITY IN MIND The Rhino TXDP features integrated side steps and load-bearing mudguards, allowing safe access by the operator to machinery and equipment. Combined with the tough galvanised steel chassis, this plant trailer is ready for every site. Book your FREE on-site demo today. SEE OUR FULL TRAILER RANGE AT WWW.TOWMATE.CO.UK SCAN AND BOOK YOUR FREE DEMO TODAY! COMES WITH 3-YEAR WARRANTY VISIT US AT THE EHS SHOW ON STAND F10
THE MILLION TONNE CRUSHER
That isn’t a typo. The McCloskey J50 you see on this page has chomped its way through more than 1,000,000 tonnes of material in a little over 18 months. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the material it has processed has ranged from mixed recycled aggregates to dense granite, straight from the blast face.
Arriving at Collier Quarrying and Recycling, a sleek wind turbine towers over the main offices, silently powering the site. In the distance, you can hear the distinct sound of a McCloskey jaw crusher doing what it does best. Wheel loaders, articulated haulers and a blanket of dust initially obscure the green machine from view. As the dust cloud clears, we were greeted by a truly remarkable site.
Surround by sheer rock face is a McCloskey J50 Jaw Crusher, working its way through hundreds of tonnes of granite, with crushed material pouring off the 48” wide main conveyor.
To its right, Brian Crawford, Plant Co-Ordinator, is loading blast face granite into the J50’s 6.8m³ hopper, each bucket feeding the machine with around 10tonnes of huge, dense boulders. Meanwhile, wheel loaders busily collect stockpiled material and load it directly into an army of customer grab loaders or into one of the articulated haulers for stockpiling. It’s a beautifully slick operation, with the McCloskey crusher at the very heart of it.
“We are working with both recycling aggregates and virgin material,” explains Duncan Collier, Managing Director. “Today, it is in
the quarry, but we track it around the site to work on different materials. By moving the machine, we reduce emissions and speed up the process, taking the equipment to the material, not the other way round.”
“Here in quarry, after we blast, we bring the crusher in and feed it from the ground, right off the blast face. It’s very dense, good quality stuff, some of the hardest stone in the area.”
“The McCloskey is a mightily impressive machine. We had two crushers in here before from other manufacturers, but we were looking for something to give us better output. We trialled other machines, but they didn’t deliver the quality we needed. Then we tried this McCloskey and it outrun the competition, hands down. The tonnage, how well it
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MCCLOSKEY LATEST NEWS
The McCloskey J50
coped with a range of materials and the quality of the product, it was head and shoulders above the rest, hence why it is here.”
McCloskey’s reputation for proven performance is renown globally, and the J50 embodies this entirely. For example, the jaw box on the McCloskey J50 – the widest jaw in its class measuring an impressive 1270mm (50”) – is highly effective. As well as its size, multiple enhancements are employed by McCloskey to deliver maximum productivity. Heavier flywheels and faster jaw speeds deliver better reduction and material being processed faster through the crushing chamber which in this application sees throughputs in excess of 300 tonnes per hour.
Aside from our headline figure, we saw first-hand just how efficient McCloskey’s jaw box is. Throughout
our entire visit, the excavator did not stop once. Load after load, Brian wasn’t left waiting at any point. Complementing the J50’s class-leading performance and capacity is the largest stockpile height in its category, further enabling greater throughput by minimising limiting factors.
“About six weeks ago, Brian came into the office with a photo of the scale display; it was reading 999,900 and was only a few loads away from one million, but the readout only had six figures. We all thought it would go back to zero, like the mileometer in an old car, but as it hit the magic 1,000,000, the display went to dashes! It’s the only thing that has broken on the machine – and it’s the only part that isn’t made by McCloskey. Otherwise, we’ve had no downtime at all, just routine maintenance.
“McCloskey Equipment are
fantastic. When they brought the machine in, we were immediately impressed with the efficiency of service from the team and the aftersales support has been second to none, especially from Chris McKinstry, our sales manager. Any questions or spare parts have always been answered and provided promptly, which has ultimately led to maximum uptime and the J50 delivering more than one million tonnes in just over a year.
“We would have another McCloskey in a heartbeat. It so operator friendly – pull the lever and away it goes – and it keeps going all day, every day. Everyone who sees the machine and what it is working with can’t believe the performance. The results speak for themselves, it’s a remarkable achievement from a brilliant piece of kit.”
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 17
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ONS STATISTICS SHOW CONSTRUCTION SUICIDE RATE INCREASE IN 2021
The ONS has just released the latest suicide statistics for England and Wales and the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity are the first to share what these figures mean for our construction community and what is being done to help address these shocking figures.
Since the Stevenson/Farmer report in 2017, the charity has been working with Professor Billy Hare at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to analyse the number of suicides in construction occupations so they have a better understanding where to focus preventative measures to support the industry.
The number of suicides attributed to construction occupations in 2021 was 507, most of which are male (503). This figure constitutes a rise of 24 from the previous year and 25 more than the previous five year average and equates to 34 per 100,000 in employment. This is the highest rate since analysis of this data began at GCU.
The research identified that the number of suicides in construction rose from 26 to 34 per 100,000 in the seven years to 2021. It is often quoted that suicides within construction are three times that of the national industry average. Unfortunately, that figure is now nearer four times, meaning that workers in construction are nearly four times more likely to take their own lives compared to other sectors in 2021.
Professor Billy Hare of GCU said “Whilst it is unwise to react to a single year’s figures, the long-term rate of suicides is regrettably on an upward trajectory for those working in the construction industry, despite all the good work being done in recent years. This means we need to
dig deeper to find and address the true root causes, and take collective action sooner rather than later.”
The summary table below shows the findings between occupational groups. In summary, every category has shown a significant increase since 2015.
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 19 LIGHTHOUSE CHARITY LATEST NEWS
Bill Hill, CEO of the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity said, “Over 87% of our construction workforce are male and over 50% of the sector is made up of self employed, agency staff or zero hour contract workers. Financial insecurity is a major factor for poor wellbeing in our workforce and the pandemic added greater anxiety and emotional burden. The industry and charities like ours have made huge strides in recognising and delivering programmes to improve wellbeing but the results from 2021 simply galvanise our resolve to do more. Our messages of support are not reaching the boots on the ground. We all have a moral responsibility and an economic imperative to work together to improve the wellbeing and welfare or our workers.”
The industry is doing more than ever to recognise and address this major issue and the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has asked the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and Mates In Mind Charity to work together to co-chair a major project to improve wellbeing and welfare within construction along with initiatives to accelerate universal culture change to reduce stigma, break down barriers and increase awareness of support services.
This major initiative called Make It Visible will look to unite the CITB, HSE, Supply Chain School, trade and professional bodies, clients and contractors to formulate
and execute a plan of action with key deliverables and measurement to drive the change necessary to improve the wellbeing of our workforce and ultimately reduce the suicides in our industry.
In January 2023 the industry will be invited to a presentation of a study conducted by GCU looking at all the research and industry best practice on wellbeing over the last two years. The participants will be asked to vote on the priorities for the Make It Visible initiative to work on.
Sarah Meek, Managing Director of Mates in Mind said “These latest statistics demonstrate that we need to do more as an industry to prevent people reaching the point of crisis, by addressing the causes that negatively impact on one’s mental health and thereby reduce the need for safety nets. There is much that we can do around prevention and employers should be encouraged to view their responsibility around this across their total workforce including their supply chain who, from our research earlier this year, have shown to be working with severe levels of anxiety. With positive moves already beginning which sees mental health starting to feature in frameworks, we must continue building on this and encourage conversations around how contracts are both procured and awarded to address some of the factors that can have such a detrimental effect.”
The Lighthouse Construction Industry charity is the only charity dedicated to providing professional support for construction workers and their famillies struggling with Emotional, Physical or Financial issues.
Our helpline is available to everyone on site including subcontractors, agency workers and allied trades and offers emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support. Whether you need advice on something specific or simply need to speak with someone about what is troubling you then we are here to help.
TEXT HARDHAT SERVICE
For those who aren’t comfortable talking our 24/7 text service gives immediate access to text back counselling.
20 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet
FREE Support for all Construction Workers and their families
WATERWAYS MANAGEMENT ADDED TO NATIONAL DRAINAGE AND FLOODEX
This year’s National Drainage Show, supported by the National Assoc of Drainage Contractors (NADC), and Floodex saw its highest attendance of contractors, engineers, local authorities and councils in seven years.
In an interview on the first day, Mary Dhonau MBE, who was managing the Floodmobile feature said, ”I’ve been incredibly busy, I had lots of local authorities, coming to find out about property flood resilience and, actually, I am quite talked out.”
Another company, Aluline said, “I was impressed by the quality of attendees who did visit. I have exhibited for the last 35 years, I would judge your show as one of the more productive, producing real leads and introducing us to new clients and avenues for our team to follow.” Whilst another said, “Floodex 2023 was excellent, delivering a decent number of quality leads, from a wide range of sources from Rail to Government Agencies.”
Many companies have re-booked their space and amongst the new companies booking already for 2023
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FLOODEX LATEST NEWS
is Sulzer. Another exciting addition to the ‘holistic approach’ envisioned by the organisers, as part of their plans, Waterways Management Show is to run co-located with Floodex and National Drainage Show.
This new part of an overarching event that ties together flood defence & mitigation, drainage installation & management, water level management and waterways management will be for anyone that has responsibility for maintaining rivers, lakes, canals, fens and the land that surrounds them, covering everything from the lab to the field.
Jon Irwin, event director said, “Many people talk about a holistic approach to these issues. We are delivering a platform whereby all stakeholders can get together, under one roof on an annual basis, to network with peers from different industries, that have a shared interest and discuss how they can best work together.” Irwin went on to say, “This is growing into a major showcase of services, products and solutions for tackling the impact of flooding, from urban water runoff and wastewater to rural floods that impact farms, villages and land owners.” w
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 23
ARE DELIVERING A PLATFORM WHEREBY ALL STAKEHOLDERS CAN GET TOGETHER, UNDER ONE ROOF ON AN ANNUAL BASIS TO NETWORK WITH PEERS.”
He added, “ Waterways Management Show will be a perfect showcase for everything from big kit, such as excavators, dredgers, reed & weed cutters, desilters and other equipment, all the way through to lab and testing equipment used in pollution and other monitoring.”
The events regularly enjoy active support from the major organisations and associations in the industry, including the NADC, the Environment Agency, CIRIA & susdrain, CIWEM, Future Water Assoc, National Sewerage Assoc, CABWI, CAMELLIA, Pipeline Industries Guild, UKSTT, BDMA, LoDEG and many others.
The organisers said that conversations with the Environment Agency and other stakeholders, about the addition of Waterways Management has been extremely positive. Everybody agrees it is a perfect co-location of events and are enthusiastic about the potential it offers.
Since launching Floodex in 2016, the long term plan has always been to create this inclusive event, which represents all aspects of water and water level management, to not only have exhibitions for products and services, but create real-time dialogue between stakeholders and counter silo thinking.
Jon Irwin said, “Silo thinking seems to be a recurring concern, so often voiced by people in the industries, so we are trying to help break down the divisions between people or groups, to alter both tangible and intangible barriers between them. When individuals
24 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet
or groups have a silo mentality, they don’t readily share information or resources with anyone outside their immediate network and this is counterproductive at the best of times.” If you would like further information on Waterways Management Show, National Drainage Show or Floodex, please call Jon Irwin on 07748 150004 0203 305 7593 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
NATIONWIDE HIRE, SALES AND CONTRACT LIFT SOLUTIONS www.ggrgroup.com NORTH: +44 (0)161 683 2580 | SOUTH: +44 (0)1844 202 071 | SCOTLAND: +44 (0)1698 824 444 NUMBER ONE FOR LIFTING SOLUTIONS
OVERVIEW OF THE HYDROGEN STRATEGY
Ancenis, December 6, 2022Manitou Group, a world reference in the handling, aerial work platform and earth moving sectors, presents its roadmap for research and development on hydrogen-powered machines. Its opportunity to present the first innovative prototype telehandler running on green hydrogen.
Energy transition acceleration With a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 34% per hour of use of its machines in 2030, Manitou Group has set off on an ambitious course, in line with the commitments of its lowcarbon trajectory communicated in January 2022 and validated by the SBTi in July. Following on from the recent electrification of its all-terrain platform and telehandler ranges, the Group is also looking to hydrogen as a medium-term alternative for its users. Manitou Group wants to see its electric and hydrogen ranges side by side depending on each user’s applications, with a target of 43% low-emissions products marketed in 2030.
A dedicated hydrogen development plan
Manitou Group has presented its new facilities for making its hydrogen development plan a success to journalists and elected representatives. By kitting its test center out with a green hydrogen station, the Group now has the means for testing its brand new prototype telehandler. The first step of this plan involves guaranteeing range and reliability in real-life conditions, while testing the durability of components. The
Group based this first prototype on an existing model from its range of construction machines, capable of lifting loads up to 14 m. This machine will be tested and sent out to construction sites by the end of 2023 with a view to collecting valuable feedback from users to improve on this prototype. Two types of hydrogen technology are currently being evaluated by the market, namely the combustion engine and the fuel cell. The Group’s first prototype is built around a fuel cell, but the Group will choose the hydrogen solutions that best meet the needs of its customers. Michel Denis, Managing Director of the Group, explains: “We are studying all the hydrogen-related technologies based on what users need. This prototype is only the first step. A second rotating telehandler prototype will be developed in the coming months. There are many benefits of green hydrogen with production possible using wind power that has no greenhouse gas emissions at all. This fits in perfectly with our low-carbon trajectory”.
With this first prototype, the Group is showcasing its ability to innovate in order to measure the autonomy of this new energy while offering its customers the hydrogen solution that best meets their needs, but without compromising on performance. Almost 50 engineers and technicians are dedicated to this approach, which was launched in 2021. To come up with an innovative solution that can be fully industrialized, the Group hopes to rely on the support of the public authorities to develop an emerging ecosystem. Julien Waechter, VP R&D Manitou Group, explains: “The
green hydrogen sector is gradually becoming more established with the entry onto this market of a number of players. All of the aid mechanisms proposed by the different governments will encourage the transition to hydrogen, and will speed up the development of the distribution network and ultimately the reduction in the usage costs of our machines using this energy”.
With these new facilities, Manitou Group hopes to offer its customers new innovative prospects, with a 100% hydrogen-powered telehandler available on the market by 2026.
Innovation in our DNA
With over 350 engineers on its workforce, Manitou Group is constantly innovating by offering its users high-added-value solutions. To succeed, the Group invests almost €60 million a year in all of its 10 R&D centersaround the world. The modernization of its production units is also essential to ensure this ability to innovate. This is demonstrated by the recent €150 million investment plan announced for the production sites in the US and France. The most recent aerial work platform factory opened in 2022 clearly illustrates this willingness. Whether it concerns the choice of components, user comfort, or the attachment on the machine, innovation is everywhere. An autonomous order-picking robot, electric all-terrain platforms, and 100% electric telehandlers are all examples of innovation. To support this development, the Group incorporates engaging CSR criteria from the design stage to develop machines that are increasingly durable and responsible.
26 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet MANITOU LATEST NEWS
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 27 To nd out more scan the QR code or visit www.kubota.co.uk To nd out more visit www.kubota.co.uk TAKE ON ANY JOB. ANYWHERE. ANY TIME. Now with real-time tracking tted as standard – you’re in complete control of your eet anywhere, any time. AEMP API enabled. Available on the following models: U50-5. U55-5, KX60-5, KX080-4α2. Whatever the day brings, you’re ready with a Kubota. years/ 2000hrs Warranty
REVIEW OF THE CPA CONFERENCE 2022
Until quite recently, industry professionals could have been forgiven for not knowing much about ESG (Environmental, Social and corporate Governance) strategies. However, following the unprecedented events of recent years, from the pandemic and lockdowns to supply chain disruptions and spiralling energy costs, ESG is now high on the corporate agenda for businesses both big and small. Basically, all companies need to know about it and take appropriate actions.
But what does ESG mean in theory and practice? And how does it impact on plant-hire professionals?
Those were the fundamental issues discussed at the Construction Planthire Association (CPA) Conference 2022 entitled ‘ESG - Driving Change: How Environmental, Social and Governance Benefits Construction Plant Businesses’ held on 20th
October 2022 at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre near Coventry.
The Conference comprised three panel discussions amongst industry professionals, with the debate steered by event convenor Merryn Myatt, a former BBC news presenter who now specialises in media management and communications for large and small organisations. She ensured that the discussions addressed key themes and challenges.
Opening the Conference, CPA Chief Executive Kevin Minton described how ESG was another challenge that the Association was helping members to meet, following hard on the heels of issues like Covid-19, supply chain disruption, material costs, labour shortages, costs of capital and the red diesel rebate’s removal for construction use – let alone the political turmoil of recent months.
The industry had been tested like at no other time previously, he said. However, plant-hirers had proved themselves to be flexible and adaptable in addressing these challenges and exemplifying best practice.
ESG gives a similar opportunity for the industry to be modern and dynamic while remaining efficient and competitive. Moreover, organisations like the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) argue that investors and financial institutions increasingly look at a business’s ESG policies as part of their vetting and checking procedures, so the issue cannot be ignored, said Kevin.
ESG is also an opportunity to engage with all elements of a company’s workforce and supply chain. And as more Tier 1 contractors adopt new approaches as part of their ESG policies, these will trickle down to other sub-contractors and suppliers, he said.
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The ABC of ESG
event review CPA CONFERENCE 2022
Discussing the background to the implementation of ESG practices, the first panel session was entitled ‘Setting the Scene - the Economic Context and Outlook for UK plc’, with two speakers: Laura Capper, Head of Manufacturing & Construction for NatWest bank including Lombard, its asset finance division; and Chris Cassley, CPA Policy Manager.
Laura Capper said that the political and economic background could hardly be more turbulent and unpredictable, with inflation at its highest level for more than 30 years and interest base rates rising sharply after being close to zero for 15 years. The Government needed to give clarity on issues like spending cuts and their possible impact on construction, as well as tackling interest rates.
It also had to give more information to businesses about ESG obligations as certain European countries are already doing with greater clarity and encouragement, outlining a ‘road map’ to where firms should be heading. However, she said that banks remained committed to corporate lending.
Laura said that construction firms had shown themselves to be flexible and forward-looking in their response to new ways of working throughout the pandemic and that they would doubtless adopt a similarly positive attitude to ESG responsibilities.
Interestingly, she said that NatWest has seen significantly increased demand for finance towards solar panel installations and that planthirers and other organisations could benefit financially from such measures given the steep rise in energy costs.
She added that, while interest in ESG has grown in recent years, firms needed to explore the solutions in more depth - and to appreciate the
risks of not doing so. For example, companies involved in diesel engines or supplying parts for them will eventually find themselves without a market when carbon net-zero is reached as planned by 2050, so they had to realise the transition process required.
CPA’s Chris Cassley agreed that more
Incidentally, NatWest offers a free tool for businesses to measure their carbon footprint, and the results can then be used as a benchmark for making future reductions.
Check it out at: www.natwest.com/business/ green-banking/carbonplanner
Government action was needed to create the right investment climate in which firms could identify and implement ESG measures. Incentives like the Annual Investment Allowance and the super-deduction tax allowance on qualifying plant and machinery could encourage companies to invest in new electric, battery and solar products as well as other technologies.
Clarity about possible future spending cuts in another round of austerity measures would be required, and these will hopefully not limit Government support for research and development or product innovation. There has also been much talk of reforms to planning regulations to encourage house building and other construction projects, and this still needs to be confirmed and the implications for the industry discussed.
Chris highlighted some of the
benefits arising from adopting ESG measures including the positive impact they could have on a company’s image. People throughout an organisation and the wider community would appreciate the improvements being made. Moreover, job seekers increasingly want to work for companies that adopt green practices, so by not doing so an organisation might lose out on attracting the best talent.
“Above all,” said Chris, “ESG shows business as a force for good. And it will make a difference for our children and future generations in the coming decades.”
The second panel discussion entitled ’ESG in Context and What it Means’ ventured more deeply into the reasons why it was important for companies to start embedding ESG into their core business operations. The four participants comprised Lara Young, Climate Change Director with Costain; Dani Saveker, global CEO and founder of the GLAS (Global Life Alignment System) for helping businesses adapt to significant challenges and entrepreneurial transitions; Tom Hadley, an independent consultant who has worked at the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and with the International Labour Organization (ILO); and David Murray, Executive Director of the Sustainability First environmental change charity and former CEO of The Green Party.
Costain’s Lara Young suggested that in many ways adopting ESG measures made plain business sense. While some companies (such as publicly listed plc organisations) must already adopt them by law, others could also benefit from doing so now. Obviously different firms would have different goals according to the nature of their business and the markets they serve, but they could go beyond simply meeting sustainability targets: ESG policies could be shaped to address a company’s local environmental impact and its role in the community.
She explained that ESG initiatives could follow recognised principles and frameworks set out on agreed metrics. These could be used by a business itself, and financial institutions, to benchmark the company’s performance and to monitor progress against identified
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Photos: David Chuck
and measurable targets. Indeed, following these processes could be invigorating for the firm and its personnel, working together to achieve common goals and demonstrating the green credentials of the organisation to stakeholders and investors.
Moreover, Lara pointed out that good business models had to be adapted constantly anyway, with an eye on future changes and challenges. For example, a planthirer with many diesel machines in its fleet might need to retain them for several years to achieve the required return on investment, but a planned transition to new technology would need to be put in place to ensure long-term success.
Convenor Merryn Myatt wondered whether ESG could camouflage ‘greenwashing’ (making environmental claims that cannot be substantiated). However, Lara suggested that regulations were constantly being tightened and that peer pressure, as well as public reaction, would persuade organisations to follow good practice.
Tom Hadley agreed that companies obviously had to make verifiable claims about their ESG achievements, but that it was also important to set the right goals with measurable parameters. For example, just saying that a business was ‘the best to work for in its field’ was clearly superficial and meaningless; but understanding why people left your company and putting right any issues cited, or talking to existing personnel about why they liked working for the organisation could give benchmarks for improvement and useful, positive data.
He stressed the fundamental importance of setting relevant, measurable goals, quoting as an example Heathrow Airport which has set itself the target of doubling the number of women in management posts by 2028. This set a benchmark against which progress could be monitored.
Tom also said that smaller businesses should not feel overwhelmed or fear being left behind on their ESG journey when comparing themselves against larger counterparts with more resources. There would always be leaders and early adopters whose experiences
CPA CONFERENCE 2022
can be emulated; and it is also important to involve all elements of the workforce, sharing opinions and experiences. This would again engender a sense of togetherness, perhaps making the business a more attractive place to work for and raising its profile in measurable ways.
Indeed, Dani Saveker of GLAS warned against having a ‘tickbox culture’ that just generated bland data and prevented genuine engagement. Companies had to understand why they were setting particular ESG goals and what they wanted to achieve, much of which was sound traditional business outreach practice, such as engaging with local communities, charities and schools.
She realised that firms had many management obligations and tasks besides ESG targets, so it was important to take ‘baby steps’ first.
Prior to lunch, Merryn conducted a ‘walking and talking’ roving interview session, whereby she carried out a live interview session with each of the 21 exhibitors at the Conference. The footage was live streamed to the audience and Merryn asked each of the exhibitors what was on their stands and what ESG meant to their organisations.
The final panel session, ‘ESG in Action’, highlighted practical steps that plant-hirers and suppliers are already taking to meet their obligations and to develop them for the future. The four participants included: Merrill Lynch, Director of L Lynch Plant & Haulage; Peter Beach, Sales & Marketing Director with welfare cabin manufacturer Genquip Groundhog; Rachel Preen, Commercial Director of sustainable lighting manufacturer Prolectric Services; and Huw Longton,
And implementing change was more a case of creating a new mindset and an ongoing process of improvement rather than seeking a one-off solution.
Dani also highlighted that sustainability is about an organisation’s own future survival as well as that of the planet. “Ask yourself where will your business be in five years’ time. If you don’t grow the value of your business, then technically it is in decline. Adopting ESG practices can create growth and attract investors,” she said.
David Murray of Sustainability
First pointed out that various organisations can give guidance on benchmarking and achieving ESG goals. He also emphasised the important role that associations like CPA play in representing the views and requirements of their members to Government and regulatory bodies in order to shape policies.
Commercial Manager with the European Rental Association (ERA).
Merrill Lynch said that his company has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon status by 2040 and will do this by focusing on three areas: the firm’s plant hire fleet, its depots and its supply chain. By 2025, 80 per cent of Lynch’s HGVs will run on HVO or similar diesel alternatives and all its dozers will be able to operate with automated machine control systems. All drivers will be trained in environmentally aware driving practices. In addition, Lynch has an ongoing programme for installing solar panels, rainwater harvesting and recycling facilities at its depots.
Interestingly, the company’s suppliers will be expected to embrace similar plans to achieve netzero status by 2040. Again, working together is key.
Merrill cited one example of promoting better on-site working
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practices through reducing machine idling on a particular highway project. It was found that operators often kept engines running so they could stay warm in cold weather. After talking to the client, it was agreed that more welfare cabins should be installed along the carriageway so that personnel could take breaks, and this saved the annual equivalent of £300,000 in diesel fuel costs.
Peter Beach of Genquip Groundhog explained how the company has commissioned the University of Sheffield to create a carbon reduction plan for the business, the first phase of which assessed the embedded carbon in the company’s processes at its factory in Neath. Everyone involved was asked for their input, from the managing director to paint buyers. The carbon footprints of customers, and in turn their own customers, were also explored to determine how they actually use the welfare cabins on sites.
Practical measures taken have included installing 95 solar panels on the roof of one of the Genquip Groundhog factory buildings, leading to an impressive 33 per cent reduction in electricity costs. The company is in the process of building a new main production plant opening next year, which will have no fewer than 568 solar panels.
Genquip Groundhog has also joined the Confor sustainable forestry organisation, through which the company will plant trees on adjacent land to offset its remaining carbon footprint. Huw Longton of the ERA said that the EU had devised a programme of carbon reduction for adoption among member states, with the aim of achieving a 55 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and to be net-zero by 2050.
The ERA itself has developed a number of free ESG tools for hire companies to use, including an equipment CO2 calculator, a Sustainable Supplier Framework to promote best practice throughout the supply chain, and a CSR (corporate social responsibility)
KPI Guidance Framework to help hire
equivalent to £9 million worth of diesel.
The company is also adopting simpler measures like installing ‘Hippo’ blocks in toilet cisterns to reduce water usage per flush. Personnel are also encouraged to contribute their own ideas for achieving environmental benefits and Rachel said this instilled a sense of engagement and fun, which matches Prolectric’s approach to business.
companies benchmark themselves against their peers. The Association has also published a Manifesto document highlighting the environmental benefits that arise out of hiring equipment rather than purchasing it, and obtaining the maximum working life from it.
Huw added that the ERA’s 2023 Convention in Maastricht on 7th and 8th June 2023 will focus on elements of ESG such as employee health, inclusion and building a good corporate reputation to help attract the best people.
Rachel Preen of Prolectric Services described how the company had benefited from commissioning a report into its environmental status by a specialist consultancy as a benchmarking exercise against which reductions could be implemented and monitored. This had examined the firm’s production processes, its workplace environment and its community involvement, amongst other criteria.
Appropriately enough, given the nature of its products, Prolectric has fitted solar panels to the roof of its premises which generate 33 per cent of its electricity requirements. Moreover, the company has calculated that the equipment it supplies reduces emissions by a level
Indeed, she suggested that it was all too easy to over-analyse ESG responsibilities and that if you take relevant actions, business success will surely follow because it is essentially sensible commercial practice. She also cited research saying that 80 per cent of graduates now only want to work for organisations that are adopting sound ESG practices.
This was echoed by Genquip Groundhog’s Peter Beach who questioned why the path to net zero was so frequently described as a race. He believed it was more meaningful to proceed in a measured way, not over-reacting to every possible ESG consideration but concentrating on those with realisable, practical benefits. In this way, blind alleys and costly mistakes would be avoided.
Finally, Merrill Lynch considered the massive progress that had been made in technological developments over the past 20 years, such as the introduction of Stage V engines, better solar panels and machines using battery technology. These were helping business meet their ESG obligations.
Who knows what the next few years will hold, but the ESG journey is certainly an exciting and valuable one.
Given the frequent references during the Conference to ongoing political turmoil and economic turbulence, it was hugely ironic when during the lunch break news filtered through of Liz Truss’s sudden resignation as prime minister. However, delegates just continued with the business at hand, again showing how the plant-hire industry retains a steadfast focus on the important matters with resilience and confidence.
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FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE - FOCUS ON THE EXHIBITORS
This year’s CPA Conference attracted a record number of suppliers exhibiting products and services that can help plant-hirers achieve their ESG ambitions.
Point of Rental Software, which was the Conference’s Headline Sponsor, promoted the wide range of services it offers for hirers to handle all aspects of hire transactions. Besides hire management software suites, the company’s app modules for delivery drivers, mobile engineers and workshop technicians allow other areas of operations to be included. Amongst the latest developments to be launched soon is a ‘micro app’ called PoR Pay which integrates with programs such as Opayo (formerly Sage Pay) and Stripe to enable credit card payments to be processed.
Capja offers tailored digital services allowing organisations to automate their business and replace paperbased processes in offices and work sites. This avoids duplication, saves time and conveys a professional approach. Services include QR documents, document scanning and OCR, intelligent eForms, mobile apps, customer communications management and digital designs.
CPCS (Construction Plant Competence Scheme) provides skills cards for the plant sector of the construction industry and allied activities. Part of the NOCN Group, CPCS says it is the largest plant card scheme and that it enables operatives to obtain and renew the qualifications they need to work safely and competently.
The European Rental Association (ERA) promoted ESG tools it has developed for hirers. The Sustainable Supplier Framework sets industry best practice guidelines in sustainability
assessments of suppliers, while the Equipment CO2 Calculator estimates the carbon emissions of construction machinery. The CSR KPI Guidance Framework enables hirers to assess their current approach to sustainability.
Flannery Plant Hire promoted its new Skills Bootcamp in Plant Operations. Funded by the Department for Education, new industry entrants and those looking to upskill can learn how to operate machines in a competent, safe and environmentally friendly manner, and at the end of the course they are guaranteed a job interview.
FuelActive’s floating fuel pickup pipe draws clean fuel from the top of the level in the tank, avoiding contamination lying at the bottom which could damage Stage V engine injectors. Burning clean fuel increases energy efficiency, extends engine life and FuelActive says the system typically pays for itself in three months.
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event review CPA CONFERENCE 2022
Genquip Groundhog previewed its new i550, a twin-axle 5m long welfare cabin which has four solar panels, a large inverter and two lithium batteries that provide enough energy to run the unit in typical operation. A backup power source only operates if the batteries have 20 per cent of charge, cutting out again at 80 per cent.
inspHire’s software systems enable hirers to manage all aspects of the hire process, from booking and ordering equipment to invoicing and workshop procedures. inspHire Mobile allows personnel to work remotely on or offline, and digital resource management brings paperless environmental benefits. Cloud-based storage also removes the expense of having local servers.
JCB displayed the 1TE electric high-tip dumper from the manufacturer’s E-TECH range of zero emission, low noise machines.
The 1-tonne unit has a
steel skip, an articulated chassis and, instead of individual wheel motors, it incorporates conventional drive axles and a drop box for full-time, all-wheel drive.
L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage highlighted its ESG initiatives. Regarding the Environment it is reducing carbon emissions by adopting digital working and new technologies, while Social goals prioritise leaving a positive legacy for the company’s teams, stakeholders and the wider community. On Governance, Lynch aims to create a fair and transparent workplace.
Lifos promoted its new Lifos Fort battery pack which can incorporate a solar panel that is stored inside the unit. Wind turbines and generators can also be connected. To maximise useful life and reduce landfill waste, Lifos can swap the batteries after seven years and give the machine a further five year warranty.
The MachineMax equipment management platform offers a digital solution for maximising off-highway plant profitability. It works with any equipment that has an onboard tracking system and captures data relating to idling, location, emissions, fuel consumption and other parameters. This enables improvements in productivity and efficiency to be made and carbon reductions achieved.
MHM Plant offers generators, lighting towers, fuel management products and other equipment for re-hire and sale. Products displayed at the Conference included the MG 6000 SSY-5-ECO 6kVA generator
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event review CPA CONFERENCE 2022
which has an automotive-style stop/ start system; the ST-9 diesel-free solar lighting tower; and the compact solar Street Lite which has a 5.5m mast.
Nexus Vehicle Rental’s online platform enables customers to hire plant, lighting, access machines and site welfare and accommodation units via a single source, as well as vehicles and HGVs. It has national agreements in place with multiple companies. Users can control and monitor their hire transactions using the company’s IRIS rental management software.
Plant Planet is an independent magazine delivering news and insights from the plant machinery industry. Its core aim is to provide readers with impartial information from across the world of heavy machinery in print, online and app formats, including the bi-monthly magazine and an online news platform.
Rather than its own services, machinery hirer Plantforce promoted the Plant & Hire Aid Alliance’s
campaign to give Ukrainian children a happier Christmas this year. People had the opportunity to send wrapped toys and gifts to a central collection point for transportation in a dedicated articulated lorry and distribution by local volunteers. For details visit www.aid-alliance.com
Prolectric Services says its solar lighting towers give 16 hours’ operation per night, all year and in all weathers. The range includes CCTV security cameras, solar hybrid generators, solar lighting bollards and battery powered link lighting for trackside use. The equipment increases sustainability, reduces fuel costs and gives social benefits like low noise levels.
Robustrack offers a broad portfolio of excavator attachments enabling users to achieve greater efficiency by using one machine to undertake more tasks. These range from flail mowers and concrete mixing buckets, to post drivers and tree shears, and attachments like crusher buckets allow materials to be recycled on site.
The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) promoted the range of training services and industry recognised qualifications that it offers. Its construction portfolio categories include: Operative and specialisms; Technical, supervisory and management; and Street Works. Also available are NVQ certificates and Diplomas as well as Customised Awards. Qualifications are developed in partnership with industry professionals.
Thomas Plant Hire displayed a simulator at the Conference to enable visitors to trial the OnGrade machine control system that can be fitted to equipment like dozers and excavators for greater efficiency. The Deeside-based company has expanded its fleet significantly to help Tier 1 contractors and other users meet ESG obligations.
WowNow Hire is a nationwide managed intermediary hire service that sources, delivers and collects assets including powered access, plant, tools, waste services and site accommodation. WowNow Hire (formerly known as Nationwide Hire) was formed in 1995 to meet demand from shopfitters working in unfamiliar locations and has evolved to serve additional markets.
For further information on the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA), please visit www.cpa.uk.net
34 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet
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HS2’S HERCULEAN TRANSPORTATION OPERATION
David Chuck provides an update on the HS2 project as construction progresses through Warwickshire
Much has been happening in Warwickshire regarding the construction of HS2 since our last article in the February 2022 issue of Plant
Planet including the night -time transportation of Dorothy’s giant cutterhead through my home village of Ufton.
These dramatic photos and video (the latter being available online only) capture the night-time transportation of HS2’s Long Itchington Wood tunnel
boring machine, named Dorothy. Having completed one tunnel in the area, the tunnel boring machine’s giant cutterhead returned to the north portal site in Warwickshire, through the village of Ufton, passing the picturesque church.
HS2’s Dorothy made the first tunnel breakthrough at the south portal site near Long Itchington in July this year. The front part of the tunnel boring machine was then dismantled and transported back to the north portal in an intricate 24/7 operation, managed by the plant and logistics team from HS2’s contractor, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV).
The cutterhead, weighing 160 tonnes and with a 10-metre diameter, was moved during the night of Wednesday 21 September. Standing upright on a 12 metrelong, 48-wheel Self Propelled Trailer (SPT), it was transported from the south portal site, along the A425, through Ufton village and onto HS2’s north portal site.
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UPDATE HS2 PROJECT
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 37
UPDATE: HS2 PROJECT
UPDATE HS2 PROJECT
The TBM’s 120 tonne tail skin, also 10 metres in diameter, was moved in the same operation.
The 2.5-mile journey took 180 minutes, with the loads arriving at their destination at 0300 hours the following day, on 22 September.
Eight other large pieces from the tunnel boring machine’s front shield and middle shield, had already been transported by specialist equipment. This was used specifically
to avoid any temporary alterations to the road layout through Ufton.
The rest of the 120-metre-long tunnel boring machine will be pulled back through the one-mile tunnel by a special ‘caterpillar’ system, at a pace of 150 metres per day. Once all the parts are back at the north portal, ‘Dorothy’ will be reassembled before starting the second bore later this year.
“This has been an intricately planned operation, using specialist equipment to transport these large, heavy pieces of machinery safely and carefully, over a 2.5-mile route, and onto our north portal site. The whole team was proud to see the operation culminate in such an impressive sight, as the huge TBM cutterhead completed its short journey.
“We worked closely with the local authority,
would like to thank them for helping us ensure a safe operation, carried out at night to minimise disruption to the local community as much as possible.”
“The BBV logistics and site teams have done a great job to make this a safe and successful operation. We’re now looking forward to the reassembly of the TBM over the coming weeks, and the start of the second bore of the tunnel later this year. When we celebrate the breakthrough next summer, this will be the first fully completed twin bore tunnel on the HS2 project.”
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Senior personnel involved in this massive equipment move have commented on its success.
Tom Comer, Balfour Beatty VINCI’s Logistics Manager said:
Warwickshire Police and
Transport Police, and
Alan Payne, HS2’s Senior Project Manager said:
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 39 FOR ALL YOUR PLANT EQUIPMENT NEEDS Sales: 01530 242 782 Aftersales: 0333 358 2777 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.bteplantsales.com @bteplantsales Whether new or used machines, parts or servicing, we have you covered.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ASSET FINANCE PROVIDER FOR YOU
With multiple asset finance providers available to those in sectors utilising plant machinery, such as construction and demolition, making the choice between different vendors and types of equipment financing can be difficult. Asset finance is defined by provider Lombard as a “finance option businesses can use to grow by acquiring much needed equipment, such as vehicle fleets.” Asset finance can also bring potential tax benefits, although this is individual to each company.
We share a few considerations that aim to help you ascertain whether asset finance is right for you, and guide you in how to choose the provider that best suits your business needs.
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UPDATE ASSET MANAGEMENT
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 41
Construction finance, and in particular, asset finance, can often be beneficial for construction businesses looking to scale. A survey by Bibby Financial Services found that a third of UK subcontractors were using bank overdrafts to fund their businesses. But is that always the best choice long-term?
Asset finance allows businesses to expand their fleet and consequently, be able to take on bigger projects and generate more income. According to Lombard, financing your fleet can bring the following benefits:
THE KEY DIFFERENCES IN
An important aspect of asset finance to keep in mind is that the finance provider owns the equipment initially –you will either pay to use it (leasing), or incrementally pay it off until you own it (hire purchase).
The most pivotal difference between these two types of financing is that through leasing, the financial provider purchases the equipment on your behalf for you to use for a period of time. At the end of this period, companies can either extend the lease, or in some cases, provide a more substantial payment to outright purchase the equipment. This option works for those who need a particular type of equipment for a project, or want more flexibility in terms of their fleet without committing to purchasing.
Hire purchase is often compared to mortgages, with regular payments towards owning a large asset. The key difference is that the finance company continues to own the equipment until the final payment is made. Hire purchase is the more attractive choice for construction companies who want to own a particular piece of equipment, and see the payments to be worthy of the eventual return on investment.
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UPDATE ASSET MANAGEMENT
ASSET FINANCE THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME? l Spread the cost of an asset instead of paying outright with hire purchase l Avoid ownership costs such as maintenance and depreciation with contract hire l Tailored finance options to help you maintain cash flow and plan ahead
WHAT EQUIPMENT CAN I EXPECT TO FINANCE?
Whilst the types of assets you can finance varies by provider, the typical construction assets covered include: cranes, crushers, demolition equipment, telehandlers, screeners, bulldozers, dumpers, repairs, excavators, vehicles, and site plant. Although the list is not exhaustive, you can expect to see pretty much anything you may require on site for construction projects as an option.
Some lenders also offer refinancing on your owned or currently financed equipment, defined by Close Brothers as a “quick way to access the value of assets on your existing balance sheet and use that value elsewhere within your business – for example, to fund a deposit on new equipment or ease cash flow.” At the end of the refinancing term, the equipment will still be owned by you.
Given the turbulent financial landscape of the past few months, the latest Close Brothers Asset Finance Business Sentiment Index (BSI) for December 2022 indicates that just like other industries, sentiment in construction has continued to fall. This added factor makes the decision to commit to substantial financial contracts more difficult for some. Only your business itself can decide on the right asset financing choice for them. To ensure you are getting the best deal, compare quotes across multiple vendors. Whilst the overall cost of financing will always be larger than buying outright, for some, financing can give them more flexibility to balance their books while taking on bigger projects, particularly for smaller construction businesses.
44 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet UPDATE ASSET MANAGEMENT
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Plant Planet sit down with CEO, Dr. Ivan Yardley and Director, and former England rugby player, Tim Stimpson, the developers behind the Trade Plant Hire app, to learn about how the new app is making tool and equipment hire easy for the industry.
Tim Stimpson, takes us from the top about the idea behind the Trade Plant App:
“I had seen before how digital solutions improve certain sectors and markets. And I often ask about what the best way is to take friction out of the service and delivery process, we now expect going online to be a seamless process, therefore, the construction market and especially equipment, is expected to be the same. That was what really stuck out as an opportunity for us to streamline and make that process simpler. Hence where the idea for the Trade Plant App came around. It was a case of seeing an opportunity within a market that was ripe for digitalization, that would not only make the whole process simpler, but also liberalise the market as well. Making it easier for tradesmen, to compare the market for goods when it is convenient for them, and not having to worry about when stores and counters are open.”
The Trade Plant app initially launched in 2020, as the demand for equipment set to steadily grow after a gruelling year of the aftereffects of the pandemic. Speaking about the partnership between CEO, Ivan and Director, Tim, the two bounced off each other as they delved into the partnership
dynamic. Ivan explained: “Tim has got quite a large network and a lot of experience within the construction market and in this modern world, it’s technology which takes the strength.” Tim added, “which is why it was great having Ivan on board as well who was responsible for implementing the technology as he has the history of bringing technical platforms to market.”
Tim took us back to his early days: “My first career was as a professional rugby player, where to be successful you try and eliminate the risk of relying on an individual. It’s all about playing to each other’s strengths and then you build a system around it. That’s what myself and Ivan were trying to do – trying to build something based around what we’re good at, which was getting the job done. Sometimes it’s best to leave the contractors to focus on the heavyduty work and generally getting the job done, and then on the opposite side of that, leave the stockists to what they do best – supplying the equipment. The app is free to list and free to use. It’s user friendly for both contractors and stockists. It’s adaptable for both mobile and web. This app brings the best of both worlds together, to one platform.”
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EDITORIAL TRADE PLANT HIRE INTERVIEW
Both Ivan and Tim have first-hand experience in the construction and trade sectors. This experience has provided the team with the knowledge of how Trade Plant Hire can fill a key gap in the market.
Tim: “In my own experience, if I was out working hard, the last thing I want is to spend hours and hours searching for a particular tool I need, dealing with various people or brokers all the time, who may only be limited to a small stock.”
Ivan: “There’s been quite a lot of instances where you find yourself unable to get the kit or your local provider has only got limited stock and then you’re left with either having to delay the job or shop around, which causes a pause or, worst case, you get let down and must cancel completely.”
Tim: “It just makes sense that in this modern world, you should just be able to find what you need easily. Automation is being adapted more and more frequently as a way of working more efficiently. The Trade Plant Hire app combines both worlds of automation while still proving the human interface. If you don’t know what you want, you’re still going to have the ability to talk to a real person in the hire depot when you get there.”
Ivan: “Before Google, in the good old days, you would have gone through the Yellow Pages or through your local equipment provider because you could pop in there and get a cup of coffee, and it was normally on the way to the job. As we all know, whether it’s post pandemic or as things are now, things aren’t quite that simple anymore.”
Tim: “What I liked about this app is that there’s a simple way of finding what you need, when you want it. With the app’s “compare the market” type of search engine, you search for availability. You know what you’re going to pay and you just click it. When I’ve spoken to other builders in the industry, what they’re really, looking for isn’t always the lowest price. For them, it’s about reliability.
So, for us to provide a simple system, to have at least that bit nailed makes sense to me. That was one of the main reasons why I got
involved with the Trade Plant Hire app, I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t something already like it on the market, why hasn’t someone built a comparison site for hire equipment?
People always use their local broker, and the reason behind that is because they have a relationship with them, But what happens when your go-to isn’t available? Or they don’t have the stock that you need? What do you do?
Trade plant provides a platform that still facilitates the stockist / contractor relationship.”
buy from their terms and conditions, and you will then get their details once you pay. This allows for the flexibility to amend your order or ask as many questions as you like.
We’re currently working with Expert Trade, who are a community of tradesmen that review things. They are currently helping us research into and really listen to the market and make sure all the apps, have what they want and need to more efficiently get the job done.
It’s the best of both worlds but this platform automates everything to co-operatively bring it together. It’s bringing new business to an audience that otherwise people might not have found.”
Ivan delved into the mechanics of the app and the technology behind the development: “The app itself was built around the tradesmen, designed with the contractor in mind. It’s really versatile and has got a lot wider applications. We want to be the builder’s body. We want to be the extra pair of hands, the person that you can turn to and get the best price or availability for a particular piece of kit.
Tim: “When placing an order through the app you’re not taking anything away then from the actual business itself, the exchange is very much still in their hands. The contract and agreement are still with the stockist and that both parties
You tend to find that if you need a variety of equipment, those capabilities are in different businesses as the market is structured today. But a customer will need a few things from all over the place. Very rarely will they be able to find everything they want in one place, and we’ve tried to blur those edges and build our platform all around the customer as opposed to how the market structured. That is quite a challenge because you’ve got many different variables such as
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EDITORIAL TRADE PLANT HIRE INTERVIEW
pricing and insurances etc. all with factors that depend on what area you’re working in, and we tried to incorporate all those things.
Increasingly, people are moving towards technology but what they’re finding is that the process now isn’t as simple, you make a request and especially if it’s out of office hours, you’ll have to wait until the office opens again. There is very rarely a certain guarantee. Particularly when it comes to pricing, many of us have fallen prey to hidden costs such as added insurance costs, further delivery, deposits or even admin costs. There is no way that you know what you’re going to pay for before you get the check out.
Meanwhile with the Trade Plant app, I tried to simplify this one part of that mix for them. Having that human interface there as well, as Tim said, is important because if something necessarily isn’t on the app we’ll go to the market and find it for you as well, so the user is never left just hanging there.”
Looking to the future of the Trade Plant App and how far it has already come since its initial launch, Tim and Ivan explore their vision for future developments: Ivan: “One thing that we found is that whilst the technology originally seemed straightforward, we actually found that, with the nuance of the market, how different every hired service desk is, not just between companies, but within a company as well, was so different that it actually was more of a technical challenge than we initially thought. From our research into the market and audiences, we’ve learnt a lot and we’ve developed the technology accordingly. At present we have approximately 100,000line items ready for hire and we’ve now got UK coverage, with over 100 stockists listed. That has taken a lot of time to build up that network. We have also enabled push notifications now, so, as well
as having your email notifications to remind you if your hired equipment is due to expire on site, we also give you an in-app push on your phone. Likewise leaving tools on hire for longer than they were intended to be there as well the app will give you a push notification. Additionally, we’ve got an aspect that allows you to check all your invoices, including VAT invoices, for any kit that’s been hired. So as Tim says, when you return at the end of the course, you’ve got it all in one place and you don’t have to worry about having to find where your paperwork has been stuffed. It’s all been digitised for you
route for that, whether that’s recycling, repurposing, prevent in landfill or even how to steer away from fossil fuels, and we want to start putting those in the credentials so as a builder, you can be informed about against the rules of the site as well as what sort of equipment you need and what you’d prefer to have. Ideally we’d like tobe able to produce on invoices about the tonnage of carbon or a comparison about what you save by purchasing. The development list really is endless but what we’re really keen to do now is, to listen to the market about what our audience want.”
so it can all be done within the app itself.
In terms of development, we’re looking towards taking a greener outlook and want to bring in some green credentials. A lot of the companies that we deal with are looking about how can they provide a more sustainable and ecofriendly offering to the construction industry and each one has got a different
Tim added: “For myself and Ivan, it’s about making sure that our team works well together. Making sure that we keep on listening to the market. There are lots of things that we could do with an app and there’s probably a hundred things we thought we’d do or did do. And then we thought, let’s just keep it simple. Let’s deliver on what our users actually want and we can carry on evolving from there.
Once we are able to identify some of the top problems, we can then take a step to look and see whether we can solve them for you.”
What makes this app unique? - We have built this app based on our own real experiences, with what we in the trade feel is needed.
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The Trade Plant Hire app is free and downloadable via the website. Find out more at: www.tradeplanthire.co.uk
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 49 Fuel Additive Science Technologies Ltd, Unit 29 Atcham Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY4 4UG Tel: 01743 761415 Email: email@example.com www.fastexocet.co.uk Call us today to order your additives on 01743 761415 exocet ® FUTURE FUELS + exocet® Future Fuels + is a performance fuel additive for paraffinic fuels conforming to BS EN15940 - Paraffinic diesel fuel from synthesis or hydrotreatment. The two fuels covered by the fuel specification are commonly known as GTL (Gas to Liquid), typically made from non-renewable natural gas, and HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil), typically made from renewable vegetable oils. Clean fuel injectors Prevents injectors sticking & over fuelling Engine power maintained Neste recommend the use of deposit control and lubricity additives Improve lubricity Protects moving metal parts Prevents fuel filter blocking when mixed with FAME containing fuels BENEFITS OF USING EXOCET® FUTURE FUELS +
The 33rd edition of Bauma returned to the grounds of Neue Messe München, Munich, between 24th-30th October 2022, for seven action-packed days full of innovative displays of the latest technologies and machinery.
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After subsequently being postponed from the show’s original date of April 2021, the anticipation for the return of the world’s leading trade fair for construction and mining machinery was greater than ever.
The show saw around 3,200 exhibitors from 60 countries showcase their latest innovations, with over an incredible 495,000 visitors flocking to the event from over 200 countries. It was safe to say that this year’s show greatly surpassed industry expectations!
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EVENT REVIEW BAUMA
Key market players included in this year’s Bauma line-up were:
Altrad Belle, Liebherr, Bell Equipment, BKT, FAYAT group, Bronto Skylift, Bucher Municipal, Caterpillar, Continental, Engcon, Euro Auctions, Fogmaker, Hitachi, Sinoboom, Hydrema, John Deere, Wirtgen, Kobelco, Kohler, Komatsu, Kubota, Magni, MB Crusher, McCloskey, Merlo, Rototilt, Sennebogen, SITECH, Takeuchi, Thwaites, TopCon, Track Unit, Trimble, TVH Parts, Webasto, Yanmar, and many more.
This year’s show looked to have a key focus on digitalisation and sustainability with the “construction methods and materials of tomorrow” as one of the key topics. Key themes throughout the event also included:
l The way to autonomous machines
l Mining – sustainable, efficient, reliable
l Digital construction site
l The way to Zero Emissions
This year’s show looked to have a key focus on digitalisation and sustainability with the “construction methods and materials of tomorrow” as one of the key topics.
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EVENT REVIEW BAUMA
Many big names in the industry took the opportunity to showcase their latest developments at the event:
Sany unveiled a new range of machinery at this year’s show, which are all set to launch in the UK in 2023. This included the purely electric Y19E mini excavator, the new, safe and comfortable STH1440 and STH1840 telescopic handlers, as well as a new generation SW305 heavy-duty wheel loader.
Sinoboom took Bauma by storm with their largest stand to date at the show. Electric power was a primary focus of their stand, with all but one of the models on show exclusively battery powered. The fifteen machines on their stand included numerous new and upgraded products, with several of Sinoboom’s heavy capacity plus models, including the scissor, telescopic and articulating boom lift lines, designed to appeal to a broad range of customers, from retail and warehousing through to industry, construction and more.
Hyundai also seized the opportunity to display an incredible twenty-two machines, also on their biggest and best stand yet. Their featured range also included the HW155H Hydrogen Excavator with an environmentally neutral Hydrogen engine which emits only pure water. Alongside this was also their new range of Red Dot award-winning mini excavators, the HX35 – HX48 A-Series. Also on display at the Hyundai stand was the completely emission free, electric 18E excavator and one of the biggest Hyundai machines in existence – the massive 88-tonne crawler, HX900L, with 650hp under the hood and a bucket size up to 5.8m³!
Hyundai’s future zone featured the Hyundai Connect-suite of telematics and technologies, the Hyundai excavator simulator, and a look into future proof alternatives to combustion engines, as well as insight into the evolution of Hyundai’s construction power sources.
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Bauma also proved once again it is THE platform for the industry, with many deals and connections being made between not only exhibitors, but also between like-minded exhibitors. Lifting solutions specialist GGR Group sold the world’s first 17m electric telehandler to Flannery Plant Hire at this year’s Bauma. The new 17m is part of the ‘Big Range Full Electric’ machine series, comprised of the 14.42, 17.40 and 17.45 models, offering maximum lifting capacities of 4.2, 4.0 and 4.5 tonnes respectively. With this year’s show looking to have a key theme of zero emissions, the purchase of the electric telehandler seemed very fitting!
Bauma is a leader in Europe for the mining industry, and this year, the event proved once again to be the hub of the industry, with exhibitors showcasing the key role mining plays, and experts looking into the sustainability, efficiency, and reliability of mining technologies.
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Many big names in the industry took the opportunity to showcase their latest developments at the event
The international Bauma Innovation Award was presented for the thirteenth time on Day 1 of Bauma 2022. The International Bauma Innovation award is presented to research and development teams that are bringing practical leading technology for the construction, building materials and mining industry to market readiness while focusing on resources, the environment, and people.
While numerous companies and institutes from Germany and abroad competed for the awards in the five categories, with a total of 133 entries received, this year’s five winners of the awards included:
Climate Protection: Liebherr France SAS with its hydrogen-powered excavator Digitalisation: MiC 4.0 Machines in Construction with one common digital language for construction sites Mechanical Engineering: Herrenknecht AG with its continuous advance Construction: Holcim (Germany) GmbH with CPC –Carbon Pre-stressed Concrete Research: Freiberg University of Mining and Technology Mechanical Engineering Institute with Deep Sea Sampling
“This Bauma has again stoked enthusiasm and fascination! After the world fundamentally changed following the last Bauma, we’re really thrilled that Bauma 2022 demonstrated that trade fair remains a powerhouse of the construction-equipment industry thanks to our customers’ great variety of innovations, good business deals and many visitors from all over the world.”
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Stefan Rummel, the CEO of Messe München responsible for the event, is pleased:
The next Bauma will be held in Munich from April 7–13, 2025.
COVER STORY THOMAS PLANT
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‘CAN DO ATTITUDE’ DRIVES THOMAS GROUP TO CONTINUED GROWTH
Thomas Plant Hire is much more than the name suggests. It has its roots stretching back to 1998 when Managing Director Wyn Thomas established a contracting business in North Wales to specialise in civil engineering and groundworks; he had no idea that almost a quarter of a century later he would be heading up what is arguably one of the country’s fastest growing group of companies.
Over the last five years and supported by an ambitious, experienced management team, the Thomas Group of companies, headquartered at Holywell in Wales, has seen significant expansion, with turnover growing by around 30% year on year. Apart from plant hire, there are seven other divisions, with growth achieved organically and by way of strategic acquisitions and there are more in the pipeline in the year ahead.
There are over 3,000 machines in the hire fleet, including telehandlers, 1.5 tonne to 50 tonne excavators, one tonne to 30 tonne dumpers and 72 dozers, with another 20 on order for next year, telehandlers, many being deployed in the group’s various businesses.
“We have invested around £50m in new plant and machinery over the past year, and we will probably invest the same amount in the year ahead,” says the group’s Head of Business Development Ian McMillan, who has 22 years of experience in the hire sector, the last four of them with Thomas Plant Hire. “If you don’t invest in your business, your revenue – and your profits –won’t grow,” he says.
“Because we operate under the Thomas Plant Hire banner, people often have a misconception that that is all we do, but we are far more than a family owned plant hire company; today as the Thomas Group we have been working hard in recent times to build our brand.”
Going back to the very beginning, as we mentioned, the group’s Managing Director Wyn Thomas started off as a contractor offering civil engineering services and as he invested in his fleet of plant and machinery he spotted an opportunity to hire some of it when it wasn’t needed, and so was born Thomas Plant Hire.
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COVER STORY THOMAS PLANT
With staff having a combined experience of around 70 years, its hire desks are one of the most experienced in the business, offering customers friendly, informed advice and making sure the right plant is in the right place at the right time and at the very best price.
All plant and machinery that leaves the hire depots are fully serviced in the company’s own well equipped workshops to ensure customers are getting only the very best.
With a large fleet of low-loaders, it can deliver and collect any size of plant and machinery and it operates an extensive mobile engineer support network covering the whole of the UK, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure customers are back up and running as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the contracting division, headed up now by General Manager Joe Clarke, is still going strong and growing, with 15 ‘live’ projects on the go. Over the years long term relationships have been forged with a wide range of major house building and other construction industry clients.
Recognised as one of the most successful groundwork companies in Northwest England and Wales, it employs over 120 highly skilled staff – many of whom have been with the company since its early days. It operates an extensive fleet of vehicles and machinery, supplied by the hire side of the group.
One of its flagship contracts involves work on Liverpool’s Anfield football ground which is being extended to accommodate an extra 7,000 fans. The multi-million pound project will see an expansion of the Anfield Road End stand and the re-routing of the original road to cope with that additional traffic.
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‘OUR SUPPORT NETWORK OPERATES 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK’
Key to the overall success and growth of the group has been diversification.”We don’t believe in putting all our eggs in one basket,” says Ian, which is why we continue to invest in new businesses, the latest being Thomas Cabin offering site accommodation, storage and welfare units. It was acquired earlier this year, and with Darren Hassell at the helm it has some 2,000 units for long or short term hire throughout the UK.
Another fast developing arm of the Thomas Group is Ongrade MC, offering sales, hire, service and training for Intelligent GPS machine control systems from leading brands such as Trimble Earthworks, Leica and Topcon; it featured prominently at the Hillhead exhibition earlier this year where it had a very busy stand. With 250 kits out on hire, supported by a team of nine fully trained and qualified fitters, a fleet of service and support vans on the road, together with technical back-up, Ongrade MC has become one of the biggest GPS Machine Control Hire companies in the country since being launched just three years ago, tripling turnover and recently introducing drone surveys throughout the UK.
62 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet COVER STORY THOMAS PLANT
Cabin Hire and Sales
‘THERE ARE SOME 2,000 UNITS FOR LONG OR SHORT TERM HIRE’.
Also expanding rapidly is SOS Hose Services, established in 1992 and acquired five years ago. Covering the North of England and North Wales, it is based at Deeside in Flintshire and specialises in all types of hoses and hydraulics to customers in the construction, transport and manufacturing sectors.
It offers a 24 hour on-site service, while its trade counter is always stocked with hydraulic hoses, hydraulic fittings and accessories, in addition to piping for refrigeration units, oil refineries and other sectors, all manufactured to the highest international standards. It also offers national coverage through a carefully selected network of companies.
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COVER STORY THOMAS PLANT
Thomas Tool Hire Ltd is also based at Deeside, with depots in Bolton and Bangor in Wales, offering small tool hire, sales and repairs. With over 40 years’ experience within the tool hire industry, this is a very progressive hire company regularly bringing in new and innovative kit that includes battery operated plate compactors, trench rammers and hybrid mini and micro diggers. It has over 2,000 items for hire and also provides other associated services including inspection, maintenance and repair of small plant tools.
Thomas Attachments offers customers in the construction industry a wide range of machine attachments, such as selector grabs and breakers, for hire or sale; it is another rapidly growing part of the Group.
ANOTHER RAPIDLY GROWING MANTON
The Thomas Group also owns Manton Forklifts, a main dealer for Doosan forklifts which was acquired in 2019. In the last year it has doubled its turnover and has added a range of diesel and electric powered access equipment such as booms and scissor lifts.
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Like every business, the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns brought its own challenges, but although the Thomas Group had to initially furlough some of its staff, it was just a temporary measure with most returning to work very quickly. “Business contracted by about 40%, but a year on it was back up to full strength and we are looking to the future with continued confidence,” says Ian.
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COVER STORY THOMAS PLANT
It is certainly not standing still. With a centralised service department in Shropshire, 10 depots located around the country supported by a team of mechanics and service engineers, together with a 20 strong team of field engineers and a strong, proactive sales force out on the road, it has ambitious plans for 2023.
“We are planning to establish new depots in the Stevenage area of north London, and in the North East of England to broaden our customer reach even further,” says Ian, “and we will also be opening purpose built offices in Tamworth for Ongrade MC which currently operates out of our Birmingham plant hire yard.”
This year, as part of its activities to raise the profile of the Thomas Group brand, the company attended as many as 10 different shows and exhibitions across the country, taking stands at two Welsh Construction Shows, at the CPA Annual Conference and at the Highways UK show at the NEC in Birmingham.
“It was the first year we have ever attended any such shows, but now that we have our name out there, we will be more selective in those we will attend in the year ahead,” explains Ian.
“While it is difficult to quantify any return on our investment in these shows, they do allow us to get in front of potential customers to promote our brand and correct any misconceptions people may have had about the Thomas Group of companies.
“Going forward, we have a strong, fully focused and motivated team around us who demonstrate at all times a ‘can do’ attitude on behalf of our customers, and, of course, we will be looking to make more strategic acquisitions as we continue to build and grow the Thomas Group.”
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The Executive Hire Show (EHS) will be making its return this coming February as the show is set to take place between 8th and 9th February 2023, at its established home the Coventry Building Society Arena, which is proud of its new tag as the ‘Home of Hire’. Launched in 2007, Executive Hire Show has quickly become the unmissable national exhibition for the tools, equipment, and plant hire industry, where ‘Passionate Hirers Meet Innovative
Suppliers’. This year’s event looks to be no different as Executive Hire 2023 is aiming even higher in terms of exhibitors and visitor attendance.
Chris Moore, Executive Hire Show Publishing and Event Director said: “Collaboration was the key to making the 2023 event the best one yet,” adding, “We continue to receive regular stand enquiries from leading suppliers, so, once again we expect another sold out Executive Hire Show.” Earlier this year, the EHS team confirmed that the sixteenth annual hire event is now 85% sold!
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‘THE SIXTEENTH ANNUAL HIRE EVENT IS NOW 85% SOLD.’
Executive Hire Show, Feb 2020
The Executive Hire Show builds on the industry’s great tradition of hire shows that date back to 1973, and this year’s show looks to tackle the issues at the forefront of the industry. As the journey to achieve net zero by 2050 gains traction, attention on sustainable solutions is at an all-time high, with many looking to create a greener outlook with their own technology. Therefore, it seems that new technology, sustainability, and safety will be taking centre stage at this year’s show.
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Executive Hire Show, Feb 2020
The AKFS Plant & Go - Weighing in at 3500Kg so it cab be driven by anyone over the age of 18 with a standard UK driving licence.
The ‘Innovation Trail Eco–Live’ is making a return for the 2023 event. However, there will be a new format for the Innovation Trail. Peter Haddock (Content with Media) will return to the event once again and will interview shortlisted candidates on their stands, with these interviews broadcast live across various social media platforms. The focus of the trail will be on equipment that
employs new power sources, and sustainable technologies, or improves efficiency and environmental impact. Companies profiled on the Trail will reflect environmental and sustainable solutions and products that embrace the latest technologies, including safety innovation, and offer efficient and future-proofed solutions for the evolving hire sector.
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Trime X-SOLAR HYBRID SI
The Atlas Copco ZenergiZE modular energy stoarge system utilising the benefits of high density lithium-ion batteries.
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MACHINEMAX WILL BE MAKING THEIR EXECUTIVE HIRE DEBUT
New exhibitors that have committed to the 2023 show include MachineMax, as they make their Executive Hire Show debut at the upcoming event.
MachineMax is an award-winning equipment management platform and provider of universal telematics sensors for off-highway fleets, working with customers to measure key metrics.
The MachineMax offering includes a cloud-based aggregation layer which normalises and aggregates incoming equipment data, irrespective of the telematics provider. If the equipment is not connected, they can provide a revolutionary self-powered, wireless sensor. Cloud computing is then used to deliver real-time data and analysis, displayed in an intuitive platform which is accessible to all stakeholders, allowing users to optimise their fleet operations.
MachineMax will be displaying their latest evolutionary equipment management platform on stand B32 at the show.
Amy Law, Marketing Manager, MachineMax said, “With no consolidated view of the fleet, it is often the case that equipment operates sub-optimally, resulting in unnecessary costs, project delays, and a detrimental impact on the environment. An obvious solution is to use live machine data to highlight inefficiencies and underperformance – after all, you cannot manage what you cannot measure.”
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PREVIEW EXECUTIVE HIRE
Other exhibitors for 2023 include GGR Group’s Eco-friendly lifting equipment. As the company are fresh back from Bauma, GGR Group is set to show its range of zeroemission construction machinery at the forthcoming Executive Hire Show 2023: the ECO UNIC URW-095 mini spider crane, the lithium-powered Electric Telehandler, the zeroemissions GF30 pick and carry crane, and the popular battery-powered tracked carrier, amongst other environmentally friendly equipment.
Also, look out for the Thwaites 3-tonne Electric Dumper, as it makes the UK debut at this year’s Executive Hire Show. On display will be an advanced concept machine, with the go-to-market version becoming available in 2023. Four maintenancefree, long-life, lithium-ion (dry-cell) batteries, operating at 48V, are fitted. Each battery is rated at 5.75kWh, providing the power to drive the machine. Two highly efficient electric motors (one for traction, one for hydraulic services) give the operator the control and manoeuvrability expected from a Thwaites dumper. Critically, the battery pack will complete a full 8-hour shift of ‘normal site operation’ from a single charge.
Thwaites General Sales Manager, Andy Sabin said, “As the demand for cleaner alternative fuel sources grows, we are keen to ensure we offer a quality product that delivers for our customers, their clients and the environment.”
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Thwaites 1 Tonne Dumper.
Taking centre stage on the Genquip Groundhog stand will be the brand-new ‘i’ range, launched at this year’s show. Offering up to 90% reduction in generator use over a 12 month period, as well as a new design both externally and internally, with the addition of more solar panels to the roof, and an upgraded inverter and Lithium batteries, it makes a robust, easy to operate and sustainable welfare unit for the hire industry.
Altrad Belle will be attending the 2023 Executive Hire Show, extending their record of attending each show since its inception back in 2007. Come along to Stand G30 to see what new products they have to offer alongside their already extensive range of Light Construction Equipment and grab some of their SHOW ONLY DEALS! No.1 for Light Construction Equipment!
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REGISTRATION FOR THIS YEAR’S SHOW IS CURRENTLY OPEN –AND IT’S FREE. Visit: https://rfg.circdata.com/publish/EHS23/ PUT THE 8TH & 9TH FEBRUARY 2023 IN YOUR DIARY. THE EHS IS NOT ONE TO BE MISSED! For a full exhibitor list, visit: www.executivehireshow.co.uk.
REBECCA BRYSON: TAKING THE REINS OF BTE
It is just over 12 months ago since I last met with Rebecca Bryson of BTE Plant Sales for a feature published in Plant Planet magazine in August 2021. At the time Rebecca was Commercial Director of BTE, but a lot has changed in the space of year. News broke at the end of July 2022, that Rebecca had become Managing Director and the majority shareholder of BTE Plant Sales, alongside its founder and Chairman,
Ben Elliott, marking an exciting new chapter for the business.
Rebecca, having purchased shares, now sits at the helm of BTE. Four months in, and she appears to be relishing every moment, yet remains very grounded and modest about her new role, which Rebecca describes as “a real privilege”.
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INTERVIEW REBECCA BRYSON
Rebecca Bryson talks to Rachel Lambert about becoming majority shareholder and Managing Director of BTE Plant Sales, and her ambitious plans for the future of the business.
“Ben and Dave (Hawley) had been having conversations about what the future held for BTE and the need for a ‘succession’ plan. Dave wanted to step away, and Ben still had great ambitions to grow BTE. They recognised how much I adored working for BTE and knew I was ambitious by nature. And so, in August 2021, they approached me with an idea about purchasing the business, which I thought was a huge privilege and an incredible opportunity. So, after nine months’ worth of rather secretive legal and financial negotiations, I formally became the majority shareholder and Managing Director on 22nd July 2022. It’s been a whirlwind and I don’t think it has really sunk in, but I am absolutely thrilled to have this opportunity,” says Rebecca.
Full of praise for Ben, with whom she says she has, “the most amazing working relationship”, Rebecca is firmly focused on growing BTE with a clear vision for the future.
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“IT’S BEEN A WHIRLWIND AND I DON’T THINK IT HAS REALLY SUNK IN, BUT I AM ABSOLUTELY THRILLED TO HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY”
“Ben and I work so well together. We are very similar and both of us of have huge ambitions to grow BTE, which is exciting for the future of the business. The machines we sell are the best in the world and we are fortunate to have strong relationships with manufacturers, plus we have a great team at BTE, so we couldn’t be better placed to serve our customers. Ben and I both feel it is imperative that, while we have these ambitions for growth, we stay grounded and remain very approachable retaining our ‘family feel’.”
As we are talking about the future, it is clear to see the genuine respect Rebecca has for BTE’s customers. She is keen to allay any concerns about ‘radical change’, stressing that while they have great aspirations for growth in the future, they remain 100 per cent committed to all their customers and existing accounts.
“Each and every one of our customers is important to BTE. This is firmly etched in our corporate psyche and will never change, however much we grow this business, and our focus is very much on further developing
existing accounts. So, when we talk about growth, it’s not about changing BTE’s core customer values; it is about evolving the brand and becoming stronger and more efficient in what we do, yet always being consistent in our approach.”
When talking about the brand (a brand that she is evidently passionate about) Rebecca says she is on a quest to make ‘Brand BTE’ stand out in its own right based on its quality of products and services, as well as its principles and strategic vision.
“I believe that we shouldn’t just be defined as the dealer of Kubota or Thwaites, and so on. While we are proud to represent market leading products, I feel that it is important for BTE Plant Sales to be the prominent brand; one that is built on customer respect, recognition and trust. I want BTE to be a brand that customers instantly recognise, and one they associate with our core values. I believe the reputation BTE already enjoys is an excellent foundation for building the brand.”
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“EACH AND EVERY ONE OF OUR CUSTOMERS IS IMPORTANT TO BTE”
BTE celebrated its 30-year anniversary in 2020. Headquartered in Leicester in the heart of the Midlands, BTE also has depots in the Northwest and in Yorkshire. One key strategic shift has been to centralise BTE’s aftersales services, with Parts and Service now co-ordinated by Group Head Office.
“We have made a lot of progress in aligning our aftersales services and centralising this has been one of our most significant changes, enabling us to deliver many benefits to our customers through quicker response times and greater efficiencies, with our depots mirroring that of our headquarters in Leicester. Our Leeds depot is a great example; once just a PDI centre we now have fitters based there, and a new foreman to oversee operations so it is fully-functional. We want to give our customers across the north and northwest of England the very best sales and aftersales support.”
As we talk, it is apparent how committed Rebecca is to aligning all key areas of the business, with ‘consistency’ and ‘conformity’ being top of the agenda. She explains how they are proactively investing in aftersales. She also talks about more emphasis being made on promoting service contracts in a similar vein to the automotive industry, seeing this very much a trend for the future.
“Through alignment, we can offer both ‘brand and service consistency’ and an even
higher level of ‘attentiveness’ to meet customer expectations across all the regions we cover. We know everything we do conforms to our high BTE standards and while doing this, we retain that personal touch. If a customer rings us with a machine down, we want to take instant action and not ‘we’ll get back to you within a week’.”
This concentration on aftersales is already proving successful for both Service and Parts departments. BTE’s Parts business continues to grow month by month, which Rebecca attributes to having a very strong Parts team in place, as well as a robust marketing strategy to advertise promotions. The majority of BTE supplied parts are now shipped overnight by couriers, and the Parts department continues to grow following the employment of three new team members. And, it is not just restructuring and recruitment which is driving this growth. It is a department which is preparing to grow further following investment in a new computer system (which is in the process of being installed) to help the business become ‘smarter’ in how it operates for improved efficiencies.
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“WE WANT TO GIVE OUR CUSTOMERS THE VERY BEST SALES AND AFTERSALES SUPPORT”
INTERVIEW REBECCA BRYSON
“I think it’s important to get the foundations right before making major changes, and this has been a real focus for me and will continue to be a priority in this first year. There’s been a lot of training of personnel, and some departmental restructuring (such as Sales and Admin), with more internal events and senior management meetings to make sure we are all in tune with one another and share the same goals. I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing policies to ensure compliance, while also being heavily focused on strategic planning. Even small changes are making a huge difference.”
Eco-friendly innovations and sustainable initiatives are also being followed with interest with BTE building-up a variety of zero-emission machines in its portfolio, such as the Kubota LPG KX019; the Merlo 5m eWorker telehandler as well as the scheduled introduction of the Thwaites 3 Tonne electric dumper next year. Rebecca is full of praise for the BTE team, and how they have adjusted to the change of ownership and her new position, which she describes as encompassing three roles – Commercial Director, Sales Director and Managing Director! She laughs as she refers to BTE as now being a real ‘family business’ with Ben’s daughter (Katie) and son (Joe) and Rebecca’s sister (Zoe) all working for BTE. (We should also mention Rebecca’s spaniel, Boss, who is there on a daily basis overseeing operations!)
Speaking of the BTE team, she says, “They have been so supportive. One of my priorities has been to ‘promote from within’ rather than drafting in a completely new management team. We are giving our existing people opportunities to manage their own departments and take on greater responsibilities and want them to personally grow within the business. We want to nurture our people and support them in developing their careers, so they have scope to flourish at BTE. They know the business, work hard and have my trust. We’re in this together.”
Rebecca says, that while her role has expanded, her door is always open as she recognises the importance of being very approachable for all the team.
“Without the team here, Ben and I wouldn’t have a business and I would never want them to feel that they can’t discuss what’s on their minds because I have become ‘remote’. We are investing heavily in staff through training, and I want those who have been in the company for a long time to be recognised and always feel valued.”
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Rebecca’s spaniel, Boss.
“BTE IS A REAL FAMILY BUSINESS”
As she is talking it is clear how passionate Rebecca is about BTE and the value she places in her team as well as the importance she places on them ‘enjoying their jobs’, rather than it just being the source of a salary.
“We all spend a lot of time at work and I’m a strong believer that these hours should be enjoyable. As long as the job is done, and done well, I’m happy; so yes, we will have meetings, we will get the work done, and we will also have a laugh in the process.”
Another part of this vocational fulfilment extends to the introduction of some extra employee benefits, including access to the company gym, alongside healthcare and dental plans, which she feels is yet another element of how BTE is showing its appreciation for the entire team.
and is on track to exceed this in the current financial year.
I am curious to know how Rebecca has adjusted to this new position, and the reality of being the majority shareholder.
FEEL CONTINUITY OF RELATIONSHIPS IS THE BACKBONE TO
Laying these foundations certainly appears to be a successful formula for BTE. It achieved record sales in September 2022, translating to £7million turnover in that month alone. The company had turned over £58million last year
“So much has changed and yet so little. I have been very hands-on in the business for the last three years so the progression to Managing Director has been relatively seamless, but I still have to pinch myself to believe it’s true! I think the biggest change for me on a personal level is now being responsible for every member of BTE staff. Their safety, their job security falls under my remit, so there is a greater sense of ‘awareness’ in that respect. I want to ensure that we are successful, yet never compromise and that we are representing the business in the correct way. In terms of our customers, I’m still looking after my accounts, as is Ben, so those relationships will not change, and I’ll also be making regular visits to our depots and to manufacturers’ sites. I will always be very visible as I feel continuity of relationships is the backbone to our BTE business.”
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Being visible not just applies to Rebecca. BTE Plant Sales will be very visible over the next 12 months, attending and hosting many more regional events in 2023, spanning the Midlands and Northern England. Rebecca’s sister, Zoe, is employed as a dedicated Events Planner. It sounds as though she is going to be rather busy organising customer events, that’s for sure.
“We really want to proactively engage with our customers in all the areas we cover so regional events, as well as the larger national trade exhibitions, will play a major role in our 2023 strategy. We want to tailor our approach to suit all our customers’ interests and expectations, to
build and strengthen the relationships we have.”
There’s a lot of talk about strategy, so what is Rebecca’s vision for BTE in the future?
“I am so excited about the future and have a 10-year plan in place for the business which I want BTE to achieve. I make no secret of the fact that I want BTE to be a £100million turnover business which I believe is very achievable with our incredible team, our market leading products and aftersales services, together with the excellent relationships we have with our customers and manufacturers.”
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INTERVIEW REBECCA BRYSON
Rebecca continues, “BTE is a company with a fantastic history and what Ben has achieved in the business is absolutely remarkable, which is a solid basis for the future. I feel so privileged to be in this position and very excited to be working alongside Ben as the fellow shareholder. In Ben, I am so fortunate to have one of the best mentors in the industry to help me guide this ship, and my sincere wish is to do him proud in the future.”
She also extends her gratitude to her colleagues in the industry who have been so warm and kind in sending their congratulations, describing it as, “deeply touching” and “hugely supportive”.
As our meeting draws to a close, I feel certain that Rebecca and the team at BTE will be going from strength to strength. Her energy, enthusiasm and aspirations for evolving the BTE business is obvious, with a genuine love of the industry, and respect for the people who work in it. A new era for BTE awaits … and many eyes in the industry will be watching with interest. And, I’m guessing, with a great deal of admiration too!
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“I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE AND HAVE A 10-YEAR PLAN IN PLACE FOR THE BUSINESS WHICH I WANT BTE TO ACHIEVE”
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UKCW 2022 REVIEW
This year’s UK Construction Week show was held at the Birmingham NEC on the 4th-6th October 2022.
The NEC in Birmingham was the birthplace of UK Construction Week in 2015 and the tradeshow has grown to become the UK’s largest built environment event, held annually in the first week of October. UK Construction Week is one of the UK’s largest construction events and covers all facets of design, build and product innovation, helping to provide visitors with answers as to when, where and how we build our future.
This year’s show was co-located with Grand Designs Birmingham, Green Living Live, as well as the Timber Expo 2022. West Midlands mayor Andy Street and George Clarke opened the show on the main stage. The show saw over 6,000 products on display with over 300 exhibitors showcasing their latest products, including: Balfour Beatty, GLP Training, Tarmac, Google, Bosch, Ring and many more top manufacturers.
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REVIEW UK Construction Week
This year’s show saw many new topics come to light, with the event also celebrating culture change in construction. Over the 3-day event, the show had seven stages which hosted a programme of seminars, CPD sessions and careers presentations, led by diverse industry experts, business leaders and policy makers. Each day had a tailored theme tackling the big issues facing the industry such as skills crisis, social value, building safety and regulation.
For the budding construction worker, the UKCW Role Models initiative returned to the show, aiming to bring new talent and skills to the industry and looked to inspire those interested in a career in construction.
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managers REVIEW UK Construction Week
THE VISITOR DEMOGRAPHICS OF THIS YEAR’S SHOW CONSISTED OF:
visitors had purchasing authority
had purchasing power of over £1 million
were owners, directors &
The Build sector hosted specific products in areas such as roofing, tools, fire prevention and more from industry exhibitors such as AICO, Carpetright and GLP Training.
The Digitalisation area looked into the very latest technological advancements that could increase efficiency and productivity in your business.
Infrastructure featured representatives from some of the largest rail, building and rail projects, such as HS2.
In the Surfaces area, visitors were able to find solutions to all their flooring needs, as well as a great selection of ceramic tiles.
The Offsite section explored the latest advances in manufacturing, design, planning fabrication and even assembly.
The Timber Expo also celebrated its 10th year running at the show, but also its first time being co—located with UKCW.
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 87 UKCW 2022 FEATURED A TOTAL OF SEVEN CORE SECTIONS THAT BROUGHT ALL OF THE SUPPLY CHAIN TOGETHER, INCLUDING: Net Zero, Build, Digitalisation, Infrastructure, Surfaces, Offsite and also new for 2022, Timber Expo & Future Lab.
REVIEW UK Construction Week
Future Lab was a non-sales environment which presented a new range of innovative products that had just launched onto the market for the industry to trial and test with an aim to show how innovation can create new value for the future. Among the inventive products were K-briq from Kenoteq; this was an award winning, low carbon recycled facing brick make from over 90% recycled construction and demolition waste, including no cement! It currently has the highest recycled content of any construction material on the market.
Also in a UK first, Versarien showcased their 3D printing concrete capabilities in several live demonstrations during the expo. 3D printing has been explored more and more within the industry as a way of moving away from traditional module-based building processes using robots to create complex objects which previously would have been difficult or expensive using raw materials.
Zero-emission has been at the forefront of the construction industry this year, with many striving to keep in line with global targets to be Net Zero by 2050. New for the 2022 show was a dedicated Net Zero area. The Net Zero area featured a ZERO workshop hub which focused on a variety of tools and skills, as well as construction plant, equipment, labour and transport, and the role of technology and digitalisation and how their improved performance is leading to lower emissions.
Also featured in the Net Zero area was a remarkable A.I. art exhibition, named “TWO FUTURES” which looked to provide a glimpse into two possible futures – one future which has achieved net zero, and in contrast, one that has suffered at the full effects of climate change.
Many exhibitors seized the opportunity to announce their new product launches at this year’s event, including Nexus Vehicle Rental, who demonstrated their award-winning rental management software – the UK’s largest supply network of rental vehicles in over 2,000 locations. Rolec also showcased their extensive range of electric vehicle charging points, including their brand-new charger known as “Zura”.
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UK Construction Week Birmingham will return next year at the Birmingham NEC on the 3-5 October 2023. The upcoming 2023 show will once again be a key destination for all in the sector. Co-located with Timber Expo, Grand Designs Live and Green Living Live.
Kubota UK ... The nation’s favourite excavator
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COMPANY PROFILE KUBOTA
ubota UK is a market leading manufacturer of high-performance construction machinery solutions, producing a diverse product range of mini-excavators, wheel loaders and track dumpers.
As a leading player in the UK excavator market, Kubota is continually investing in research and development for its machinery. Last year, the business launched its Smart Energy Solutions range, which includes the KX019-4 SI HGL LPG powered mini-excavator, specifically designed to meet growing market demand for greener and more sustainable construction machinery.
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Kubota’s market-leading engineering has been recognised at the highest level, with its flagship 5-tonne mini-excavator range (the KX060-5, U56-5 and U505) earning a Red Dot Award; an accreditation that celebrates genuine innovation in design. The range has also earned an iF Design Award, the international label for outstanding product design, with judges recognising the unparalleled levels of safety and cabin comfort that the models deliver.
What’s more, with an extensive network of specialist construction dealers across the UK and Ireland, Kubota UK also boasts a first-rate aftersales provision for customers and equipment. From the moment operators invest in a Kubota machine, they can rest assured that they will have access to an unbeatable aftermarket market offering that will keep their machine in good working order.
That commitment to first-rate customer service has paid off for Kubota, with 2022 marking Kubota’s 25th year as the UK’s leading mini-excavator manufacturer. To celebrate this fantastic achievement, Kubota carried out a host special events throughout the year. These included launching a nationwide search for the oldest working Kubota machine, a competition which unveiled dozens of decades old Kubotas still in perfect working order.
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COMPANY PROFILE KUBOTA
A demo-day of its latest machines, testimonials from the Kubota network and customers and even a children’s design competition, were just a few of the activities the manufacturer completed during the yearlong campaign.
“It’s an honour to celebrate any milestone, but 25-years as a leader in The UK & Republic of Ireland’s construction industry, which is a vitally important sector of UK & ROI’s overall economy is especially rewarding,” says, Rob White, Division Manager for Construction at Kubota UK. “A lot of hard work has gone in to securing this position and success wouldn’t be possible without four vital components; the excellent and tireless Kubota UK team, our vital dealership network, who are the lifeblood of the industry, our incredibly loyal customer base and of course, the innovative and unique Kubota engine technologies and machinery.”
And while Kubota has celebrated its past, it also remains a business with an eye on the future, too.
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COMPANY PROFILE KUBOTA
In September of this year, Kubota opened a brand new European Parts Centre in France; significantly strengthening its European parts supply system. Representing an investment of more than 15 million euros, the new center supplies parts not only to dealers and distributors not only in Europe, but in other regions such as Japan and the USA, too.
Furthermore, Kubota has launched a new tracking system portal to help construction equipment operators increase machine efficiency and security. The ‘Kubota Tracking System’ portal is available
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“Our Kubota Tracking System ensures operators can access all the data from their machines at the touch of a button.”
on all KX060-5, U65-5, U50-5 and KX080-4a2 miniexcavators and can be accessed via a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, meaning the data from a Kubota fleet can be seen anywhere at any time.
“As costs in other areas of construction rise, we are trying to develop new ways to help Kubota machine users understand where savings can be made and efficiency increased,” Rob White adds.
“Our Kubota Tracking System ensures operators can access all the data from their machines at the touch of a button, allowing them to make informed
decisions. This includes considerations around servicing times and fleet movement, alongside additional benefits such as increased visibility of machines that helps with security.”
The intuitive and user-friendly portal shares informative data that helps users access operational performance and consider management decisions.
Enhanced security is provided as machine owners can view locations via GPS tracking to oversee the movement of each Kubota mini-excavator. Furthermore, geofencing is available, which allows users to designate specific areas of use for each machine, with the portal notifying operators should that machine leave the area. In addition, the portal provides alerts which show a machine’s faults enabling a fast response and resolution, thus minimising any downtime.
Increased productivity is achievable thanks to the constant review and analysis of realtime parameters of parts such as machine work rate, operating times, actual operation, occupancy rate (as a percentage), idling time, DPF regeneration history, water and oil temperatures, and fuel consumption.
“Having access to all this real-time data provides the opportunity for Kubota excavator owners to really streamline their processes and adapt fluidly to any and all situations,” concludes Rob.
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98 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet Leading the industry with a complete range of Crushers, Screeners, Shredders, Trommels & Stackers Proven Performance for over 35 years McCloskeyEquipment.co.uk McCloskey Equipment provides New Machines, Parts Distribution, Servicing and Machinery Overhaul. Collectively, McCloskey Equipment offers over 100 years’ experience of machinery and processing in every application. A wide range of industries across the UK are supported by McCloskey Equipment, including Aggregates, Landscaping, Infrastructure and Road Building, Mining, Construction and Demolition, Waste Management and Recycling. 01235 832407 Sales@McCloskeyEquipment.co.uk Proud to supply
IMPROVING HEALTH & SAFETY IN CONSTRUCTION WORK
Construction is a vital industry, creating buildings and spaces that connect communities, providing jobs and improving society. Construction provides real solutions, and job security in the sector is higher compared to other industries.
Construction professionals maintain expansive safety procedures to make sure everyone remains safe, because the job involves working with heavy machinery and performing labour that could involve hazards. Health and safety is one of the most important aspects of construction industries, with 3% of all workers in the UK having a hazardous job and 10% suffering from injuries caused by heavy machinery. This can lead to big losses for the company and to dissatisfied workers. Even if the risks are numerous, they can be reduced by ensuring adherence to the correct health and safety process, which will provide vital
information of the risks involved in the work so that the employee is aware of them.
By failing to address this matter and not making sure construction workers are aware of their environment, the business stands at risk of losing staff and therefore losing profitability.
As a result, training plays an important role for every construction base to improve the successful running of the firm. Construction based work involves the use of heavy machinery, which can be extremely dangerous if not used correctly, causing serious injuries.
Workers should all be trained to safely operate the heavy equipment, and training should include how to safely mount and dismount, and how to start up and handle each machine. Operators should have a great knowledge about lifting and only fully trained employees should be allowed to operate the machinery.
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FOCUS MACHINERY HEALTH & SAFETY
RISK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM:
SHARES TEN TIPS THAT CAN IMPROVE SAFETY IN CONSTRUCTION WORK:
It needs to be accessible to every employee in order to upkeep the general safety of the site. The system needs to be created before the work commences, and it will include the setting up and packing up of equipment.
This is fundamental, as there are often many workers on site doing different jobs – making sure the communication is upheld is key to ensure everyone is aware of each other. Communication is best maintained by holding daily meetings.
3 USE FALL PROTECTIONS:
Much of construction work involves working at heights, and using the right protection will help to minimise the risk of serious injuries.
4 PROTECTIVE GEAR:
It is important that everyone in the workplace has access to protective gear, which will differentiate depending on the role the worker has. From eye protection to hard helmets, slipresistant boots, and gloves, well-fitting and high quality gear is essential to keeping workers safe.
5 SECURE EQUIPMENT:
The machinery needs to be checked and secured before the job starts to reduce any possible hazard.
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USE THE THREE-POINT RULE FOR MOUNTING AND DISMOUNTING:
It needs to be accessible to every employee in order to upkeep the general safety of the site. The system needs to be created before the work commences, and it will include the setting up and packing up of equipment.
KEEP THE SITE CLEAN:
Having a tidy workplace will reduce the risk of injuries. Making sure that the workers clean and reorganise after and during a day at work will make the job smoother. Furthermore, ensuring blind spots are clear of debris is vital.
8 WEAR YOUR SEATBELT:
They could save your life in case the vehicle starts to tip over or roll. The worst thing to do in this type of situation is to jump out of the machinery, as the equipment could end up falling on top of you.
9 STAY OUT OF BUSY WORK AREAS:
Keep yourself safe; if you are not needed, then do not be there.
10 MAINTAIN AWARENESS OF SURROUNDINGS:
It is very important to maintain full awareness of the surroundings, not only to protect people but also to not damage things like gas and water valves or electrical appliances, which can cause big issues.
We all have different physical and emotional capabilities – for the safety of yourself and others, never put yourself in situations you do not feel capable of. Be extra careful in stressful situations. If you need it, request for more training, and do not be afraid to express your concerns. Being part of a communicative and productive workplace is conducive to ensuring any risk of serious or fatal accidents is minimised.
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PLANT PLANET COMPANY PROFILE
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 103 COMPANY PROFILE THWAITES
The exclusive manufacturers of site dumpers that are built to last and built to be the best, Thwaites dumpers are designed and manufactured with contractors and hirers in mind. Safe, compliant, competitive, they are part of an 85-year heritage of owners and operators who love their Thwaites dumper. Ensuring operator safety, reducing risk and improving performance, are the three continually improving key factors that drive further innovation and product development.
BUILT TO LAST… BUILT TO BE THE BEST 85 YEARS OF ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE
Founded in 1937 by Basil Thwaites, the company remains a private family business. Initially an agricultural machine manufacturer, Thwaites went on to recognise the opportunity for construction products following the end of the second World War. Thwaites began production of construction equipment including dumpers, backhoe loaders and tile lifts. This established an enduring relationship with the construction market which remains to this day.
Thwaites designed and manufactured the very first site dumper in 1957, providing a
breakthrough design and machine which went on to revolutionise construction sites and become a staple solution to this day.
For those 85 years Thwaites have designed and manufactured site dumpers from the same Warwickshire factory in Leamington Spa. The factory boasts a blend of the very latest laser cutters and robot welders, the cleanest, most efficient paint spraying processes and a highly skilled team of timeserved craft folk. All of whom ensure Thwaites dumpers are consistently at the forefront of safety, design and development.
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70 COUNTRIES ON FIVE CONTINENTS
Thwaites offer a range of quality, reliable site dumpers, from 1 tonne to 9 tonne capacity; all built to exacting standards with hirers and contractors in mind. At every stage of the manufacturing process, each component must pass the most stringent tests. Once assembled, all dumpers go through a comprehensive pre-despatch inspection, prior to being delivered to the Thwaites distributor network and onto a loyal band of contractors and hirers.
Thwaites dumpers go to market via a distribution model, with each Thwaites approved distributor,
reflecting the values of the brand. In the UK, Thwaites partner exclusively with twelve of the leading familyowned plant sales businesses. Each of whom - prior to being selected as partners - will have completed a careful and considered process before they become an authorised Thwaites distributor. Around the world Thwaites dumpers are available on five continents and in over 70 countries.
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Walker Plant Services Ltd Leverton Road, Retford, Notts. DN22 0DZ, UK T: +44 (0)1777 709533 E: email@example.com www.walkerplant.com ALL OFF-ROAD • PENTA INDUSTRIAL WE SUPPLY PARTS FOR ALL VOLVO MACHINES • 25 years’ experience with Volvo Dump-Trucks • Selected-used or refurbished parts • All models catered for • Big savings • Engine and transmission rebuilds • Maintenance and repairs • Export enquiries welcome • Your choice of Swedish quality SLP or genuine OEM WPS Ltd has no aﬃliation or connection with, or approval by the VCE organisation
With the highest safety standards and fewer breakdowns or repairs, owning and operating a Thwaites dumper reduces the cost of ownership and improves margins. Thwaites dumpers are built to last, so when it is time to ‘trade-in’, contractors and hirers benefit from market leading residuals.
When hire rates are competitive, there’s one dumper that provides the quality to keep running cost to a minimum and the very best residuals, Thwaites, the manufacturer of the hire industry’s favourite site dumper.
LOWER COST OF OWNERSHIP CABBED DUMPERS: PROTECTING OPERATORS
Launched at the end of the decade, 1979 saw the launch of a significant new product. Years ahead of its time the 8-tonne Goliath, became the first cabbed and largest Thwaites dumper to date.
With major infrastructure projects driving demand for larger site dumpers, this 8-tonne machine delivered and provided the product solution that filled the gap between, standard site dumpers and Articulated Dump Trucks (ADT). With continued production and customer satisfaction, dumper design was through the 90’s and into the 2000’s driven by legislation with an enhanced focus on operator safety, ergonomics and the environment.
In 2017 Thwaites launched a range of 6-tonne and 9-tonne cabbed dumpers, these dumpers included a number of features and benefits that made the machine and operator even safer, with further improvements to production and reductions in the impact on the environment. This range of dumpers were and remain well received and adopted by the industry.
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NEXT GENERATION: ALTERNATIVE FUELS
In 2023 Thwaites will produce an all-new, all-electric 3-ton machine, the first in its class, which again has been designed with contractors and hirers in mind, offering the same build quality, robust design and engineering excellence that is ubiquitous across the Thwaites range.
The 3-tonne electric machine will be seen for the first time in the UK at the 2023 Executive Hire Show. As the demand for cleaner alternative fuel sources grows, Thwaites is keen to ensure they offer a quality product that delivers for its
customers, their clients and the environment. Four maintenance free, long-life, lithium-ion (drycell) batteries, operating at 48V, are fitted. Each battery is rated at 5.75kWh, providing the power to drive the machine. With two highly efficient electric motors (one for traction, one for the hydraulic services) giving the operator the control and manoeuvrability expected from a Thwaites dumper.
The electric drive dumper has a similar unladen weight when compared to the diesel/hydrostatic version. The main battery pack and driveline components, now sit low in the rear chassis, lowering the centre of gravity when compared to the hydrostatic drive machine, further improving machine stability.
Critically the battery pack will complete a full 8-hour shift of `normal site operation’ from a single charge.
The standard on-board 3.4kW battery charger can charge the pack from 0-100% in 8hrs. Optional off-board chargers rated at 7kW (single-phase) and 22kW (three-phase) have charge times of 4hrs and 2hrs respectively.
The machine will provide for the rental market, a cleaner, quieter, alternative, giving contractors options to use the machine in more urban refurbishment settings. In addition, the new, all electric dumper is compliant with the growing number of authorities and bodies that operate low emission zones.
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Search online, connect via LinkedIn or follow on Facebook and Instagram. www.thwaitesdumpers.co.uk
FIND OUT MORE ABOUT
Besides an array of their usual machines -on display was the new LXe-261 battery powered Compact Tractor which has a 19.1 kW (26HP) output powered by a large capacity lithiumion battery which is fitted with a rapid 1- hour charging system which delivers up to 4 hours of continuous run-time. It also features a highly responsive 3 -range HST transmission for smooth gear changing and has a top speed of 20 mph. This tractor
will be available for rental in the UK in 2023.
Also on display was a prototype Kubota Centre Collect Front Mower (CCFM ) which was on show in the UK for the first time. The CCFM is the inaugural unit from the Kubota Gianni Ferrari S.R.L. division which was created in July 2022. At the heart of this mower is a 3-cylinder diesel engine and hydrostatic transmission providing permanent 4- wheel drive.
110 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet EVENT REVIEW SALTEX 2022
The Leading Turf Management Show for grounds care volunteers, professionals, suppliers, and manufacturers took place at the NEC on 2nd & 3rd of November. David Chuck showcases some of the highlights.
Kubota Prototype Centre Collect Front Mower.
Merlo were back exhibiting, and their stand featured their new eWorker Zero Emission battery powered compact telehandler which will work a full shift on an 8 -hour charge.
The machine is available in two or, 4 -wheel drive versions, and has a top speed of 15 mph.
Another exhibit was the M12.3 Evo Handler 400 which is a multifunctional genuine compact telescopic handler with a maximum lift capacity of 400 kg to 3.4 metres high.
The handler is equipped as standard with an anti-tilt system to provide maximum operator safety and the Evo Handler is powered by a Kubota 21 bhp diesel engine.
Not on the stand at Saltex but being displayed at Bauma 2022 the previous month were another two interesting machines – One being a battery powered Cingo tracked carrier which is the newest member of the Merlo Generation Zero family of machines, the fullyelectric M600TD-e Cingo Tracked Carrier uses an electrical pump to drive the machine, with two electric gear motors to drive the tracks. Additionally, the machine uses a biodegradable hydraulic oil to further increase the overall sustainability of the machine’s design.
The M600TD-e has a 4-hour runtime, with a recharge time of 11⁄2 - 3 hours. The machine is compact, high performance and, being electric, is zero noise, zero vibration, and zero emission.
The second machine of interest is the all-new Merlo DM9 Dumper. This rigid-chassis machine has a 9 Tonne Capacity and features a 180 degree swivelling rear skip and two driving positions so that the operator is always pointing in the direction of travel. In addition, the machine is fitted with an electronically controlled hydrostatic transmission giving it a maximum road speed of 24 mph. This machine will shortly be available in the UK as an alternative to the Wacker Neuson Dual View.
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Merlo electric Cingo
Merlo eWorker which lifts 2.5 Tonne to 5 metres
Merlo DM9 9 Tonne Payload Dumper with Rear Swivelling Skip.
There was also another compact battery powered compact tractor being displayed and this one was from a Dutch company called KNEGT based in Veidhoven. The machine on their stand was a 45 HP model but they also offer a 55 HP model. Both models are 4 -wheel drive. These KNEGT compact tractors are fitted with two electric motors: one electric motor for the drive and PTO and one electric motor for the hydraulic pumps. A 240 -volt charger is supplied as standard. Further information can be found at: www.knegt-international.com
Avant were showcasing their model 650I loader which features their new Optidrive drive system. Some of the benefits of this include:
l10% better performance. Optidrive™ reduces power loss in the system by up to 1,5 kW which is roughly 10% of the total power used in the drive circuit.
l60% less hydraulic connections. There are far less 90 - degree angle fittings and T-junction fittings which are less optimal for the hydraulic flow.
l20% less hoses. Several valves are mounted together on one hydraulic block.
lLess heat build- up. In Optidrive™ the amount of flushing oil in the drive motors is 5 times bigger compared to the old system, providing a far better cooling of the drive circuit.
On the Saltex demo area they had an Avant e6 which is one of their first compact loaders with a lithium-ion battery. The e6 can be fully charged in just over an hour with its integrated charger and can operate between two to four hours on a full charge. The machine was fitted with an HD leveller which is a useful attachment for quick levelling of uneven ground.
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KNEGT battery electric tractor
Avant 650I with a selection of available attachments
The battery powered Avant e6 fitted with HD Leveller for quick levelling of uneven ground on the demo area of Saltex 2022
Many companies were displaying Zero Emission machines and even the muck-truck wheel-barrow now has a battery powered version. Over 8300 attendees from across the UK and over 50 countries streamed through the doors to attend Saltex this year at the NEC over two days signalling a return to pre-pandemic levels.
GEOFF WEBB, CEO OF THE GROUNDS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION (GMA), THE
“SALTEX has long been the flagship show for the industry and, in its 76th year, showed that, after the challenges of the pandemic, confidence from both visitors and exhibitors has returned”.
“With nearly 15 percent more visitors than the 2021 show, SALTEX delivered on offering visitors the widest array of equipment and products to explore, with over 400 brands on display, and offered exhibitors the largest audience to showcase their products to”.
EVENT ORGANISERS SAYS:
“As a not-for-profit, everything we earn gets ploughed back into the industry through investment in resources and initiatives that benefit the groundscare sector, so, with the 2022 show being such a hit, we look forward to beginning work on ensuring we build on this success and make the 2023 show even better for the sector”.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone back at SALTEX from 01-02 November 2023.”
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Muck- truck electric wheel barrow
114 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet Trusted by hundreds of businesses nationwide, Re-flow has enabled construction companies to become more efficient, compliant and profitable. Field management software that puts you in control and your team to work Instant access to over 40 customisable forms, including: • Safety Checks • RAMS Sign Off • Risk Assessments • Near Miss • Daily Work Records • DRS Workflow Build forms to streamline workflows – automatically update records, job progress and send notifications. • Jobs • Events and Tasks • Scheduling • Team Communication • Asset Management • Forms • Automation • Form Builder • Live User Tracking • Offline Working Information
is recorded in real-time and stored within an operative’s record. Our KPIs are instantly communicated back to the dashboard. Eliminating manual communication means non-conformances are sent directly to site as they happen. These have been the biggest things for us.
Lennon Head of IT M.V. Kelly Scan me To find out more: call 01392 574002 | www.re-flow.co.uk
SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS AND BETTER TIME MANAGEMENT ENJOYED BY NORTH WALES CONSTRUCTION FIRM
With theft being an ongoing issue for the construction industry, one company in North Wales has turned to ABAX Telematics to help increase security and offer peace of mind.
Anglesey-based John Kelly Construction has introduced the innovative ABAX Geofence as part of its suite of telematics solutions to help protect its assets in the event of them being moved without authorisation or even stolen.
Operations Manager from John Kelly Construction said: “Machinery theft is an on-going issue within the construction industry and the ABAX Geofence feature allows us to create a boundary around all sites. If machines go outside the Geofence boundary, we are immediately notified by text and e-mail, which means that this can be quickly acted upon, giving us peace of mind about the security of our assets.”
As a construction company with sites across North Wales, the ABAX Map allows the team to get real-time information on where machines and vehicles are located, as well as usage time.
It was a Google search that led the company to ABAX, and in turn has resulted in it becoming a much more efficient and automated business.
With a head office, six sites, 26 full time and 10 subcontracted staff, the business was also looking for a way to streamline its reporting and vehicle maintenance schedule. By using ABAX, there has also been a reduction in the amount of man hours taken to log usage
inform and train our staff. By generating a lot of the information that we need automatically, it also helps to make our business more costeffective. I could not imagine our company operating without a system like ABAX.”
The company is now fully automated, which makes everyone’s lives so much easier. The system also generates reports on the average usage of machines which helps plan for scheduled maintenance every 500 hours, something the company sees as a priority and means it can be confident in the safety of the machines it has on site.
time and plan for servicing and maintenance.
Reports are created every month providing information on everything from hours and mileage to servicing and maintenance, as well as reminders for upcoming MOT and Tax. The business added:
“The ABAX system is simple to use and also reports on driver behaviour, which we are able to use to educate,
“HSE could turn up any time with regards to machine standards but I’m really confident I have things under control.”
To improve visibility, security and control over a mixed fleet, speak to a member of the ABAX team on 01733 698888 or visit the website at www.abax.com/uk
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SITECH TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS RAPID GROWTH FOR SOCIAL HOUSING PROVIDER
Social housing developer First Endeavour LLP has invested in a complete range of on and off machine technology from SITECH® UK & Ireland to optimise engineer time and site productivity as council projects flood in for the New Year.
The Scottish business with offices in Aberdeen and Fife began discussions to fit their machines with SITECH Trimble technology six months ago after experiencing a shortage of skilled labour, as the business shifted to bring more of its building services in-house and new development sites began to stack up.
With projects lined up for the next eight years for housing providers including Fife, Angus and Aberdeen Councils, First Endeavour LLP have invested in machine control, 3D designs, project monitoring and reporting technology with SITECH. This includes four excavator Trimble 3D Earthworks Kits, a Trimble total station, a GNSS Rover and a drone with Trimble Stratus and Trimble Business Centre modelling software giving the company a complete start to finish solution – helping to make productivity, efficiency and safety gains which give them a competitive advantage.
Scott Napier, Engineering Manager at First Endeavour, said: “We’ve purchased four 20 tonne excavators and two 14 tonne excavators which SITECH have fitted with Trimble, technology, and we’ve just purchased a 35-tonne excavator and two dump trucks which means we can do our own cut and fill so we’re making some big investments now.
“When we began discussions with Liam at SITECH we were looking for two more engineers and he explained how the technology
sites going through planning that I need to survey and engineer them as efficiently as possible and iron out any issues quickly.
“Surveying using the drone and Trimble Stratus has been a revelation to us as it is a one-stop shop. As soon as we purchase a site we now go out and survey it with the drone then the data goes into the Trimble Stratus software and I get the worksite map back within hours which I can go into and get all sorts of measurements and estimate volumes.
“Our surveyors are using it now to calculate volumes, completed distances and distances to be completed, and we give our clients access to the platform so they can see their site in its entirety while it’s in progress – which they really like.
“From the office I can see where everything is being moved to and from, which saves me a lot of time with site visits. The Trimble Works Manager is fantastic for me as I can make changes, troubleshoot problems, and send solutions straight to the excavator.”
SITECH provided ongoing training and systems support to Scott so he could have full confidence in the new systems, and he admits that while some of their operators had concerns about using the machine control technology at first, they now love how simple it is to use and the degree of accuracy it delivers.
“It’s so easy to use Trimble that I can’t fault it or the team at SITECH who always come back to me within the hour if I have an issue,” Scott added.
“We’ve not finished investing in connected site technology, as we’ve saved over 15% on concrete alone just in relation to doing footings because of the accuracy of the GPS. This may not seem a lot, but at the
volume of concrete we use it means the kit has almost paid for itselfand that’s not considering the time savings in terms of manpower.
“We now have a one-stop shop for projects from inception to completion and the technology from SITECH has certainly exceeded our expectations.”
Liam Payne, Regional Sales Representative at SITECH UK & Ireland, a former site engineer himself, said the accuracy of the GPS technology means customers can work well within tolerances, while the GPS setups along with drone mapping through Trimble Stratus can halve engineer labour time on site profiling roads or setting up batter rails which are time-consuming tasks.
He added: “It can also eliminate health and safety concerns for site operatives, helping to minimise the risk of suffering trips or falls and reducing the risks present when working around deep excavations.”
“We gave Scott a demo on the Trimble SPS986 GPS rover, SPS720 Total Station and Trimble TSC7 survey controller then we talked about drone surveying because Scott oversees multiple sites which would take days to survey and process using more traditional methods. Stratus can carry out a survey in less than an hour and you receive it a few hours later fully processed ready to share with colleagues or clients.”
“Having supported Scott and his team to implement the technology from day one I’m really excited to follow them on their journey. Initially Scott and some of his excavator operators were quite apprehensive about using the technology but now they wouldn’t go back, and it’s exciting to see how it is helping First Endeavour LLP to grow.”
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more about the construction technology, software and specialist services and training SITECH UK & Ireland offers, visit the website at www.sitechukandireland.com PRODUCT
Empowering Non-Powered Equipment with Trackunit Spot
Finding your assets is often like finding a needle in a haystack. Designed to meet the rugged environmental demands of the off-highway sector, Trackunit Spot provides increased connectivity and visibility to the full fleet, significantly reducing operating costs and increasing the utilization of every single machine in real-time.
Trackunit Spot is installed on an asset, machine or equipment in only one minute and enables equipment and site managers to quickly locate these assets at depots and worksites via the Trackunit platform. It allows tracking of non-powered equipment and attachments alongside the rest of the fleet in one view.
Always an eye on your equipment
Trackunit Spot is a self-contained, battery-powered device that works independent of machine power and provides customers a 5G-ready solution that is easy to install and immediately connects non- managers and operators to always be the first to know if machines or equipment move without permission, keeping assets safe and secure around the clock.
Relocation and fleet optimization made easy Take the hassle out of equipment relocation or retrieval by knowing the exact location of all assets. Precise GPS location enables you to save time locating assets ready for pickup.
About Trackunit Trackunit is a technology company that orchestrates the data and infrastructure that connects construction. From operator safety and machine health to business optimization, Trackunit’s industry-leading telematics software, hardware and fleet management services benefit the everyday operations of customers worldwide.
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FOCUS FAST exocet
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LET EC-OIL DO THE DIRTY WORK, SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO!
Make standing in the mud and rain disconnecting hydraulic attachments a thing of the past.
Stay safe in the warmth and dry of your cab and let EC-Oil do the dirty work.
You also save lots of time, but that’s just an added bonus.
Read more at: engcon.com/ecoil Scan me!
ENGCON FP AD
Field Management Software that puts you in control and your team to work
Re-flow is an award-winning field management system for construction, trusted by hundreds of companies nationwide, including industry heavyweights M.V. Kelly, Colas and BMI. The software brings all major operational processes under one roof. With a seamless link between remote sites and the back-office, through a user-friendly app and dashboard, Re-flow enables real-time data, instant communication, strictly enforced compliance and more.
“It’s impacted the culture massively because it’s brought the site into safety more. Before, they’ve always seen safety as a burden. Re-flow has made it easier to complete safety forms, to the point where operatives are requesting additional forms. Before, it was a piece of paper - a tick exercise. Now they actually want more on site because they’re realising how it’s benefiting them.”
The system was built from the app backwards, designed with operative feedback as a guiding principle. An intuitive on-site experience is crucial to successfully implementing a digital system, Re-flow ensures that the transition won’t bring operations to a grinding halt. With an overwhelmingly high adoption rate, the system’s flexibility ensures workers can work with familiar processes and seamlessly pick up where they left off.
One of Re-flow’s core features is its asset management capabilities. Dashboard users can easily store and manipulate data on all their vehicles, plant and equipment. Digital signatures and time and location tags on forms enable realtime tracking capabilities. Unique QR codes can be generated and attached to each vehicle, which can be scanned by operatives on-site. This enables office staff to remain current with the last known location and current user of each asset. Defects are recorded using vehicle safety checks and are instantly fed back to the dashboard on submission. Powerful automated workflows can then update the asset’s status within the records and automatically schedule a maintenance reminder. Even if a vehicle is serviceable, events such as maintenance or MOTs can be scheduled to automatically recur, or notifications can be set to remind staff of upcoming maintenance. Out the box, Re-flow comes equipped with a catalogue of customizable, digital forms,
including essentials such as vehicle safety checks, RAMS, dynamic risk assessments and more. These forms can then be tweaked and tailored to fit specifications or be built from scratch using an intuitive blockbased form building system. Small and basic or sprawling and complex, all forms are built to regulatory standards.
Tracking doesn’t just extend to vehicles and plant. Re-flow’s dashboard automatically tracks app users in the field, accurate down to a meter. With support for Google Maps, GPS and what3words, live user tracking doesn’t just provide a more detailed overview of works. Being current on the location of workers enables reactive scheduling, allowing managers to assign nearby workers to jobs as the need emerges.
To learn more about Re-flow’s field management software, demo to qualify for a free trial or call 01392 574002 today.
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 121
Administration Manager, MV Kelly Sarah Duffy, Safety
PRODUCT FOCUS REFLOW
PROLECTRIC WINS PRODUCT FOCUS PROLECTRIC
Prolectric, the off-grid, renewable lighting and power specialist, has ended the year on a high, with an award from respected trade association AMPS (The Association of Manufacturers and suppliers of Power generating Systems).
The award for Innovation & Technology was presented in recognition of Prolectric’s work in bringing sustainable power generation to worksites, specifically by introducing the ProPower Solar Hybrid Generator to the market.
Providing sustainable solar lighting and solar hybrid generators to the construction, national housebuilding, infrastructure and rail industries, Prolectric’s game-changing solar technology provides a practical way for businesses to achieve their carbon-reduction commitments, enabling them to move away from polluting fossil-fuelled or mains powered systems.
The ProPower solar hybrid generator provides customers with clean, quiet onsite power generation via a trailer mounted mobile unit. ProPower is designed to be a direct replacement for traditional diesel powered generators which are incredibly harmful to the environment. Using solar technology
SOLAR HYBRID GENERATOR
alarms, plus the ability to remotely adjust the generator for optimum operation. It also provides reports for measuring carbon, diesel, and quiet running hours, all in one place, across an entire fleet.
in place of diesel fuel, the ProPower significantly reduces fossil fuel usage, noise pollution, and carbon emissions.
Housed in a compact trailer, the ProPower is loaded with the latest integrated solar systems and battery technology. The ProPower runs in silent mode when batteryoperated, making it ideal for urban and residential areas. Minimising generator run-time means that the ProPower saves on fuel costs, reduces maintenance requirements, and cuts CO2 emissions by an average of 70% compared to diesel systems.
Utilising a cloud-based portal, the ProPower features real-time monitoring and control, giving complete visibility of the generator’s performance with diagnostics and
The ProPower is fitted with hydraulic panels and fastcharging lithium-ion batteries instead of lead-carbon. This provides highly accurate state of charge information, which can be finely optimised when the ProPower switches over to the generator. This means lower emissions and less maintenance in combination with the remote administration via the portal.
The ProPower is part of Prolectric’s range of environmentally friendly, advanced performance products, which have been designed as direct like-for-like replacements for diesel systems, making them a simple switch. The technology is tried, tested and proven to work all year round, in all weather conditions, over multiple winter and summer cycles. This is backed up by real world performance data and customer testimonials.
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AWARD FOR PROPOWER
The ProPower will begin a tour of the UK throughout January & February 2023, including a visit to the Executive Hire Show in February. For further information on the ProPower visit: www.prolectric.co.uk/propower
SUSTAINABLE POWER STANDS OUT
IS YOUR PLANT MACHINERY COMPLIANT?
NRMM emissions are identified as a key contributor to poor Air Quality in both the UK and Europe and with a drive to achieve Euro Stage V compliance on projects, many plant suppliers are looking at ways to reduce harmful emissions and comply.
David Stafford, Commercial Manager for Webasto Group UK discusses tried and tested solutions to support the transition of fossil fuelled NRMM to battery power. We are in no doubt that the industry faces challenges to ensure machinery is compliant, but as Webasto is one of the world leading driving forces behind e-mobility, we would like to reassure that inroads are being made and cost effective technologies developed, meaning that compliance is more achievable than often realised.
Technical advances in drive, battery, and charging technology are already enabling electrification on a grand scale, but what Webasto sees, is the key to successful electrification of construction machinery lies in high voltage technology.
Webasto reveals: “High voltage technology delivers precisely the
high energy density needed by construction machinery.” This means that construction machines can charge with an electrical voltage of up to 800 volts and serve demanding load profiles. In addition, smaller cable cross-sections are possible for the same charging power so that the machines can be charged faster.
Webasto has therefore developed high quality individual battery solutions. Produced as standardised packs, they offer a scalable energy output from 35 to 350 kilowatt hours. The packs comprise 16 modules each, which are in a robust housing and include a dedicated cooling interface.
This cooling interface or Thermal Management System along with a specifically designed Vehicle Interface Box (VIB) is one area that propels Webasto Battery solutions to the forefront of electrification technology. The primary VIB controls secondary Battery Management System (BMS) units in each battery module, therefore balancing the current flow from each one. As well as enabling communication between individual hardware components and corresponding software, the VIB also serves as the interface between the batteries and the vehicle, combining the functions of a power distributor, BMS and fuse box in a single enclosure.
Conversion in action
Dutch company E.C.E part of Staad, an official importer and distributor of Doosan construction
machinery, has alrea Prolectric: Plant Planet Proof dy began their strategic plan of converting fuel-powered excavators to electric drive. The plan is to continue converting a further 40 machines as demand grows.
The two Doosan Excavator models already benefitting from the conversion are equipped with four interchangeable battery packs providing a total of 140kWh.
These packs can quickly be removed from the excavators and be recharged elsewhere, as well as being easily swapped between different vehicles. In addition, each pack benefits from the afore mentioned Thermal Management System meaning that it operates perfectly in all external conditions.
In addition, the battery packs operate on 800 Volts, providing high continuous and peak power abilities.
“The excavators are available for a total of eight hours. They can also perform the same tasks as their diesel operated ‘brothers’ – and do so at temperatures ranging from -10 to 35 degrees Celsius,” says Thijs van Hal, chief operating officer at E.C.E.
An additional area of reassurance is that the BMS monitors important parameters such as cell voltages or temperatures and ensures the safe operation of the batteries. Webasto’s Vehicle Interface Box (VIB) plays a decisive role here: it acts as an efficient interface between several batteries and the vehicle and it combines the functions of a power distributor, BMS and backup system in one robust box. The result is a comprehensive modular battery system that is optimally tailored for use in construction vehicles. In addition, the vehicles meet the high requirements of the UN/ ECE-R100
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PRODUCT FOCUS WEBASTO Prolectric: Plant Planet Proof
With lubricants, there is the actual cost (what you pay the distributor per litre) and the real cost. The real cost of a lubricant to you is the total ‘cradle-to-grave’ cost; this includes receiving, storing, dispensing, installing and disposal… on average this can be the paid value x 4.
Do you still utilise time-based preventive maintenance to change oil and filters?
Well then you could be wasting thousands per year on unnecessary oil changes. You could also be introducing human error and creating more problems through needless maintenance.
What are Condition-based Oil Changes?
There are three types of oil changes: reactive - preventive - proactive - In the “old days” before oil analysis was common in most larger facilities, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) set up guidelines for recommended oil change frequencies. They usually erred on the safe side, which left nearly 50 percent of the useful life in the lubricant. In recent years, most OEMs recognize a good oil analysis program and allow extended oil drain intervals without compromising warranty.
With a well-established oil analysis program, you will have trend information on the equipment, which will help you decide what pieces necessitate oil changes and the larger the reservoir, the bigger the potential savings.
Employing extra fine filtration offers further confidence in extending oil life safely.
KLEENOIL’s affordable Cellulose depth filtration cleans oil as a bypass; slowly and efficiently – to levels far finer than standard filtration and removes moisture in the same application.
Ensuring constantly clean, dry oil in use, not only removes the primary problems derived from contaminant, such as wear and tear, heat and
viscosity changes, but will slow down the formation of harmful oxides influencing lubricant degradation.
Using KLEENOIL and its condition monitoring package on an agreed service schedule helps to not only confirm general oil quality but can also offer up alerts to potential parts failures.
KLEENOIL can be configured as a permanent ‘onboard’ system to constantly cleanse a system, or as a useful, mobile ‘off line’ system to periodically clean smaller tanks, mobile plant or storage.
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So now you just change the oil on reliable information, not on habitual assumption.
IS OIL NOW ONE OF YOUR LARGEST EXPENSES? By-Pass Filtration; in conjunction with Condition-based Oil Changes: is one of the easiest ways to save money.
Toughness is the reason why we’ve already sold over 500,000 wheel loaders world-wide and when it comes to toughness, our H-Series is as tough as it gets. The H-Series has genuine heavyweight credibility delivering the power, control, comfort and durability required to make light work of the heaviest jobs. Whatever your reason, discover the H-Series for yourself. See
DECEMBER 2022 • Plant PlaneT • 125 + THERE ARE YOU ONLY NEED ONE
us online or
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to find out more.
YEARLY EVENTS ROUNDUP:
GOVERNMENT / LAWS
One major legislation that rocked the construction industry was the UK government announcement on the changes to the rules on rebated diesel usage, which came into effect as of April earlier this year. Red diesel, which was commonly used for off-road purposes, such as to power heavy machinery like bulldozers and cranes used across the construction industry, was now set to change and would only be available to agriculture rail sectors. 2022 has been a whirlwind facing an ongoing backlash from the pandemic, but also committing to our environmental future with net zero promises. From the passage of new laws, to boosts in hiring and construction starts, to making significant strides in net zero construction — here is a summary of just some of the things that 2022 had to offer the industry as we look towards a new year. The reduction of fuel pollution would help meet the government’s climate change and air quality targets. For many in the construction industry, this meant that a serious change had to be made, some branding the new law as “crippling”.
The construction industry also saw the appointment of their fourth construction minister of this year. Nusrat Ghani is the latest to take the post, who took over from Jackie Doyle-Price, first appointed Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in September 2022, during Liz Truss’s short reign as prime minister.
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ROUNDUP YEARLY EVENTS
TRADE SHOWS / EVENTS:
2022 has also been an action-packed year of trade shows. Hillhead and Bauma took place this year, as well as LAMMA, Executive Hire, UK Construction Week, Vertikal Days, CPA annual conference, RWM, and many more!
Plant Planet were especially proud to secure a place and exhibit for the first time at the UK’s largest Quarrying, Construction & Recycling Exhibition — Hillhead 2022. At Hillhead, we partnered with the Lighthouse Charity and Mental Health Podcast to help spread the new high-visibility campaign which uses high-viz safety vests to grab attention and point people in the
Looking at the next five years, the CSN industry outlook report released in June 2022, acknowledges the substantial recruitment and training challenges facing industry and has made the following key predictions for 2022-2026: 266,000 additional workers will be required to meet UK construction demand by 2026 (53,200 workers per year, with UK wide growth). All nine English regions plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to experience growth resulting in increased demand for workers, as demand soars mostly around the private housing, infrastructure, repair, and maintenance sectors.
direction of help when needed.
Plant Planet also took part in UK Construction Week Birmingham as well as CPA’s annual conference, in which we spent time speaking with Merryn Myatt about what ESG means to us as an organisation as well as how Environmental, Social & Governance benefits construction plant businesses. You can watch the full interview on Plant Planet’s YouTube page.
We also exhibited at the 2022 RWM & LetsRecycle Live first ever co-located event, where we successfully launched our sister recycling and waste management title, Future Waste.
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH
On the 10th October, in honour of BHM, Plant Planet took part in Flannery’s ‘Time for Change - Action not Words’ event, organised with the purpose of joining the industry together to talk about the issue of race within the construction industry. HS2, Skanska Costain Strabag JV, Flannery Plant Hire, Mott MacDonald and Danny Sullivan Group collaboratively hosted this educational day to provide everybody a safe platform to talk about how we can better address the skills gap, equality, diversity and inclusion throughout the industry.
Frank Douglas, CEO of Caerus, opened the event. Frank has grown Caerus to be one of the most respected consulting firms on diversity, inclusion, culture, and leadership. Frank is the first (and still only) black male to be the Group Human Resources Director of a FTSE 100 organisation.
The agenda for the day included a variety of speakers and three panel discussions covering a wide variety of hot topics in the industry.
Host Vanessa Burton, civil engineer at Mott MacDonald, led the first panel discussion with ‘The Power of Not Staying Silent’, which featured real people with their experiences talking about why it’s important to speak up when you experience or witness behaviours that need to change. Panellists included; Natalie Rose — HS2, Jessica Harewood, Martin Mirimo — SCS JV and Nick Anderson — PSI Global Recruitment.
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‘The Power of Not Staying Silent’, featured real people with their experiences talking about why it’s important to speak up when you experience or witness behaviours that need to change.’
Following this was a further panel discussion exploring Construction Careers through breaking barriers, which addressed the progression issues that those from different cultural backgrounds face when trying to build their careers in construction. This panel was hosted by Rubi Sarang, Rolling Stock Project Manager for HS2 as she aimed to prompt healthy discussions about the paths of progression those of different ethnicities have within our industry and what we can do to change this within the sector. Taking part in this panel was Batsetswe Motsumi – Costain Limited, Christopher Mohammed – Flannery Plant Hire, Taffy Chaduka – Ernst and Young, Beatrice Ubani – SCS JV and Errol Lodge – Danny Sullivan Group.
In the second half of the day, Daniel Taylor and Roni Savage took centre stage.
Daniel Taylor, founder of Design & Fit-Out companies MDC Group, led a discussion on the need for supplier diversity and explored whether minority firms are treated fairly and if big businesses were simply “ticking boxes” to show inclusion. Within MDC, Daniel Taylor embraced diversity and is an industry champion who fosters a positive space for boards, committees, and trusts.
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ROUNDUP YEARLY EVENTS
Following this was a presentation on ‘Creating Opportunities for Ethnic Minority Owned Businesses’, in which Roni Savage discussed the opportunities for businesses who employ a diverse supply chain and how to address the challenges that may prevent successful relationships through her lived experiences. In an industry where only 12% of the workforce is female, Roni is extremely passionate about gender diversity and social mobility. Driven by her own experience of being one of the rare black women in her position, Roni has been instrumental in advocating diversity in business, engineering and construction. She also runs the largest engineering company formed by a black woman in the UK.
Concluding the conference was the third panel discussion, exploring ‘The White Male Leadership Impact’, led by leaders in the industry talking about why they’re acting now and how they’re looking to attract different cultures into their workforce. Host Jackie Anyango, Customers & Markets ED&I Lead for Skanska, led the panel featuring some of the biggest name in our industry today, including Tim O’Sullivan – Danny Sullivan Group, Patrick Flannery – Flannery Plant Hire, Harvey Francis – Skanska, all of whom are white male leaders who recognise the need for change.
An innovative idea within the conference consisted of each visitor taking a blank post it note and writing a pledge on the post it note, of what they will do to assist in driving inclusivity within the industry, an activity that really got the attendees thinking about small actions they can take that could make a big difference.
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Red Knight 6 Ltd The sole distributors for all Rubble Master crushing and screening equipment in the UK Call - 01293 862619 www.redknight6.co.uk Supported by our spares and service division
NEXT YEAR LOOKS TO BE ANOTHER BIG YEAR FOR PLANT PLANET, PACKED WITH ANOTHER ROUND OF GREAT UPCOMING INDUSTRY SHOWS.
IN 2023 YOU WILL FIND PLANT PLANET EXHIBITING AT: THE EXECUTIVE HIRE SHOW, 8-9 FEBRUARY, RICOH ARENA, COVENTRY UKCW LONDON ON THE 2-4 MAY, LONDON EXCEL VERTIKAL DAYS, 10-11 MAY, EAST OF ENGLAND SHOWGROUND, PETERBOROUGH PLANTWORX, 13-15 JUNE , EAST OF ENGLAND ARENA & EVENTS CENTRE, PETERBOROUGH RWM & LETSRECYCLE LIVE, 13-14 SEPTEMBER , NEC BIRMINGHAM
WITH MANY MORE EVENTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON!
AFTER A VERY BUSY YEAR, WE WANT TO THANK ALL OUR ADVERTISERS, SUBSCRIBERS AND OF COURSE ALL OUR READERS FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE NEXT YEAR AHEAD OF US.
132 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet
worth of machinery that Fireward saved this year.
134 • DECEMBER 2022 • Plant Planet Page Advertiser Page Advertiser 2 Brigade Electronics (UK) 84 BETONBLOCK 5 Yanmar Compact Equipment 89 Worsley Plant Ltd 7 Merlo Group 93 Astrak UK Ltd / Trackunit 10 Magni Telescopic Handlers UK 98 McCloskey Equipment 15 ATE (UK) Ltd 102 BIG Machinery B.V 18 Pathfindr Ltd 106 Walker Plant Group 21 Air Spectrum Environmental Ltd 109 Dalton Tags / Fuel Theft Solutions 25 GGR Group 114 Re-flow 27 Kubota (U.K.) Ltd 120 Engcon Group 35 Plantworx 125 Liugong Direct UK 39 BTE Plant Sales 131 Red Knight 6 43 Thomas Plant Hire Ltd 133 Fireward Fire Suppression 45 Thwaites Dumpers 135 Altrad Belle 49 FAST Exocet 136 Prolectric Services Ltd 53 Webasto Group 57 Trade Plant Hire Ltd 61 Kleen Oil Filtration / RaycoWylie Systems 67 ABAX UK 71 Sitech UK & Ireland 75 Arden Equipment contact email@example.com to discuss your advertising options