PLANT PLANET July 2020
GT Lifting: The UK's leading Hire and sales Provider of Roto and heavy Lift telehandlers
LIUGONG: Keeping customer needs at the heart of the business
Special Report: HOW the Industry is Coping During Covid-19
New Holland Celebrate 125 years in the industry
Black International have developed the Orchid™ range of asset locators. The unique products utilise GPS|GSM technology via the global M2M network, providing reliabillity and precision when locating your most valuable assets.
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12 • May 2020 • Plant Planet
DAVID GRIFFITHS - Commercial & Business Development Manager
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The New Normal
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It's been four months since the UK Prime Minister addressed the nation to announce that the country would go into lockdown to prevent further spread of Covid-19. In that time, we've watched the whole country adapt to 'The New Normal'.
The Construction Industry has been adapting to the rapid changes in Government policy and lockdown measures. In this issue of Plant Planet we take a look at how companies have adapted to embrace the challenges faced in 2020. Our Special Report (page 45) sees four UK Construction Plant businesses explain the measures they've put in place to protect employees and their businesses in the face of 2020. We understand that this 'New Normal' is something that will have effected lives the country over. We hope you're staying safe and well.
Kiwi Media and Promotions Ltd. 2019 all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited except with permission in writing from the company. Note to contributors: articles submitted to the Head of Editing and Design for consideration must be the original work of the author. Where photographs are included that are not the property of the company or contributor, permission to reproduce them must have been received from the owner of the copy-write. Any views or opinions expressed within this magazine are not necessarily those of the editor or company. ISSN: 2631-4622 Registered in England No: 09910499
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4 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
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10 Latest News
A round up of the news from the plant machinery industry over the past two months.
20 topical commentary Covid-19: Construction Pulls Together to Support Emergency Projects
David Chuck has been talking to a variety of companies in the Construction and Construction Plant Hire industry to see how they have helped, and continue to help, with essential projects during this Covid-19 pandemic.
26 topical commentary Covid-19 Brings Solidarity and Support to the Industry Eleanor Baldwin reflects on the ongoing impact of the global pandemic within the construction industry.
36 topical commentary Technology Provides Vital Answer to Industry's Recovery
Hannah Bounford investigates the role that technology is playing in keeping businesses connected during lockdown.
59 topical commentary Messersi Tracked Carriers, Magnifico!
David Chuck explores the Italian manufacturer's range of machinery..
62 topical commentary Lockdown Provides Potential: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
Eleanor Baldwin examines the goings on of the construction industry during UK lockdown
66 topical commentary
125 Years in the Industry: The History of New Holland
Hannah Bounford explores the history of the Blue Tractor
6 â€˘ July 2020 â€˘ Plant Planet
GT LIFTING: THE UK'S LEADING HIRE AND SALES PROVIDER OF ROTO AND HEAVY LIFT TELEHANDLERS
Covid-19 special report
HOW THE PLANT INDUSTRY IS COPING WITH THE PANDEMIC: RACHEL LAMBERT SPEAKS WITH FOUR INDUSTRY LEADERS
LIUGONG DIRECT UK: KEEPING CUSTOMER NEEDS AT THE HEART OF THE BUSINESS Plant Planet • July 2020 • 7
Written by the industry for the industry DAVID CHUCK @DAVIDJOHNCHUCK 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.
Liugong direct uk ltd
NPH Group Ltd
Liugong direct uk ltd
NPH Group Ltd
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.
H.e. Services LTD
8 â€˘ July 2020 â€˘ Plant Planet
GT Lifting Ltd
Eleanor Baldwin graduated in English and creative writing from the University of Chichester in 2014, and enjoys putting her writing skills to use as a staff writer for Plant Planet.
graham ogilvie morris leslie Ltd
@PlantPlanetUK Hannah has worked as the Head of Editing and Design for Plant Planet Magazine for 18 months. She particularly enjoys writing about new advances in construction plant.
MUCH MORE THAN
Best performance by your side.
Since 1912, Yanmar strives to exceed operator expectations by developing products and services of superior quality. Construction, demolition, landscaping, civil engineering or earthworks: we are providing the perfect solution for every worksite application. Our comprehensive range of compact construction equipment includes mini, midi and wheeled excavators, wheel loaders and dumpers designed with efficiency and performance in mind.
Paragon urges Businesses to Remain vigilant Against scams
SPECIALIST SME lender, Paragon has urged business owners to remain vigilant against the increased threat of purchase scams amidst the ongoing coronavirus.
As a result of restrictions in place due to the pandemic, business owners have been required to purchase construction equipment without the usual visits they would make to dealers in order to carry out inspections. Fraudsters have been taking advantage of the current situation and purchase scams, whereby goods are paid for that do not exist or are never received, have been prevalent. A total of £59 million was lost to purchase scams alone in 2019 and over £114 million was lost to invoice and mandate scams, with around 72% of losses from nonpersonal or business accounts. Ken McKeating, SME Lending Sales Director at Paragon, said: “It’s important that business owners remain wary and only purchase items from trusted sources. These ‘big ticket’ purchases are a huge cost to construction businesses so if they are not genuine sales, the impact can be very detrimental. “The ongoing threat of fraud is very real too, with fraudsters using a variety of methods to target individuals, from malware scams to invoice and mandate scams. Attacks can have a devastating impact on businesses, so it is essential that they remain aware.”
10 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
The lighthouse construction industry Charity introduce free 24/7 support For construction workers in ireland
Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity have launched a free confidential 24/7 helpline and wellbeing app for construction workers in Ireland. Launched on the 3rd of June 2020, the launch is a direct response to ‘the global [Covid-19] pandemic having a negative impact on people’s mental health in society’. The charity have recognised that those in the construction industry who have faced a long lay-off are no exception.
have access to an employee assistance programme (EAP) for support.
Lighthouse CEO, Bill Hill said of the helpline launch,
By making all the services free and confidential, the charity aims to remove two of the key barriers to people seeking help. The final barrier to overcome is the stigma of using such services often inherent in stoic masculine belief.”
“A large proportion of construction workers are either self employed or work for small businesses. They do not
One of the charity’s key objectives is to reduce suicides of those working in the construction sector. The 24/7 Construction Industry Helpline delivers an EAP to all workers and is complimented by an supporting helpline app. This App is available on both Android and Apple devices and is packed full of information, advice and guidance on mental, physical and financial wellbeing matters.
ALL NEW CONSTRUCTION RANGE
REACH NEW HEIGHTS WITH THE ALL NEW ROTO AND PANORAMIC RANGE The PANORAMIC and ROTO Range design has inspired the construction market over the years, and is now introducing a new generation of wider cabs, improved cab comfort levels and a multitude of new features. The ROTO range has changed the movement method for telehandlers by introducing the rotating turret system that can rotate 360 degrees without having to reposition the machine. Merlo have skilfully evolved during time with exclusive technological innovations and an unparalleled level of performance, safety and efficiency.
SAY GOODBYE TO PUNCTURES MEET THE BOSS. MEET airBOSS.
THE ALL-PURPOSE, PUNCTURE PROOF SEGMENTED TYRE SPECIALISTS. The airBOSS segmented wheel and tyre system has established an enviable reputation as the most cost-effective answer to puncture and tyre related downtime. Tried and tested over 20 years, it has been developed to cater for most plant vehicles across a wide range of applications.
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www.airbosstyre.com 01242 577877 12 • May 2020 • Plant Planet
BENEFITS OF AIRBOSS INCLUDE: 1. No downtime caused by punctures
5. Superb traction and grip
2. Improved handling and comfort
6. Better stability due to a constant
3. Durable and hard wearing in all
7. No worries about the cost of
4. Segments easily replaced by
8. Less wear to drives and gearboxes
footprint on the ground
without the pneumatic ‘bounce’
environments and across all surfaces the operator
disposing of damaged tyres
as lighter than solid/foam filled tyres
DON’T EVER LET DAMAGED TYRES STOP YOU FROM WORKING AGAIN! 8 6
Gallagher group choose thwaites flagship dumper THE CIVIL ENGINEERING ORGANISATION HAS CHOSEN THWAITES 9 TONNE FRONT TIP DUMPERS
based civil engineering, building and quarrying organisation Gallagher Group has chosen Thwaites in a fleet deal consisting of 9 tonne front tip dumpers. The dumpers chosen by The Gallagher Group are all Stage V compliant and rich in features and benefits that will help to ensure operator safety, reduce risk on site and improve productivity. Plant Manager Leon Lippett commented, “Developed over many years The Gallagher Group and Thwaites have an excellent working relationship. Thwaites provide a quality service and product. The dumpers are reliable and robust and
14 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
will be deployed immediately to support a number of our current, civil engineering projects”. Thwaites Distribution Manager for the South of England and Wales Paul Rodwell said, “We were delighted to be awarded this order. My thanks go to Alan Boyd of Thwaites distributor Ernest Doe who worked hard and diligently to secure this prestigious deal”. The 9 tonne dumpers supplied are designed with contractors in mind and have the cleanest engines fitted to date. In addition, the operator has a multifunctional dashboard that provides display to improve performance and awareness.
Concluding Mr Lippett said, “At the Gallagher Group we know what a Thwaites dumper will deliver for our business. In addition we work closely with Thwaites to ensure the dumpers look as good as the perform. From the paint spraying through to the signwriting, we are always delighted with the striking appearance achieved, ensuring the Gallagher Group dumpers are instantly recognisable on site.
CASE launches world’s first fully Electric backhoe loader concept To the North American market AT
CONEXPO 2020, CASE Construction Equipment launched the construction industry’s first fully electric backhoe loader. The 580 EV (Electric Vehicle) concept, dubbed Project Zeus, offers the same power and performance as a diesel-powered CASE backhoe loader, but with zero emissions and considerably reduced operating costs. Two machines have already been sold to USbased utilities companies, with the concept planned to remain exclusive to the North American market. “Since designing the first fully
ABOVE & BELOW: CASE FULLY ELECTRIC LOADER CONCEPT
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 15
Latest news factory-integrated backhoe loader in 1957, CASE has remained at the pinnacle of backhoe innovation,” said Egidio Galano, Compact Line Product Manager, CASE Construction Equipment Europe. “The 580 EV both continues this evolution and represents a significant step forward for CASE’s wider commitment to a more sustainable future for construction equipment. By producing this concept machine, we are bringing the viability of electrified large compact equipment ever closer to the North American market.” The 580 EV is powered by a 480-volt, 90-kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery pack. This can be charged through any 220-volt/three-phase connection to give around eight hours of run-time depending on the application. As this battery powers the drivetrain and hydraulic motors separately, breakout force is the same as a diesel-powered machine and overall performance is
improved during simultaneous loader and drivetrain operation. While also drastically cutting a business’ carbon footprint, it is estimated that 580 EV could save fleets up to 90% in annual vehicle operating costs. This is due to either reduced or eliminated spend on diesel, engine oil, diesel exhaust fluid and longterm engine maintenance. To further support this, the 580 EV comes with CASE SiteWatch™ as standard. All of this is achieved while retaining the hallmark features operators expect from a CASE backhoe loader, as Galano explains: “The 580 EV performs and handles exactly like a traditional CASE backhoe. This is crucial when looking to apply exciting new technologies to any CASE machine, and means operators can experience the same digging, lifting and craning capabilities from a much quieter and emissions free working environment.”
As with ProjectTETRA, the methanepowered concept wheel loader launched at bauma 2019, CASE has partnered with Michelin on the tyres for the 580 EV. The Michelin CrossGrip tyres used on the concept machine feature a non-directional tread design, resulting in exceptional handling, comfort and high-load capacity on surfaces ranging from asphalt to snow. The 580 EV represents CASE’s first official entry into the electric construction equipment market. In partnership with its sister company FPT Industrial, CASE will continue to look for electrification and alternative fuels options that make a sustainable construction equipment future possible.
THE FULLY ELECTRIC CASE LOADER CONCEPT
16 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
Red Knight 6 launches hire offering starting with chieftain bowsers Red Knight 6 Ltd, the UK sales distributor for Chieftain, is making their fleet of fuel bowsers available for hire for the first time. Chieftain, the Irish based manufacturers of commercial and agricultural trailers, build a range of bowsers for a variety of fuel types, including diesel, Avgas, Jet A1 and ADR, and all bowsers are fully bunded with the inner take constructed with 4mm reinforced steel (stainless steel for aviation fuel). Every Chieftain bowser has UN fuel transportation type approvals, EU type approval and are VOSA approved, permitting the safe and legal transportation of diesel or gas oil. Bowser’s
come in three sizes: 1000 litres, 1350 litres and 2230 litres. “Over the last few months, we have heard one thing consistently from our customers, the need for greater flexibility in the offering we have. We are living through uncertain times and by adding a hire business to the sales arm we can meet the need of our customers more readily.
We are starting with the bowsers but may consider offering other machines in our hire portfolio later,” said Paul Donnelly, Director at Red Knight 6. Red Knight 6 Ltd are also the UK distributors for Rubble Master crushers and screeners, Komplet and Metberg Enviro.
Chieftain Bowsers in Detail Over run braking system to full road specification
Injection moulded mudguards with spray suppression
Tank bolted to chassis enabling detachment for storage
Emergency breakaway system
Auto reverse 50mm Bradley coupling
Shot blasted to guarantee high quality and longlasting resistance against corrosion
Finished with 2-pack epoxy primer
Torsion rubber suspension
12V battery with solar panel battery trickle charger
12-volt DC electric pump (50 litres per minute)
Atex approved nozzle with in-line strainer
Baffle plates fitted inside tank
Fully bunded tank
4-digit high accuracy flow meter
Manual parking brake fitted to drawbar
License plate holder and light
Bobcat Expand Range With E165
ABOVE: THE E165 LARGE EXCAVATOR WILL BE THE LARGEST EXCAVATOR IN BOBCAT'S LINEUP
Company is expanding its excavator product offering with its newest addition: the Bobcat® E165 large excavator. The E165 large excavator will be the largest excavator in the lineup. The E165 provides reliable, steady power to save time with every digging cycle. The machine boasts leading lifting capabilities that enables operators to lift more with greater confidence. The E165 also builds on the company’s reputation for delivering exceptional operator comfort and simplified maintenance. Similar to the E145, the E165 complements the performance of 700 and 800 frame size Bobcat compact track and skid-steer loaders. The new excavator is ideal for heavy digging and lifting operations on commercial and residential building sites, underground utility applications, road and bridge projects.
Powerful performance The E165 is equipped with a 131 hp engine and conventional tail swing design and boasts an impressive lifting capacity that
18 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
enables operators to move items with ease, as well as more slew torque for slewing uphill, backfilling, and all-around better productivity. With its advanced hydraulics and powerful pumps, the E165 delivers leading performance. The E165 has four selectable power modes to give operators adaptable performance to tackle the job at hand. In addition, a convenient power boost button on the right-hand joystick temporarily increases hydraulic power to allow operators to break through hard ground. •
Power+ mode: Get top work group speed to load trucks in less time or sustain peak performance in the most demanding applications. Power mode: Command impressive power and performance for tough digging, quick loading and heavy lifting. Save even more time with fast travel. Standard power mode: Get balanced performance and reduced fuel usage for routine digging, lifting and grading. Economy mode: Optimize fuel economy when power demands are lower or when doing precise digging and fine grading.
Additional E165 features include: •
X-Frame Undercarriage: Increases ground clearance and manoeuvrability in softer ground conditions. Smart Power Control: Matches load to engine rpm, hydraulic pump torque and engine response. This feature is only enabled while in digging work mode. Variable Speed Control: Automatically reduces engine rpm during low workload requirements, such as the slew portion of the dig cycle. Pump Torque Control: Prevents engine overload by matching the hydraulic demand with available engine horsepower. Auto Idle: Idles the engine automatically when machine movement stops for several seconds. Auto Shift: Shifts to low range automatically when the load is high and back to high range when the load diminishes
Read more at https://www.plantplanet.co.uk/news
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Plant Planet • may 2020 • 19
Topical commentary • construction pulls together
Covid-19: Construction Pulls Together to Support Emergency Projects David Chuck has been talking to a variety of companies in the Construction and Construction Plant Hire industry to see how they have helped, and continue to help, with essential projects during this Covid-19 pandemic. SELWOOD HELPED BUILD THE NIGHTINGALE HOSPITAL, EXETER, IN A FORMER HOMEBASE OUTLET
20 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
construction sector, along with a range of specialist contractors and volunteer teams, have certainly pulled out all the stops to support key projects during the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the initial, and most highprofile projects, we were all made aware of was the conversion of the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in London into the first Nightingale Hospital. Since then, more exhibition centres have followed suit in other cities, throughout the UK. Two companies who were involved from day one with this mammoth project at ExCeL were CFES (Contract FM and Engineering Services) and BDP (Building Design Partnership). The turnaround in such a short timescale was nothing short of impressive. Following a phone call at 1815 hrs on Friday 20 March, they attended an →
CFES & BDP were just two companies involved in converting the Excel exhibition centre
Topical commentary • Construction Pulls Together NHS and Military briefing at ExCEL the following day. They then started work with the most extraordinary brief on Monday 23 March to build and service up to 4000 bed bays as quickly as possible, in weeks not months. They hit the ground running like never seen before working 16-18 hour shifts “flat out” for nine days, with a workforce of over 300.
centres were set-up overnight and by the morning, they were fully functional. Watch the time-lapse video of a testing centre in York being set up: shorturl.at/ bKRSV
main on the Brecon Beacons to split in two. Selwood, on behalf of O’Connor Utilities, surveyed and supplied equipment to over pump the main while repairs took place.
Selwood Plant Hire is another company that has been working hard throughout this pandemic. Its pump rental teams have been maintaining a 24/7 service for emergency and essential works since lockdown began.
The pump teams also responded to a callout to a failed pump at a transfer station on the Isle of Wight, working around a very limited ferry service to bring the customer’s equipment back to the mainland for faster repair.
They had 500 beds ready in just nine days They had 500 beds ready in just nine days with a rolling programme of around 500 beds on a weekly basis, until all 4000 beds were ready. Another very essential project was the building and setting up of the Covid-19 testing centres around the UK. The majority of these were built by A- Plant, which as of 1 June were rebranded to Sunbelt Rentals. Many of the testing
Its branch in Exeter was called upon at short notice to supply equipment including excavators, dumpers and a fuel bowser to G Works Construction. These were used in the conversion of a former Homebase branch into a new 200-bed NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter for Covid-19 patients. An emergency response was required from Selwood’s pumping solutions team when a landslip caused a water
These are just a few examples of the many services that the plant hire and construction industry have been providing to support the NHS and all essential services during these very difficult times. There are many more of course, and if your business has been involved in any such service, the team at Plant Planet would love to hear your story. From all of us at Plant Planet, from all the readers and the wider public, we thank you.
Images courtesy of David Chuck, Kingston PR
NIGHTINGALE HOSPITAL EXETER UNDER CONSTRUCTION (LEFT) AND COMPLETED (RIGHT)
22 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
GLOBAL LEADERS IN WHEEL SAFETY On the road or off the road, critical fastenings are present across a range of industries, in vehicles and machinery alike. The Checkpoint range provides operators with the confidence in identifying wheel and nut defects immediately, making it an invaluable asset to a variety of sectors and businesses. For more details on how you can put safety into motion, contact our team of specialists on 01524 271 200.
Tel: +44 (0)1524 271 200 firstname.lastname@example.org www.checkpoint-safety.com
BLACK INTERNATIONAL: Impressing Customers with OrchidTM Tracking Range Black International, the sole suppliers of the OrchidTM range of tracking devices, have proved popular in the UK for their GPS tracking devices. The range, consisting of the OrchidTM and OrchidPLUSTM devices are small enough to fit into assets without detection. Here are just a couple of testimonials from their clients:
"We’ve installed the “Orchid Plus Devices” into our plant machinery as they’re always left on-site and so far they’ve been great. Every time we’ve requested it’s location, it’s always come back quickly and exactly where it should be. After previously having a 9 Tonne Dumper stolen and our telematic tracker removed and dispatched into the nearby field, it’s now great to know that our equipment is protected and due to the fact that these devices are so small/ discreet then hopefully if they ever try again, we’ll catch them and recover our kit." - M & M Civil Engineering, Leeds
Pictured Above: The OrchidPLUSTM Tracking Device
"I just had a spare minute and thought I would write you a quick note on the Orchid devices we purchased at the end of last year. Of the 25 devices I purchased for a traffic management client, we have had some major success with their trailer equipment. They had one of their trailers go missing (presumed stolen) last month. The traffic manager was able to identify it’s whereabouts and found it sat in a little used lay-by about 4 miles away from it’s last known location. I don’t think they know who took it but they got it back and were very pleased about that. The cost of these devices shouldn’t put anybody off purchasing as just the one reclaim has paid for the whole fleet (25 units) for more than a year. Hopefully next time they will catch the thieves red handed and be able to prosecute." - Innovus Solutions, Barnsley
For more information about the OrchidTM Range and how it can meet your security needs, visit: https://www.black-int.com
Topical Commentary • Covid-19 brings solidarity
Covid-19 Brings Solidarity and Support to The Industry 26 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
Covid -19 brings solidarity • Topical Commentary
HITATCHI CONSTRUCTION MACHINERY UK HAVE REACHED 100% OF THEIR FUNDRAISING TARGET FOR THE NHS
Eleanor Baldwin reflects on the effects of the ongoing pandemic on the construction Industry
ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it a prevalent need to produce new and innovative methods of working. For the construction industry, this looks to mean taking on board new guidance from the government with regards to the dynamic of the construction site. There is no doubt that the pandemic is causing immense pressure and strain on the industry and its workers. It's not all doom and gloom, however, as Covid-19 has led to the development of a multitude of
potentially productivity-boosting ways of working. The Civil Engineering Contractors Association and Build UK have both pledged support to those affected by the pandemic, demonstrating a collaborative attempt from the industry to fight the virus. Not only has the way in which the industry approaches simple tasks, such as conducting meetings, been reviewed and transferred online, but legal advice has been forced to evolve too. If anything good can be drawn from this event, solidarity and support amongst the industry looks to be developing.
Cat Dealer Network, for example, has been providing much-needed support in preparing facilities for Covid-19 patients. “Our project managers, engineers, and technicians all rallied together with the dealer network and pulled equipment together in short order,” said Sal LaFace, general manager for Power Systems at Fabick Cat. Over
The Civil engineering contractors association and build UK are among those pledging support
The pandemic is also revealing the industry's ability to help others. The
in the Middle-East, Cat dealer Al-Bahar has provided rental power operators to the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, in a bid to support the fight against the pandemic. Elsewhere in the industry, Hitachi →
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 27
Topical Commentary • covid-19 brings solidarity Construction Machinery UK have raised an impressive £5000 (at the time of publication) for the NHS. The heavy machinery giants have stated their goal to 'support our national hero’s through these unprecedented times.', and have
USD350,000 (together with employees) towards Feeding America, a hunger relief organisation, as well as to local communities. In Chile, Komatsu Ltd. have aided the government's fight against the virus by using cistern trucks to sanitise the streets. The company also state that they are looking to support medical groups in Europe and other areas.
Sitezone safety has created a personal distancing system to help enforce social distancing on site committed to match fund the target of £5000. You can donate to Hitachi's effort by going to www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/hitachinhs Komatsu Ltd. have promised to offer Komatsu group-wide support for countermeasures against the virus. According to the Komatsu website, the group have donated 100,000 surgical masks (N95) over in Japan. In the USA, they have donated a total of
MANY SITES OPERATING IN THE UK ARE ENFORCING A STRICT SOCIAL DISTANCING POLICY
28 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
Pledges of support are not the only positive thing to arise from the pandemic. New inventions are also being developed and brought to the world of construction. SiteZone Safety have introduced Personal Distancing Systems (PDS) to help enforce social distancing on site. The unique invention involves a wearable tag that
vibrates and sounds and alarm when workers are closer than 2 metres apart. Clever inventions such as these are offering insight into the innovative brains of those within the field of construction. New and useful inventions such as that by SiteZone Saftey, as well as displays of support and solidarity such as these shown by Cat, Hitachi and Komatsu Ltd, demonstrate the construction industry's unwavering efforts to help the community. These acts of devotion from such industry giants pave the way for a new wave of collaborative processes and innovative attempts to help one another that may have been previously overlooked. Although the devastation that the pandemic has caused will not be forgotten any time soon, if the industry's togetherness and supportive nature remains, the devastation has not been entirely in vain.
Cover Story • GT Lifting
30 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
GT Lifting • Cover Story
Gt lifting: The UK's leading hire and Sales provider of roto and Heavy lift telehandlers This issue, Plant Planet explores what sets Telehandler provider GT Lifting apart from the competition.
the UK’s leading Hire and Sales provider of ROTO and Heavy Lift Telehandlers, was born out of an idea formed in 1997, when Managing Director Graham Trundell was instrumental in bringing the very first ROTO Telehandler into the UK. That idea would change the way in which construction sites across the UK would operate - fast forward to 2002 and GT Lifting was created. →
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 31
Cover story • gt lifting Today, GT Lifting are proud to not only have the UK's largest varied fleet of Rotational Telehandlers, ranging from 16m – to an astonishing 46m, but also the UK’s largest varied fleet of Heavy lift Telehandlers, ranging from 6t – to an impressive 20t. The company have gained an industry leading and enviable reputation for supplying the largest range of ROTO and Heavy Lift Telehandlers along with an extensive range of specialist lifting attachments. This reputation for providing high quality lifting solutions across the UK is reinforced by GT Lifting's excellent maintenance and support service.
versatility to the most demanding of material handling problems. A Roto Telehandler continuously slews with lift heights available to a staggering 51m and lift capacities up to 13t. Further, they are equipped with countless attachments, such as winches, jibs, hooks, and personnel baskets. The ROTO Telehandler is a modern day must for all sites across the UK.
Heavy lift telehandlers: – Designed for the most demanding of applications.
GT Lifting's fleet of Heavy Lift Telehandlers are able to handle the most complex and demanding of projects in the most secure and safe way possible. All heavy lift telehandlers are built with compact machine dimensions, allowing for maximum manoeuvrability, and ranging from 6t-20t, ideal for all Steel erectors, Ports, quarry, & all other large civil engineering projects.
Gt lifting's impressive fleet is a result of their partnership with two world leading brands GT Lifting’s impressive fleet is a result of their partnership with two world leading brands of high reach equipment. Having partnered with Merlo since the concept of the ROTO Telehandler, GT Lifting continued with its innovating mind-set. In 2013, GT Lifting introduced what, at the time, was the world’s largest ROTO Telehandler to the market - in the name of Magni. With headquarters based close to Gatwick airport and an additional depot In South West England, along with an Industry leading network of the highest factory trained engineers spread across the UK & Ireland, GT Lifting are proud to offer all of our customer true national coverage.
HOW CAN ROTO & HEAVY LIFT TELEHANDLERS HELP YOUR BUSINESS? The Roto Telehandler: First introduced and innovated by Merlo in 1996, The Roto Telehandler brings customers unrivalled
32 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
What sets GT Lifting apart from the competition? GT lifting pride themselves on offering not only the most competitive pricing, but most importantly; market leading experience and back up support. Furthermore, the company places an emphasis on safety, offering customers the complete package. The company are also delighted to offer all of our customer the unique capability of full simulated lifts- just another unique service which separates GT Lifting from the competition. GT Lifting offer full CPA Contract lifting services to all of their customers on request. These services are carried out by experienced CPCS qualified workforce and in house AP's in order to ensure they recommend the best and safest lifting solution. The company's CPA contract →
Gt lifting • Cover Story
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 33
Cover story • gt lifting
lifting services include free no obligation site surveys, experienced CPCS qualified workforce - including appointed persons, lift supervisors, slinger signallers, & operators - along with the production of method statements, risk assessments and lift plans.
With over 60 years of hands on experience, gt lifting utilise a wealth of product knowledge With over 60 years of hands on experience, GT Lifting utilise a wealth of product knowledge to undertake pre-construction consultations with key clients all across construction sectors. By developing new and Innovative methods of challenging material handling problems, GT Lifting are at the forefront of designing and creating bespoke lifting attachments in collaboration with their clients. GT Lifting's Industry leading experience has led the company to become the top choice for all ROTO & Heavy Lift Telehandler requirements in sectors such as building, steel erecting, façade and cladding, large civil engineering projects, modular buildings, media, electrical alliance, ports, marinas and many more. GT Lifting are flexible, passionate and take enormous pride in their service back up and focus on safety. Think ROTO & Heavy Lift Telehandlers THINK GT LIFTING. To see more from the company, head to their website at: https://www.gtlift.co.uk/
34 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
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Topical commentary • the industry's recovery
Technology Provides Vital Answer to Industry's Recovery
Hannah Bounford investigates the role that technology is playing in keeping companies connected during lockdown
36 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
The industry's recovery • topical commentary
construction industry is arguably one of the most handson in the UK. However, with the UK Government continuing to encourage those who can work from home, to work from home, and many projects start to resume, it looks that an increasing number of the construction workforce will be adopting a new style of working. This month, Plant Planet takes a look at the ways in which the
construction industry is adapting to working from home while keeping connected on site. At one point, it seemed a far fetched idea to see site managers and construction staff working from home. The industry has long been known for its hands-on and longhours culture. However, with Covid-19 dictating who is able to physically be in the office, many have embraced remote working.
a shift towards digital technology use on worksites. Perhaps now the uptake will increase as companies look for ways to increase jobsite productivity under these difficult circumstances.
Companies supplying remote working solutions have seen an uptake in users
As a hands on and long-hours profession, the construction industry tends to lack the experience of remote working. Further complicating matters, the construction industry really relies on face-to-face interaction and communication to complete tasks both on and off site. Remote working proves challenging as companies must adapt practices to keep employees safe while maintaining business operations. The key to remote working in the construction industry lies in the wide variety of technology available. Technology aimed for both the average consumer and specifically for the construction industry has played a vital role in remote working within the industry. Many are using video conferencing software such as Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams to keep connected with both those working on site and others working from home. With the industry looking to keep employees safe, businesses have seen the amount of workers on any given site cut. However, companies are still keen to keep sites operating. Here we see the industry's adoption of digital tools on job-sites. Even before the outbreak of Covid-19, the industry had been seeing
Companies supplying remote working solutions, such as San Francisco based OpenSpace, have seen an uptake in users over the past few months. OpenSpace uses AI to digitally capture and map a jobsite, allowing those working off site to view a site in a Google Maps Street View style experience. The system uses an app available on Apple and Android phones to capture a photo every half-second while the operator walks around a job site. These photos are automatically tied to project plans to allow project managers, clients and inspectors to view the maps and compare job progress remotely. Apps such as OpenSpace are likely to see further increase in use as the construction industry shifts to a more digital method of working. However, it will be a while until we see fully digitised job sites. Construction remains, at it's heart, a thoroughly 'people focussed' industry. Even as the construction industry starts to get back to work, it is still a highly stressful and anxious time for some. If you are feeling worried, anxious or stressed, talk to a friend or a manager. If you need mental health support, please call the Construction Industry Helpline for confidential 24/7 support on 0345 605 1956 (UK) or 1800 939 122 (ROI).
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 37
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LiuGong Direct UK• company profile
Liugong Direct UK: Keeping customer needs at The heart of the business Plant Planet talks to LiuGong Direct UK about their history and what's in store in 2020.
Direct UK have been supplying the UK with LiuGong machinery over the past seven years. This issue, we catch up with Regional Sales Director, Grant McGregor, to find out more about the UK demolition market, the company’s long-term visions, and the launch of LiuGong’s new zero tail swing mini excavators.
Prior to the company’s acquisition in 2019, LiuGong Direct UK traded as Construction Plant & Machinery Sales (CPMS). CPMS had been the UK distributor for LiuGong in May 2013, working from two locations: Portsmouth, the company’s headquarters) and Uxbridge, West London. Grant gives a short history of the →
Liugong direct UK have been supplying the UK with Liugong machinery for the past seven years Plant Planet • July 2020 • 39
Company profile • Liugong Direct UK company’s relationship with LiuGong, stating: “In 2014 CPMS expanded the parts department in Portsmouth and developed a strong customer base in the south of the UK. In 2015 CPMS exhibited LiuGong at Plantworx and won the award for Best Live Demonstration. In 2016 CPMS opened the Manchester depot to support the product in the North of the UK and offer national coverage. In 2017 CPMS exhibited LiuGong at Plantworx and Demolition Expo. The Kent depot was opened in 2018 and new Parts warehouse in Portsmouth to maintain a high standard of customer support.” LiuGong acquired CPMS in 2019 ‘to increase investment in the UK market and to concentrate on expanding the business nationwide’. At the time, LiuGong’s chairman Howard Dale commented: “The UK is an important market for us. CPMS have laid a strong foundation for LiuGong to make an impact not only in the traditional earthmoving market, but also in the demolition, recycling, and plant rental sectors”
This year LiuGong Direct UK are launching their new range of Zero and Close Radius Tail Swing Mini Excavators¬ this year. The range includes the 9018F, the 9027F, the 9035ECR, and 909ECR excavators. These machines are designed to meet the needs of those in the rental market and are all suited for use in tight spaces. The 9018F and 9027F are part of LiuGong’s sixth generation of excavators. Equipped with load sensing hydraulics to ensure smooth operations, the machines are powered by Yanmar engines. These engines are equipped with auto-idle and auto shutdown, combined with variable floor proportional auxiliary hydraulics, ensuring a powerful performance with energy saving benefits. Each excavator is available with open TOPS cab or closed ROPS cab with heat. They feature two speed travel and can be easily shifted by the switch in the dozer blade joystick. The 909ECR Compact Radius Tail Swing Excavator is LiuGong’s offering for the midsized excavator market. The machine features two travel speeds and three working modes: Power (P), Economy (E), and Lift (L). The boom can be easily controlled with thumb switch. Further, a dozer float of the dozer blade is optional for all customers.
Liugong's demolition spec machines continue to prove popular in the UK Market Now, in 2020, the company continue to focus on making an impact on these sectors. The demolition spec machines continue to prove popular, due, in part, to the heavy duty specification being made part of the production process at the LiuGong factory. Elsewhere, LiuGong Direct UK have machines working on HS2 contracts and Ferrybridge Power Station in Leeds. Grant comments, “LiuGong Direct UK have been very successful in the demolition sector over the past 7 years. We think this is due to the robust design of LiuGong construction equipment, along with the reliability of the product and the first-class customer support that LiuGong Direct UK offers.”
40 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
The customer’s needs are at the heart of LiuGong Direct UK’s business. From keeping machine down time to a minimum, to solving needs in a post Covid-19 world. Grant comments, “Even though we have suffered an interruption in the business due to Covid-19 the UK market seems to be getting back to normal. We have seen an improvement in the last month and we are hoping this will continue. The LiuGong research and development team being based in the UK gives LiuGong the ability to react to our customer’s needs very quickly, come up with different ideas and solutions that aid our customers to improve productivity and efficiency of their equipment.” →
Liugong direct UK • company profile
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 41
Company profile • liugong direct uk
He adds, “LiuGong Direct UK endeavours to keep machine down time to an absolute minimum. This objective is met because of the first class customer support we offer but also the reliability of the equipment.” Further, LiuGong Direct UK have been looking at the trends shaping the UK
LiuGong are now rolling out the I Link system, a comprehensive telematics system construction equipment market and evolving to take their part. Here, Grant explains: “The UK market requires a telematics system fitted to the machinery now. LiuGong are now rolling out the I link system which is a comprehensive telematics system providing all of the information our customer’s need.” As for the ‘bigger picture’, Grant comments on the company’s greater vision and outlook for LiuGong Direct UK, saying: “LiuGong Direct UK’s aim is to supply quality equipment to our customers with a first class service. We will keep listening to our customers and provide them with solutions to the challenges they face, keeping their business’ efficient and profitable.” To see more of LiuGong Direct UK’s range of demolition machinery, head to their website: https://www.liugong.co.uk
42 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
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Covid -19 • special report
Covid-19 Special Report: How the plant Industry is Coping during The pandemic Rachel Lambert speaks to the people in charge of some of the nation's biggest names in the plant industry to understand what's in store during Covid-19 and beyond Plant Planet • July 2020 • 45
Special report • covid-19
NPH GROUP: Building a safe plant hire business BELOW: NPH GROUP'S ASHLEY TARRANT (LEFT) & CARL JARVIS (RIGHT)
46 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
Covid -19 • Special Report
Group has plant hire depots throughout the East of England. We talk to its founder and Managing Director, Carl Jarvis, and Operations Director, Ashley Tarrant about the new procedures they have implemented to keep their staff and customers safe. When lockdown was officially announced at the end of March, like many other companies in the UK, NPH Group made the decision to shut all its depots the following week and subsequently furloughed all employees on 30th March. “We kept the depots open for a week after the lockdown announcement to give customers some breathing space to complete emergency works and to arrange the off hire and collection of equipment that was potentially at risk of loss or theft,” explains Managing Director, Carl Jarvis. “There was some uncertainty in the early days as to what the industry could and couldn’t do, and like many others, we were quick to offer our support to any government projects during the crisis. One example is our hiring in equipment to Ipswich Hospital to de coke the incinerator for medical waste which was running at 200% of its usual capacity.” NPH Group has since re-opened all its depots and at the time of press, was operating with approximately 65% of its employees; a situation which is being constantly monitored and adapted as necessary. “We have conducted a structured re-opening across the group with reduced staff levels commencing with our Newmarket depot on 20th April, as part of a phased process that was rolled out to Kings Lynn, then Ipswich, with the remaining three depots in Basildon, Harlow and Cambridge opening on 11th May. We have a close relationship with our customers so maintaining the channels of communication has been important. We kept our customers updated on developments via the website and through mailshots.”
The re-opening of depots has required some detailed planning and reorganisation for the health and safety of both employees and customers. Operations Director, Ashley Tarrant explains some of the measures that have been swiftly implemented to facilitate social distancing rules and sanitisation. “It has been a top priority for us to adopt procedures for safe working practises at all times, to keep our employees and our customers safe. All employees have been issued with a safe working practice document covering all operational areas and clear guidelines about adhering to 2m social distancing rules. There have of course been challenges given the sheer volume of information being received from various quarters with sometimes conflicting messages, against a constantly evolving landscape.”
For many companies, such new procedures also require additional investment in safe working practices. And this often necessitates the need for new equipment. So, does NPH Group have plans to expand its own hire range? “We have made significant investment in new equipment over the last two years and while we are always open to new ideas, we don’t have any plans to expand our current range. The only option we are exploring is electrostatic sprayers for larger scale disinfecting but supply chain issues and profiteering on purchase prices is an issue at present,” says Carl.
NPH Employees take daily temperature checks, and have a full range of ppe in each depot
NPH employees take daily temperature checks, have a full range of hand sanitisation products and PPE (including face masks, disposable gloves) in each depot. New technology is being reviewed too, such as the wristbands that send out alerts when the 2m distancing has been breached. There are other measures now in place. Currently NPH is not allowing any third parties to enter its premises. Like other hirers of plant and equipment, thorough sanitisation between hires is now imperative. All equipment returned from hire is immediately pressure washed and sanitised, and protective cling film wrap is applied to all touchpoints at the pre-hire stage, with delivery and collection drivers adopting best practice at all times, such as the non-sharing of pens for contactless customer handover. “The real test in sustaining ‘social distancing’ will come as staffing levels increase again and this obviously has to be managed accordingly,” explains Ashley.
The next six months are going to be challenging for the entire industry as businesses adapt to operating in the ‘new normal’. NPH is in a solid position to cope and adapt. “Our business has the flexibility to review and react quickly as required. But, we are conscious of not overreacting in the short-term in relation to reducing the cost base from staffing or from an assets perspective,” explains Carl. “We anticipate an initial spike in demand to fulfil ongoing contracts but the long-term picture is less clear and that is why the industry needs government incentives, such as reducing Stamp Duty for example. “Hire rates are continually under pressure, but we are robust in structure, well-respected in the industry and are confidently going to hold our nerve in this competitive space. At the end of the day, the best companies will survive.”
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 47
Special report • covid-19
Bomag GB: Rolling out plans for the 'new normal' start to appear again with enquiries coming through. Around 42% of employees in the UK had been furloughed over a staggered period of time in March, April and early May with the remainder either working from home, or out in the field providing emergency cover to support essential businesses.
ABOVE: ALAN BATTY MANAGING DIRECTOR, BOMAG
synonymous with compaction in the UK and globally, and manufactures a range of equipment from a handheld tamper to large asphalt rollers and landfill compactors. We talk to Alan Batty, Managing Director of BOMAG GB and a Council Member of the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) to get a manufacturer’s insight as the UK relaxes lockdown.
“We didn’t shut down our operation immediately as many did in early March,” explains BOMAG GB’s Managing Director, Alan Batty. “We waited to see what was happening regarding activity from our direct customers and dealers, so furloughing was a gradual process for us, following construction out as it slowed down or stopped. Our Parts business carried on fully staffed during March and into April, but demand dropped off after Easter so furloughing became necessary. Two thirds of them were furloughed in the end and we were making decisions on a weekly basis.” Nationally, BOMAG had to have engineers on standby to support essential businesses, such as waste management customers. “This meant keeping nearly 60% of the business in place purely for this reason. It has been a heavy cost to swallow with very little income.” Like many companies, BOMAG GB has relied on video conferencing technology to communicate with its counterparts around the globe. The management team was initially using ‘TEAMS’ on a daily basis with Boppard/ Global (now weekly). Significantly, BOMAG’s head office slowed but never stopped so there has been regular group interaction
Bomag have kept engineers on standby to support essential businesses during covid-19 As lockdown eases, BOMAG GB is gradually taking some of its people off furlough as the shoots of dealer activity
48 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
throughout lockdown. In fact, the only reason BOMAG Germany closed manufacturing in March was due to component supply issues caused by the impact of Covid-19 in other countries, especially from Italy. It opened again in May. The pace at which some BOMAG GB employees are returning from furlough will be relative to the increase in dealer activity and the level of enquiries such as those for specific projects, such as HS2 (which has continued to work throughout, as have some roadworks.) “We are minimally ‘unfurloughing’ (about 5%) as it currently stands. Our dealers still have stock, so we don’t expect to experience a rapid uptake. We are at the end of ‘the rope’ waiting for the pull to take hold,” explains Alan. “There is an expectation of a significant step change from 1st June but many businesses will only be running on two thirds efficiency because of social distancing and the implementation of other new guidelines. If they can increase their utilisation and pass this on to plant hirers, then this will ‘feed the chain’ but the purchasing of new machines is still some way down ‘the rope’.” While those that can (and want to) work from home are doing so, preparations have been made for others to return to BOMAG’s UK premises in Larkfield, Kent. This is on a limited basis with the alternating of teams (red and blue) coming into work, with staggered start, finish and break times. Some staff have continued to work at the premises, such as the warehouse manager who has gone in daily, and engineers who can only do their job in the workshop, where two people are needed to work on a machine. In Germany at BOMAG Headquarters, some production lines have been stripped out to make safe working zones. →
Special report • covid-19 Measures taken by BOMAG GB include temperature checks on entry, safety signage and advisory distancing and hand hygiene reminders throughout the premises, some reorganisation of desks so they are at least 2m apart, each with its own supply of antibacterial gel and face masks should individuals feel they want to wear them. One-way systems and rules for specific communal areas, such as the kitchen, for example, are other initiatives. On the subject of face masks, Alan says: “We are not making the wearing of face masks compulsory at the desk, but there may be instances when we have a meeting and the 2m distancing rule can’t be adhered to, in which case wearing a mask will be mandatory. Thankfully, our offices are very spacious so implementing the 2m distancing rule is quite straightforward for us.” PPE equipment kits including masks, gloves, antibacterial gels and so on, have
“The speed we return people to the office will hinge on the volume of business work, especially those working on a SAP system which does not allow remote access, so again, alternating teams to do the work is something we are hoping to successfully initiate. We will be watching closely to ensure our people adhere to the guidelines. It is imperative that we do not slip back to the ‘old normal’ and to quote the government “stay alert” for the safety of our staff, our customers and anyone visiting our premises.” When asked about the challenges that BOMAG GB has faced during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis, Alan cites trying to pre-empt the government rules as being an issue, especially the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. “Initially it was crazy trying to find out details of the rules. We are a fast reacting company but we have found it hard to stay ahead especially with the launch of government schemes such as the Job Retention Scheme. Although announced in March, there was no clear definition of the details until the end of April, shortly before it came into effect. The guidance kept changing, so we would make a decision, and the next moment it would have to change. Unlike a recession, which has a rhythm and pace to it, and something we have experience of, this is totally new for all of us.”
Full PPE will be essential when machine handover involves explanation of high tech equipment already been issued to all BOMAG’s technical sales managers ahead of them returning from furlough and/or needing to visit a customer site. They will all work from home initially. “The safety of our people on site is paramount so robust procedures are in place. We have discussions with customers prior to us attending site, requesting them to isolate the machine in question, to a clear space and to ensure that the machine is appropriately cleaned. If our employees don’t feel comfortable, they can walk away,” says Alan. Machine handover will undergo a similar process, but where close instruction is needed for some of the high-tech equipment, employees may not be able to work with 2m distancing, so full face visors, masks and gloves will be essential. Alan believes that video instruction with “classroom style training” may be the way forward before operators actually get to the machine.
50 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
With Coronavirus far from over, the current social distancing rules and safety guidance looks as though it is here to stay for a while. And as with other sectors, the construction plant and equipment industry is being forced to adapt, while also being flexible to change at short notice. Alan expects remote working through video conferencing to continue with little, or no human contact and adds how impressed he has been with how BOMAG has coped with everyone ‘working from home’. “Companies will have to invest heavily in IT and communication systems to keep the same level of efficiency in a ‘high
demand period’, and that starts with broadband speed and reliability. I think it is going to be difficult as the construction industry is a ‘people’ business and deals are often done face-to-face, sealed with the customary handshake. Body language and bonding are a real part of the process.” He goes on to say, “I struggle to see how individual companies and sites will be able to get up to 100% efficiency and machine utilisation, however I am confident that people will find new ways of working. As the threat of contagion should reduce over the next six months, we should pull up and out as we move forward, but certain things will have changed forever, defining the ‘new normal’.” There is some speculation as to whether the Coronavirus crisis will lead to a surplus of second-hand plant as some companies may want to fund cashflow. When asked about his thoughts on this, Alan said: “Very difficult to say at this early stage. It depends on whether and how quickly the economy improves. What is certain, is that any contractor requiring more machine capacity in the short term will
BOMAG REFUSE COMPACTOR RECENTLY DELIVERED TO A WELSH COUNCIL
Covid -19 • Special Report most probably think ‘plant hire’ rather than ‘purchase’. “If the UK, and indeed the global economy, are in the doldrums after Covid-19, then it will be interesting to see what happens, as this is very different to the 2008/9 recession when the UK led the way in. Then, UK companies could offload excess plant to create cashflow as Europe was still in boom. This time every country around the world will have the same problems, at the same time. Let’s pray for a quick and sharp bounce back through Government funded major infrastructure projects!” Covid-19 has had a major impact on UK trade shows this year, at which BOMAG has always supported to showcase its equipment and launch new models. This, too, presents a new dilemma for manufacturers in terms of promotion and communicating with customers. BOMAG attended the Executive Hire Show in Coventry just before lockdown, so has managed to do some promotion early in 2020. “Fortunately, we had a large display of HiTech technology and communication
products such as ‘Live’ compaction data transfer, cloud technology equipment including BOMAP, Variocontrol, Terrameter and Asphalt Manager aimed directly at HS2 and Highways England applications. Of course, we now must look at other ways and forms of media to get our message across, which is making us think outside the box.” BOMAG GB, as an importer, certainly has “much to think about at the moment” with the uncertainty of Brexit negotiations rumbling along. The deadline for an extension is at the end of June but of course Coronavirus has dominated proceedings, both in the UK and in Europe. “With the pandemic taking up so much time on both sides, I’m concerned that we will crash through this extension ‘opportunity’, and then we only have until 31st December to either leave the EU with a trade agreement, or without any deal. As an importer of mainly European products, leaving with a deal sounds more positive but it isn’t without its limitations. Some argue that it may affect further negotiations with the US or other countries.”
Alan goes on to say: “I fear that without a deal we won’t see our FX position with the Euro changing for the better and this, combined with import tariffs, and delays, is a serious issue. Furthermore, I think the £Sterling will remain weak in the foreseeable future, a painful situation for importers. Machines will be a problem, but overnight parts distribution from our European central hub to end users will be a real disaster. We are a ‘solutions’ company, so it may be that we have to re-establish parts warehousing back in the UK and at dealers to ensure availability, but there are of course cost and resource implications.” Despite all these challenges presented by Covid-19 and Brexit combined, Alan Batty and his BOMAG GB team remain upbeat and optimistic for the future. “We are living in a changing world and I think we have to be sufficiently agile to adapt to new ways of working and communicating, and new ways of doing business. We must embrace this change as a ‘good and positive opportunity’ in a dramatically changing world.”
Plant Planet • July may 2020 • 51
Covid -19 • Special Report
H.E. Services: The Show must go on! PLANT
Planet talks to Hugh Edeleanu, Chairman of H.E. Services (Plant Hire) about how the business is emerging ‘from lockdown’, and the challenges the plant rental industry is facing. He also tells us more about plans to re-open Diggerland UK, as well as the launch of The Diggerland Plant Training School. H.E. Services (Plant Hire) furloughed around 70% of its workforce at the peak of the lockdown. It managed to keep its head office in Strood, Kent and its tennational plant hire depots open, albeit on a very limited scale to support essential services and those in the trade who were able to keep working. At the helm of H.E. Services (Plant Hire) is Chairman, Hugh Edeleanu, who has been busier than ever trying to look after every part of the business during this unpredictable and unprecedented time. “I have been very conscious about making the right decisions at the right time,” says Hugh. “When construction sites stopped working, we were inundated with customers wanting to off-hire machinery. Initially there was also some confusion about who could continue working in the trade during lockdown.” Hugh goes on to say, “We have found there has been a greater emphasis on the hire of smaller equipment because people have been building extensions, patios and DIY projects during lockdown, whereas the larger scale housebuilding projects have not been so busy. The sites are returning back
ABOVE: HUGH EDELEANU, CHAIRMAN OF H.E. SERVICES one by one. At the moment, we are only running at about 75% of where we were before.” The speed with which business is gaining momentum is varying on a regional basis. Hugh explains that sites located in the more highly populated areas are not returning as quickly as those in more rural locations. The East of England, such as Cambridge has been busy, and the area between Bristol and London, but the capital itself remains quieter with only around 50% of sites currently re-opened.
people shy away from public transport as they return to work. The increase in London’s congestion charge, which is now applicable 7 days a week with new extended hours, has also fuelled demand as there is zero charge for electric cars. And as Hugh points out, “great tax incentives as there is also zero benefit in kind on electric cars.”
There has been a greater emphasis on the hire of smaller equipment as people have been undertaking DIY
EVision, part of the H.E. Services group, has also seen an upsurge in demand for its electric car rental, as
Those H.E. Services staff who are not working from home, and are returning to head office or the regional depots, will notice some changes in the wake of Covid-19. →
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 53
Special report • covid-19
“As the virus appears to be here to stay for the foreseeable future, we have to remain aware and be flexible if necessary. We are following the government recommendations and putting measures in place for the safety of our own people, and our customers.” Such measures include additional safety signage, the re-organisation of desks so they are at least 2.5m apart, ample supplies of anti-bacterial handwash and sanitisation products in different parts of the premises, PPE for employees as appropriate, and a new policy of ‘keeping doors open’ to allow people to walk through without having to touch handles wherever possible.
of this year, but I think there will definitely be a cost implication for manufacturers. This is not just from an operational point of view. With fixed cost plant and a reduction in production output, then the cost per unit increases. This is why I think prices will rise.” Does Hugh see hire rates mirroring this potential increase? “I would like to say that hire rates would go up in view of the additional costs we will incur, but I think the reality is that our competitors will not move in the same direction. While ‘business may appear to be good’ on the surface for many rental companies, this will reflect in their financial performance at the end of the year, and some will inevitably go out of business. There will be those that go into liquidation, and others who simply decide they’ve had enough.”
"We have to remain aware and be flexible if necessary" Machines returning to the depots will be thoroughly pressure washed/ steam cleaned and fully sanitised in preparation for the next hire. Contactless procedures during the delivery and handover of equipment will be implemented whenever possible. For example, delivery tickets can be photographed by the customer rather than physically signed for, reducing human contact. As Hugh points out, while he is 100% behind making these changes, the additional equipment, cleaning materials and procedures, don’t come “without cost” with businesses having no choice but to pay sometimes ten times the normal price, as importers and wholesalers pass on the increased costs to customers. Hugh also expects the cost of new equipment to rise in the next six months. “It’s probably too early to say, with any certainty, what supply and demand will be like for the remainder
54 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
Despite this, Hugh does not expect to see a surplus of second-hand equipment flood the UK market, explaining that “plant will still be needed overseas, especially in those countries that haven’t been as badly affected by Coronavirus.” Hugh feels that while any additional support the government can offer the industry to fuel confidence and demand, would be welcomed, the reality is that they have to sort out the major problems facing the UK, not just the ‘construction sector’ in isolation. The hospitality sector being one of these. And Hugh knows a lot about the events industry, as the owner of the popular Diggerland theme parks in Kent, Devon, Durham and Yorkshire. They all currently remain closed due to the pandemic, but have hopes to re-open in July if the government allows them to.
“We are putting a huge amount of effort into preparations for re-opening Diggerland. As with most theme parks, the summer holidays account for the lion’s share of our revenue so we really hope to open for August. That said, the indoor play areas will not be open at Diggerland because we don’t want children to come into close contact with one another in a confined indoor space, where the risk of transmission is far greater due to the virus’s ability to linger in the air,” says Hugh who has taken advice from a number of scientific experts on the way the virus is transmitted. “Outdoors is much safer, as the fresh air carries the virus away.” Food and beverages will be served from outdoor stations only, and while individual rides will operate as normal, the larger rides will be restricted to one family group at a time. All rides will be thoroughly sanitised after each session. Away from kids entertainment, there is something new about to be launched at Diggerland and it is one the plant industry should certainly be aware of - Diggerland Plant Training School in Kent is a serious venture that Hugh and his team at H.E. Services have been working on for the last 9 months. It is offering NPORS (National Plant Operator Registration Scheme) approved and accredited courses for plant training. This includes all the common items such as telehandlers, dumpers, excavators and rollers. “We are really excited about this,” says Hugh. “We have everything in place, from classrooms for theory training, to fully operational machines with instructors and we are open for business.” Diggerland Plant Training School has its own dedicated website: https://www.digger.school and they are taking bookings now.
Covid -19 • Special Report
MORRIS LESLIE: Lockdown Across the borders healthcare and agriculture. Even with depots closed, they have continued to provide services to clients in the affected areas. As many will know, the Scottish government has imposed much tighter restrictions on lockdown than in England, with construction in Scotland shutdown completely, other than essential building projects. Scottish residents have not been able to travel more than 5 miles from their home. At the time of going to press, Scotland had just moved into Phase 1 of easing out of lockdown. While construction ABOVE: GRAHAM OGILVIE, DIRECTOR sites have been able to prepare OF MORRIS LESLIE PLANT HIRE for a ‘return to work’, and smaller contractors allowed back to work following the guidelines, the larger companies cannot resume their Ogilvie, Managing Director of Morris construction projects until Phase 2.
Leslie Plant Hire, tells Plant Planet more about how they are supporting customers nationally during Covid-19, with stricter lockdown in Scotland.
Lockdown, and the relaxing of lockdown regulations, has presented more challenges for Morris Leslie Plant Hire than perhaps some other UK plant hirers. With 13 depots providing national plant hire services throughout the UK and its Head Office near Perth, Morris Leslie has the task of adhering to different rules, for different countries. Morris Leslie Plant Hire closed just three of their depots in Inverness, Whitehaven and Plymouth, with the others remaining open with skeleton staff throughout lockdown, to provide emergency cover and support essential sectors, including
“Like many companies, we have furloughed employees because of the reduced volume of business and this remains a fluid situation, which we monitor constantly. It has been a balancing act to ensure we have enough people on site to service customers’ needs, but equally, keeping this to a minimal basis has been a top priority for the safety of our staff,” says Graham Ogilvie, Managing Director.
Key staff in the business have not been furloughed, with the majority working from home. “Even with reduced staff levels, we have continued to support customers who can work during lockdown with services so they can carry on with their business.” Meeting social distancing guidelines is not problematic for Morris Leslie Plant Hire as Graham explains that they have sufficient space at all their premises to implement this with relative ease, with many operating in workshops, or outdoors. “We are, of course, taking measures to maximise employee awareness in social distancing in the workplace, and promoting the importance of hygiene, such as regular handwashing, providing them with relevant PPE for their safety. Our delivery drivers and fitters will have the appropriate PPE when they visit customers’ sites and anyone visiting our depots will need to follow our rules.”
Larger construction companies in scotland cannot return to work until phase two of easing lockdown
Graham explains that Morris Leslie Plant Hire is fully-operational and as business volumes increase, so will the staff levels.
The thorough sanitisation of machinery in preparation for handover is an essential part of Morris Leslie’s plant hire service, and drivers and customers will be asked to respect 2m social distancing as much as possible. Familiarisation packs will be handed out and should operators have a query, assistance will be given ‘remotely’ whenever possible, to minimise human contact. →
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 55
Special report • covid-19 Drivers collecting machines will have appropriate PPE and have anti-bacterial kits to clean touchpoint areas, such as steering wheels, levers, handles, seats and so on, before driving them onto the truck. When machines return to the depots, they will undergo a complete sanitisation process, before inspection, in preparation for their next hire.
improve confidence in the marketplace, I can’t see the sector returning to pre-Covid Levels. “Construction, especially house-building, relies on consumer confidence and while houses are being completed now, will there be the demand for new houses by the end of year? It will be interesting to see when the groundworkers go back on site. There will be those completing projects, but will there be the next wave of work to come or will that be at a reduced level? These are telling times.”
Even with reduced staff levels, we have continued to support customers who can still work “This is new to all of us, so we are keeping a close eye on best practice and will adapt accordingly if we have to,” says Graham. When asked about how he sees the plant hire industry over the next six months, he responds: “I think initially we can expect a surge as customers get moving again, but will we get back to the existing run rate levels we were at in March? Unless the government kick-starts the economy with a range of measures which will
Hire rates will also come under scrutiny, considered by many plant hire companies to already be too low. “The cost of machines has increased significantly but the weekly hire rates have not reflected this. They continue to erode as a percentage of capital costs. I firmly believe that the industry needs to work together to push the rates up because we now have extra costs to carry out all the
BELOW: A MORRIS LESLIE CAT 313 EXCAVATOR WORKING ON SITE
56 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
additional tasks. But, realistically, until the volume of supply in the marketplace corrects itself, I think the rates will stay much as they were before we went into this. I hope they don’t deteriorate further.” So, is there likely to be a surplus of second-hand plant on the market? “I think it depends on what government initiatives are announced, not just in the UK, but on a global level, to kickstart their own individual economies. Consumer confidence needs to be restored as quickly as possible to encourage new construction projects which will minimise the amount of surplus plant, but it is difficult to predict how this crisis will play out. There may be a surplus of certain types of product. “The problem is, the hirers are unsure of customer demand and thinking about how many machines they need in their fleet, while the manufacturers are trying to predict the volume of business they will generate from plant hire companies. We need the government to drive confidence and drive the economy to get the wheels turning again. I am sure that if the confidence is there, then we will all get a share of it.
How Enigma telematics provide Vital business solutions Established in 1972, Adlington Welding Supplies Ltd has grown and developed to become one of the leading independent welding suppliers in the country. The AWS Power Division is being expanded and as part of their customer commitment they provide a supply, maintain and fuel service. Early into this process they identified that
telematics & remote telemetry would be of benefit their customers whilst helping to improve service to their customers. Enigma Telematcs (part of the Viasat Group) was chosen to supply their Skyline Gen-Tel solution which interfaces with the generator control panel. Taking the data directly from the control panel and engine, Enigma were able to report on all the key data points required by the customer and their customers. Delivered either by exception report, SMS/ email alarm or in one of our dashboards, Enigma ensure the valuable Skyline data is delivered in an actionable manner. Telemetry can prove beneficial to providing clients with the right capacity machine for their application. AWS used this to their and the customer’s advantage when asked to supply a
250 kva generator to initially power a new building during the testing phase prior to connection to mains supply. Subsequently, the same generator will provide either temporary or backup power when the building was occupied. Gen-Tel system was set up to create SMS & e-mail alerts if the generator exceeded 80% loading. The AWS team monitored these loadings on a daily basis using the Skyline Asset View dashboard and reporting modules. After a week of heavy testing they were able to demonstrate to the client that the generator loadings never exceeded 50% and the machine will remain on-site for the remainder of the contract. For more information on how Enigma Telematics can help your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Call Director of Sales Graham Gardner +44 7801 607542
PICTURED: AWS GENERATOR WITH ENIGMA TELEMATICS ON SITE
Coronavirus loan and finance schemes Steve Moody, a Director of SKM Asset Finance Ltd tells us ‘Figures published by the Treasury on 2nd June reveal how lenders have approved over £31.3 billion to over 745,000 businesses through Government-backed schemes.’ Since the launch of the first coronavirus support scheme in late March, the above loans have been approved through either the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme (CLBILS). In comparison an average of 275,000 loans and overdrafts were provided in total each year by the ten largest banking groups to UK SMEs over the past five years.
However, it is apparent that not every business has been successful in applying for these loans. SKM Asset Finance Ltd is an accredited broker for the CBILS and CLBILS facilities and the support from the Government for these is likely to continue until the end of September this year. In addition to loans, SKM is also able to provide Hire Purchase, Finance Lease and Refinance products under the CBILS scheme whereby the interest and fees are paid by the Government for the first 12 months. If you would like to discuss any of the above in more
PICTURED: STEVE AND JACKIE MOODY OF SKM ASSET FINANCE
detail please contact Steve on 01202 855080. Steve adds ‘It is important to remember that lending provided under any of the above schemes is a debt not a grant and so firms should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.’
Messersi tracked carriers • Topical Commentary BELOW: THE MESSERSI TC350-D TRACKED CARRIER
Messersi Tracked Carriers, Magnifico! David Chuck explores the Italian manufactures range of machinery
the last issue of Plant Planet we looked at a selection of larger payload tracked dumpers. In this issue we focus on one particular very comprehensive range of tracked carriers (as they are also known) from Italian manufacturer, Messersi. The company was founded in 1957 and is located near the Adriatic cost. Over the years, the company’s product range has grown to include tracked dumpers, mini excavators tracked and wheeled, compact loaders and solar panel cleaning machines.
In this article, we are going to concentrate on their extensive tracked dumper range. The smallest is the walk behind or stand on Model TC45 with a payload of 450 kg and a width of 660 mm as well as the largest Model TC350D, which is driver controlled with a payload of 3500 kg and a width of 1.8 metres.
Messersi have introduced two battery powered models: the TC50-e and TC120-e
The Messersi reliability is very well known by some of the most important
UK rental companies who are continuously adding Messersi machines to their fleets. With zero emission machines becoming more and more popular (especially in the rental business), Messersì have introduced two battery powered models. The TC50-e and TC120-e →
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 59
Topical commentary • messersi tracked carriers moved by the more environmentallyfriendly Lithium-Iron-Phosphate batteries. The TC50-e carries a payload of 500kg and will work for 5 hours on a full charge and the TC120-e carries a payload of 1.2 Tonne and will work for 8 hours on a full charge (thanks to the Canbus technology inside). The choice is certainly very comprehensive. There are several versions of the two battery-powered models: either the low tip, self-loader or the most popular version, hi-tip. The TC120-e is also available with an optional remote-control unit, swivel skip and loading shovel in the hi-tip. The largest tracked Messersì carrier in their range is, at the moment (as there are rumours of a 5,5 Ton project in course), the TC350d with a real 3.5 Tonne payload and a width of just 1.8 metres. The machines, fitted with auto two shift system, comes complete with a rotating operator’s seat which is mounted with pilot controls in the armrests. The operator is always able to face the direction of travel for
additional safety. It is powered by a Kubota 48.6 kw Stage V engine and can also be ordered with a closed cab. The first Model TC350d (with 450 mm larger tracks and closed cab version) destined for the UK will be delivered to one of the Messersì distributors, 1st Base Plant Sales of Wigan, Greater Manchester and they already have demonstration requests. Some of the larger tracked carrier models can be fitted with a dozer blade as an option. Other options can include a cement mixer or a hydraulic power take-off and also a telescopic crane with a 7-metre reach. Full details of the Messersi range can be found at www.messersi.it Messersì have a network of distributors in the UK and are always looking for more. Contact Marco Grucci (Commercial Manager) email: email@example.com or phone: 0039-3358756643
LT: THE TC85 HI TIP FROM THE UTILITY RANGE LB: THE TC250D CRANE RIGHT: TCH 2500 FITTED WITH TELESCOPIC CRANE
60 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
ABOVE: THE BATTERY POWERED TC350-E BELOW: TC120-E
For over twenty years Messersì have sold their famous high-tip tracked dumpers (500 and 1000 kgs range) in the UK. Messersì are now proud to introduce some more new models to the UK market: the large TC350d (3.5 Ton payload, very popular size in the U.K.) and the “white livery” eco friendly zero emissions battery versions of their two best selling dumpers in the UK (TC50e and TC120e, also available with hi-tip skip).
For more information visit www.messersi.it Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0039-071-688771 (4)
Topical commentary • lockdown HB2 provides potential
Lockdown Provides Potential: The Light at the End of the tunnel
62 • July May 2020 • Plant Planet
Lockdown provides potential • Topical Commentary Eleanor Baldwin examines the goings on of the construction industry during UK lockdown
FURLOUGHED workers and staff working from home has not prevented the industry from being awarded with £9.7 billion worth of new contracts. According to the Builder's Conference, an impressive amount of new contracts were signed in April alone. Interestingly, it seems that lockdown has not slowed the signing of contracts as this figure is up by a whopping 50% compared with the same month of last year.
If this wasn't enough to boost April's ratings, BAM Nuttall Morgan Sindall Joint Venture (BMJV) took on a £1.5 billion contract with Highways England. BMJV, along with two other companies, are now part of a 10-year smart motorways framework set to offer £4.5 billion of highways work.
Network rail awarded BAM Nuttall a £2.2 Billion Contract for part of the transpennine route upgrade
BAM Nuttall, part of the Royal Bam Group of civil engineers, were behind two of the huge contracts responsible for the boost in April. Network Rail awarded BAM Nuttall with a £2.2 billion contract in collaboration with the Transpire Alliance with Amey and Arup for a part of the Transpennine Route Upgrade between Stalybridge and Leeds.
On the surface, the peak in values in April may appear as though many contracts have been signed. However, the mammoth contracts such as those by BAM Nuttall, are largely responsible for the boost. The actual number of contracts signed is less impressive, at only 524; almost half of these being in the infrastructure sector. Nonetheless, it is reported that 17 companies gained more than £17 million worth of work in April.→
BAM NUTTALL WILL WORK IN COLLABORATION WITH TRANSPIRE ALLIANCE WITH AMEY AND ARUP FOR A PART OF THE UPGRADE BETWEEN STALYBRIDGE AND LEEDS
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 63
Topical commentary • lockdown provides potential The £9.7 billion total offers hope to the industry. Builders’ Conference chief executive Neil Edwards stated that the contract signing “offers just a glimmer of optimism for an upswing in workloads when the lockdown finally comes to an end”.
Chief Investments Officer at Homes England, Gordon More, stated of the loans: “Despite the unusual and challenging situation, the housebuilding sector, and indeed the whole country, is currently facing, Homes England remains open for business and committed to helping our partners deliver much-needed new homes. By investing in projects on this scale and allowing funding to be recycled into future phases of development, we are able to support significant schemes where commercial lenders may not. This means these three major developments can invest in the infrastructure they need to deliver in these uncertain times and accelerate the delivery of new homes.”
Contracts offer just a glimmer of optimism for an upswing in workloads when lockdown ends In additional hopeful news, three schemes, with a total capacity for up to 20,000, are receiving loans from Homes England. The government’s housing agency has pledged to lend a total of £309m to housing developments in Brent Cross, Silvertown and Barking Riverside. The loan is set to speed up the construction of housing in London by around 4 years.
The exciting development plans offer a glimmer of hope for the industry, with
Housing Minister Christopher Pincher describing the loans as ‘a real statement of intent.’ The huge new contracts set to take place will likely need an abundance of skilled workers. This is where the spike in use of E-learning platforms, such as that by Plantforce Rentals, will prove useful. During the lockdown period, Plantforce Rentals reported over 275 applicants starting the certification with the aim to better their knowledge of machine control systems. Operators, Engineers and Site Managers have all embarked on the course, which will inevitably benefit the rush of projects starting and continuing work once lockdown eases up. These new contracts offer at least some reassurance during what has been a challenging time for many companies, as well as individuals. Whilst lockdown has caused much worry for those in the construction industry, the future of construction looks to remain busy.
LOCKDOWN HAS SEEN A SPIKE IN THE USE OF E-LEARNING PLATFORMS WITHIN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
64 • July May 2020 • Plant Planet
Topical commentary • 125 years in the industry
125 years in the industry The History of New Holland
66 • July 2020 • Plant Planet
125 years in the industry • Topical Commentary
year, New Holland Agriculture is celebrating 125 years in the industry. This issue, Plant Planet take a look at the origins of the company and how it has grown over five generations, helping farmers across the globe become more efficient and sustainable. New Holland Agriculture was founded in 1895 in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The company, as we know it today, is the result of the integration of four agricultural brands: The original New Holland Agriculture brand, Claeys, Ford, and Fiat Trattori. New Holland recognise Abe Zimmerman, Leon Claeys, Henry Ford, and Giovanni Agnelli - the founders and heads of each company in turn - as being the founders of the brand that farmers know and love today. As stated by Carlo Lambro, Brand President of New Holland Agriculture:
easier, leading to the invention of the first European self-propelled combine harvester. 22 years later, Ford bought New Holland. Henry Ford, the founder of Henry Ford & Son, is in many ways a household name. In 1917, he introduced the world's first mass produced tractor: the Fordson Model F. Fiat purchased an 80% interest in Ford New Holland in 1991. The then head of Fiat, Giovanni Agnelli, saw ‘how a solution developed for a specific social need could be extended to provide farmers across the world with a smart solution’. New Holland aims to carry the legacy and values of each founder in the company’s vision today.
New holland aim to carry the legacy and values of each founder in the company's vision
“New Holland has a rich heritage started in a small town of Pennsylvania and has grown to be a global brand with a presence across 170 countries. It is a history marked by important innovations that have changed agriculture. It brings together the unique legacy of brands such as Ford, Fiat, Braud and Claeys.” Each founder has brought a wealth of knowledge and resources to the brand over the years. Abe Zimmerman, who ‘understood the importance of meeting customer needs with simple solutions and reliable support’ founded the original company as an agricultural pioneer. In 1964, New Holland bought a major interest in Belgian company Claeys. Leon Claeys dedicated his knowledge to making farmer’s lives
In 2020, New Holland remains one of the largest names in agricultural machinery. The company boasts 2000 dealers and 5000 touchpoints globally, allowing the business to ‘remain at the side of its customers, building close, long-lasting relationships’. Following on from the previous statement, Lambro added: “Most important of all, [New Holland's] is a history marked by people: our customers, our dealers, our employees, day after day, year after year. Together, we are facing the many challenges of agriculture, helping farmers get the job done, efficiently and profitably, and get the best from their business. We are living in extraordinary circumstances that are changing how we live and work in ways we could never have imagined,” “This situation has highlighted the vital role of agriculture and →
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 67
125 years in the industry • Topical Commentary brought to the attention of the public how important farmers are in their life. Agriculture has reacted to the crisis with strength, successfully ensuring the food supply without disruption in the face of exceptional difficulties. And New Holland has remained at the farmers’ side throughout, providing the support they needed. We continue to invest in the future, and we will make the most of the possibilities of new technologies, connectivity, automation and alternative fuels – working together towards sustainable agriculture. As we celebrate our 125th anniversary, at this unprecedented moment in history, we look to the future with confidence.” The company continues to aim towards providing customers with ‘industry leading solutions focussed on innovation, sustainability, and outstanding cost efficiency’. Furthermore, the company is on the cutting edge of a multitude of trends in the agricultural industry including digitalisation, connectivity, automation, servitization, and alternative propulsion. The PLM™ (Precision Land Management) solutions system gives farmers the ability to manage aspects of their farm through a simple interface. PLM™ solutions is a step towards a future where farmers can run their operations more proactively, turning the farm into a connected and smart ecosystem. Furthermore, the company has also pioneered sustainable agriculture and alternative fuels through its Clean Energy Leader strategy, which has led to the development of the Methane Power tractor prototype, closing the circular economy loop with a tractor powered by methane or biomethane, which can be produced on the farm. In the coming years, it aims to continue to drive agriculture’s transition to renewable fuels, taking forward its methane project, which is at the heart of its commitment to sustainability.
Plant Planet • July 2020 • 69
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It's been four months since the UK Prime Minister addressed the nation to announce that the country would go into lockdown to prevent furthe...
Published on Jun 22, 2020
It's been four months since the UK Prime Minister addressed the nation to announce that the country would go into lockdown to prevent furthe...