A hire authority..excavators

Plant hire fleets are full of new equipment, reports Kim Dudley of Doosan, as many hirers invested heavily in 2008 – bad news for this year’s sales, but very good news for landscapers looking for the latest, high spec machine.

Hiring a mini may sometimes be the best option – especially when needing a specific sized digger for a certain job, a zero tail swing or a larger sized machine for the early excavations or difficult terrain.

The main advantage of hiring is that the landscaper doesn’t have to make a substantial investment, nor worry about maintenance or sourcing the right workshop equipment. Hire companies make heavy investments in all sizes of plant and tools and many become specialised hire service providers so they have a vested interest in maintaining the performance of the fleet.

Leading hirer CBL comments: “Customers can hire machines on an as need basis without the worry of maintenance and breakdown- that’s the true value of hire.”

With competitive rates for days, weeks or long term hire many are switching back to hire rather than investing in new or second hand machines. And hirers are bending over backwards to supply them- where something isn’t available, then local hire firms will do their best to find it by sourcing from another depot and even cross-hiring from other hirers or by simply adding the requested item to the fleet.

Despite the downturn CBL continues to add to the plant hire fleet across its 10 depot hire network in the South of England. The company added 11 new Takeuchi mini excavators to the fleet in February including 1.5 tonne, 5.5 tonne and 7.5 tonne Takeuchi machines.

Working closely with utilities partners, CBL has identified specific tools for the job and committed to the quality in the fleet.

“Leading equipment brands and machinery in good condition are a priority on site and hire companies have to maintain a high level of service and machine condition. Investing in the fleet is essential and CBL plans continued investment to maintain standards of service” says Charlotte Barford, Managing Director of CBL.

The growing demand for utilities work has highlighted the popularity of the Takeuchi TB016 mini digger – CBL has added four of these machines to its fleet. Operators working in confined areas prefer the stability of extendable tracks when digging deep, while the touch sensitive hydraulics are vital when working around critical pipelines and cable laying areas.

Hewden Plant Hire suggests that the secret of success is in specifying the right machines for the job in hand.
“With high digging forces and fast cycle times the Caterpillar mini and midi hydraulic excavator range that we hire offers high levels of productivity for landscaping and groundworks applications,” says their spokesman. “This is due to its high manoeuvrability, quick-change work tools and ease of operation and means that the equipment is typically required for shorter periods, helping to reduce both rental and fuel costs.”
Hewden offers nation wide coverage, and every machine is thoroughly checked and serviced before delivery to site, ensuring maximum reliability.

Most models in the range come with a one-way and a two-way auxiliary line. This means, when coupled with the standard quick connectors, the excavators can be arranged for a number of applications without the need for re-configuration of the lines, which makes for fast and efficient switching of tools between jobs.

Selecting a machine and a hirer with a good range of attachments also allows the landscaper to get more out of the hire, Hewden points out – the Caterpillar range is fitted as standard with a dozer blade with a float function, for precise groundwork tasks such as levelling and site clean up and work tools available such as digging buckets, ditch cleaning buckets, hydraulic hammers and augers can be specified.

Last year, Komatsu’s PC26MR-3 mini excavator received the award for Rental Product of the Year at the first ever European Rental Awards ceremony organised
jointly in Amsterdam by the International Rental News magazine and the European Rental Association (ERA), to coincide with the first International Rental Exhibition (IRE).

Komatsu explains that due to its convenient weight, the new PC26MR-3 – with two extra buckets and Komatsu’s quick coupler – can be moved on a small trailer, with only a car driver’s licence required. It features Komtrax, Komatsu’s exclusive satellite monitoring system which uses a simple web interface to offers fleet management solutions to rental companies and other customers.

Prize rental
Award winning landscaper chooses Takeuchi
Landform Consultants create quality landscapes throughout the UK and have a long-standing reputation for award-winning work, including many gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show.

As well as regularly hiring equipment from CBL to help with their work, last September they purchased two further Takeuchi minis from CBL, a TB016 and a TB235. As Mark Gregory, Landform’s Managing Director, says, “When you are working to exacting deadlines and a high level of quality, it’s vital that you can rely on your workforce, your suppliers and your kit…the Takeuchis not only look the part, they perform and I have never had a breakdown. It’s one less thing to stress about!”

Landform gained their first double gold medal at the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show for the Savills Garden, designed by Philip Nixon, and for the Children’s Society Garden designed by Mark Gregory.

Those of you who saw last autumn’s Channel 5 series, ‘I own Britain’s best home and garden’, may recognise Mark’s name – he was an expert judge for the series.

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