Wera and the era of the ‘torqueys’

A FLICK through the latest Wera product catalogue will confirm the company is no stranger to the ‘torqueys’ – tools that control the level of torque for tightening various bolts and screws, writes PETER BRETT.

As machines and components have become more advanced, the need to control the levels of torque of various fixings has become very important.

'As tight as you can get it' is not an acceptable procedure when working on a carbon-fibre structure, or on an electronic device that needs a correct torque to maintain electrical contacts.

The Wera torque tool range provides ultra-precise micro screwdrivers to standard and VDE formats, right the way to a monster torque wrench capable of delivering torque tightening from 200Nm to 1000Nm.

Clearly the latter have more sophisticated ‘innards’ to ensure accurate and consistent torque delivery for a wider range of tasks.

Eisenwarenmesse 2018 (Cologne Tool Fair) was the setting for the launch of Wera’s Click-Torque range of wrenches – and an array it was too.

To ensure all bases were covered the range stretches from the A5 & A6 ¼” drive 2.5 – 25Nm right through to the E, which is a ¾” drive.

C1 – C5 Range

The C1 reversible ratchet wrench comes with a 10 to 50Nm capability up to the C5 with an 80-400Nm available. Add in the Click Torque E and the Click Torque X series for use with insert tools and it is clear Wera takes torque tools extremely seriously.

Click Torque C3

I was sent a Click Torque C3 to review, which is in the middle of the C range (1/2”) of wrenches and is a typical example of the ergonomics and operation of the Wera torque wrenches – so readers can generalise a bit about how the rest work.

The Click Torque C3 announces its capability with green lettering by the ratchet head reading 40-200Nm, meaning it would be a good choice for mechanics, AA Patrol Staff and such like.

This precision tool is just over 51cm long and arrived packaged in a snug square plastic box, which is great for storage and would suit any retail display.

Also in the case was the all-important calibration certificate and Certificate of Conformity, which should be kept safe.

Torque wrenches need regular calibration after a fixed number of work cycles to ensure continuing accuracy. I was pleased to note my sample, according to the certificate, was well within the 3% tolerance allowed by the standards testing authorities.

Some features

As we would expect from a Wera tool, the ratchet head is made from finely finished alloy with a ½ inch square drive. This drive has a ball-bearing socket retainer and a socket release button.

I hate wrestling with sockets that rely on friction and a tight fit to keep them in place.

Inevitably I end up struggling to change sockets, particularly in cold weather, so I welcomed these features.

The 45-tooth ratchet is reversible, so the wrench can be used to loosen bolts. The 45-tooth ratchet also means the tool has a relatively small ‘throw’, making it easier to use in cramped spaces.

A solid oval tube painted in Wera Black conceals the inner workings of the ‘click’ part of the Click Torque mechanism – of which more below.

Then comes the user interface: the setting scales. These are marked in Nm on the right side of the line and in lbs/feet on the left. The scales are in black lettering on a white background so are clear to see.

Although the lbs/feet scale is a bit smaller and I needed my glasses. The Nm scales are marked in 10Nm graduations and each in-between increment is clearly visible in a separate window.

To adjust the torque settings you have to head past the large Wera Kraftform handle to the button on the far end of the wrench.

The button has to be pulled out and this enables the handle to be turned. The design of the handle is excellent because the grippy patches not only help when applying torque, they also make it easy to twist it to set the scales.

The window below the scales provide individually click-stopped numbers from 0 to 9.

A full turn of the handle moves the scales exactly 10Nm and the 0 marks the exact spot for a 1Nm measurement.

An audible and tactile ‘click’ allows each incremental change to be clear to the user.

It is easy to work out if you wanted to set 45Nm, you set the scale to 40Nm and then turn the handle five clockwise click-stops.

In my opinion, the click-stop system is very accurate, and is easily repeatable should you need to change settings often. To lock the wrench settings so they will not move in use, the button on the end of the handle is simply pushed down.

Click – Torque is a brilliant feature of this series of wrenches.

On many older-styled torque wrenches, the torque’s indication target was reached when the head would give an audible click as the mechanism slipped.

However, if the user continued applying torque the likely result was a higher torque to that set on the wrench.

With the Click – Torque there is not only the audible signal to notify the user the target torque has been reached, but there is also a cam mechanism inside the handle to give a tactile click, which can be felt in the hand as it escapes the spring. This double signal means the user can immediately realise target torque is reached and can release pressure on the handle.

Not all torque settings are in traditional ‘righty-tighty’ screw threads, and Wera has therefore ensured the C-Series provides controlled tightening to the left and right.

So, will the C-Series catch on?

One of my usually infallible tests for finding out whether a tool will be a success or not is to lend it to the appropriate trade and then wait to see how long till you get it back.

In this case, deadlines being quite tight, I had to prise this wrench away long before the young motor technician to whom I lent it wanted to part with it.

He most liked the easy setting and overall quality of it, especially since he was having to reset torque readings several times a day. To my mind a slick summary of this wrench’s best points.


www-de.wera.de/en

HiKOKI high performance power tools: a new name - still fantastic products

IT MIGHT seem an unusual way to start a review, but - the three HiKOKI tools I reviewed this month - I can't recommend them enough, writes PETER BRETT.

I was fitting a kitchen for a client when I was offered the choice of some tools to review. I chose the new HiKOKI C3606DA brushless circular saw, the DV36DAX combi drill and the WH36DB impact driver, because they were basic tools most fitting trades would use.

They were all given a thorough workout for several weeks and they did not disappoint on any of the tasks they were given.

A general workhorse – the 36V Combi Drill

I would say no toolbox should be without a cordless drill or combi of some description, because there is always a need to drill holes or drive screws - or maybe even something slightly different like using a sanding drum in the chuck to sand edges.

Looking at this combi it follows a similar pattern to every other cordless driver. But picking it up and feeling the weight and power of it proves this tool is in the big leagues when it comes to power and performance.

With the 36V battery pack mounted, it tips the scales at 2.7Kg. With a max torque of 138Nm available, the extra-long auxiliary handle is necessary when using that extra big holesaw.

To help the handling, the combi has excellent ergonomics via a handle that balances the weight of the motor on the top and the battery pack on the bottom.

There is enough grippy rubber for a comfortable and strong handgrip, and the strategically-placed ‘bumpers’ on the casing protect from the inevitable knocks and falls that will occur on site.

The powerful brushless motor has two ranges of speeds via the sliding switch on top of the casing (low: 0 to 500 rpm, high: 0 to 2,100 rpm), and the trigger is not only well placed for ease of use, but is also quite sensitive to the feel of the drill when it performs.

My workmate noted that he could feel when he was getting near to the end of drilling a 50mm hole in an oak worktop and was able to 'ease up' on the speed to avoid breakout.

Drilling specs are impressive too. In brick, this combi will drill up to a 20mm diameter, in mild steel up to 16mm, and up to 102mm in softwood.

It is also capable of driving 12 gauge woodscrews 10cm long.

I did try some of these extremes and these specs are genuine, but more to the point, whatever drilling job we used this combi for – 50mm holes in oak worktops, holes for drainage pipes or driving 75mm long fixing screws – we were left with the feeling this machine has such capacity that it became our favourite ‘go to’ tool.

This is a genuine, hardworking, powerful, well-designed combi drill that would suit the heavy demands that trades would make on it.

Making an impact

By contrast the WH36DB impact driver is designed to be as compact as possible, but it certainly surprised me with its capability and power. It weighs in at 1.6Kg and stands 24cm high with battery pack. It is only 13cm long from the chuck to cooling slots - no doubt made possible by the brushless motor.

Again, it handles well courtesy of the ergonomic handle and grippy rubber overmouldings.

Selecting a soft, normal or power mode via the switch at the base of the handle can control the impressive tightening torque of 210Nm.

For many jobs where impact drivers are routinely used, normal or soft modes are really what you need to avoid simply breaking the heads off screws in power mode.

The most difficult job I used this driver for was drilling holes in masonry for concrete screws when hanging cabinets and fixing battens to walls. It performed extremely well, and I really appreciated the short length, easy handling and LED light when working under and inside cabinets.

Like the combi drill, it comes with a reversible belt hook and wrist strap and the new HiKOKI battery level checker is now on the battery pack itself rather than on the machine. Much better!

Circular saw – more than cutting edge

Most of the time I work with wood and boards. So, I use a lot of circular saws and I have found the more powerful and accurate they are - the better I like them.

The 36V battery pack on the C3606DA easily manages the claimed spec of 66mm cutting depth. With the aid of a straight edge as a guide, I made accurate cuts in 50mm thick oak worktops that left a whistle clean finish on the endgrain.

It was also good at long grain cuts that needed a bit more care to avoid burning, but it performed better than my cordless plunge saw on this test. So I am starting to wonder when HiKOKI is launching a plunge saw and rail combination.

The saw has a couple of clever modes – Power and Silent. In Power mode, you get full speed from the first press of the trigger, but in Silent mode the blade spins more quietly and more slowly until you apply load by starting a cut.

Then the electronics takes over to provide full power. The very efficient motor brake stops the blade in a fraction of a second – a safety feature I like very much.

Like other previous Hitachi circular saws I have tested, the new HiKOK retains a solid and rigid alloy base with tool-less adjustments for bevel cuts and depth of cut.

There is a simple lever operated spindle lock for blade changes, and the hex key for it is safely hidden away next to the motor until needed. My failing eyesight does not see the provision of a bright LED light focused on the cut line as a gimmick. If you do not need it, you can turn it off. A simple fence is provided for basic guided cuts.

My overriding impression of this little saw (only 165mm blade diameter) is that it has 'oodles of power' and is robust enough to take the knocks of a working life.

HiKOKI – the future

In my view the choice of these three basic tools from the new HiKOKI branded 36V range is a powerful statement of intent.

There is no doubt these products (and others to come) are intended to be tough, capable professional tools that can be bought with confidence. I always rated Hitachi tools, but on the above evidence, I think I am going to like HiKOKI tools even more.


www.hikoki-powertools.co.uk

Are you prepared for the winter rain and wind?

SNICKERS new Waterproof Jackets will keep you warm and dry – all day, every day!

You can count on year-round comfort and protection with Snickers Workwear NEW All-Round-Work Waterproof Jackets.

These products will make your working day easier and more comfortable with built-in quality, functionality and high performance features to cope with the very worst that the weather can throw at you.

With lightweight and heavier-duty designs and styles for professional tradesmen and tradeswomen – these jackets are 100% waterproof.

The insides are fully sealed from the worst of the weather and every seam is taped or sealed. Even the pockets and cuffs are specially designed to keep the weather out and dry warmth in.

There’s a host of designs, styles and extensive size options so you can select just the right jacket for you and your job.

To back them up, Snickers has a great range of Winter Vests and Bodywarmers, even a Body Mapping Micro Fleece. So, you will be well looked after all day, every day.

www.snickersworkwear.co.uk

From garages to barbershops: Swarfega remains popular degrease choice

FROM the computer game heroine Lara Croft to the ever-delicious Bakewell tarts, Derbyshire has been a source of amazing inventions, products – and ideas such as the study of Sociology.

Adding to the county’s inventive streak, the area also has a proud history of involvement in the oil and grease cleaning industry after Belper-based chemist Audley Bowdler Williamson invented the iconic, classic green Swarfega gel, in 1947 - writes SAMUEL McKEOWN.

The famous Swarfega product is a rapidaction classic smooth green gel formula hand cleanser with added conditioner. It is easy to apply and quick rinsing to remove ingrained oil, grease and general grime, leaving skin feeling smooth. Prevalently used in a variety of industries such as engineering, construction, garages, chemists, and even barbershops.

As a world-leading industrial hand cleaner, Swarfega’s origin stems from AB Williamson’s first invented product, which was known as ‘Deb’, asilkware protector.

Originally a silkware protector, Deb was intended to extend the life of silk stockings and prevent ‘laddering’, the mild solution was applicable for hand-washing silk stockings too.

Inventor Williamson was inspired by memories of motor fitters suffering from cracked skin and dermatitis through the washing of their hands with petrol, parafin and sand. 'Deb' was then reformulated to a skin cleaner to remove engine oils and grease in order to leave the skin’s natural oils intact the birth of Swarfega.

The hand-cleaning agent quickly established itself as a popular choice in the 1940s and 50s. This led the company to enter the specialist hand cleanser market, with Williamson’s detergent-sales company, Deb Silkware Protection Ltd (now Deb Limited), leading the way.

To go full circle, we took Swarfega back into Derbyshire, travelling just 43 miles from Belper, to the town of Glossop – to be put to the test on two mid-noughties car engines.

First up was a late-2005 registered Ford Fiesta, which needed an oil change and some much-needed tender-loving care after recently clocking over 50,000 miles.

Changing any vehicle’s liquids is a grimy job no matter how old the engine is. On top of that, the Fiesta’s 13-year-old innards were stained with dirt, oil and dust.

After checking the oil level and PCV valve, filling up the water coolant, checking the transmission fluid, and other meticulous (but necessary) tasks, a wipe down of the entire surface was called for.

Remarkably, only a palmfull dollop of the famous green gel was needed to cleanse the hands, wrists and forearms.

Next up was an early-2004 registered Toyota Yaris, which over the years has clocked a whopping 117,000 miles. As expected, a look under the Yaris’ bonnet revealed copious amounts of grime, oil and dirt, collected over a 14-year period.

Although a smaller vehicle than the Fiesta, the Yaris required twice the attention. After cleaning the Toyota’s bonnet interior, hands were disinfected and grime-free within moments after applying the green-coloured gel.

The Swarfega gel impressively, and instantly, neutralised and cleansed three pairs of hands – and forearms – to the same standard as a deep wash. And there was enough Swarfega gel left in the 500ml tub to do at least another 15 cleans.

As well as degreasing/maintenance, and hand and skin cleaners, other Swarfega products include surface cleaning for both the indoors and outdoors; surface wipes; painting remover; and even SPF30 sunscreen, which are all designed for both home and workplace use.

FACT: Swarfega’s irregular name derives from the term ‘swarf’, being the old Derbyshire engineering term for oil and grease and ‘ega’, as in ‘eager to clean’.


www.debgroup.com/uk

STAHLWILLE's technical expertise means they will always be 'torque' of the town

STAHLWILLE is a traditional German company of the ‘mittelstand’ – the UK equivalent of a medium-sized business.

It is a family business since its establishment by Eduard Wille in 1862 in Wuppertal. Today the management of the company is independent, but the advisory committee represents the Wille family, writes Peter Brett.

Originally, the company was largely focused on making practical things in steel for domestic use - like fire tongs and pokers. However, after 1900, when the motor car was in fairly rapid expansion and development, the company turned to making the spanners, wrenches and pliers needed to maintain the new technology.

In ‘The Kontor’, the recently renovated visitor and training centre (which used to be the main office in Eduard Wille’s time), it is fascinating to see the display of the first rather heavy duty spanners made.

This was one of the most modern forges in Europe, and it was interesting to compare them with the slimmer and slicker ones made a hundred years later, where the demands of mechanics on their tools are so much greater. 

Eduard Wille established the maxim that the company was committed to producing the best possible tools with the customer in mind.

The Wille family and company remain true to this maxim today – and in my view it is a much better long and medium-term business model than the exploitative venture capital approach. 

STAHLWILLE has an excellent record of exporting products throughout the world. It has expertise in aerospace, automotive, renewable energies and industrial tools that puts it in a very strong position to compete with the biggest and best. 

The places and the people

The Cronenberg-Wuppertal site I visited was part of the original factory and forge started by Eduard Wille, and the large redbrick building that dominates the entrance has recently been renovated and redeveloped into a light and modern training and showroom space.

What is missing is the small railway that used to run down the side of the building into the factory area behind.

As the factory is in the midst of what is now quite a developed urban area, the heavy-duty hammer forges have been moved to a more suitable site in former East Germany, and a more recent extension, built in the local vernacular of slate tiles, houses the administration.

Eduard Wille was passionate in his belief that people were the most important aspect of a progressive company, since it was they who had the ideas to develop and then make into desirable finished products.

Today the company employs more than 600 people and still manufactures in Germany. It exports to over 90 countries worldwide through a dedicated sales network that focuses on understanding the needs of the customers, and then supplying the correct and most efficient solutions.

The innovations

Chris Rose, UK Sales Manager at STAHLWILLE UK, which is based in Surrey, was a great guide, and showed me not only how the company identifies issues and challenges that customers face, but also how the expert product development teams then try to develop solutions.

The obvious area to start is in the development of new ranges of torque wrenches for which STAHLWILLE is very well respected.

For me a torque wrench is a torque wrench, but it soon became clear there is much more to developing an accurate tool, with a reliable and dependable mechanism that would withstand some rough handling.

Also, as torque wrenches are becoming increasingly important in aerospace and vehicle technology - where composite materials are very sensitive to pressure on the fixings - it is vital to have a reliable tool that will ensure these materials can be used safely.

I was introduced to simple mechanical torque wrenches that seemed to do the job well, and then to electro-mechanical wrenches that took accuracy and accountability to an advanced level.

Open protocol wrenches not only did the job well, but recorded in detail and then sent the data on to a central system for ultimate accountability.

DAPTIQ

Alexander Grosser, Project Manager Industry 4.0, did a few demonstrations to show me just how advanced this system could become.

Using an augmented reality headset, a user in a production line for example could be guided towards bolts which need tightening in the correct order.

As this is done, a computer is recording the torques as they are applied and noting that they are correctly applied. 

If for any reason the torque is not correct, the system notes and then stops the user so the situation can be rectified. 

By basing the system on an open source platform, STAHLWILLE is hoping to encourage users to develop their own ways of managing and using the system to their own advantage. 

Reading Station DAPTIQ is another system in development by STAHLWILLE that is constantly evolving, because users and R & D keep on finding out how much more potential there is in the idea.

It looks like a simple secure storage unit for tools. But the unit not only keeps the tools secure, it counts them to ensure that all the tools are present.

In modern manufacture and aerospace for example, it is too late to discover that a wrench has been left in an engine when you are about to take off. Once again, the software allows both STAHLWILLE and clients to customise the system to suit various needs.

More expertise

It behoves a manufacturer of torque wrenches to have very accurate systems of recording exactly how well and accurately the wrenches are performing. 

STAHLWILLE has developed a range of motorised calibration systems. The motorised bench automates the loading process, and the transducers use strain gauges to take the dozens of measurements which need to be taken into account when calibrating a torque wrench to the new ISO 6789-2:2017 standard.

TORKMASTER software records the measurements, and calculates the deviations and measurement uncertainty. 

I did not realise quite how many variations there are when measuring performance.

Apparently, even the four sides of an adaptor can give different readings on the same wrench set to the same torque.

This can be tricky when you consider there must be no more than a 1% deviation for the calibration of STAHLWILLE’s most accurate torque wrench, the SENSOTORK 713 to be passed.

... And the rough stuff

Away from the refined electronic quiet of the demo centre, Chris showed me the actual manufacturing, assembly and finishing of the huge range of STAHLWILLE tools. 

STAHLWILLE is not only torque wrenches; it is spanners, pliers, cutters, screwdrivers, sockets & ratchets, etc etc.

I enjoy watching ‘real’ manufacture, and STAHLWILLE has a range of heavy processes needed to make and finish a socket, as well as the capacity to assemble the delicate electronics in an electro-mechanical torque wrench and then test it. 

Despite the noise of machines, the humans keep control of the factory floor, ensuring the continued production of thousands of items.

STAHLWILLE and the future

It is clear that STAHLWILLE not only has a productive and innovative past, it is looking to the future too.

I have mentioned only a few key innovations, but the company is clear that precision manufacturing in the industrial sector will only become more important.

Key areas like aerospace, automotive and renewable energy already have niche demands for tools, but again, these needs will become even more complicated and demanding - a challenge STAHLWILLE is tackling head on.


www.stahlwille.co.uk

BGF backs Plantforce with £4.7m investment for growth

PLANTFORCE, the largest provider of heavy equipment rentals in the South West, has received a £4.7m growth capital investment from Business Growth Fund (BGF) to further scale its operations.

The company – whose clients include Kier, Costain, Balfour Beatty, and BAM construction groups – will use the funding to support its growth plans in expansion, acquisition and geographical locations.

Founded in 1999, Plantforce operates from four depots in Bristol, Exeter, Bridgwater, and Birmingham. It has one of the most modern and diverse ranges of excavator equipment in England, comprising over 750 machines and 250 attachments.

Claire Trott, Managing Director of Plantforce, said: “This is an exciting time for Plantforce. We have a clear vision of the future and we’re very pleased to have BGF’s support at this crucial stage in our growth phase.
“The investment will not only enable us to diversify and expand our fleet, but also to continue and strengthen our service offering.”

The business is highly accredited and focuses on providing specific bespoke services across all sectors of the construction industry, including skilled operators and 24-hour customer support.

Plantforce is one of only a small number of contractors to hold approved supplier status for both nuclear sites and network rail.

The company has provided machinery for ground investigations at HS2, and is currently the largest supplier of specialist equipment for the construction of Hinkley Point C: a new nuclear power station providing low-carbon electricity across the South West.

Ned Dorbin, an investor at BGF, said: “Plantforce has established a strong position in the construction market as a provider of quality machinery supplemented with round-the-clock customer care.

"Providing operated kit is one of their key differentiators and we believe the company is well-positioned to capitalise on several large infrastructure projects over the coming years.

"We’re very happy to be backing them ahead of what looks to be a very exciting time for the business.”


www.plantforce.com

Great British Bake Off finalist uses Triton tools to create cakes

THE Great British Bake Off finalist Richard Burr has returned to the kitchen for his latest culinary creation, but ditched the traditional utensils in favour of power tools.

To mark the return of the popular television programme, North London-based Richard made gingerbread in the shape of tools and a tool box, but left his whisk and spatula in the cupboard.

Instead, the builder-by-trade used items more associated with his day job – such as a drill and an orbital sander - from power tools brand Triton Tools to complete the masterpiece, combining two of his main passions in life.

Richard said: “It has been four years since I was in The Great British Bake Off and the return of the new series has certainly got my baking juices flowing again.

“I’m always looking for fresh challenges and utilising tools I would normally save for my day job as a builder certainly gave me plenty of food for thought.

“I have to admit, it all turned out very well.”

Amongst the Triton Tools Richard used to make the biscuit-based delight were an orbital sander, clamps, mini planer and drill driver.

Richard said: “Away from my family, the two things which I spend most time doing is baking and carrying out building jobs so it was brilliant to bring those two elements together like this.

“The tools showed fantastic versatility to stand up to the rigours of making a cake - it’s amazing how smooth the edges get when you use an orbital sander on them!

“If I’d been able to use the tools in the Bake Off tent, it might have been the difference between me getting to the final and actually winning the competition.”

Claire Sweet, global brand manager for Triton Tools, said: “It was fantastic to work with Richard and see his talents as a baker and builder combine.

“Our tools are renowned for their precision and what better way to put them to the test than by making the gingerbread. Given Richard’s feedback, they seemed to pass with flying colours!”

A video of Richard making the cake can be found here:


www.tritontools.com

Night of Lights proves a towering success at RAF Museum Cosford

A SPECTACULAR light show set to music at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford celebrated Morris Site Machinery’s position as a leading manufacturer of lighting towers in dramatic style.

As Storm Ali threatened to put a stop to the event by blowing a local electricity pylon down, another of the reliable brands supplied by Morris Site Machinery was on hand to help.

The Denyo Eventa20 ensured that not even inclement weather could stop the event and was ready to silently power the dramatic lighting and music display.

The Night of Lights event showcased an impressive range of British-built lighting towers, which were used to illuminate stunning aircraft in the National Cold War Exhibition hangar at the Shropshire venue.

Morris Site Machinery MD/CEO Chris Morris welcomed 60 people to the evening where Group Captain Tone Baker, RAF Cosford Station Commander, spoke on the 100th anniversary of the RAF. He started his career as an apprentice engineer at RAF Cosford.

Guests were treated to a special presentation explaining how five generations of enterprise have created a stellar line-up of lighting towers.

The lights were introduced and switched on in turn, accompanied by music chosen to reflect their qualities and set the mood.

Richard Denholm, Paul Kelham, Gp Capt Tone Baker, Chris Morris and Phil Winnington (pictured left to right)

PICTURED: Richard Denholm, Paul Kelham, Gp Capt Tone Baker, Chris Morris and Phil Winnington (pictured left to right).

The featured performers included the SMC TL90, which lights up construction sites, events, rail tracks and roads in 25 countries worldwide, and the TL55 Solar, the UK’s first British-built solar lighting tower.

The TL90 Ultimate with Halo, a powerful anti-glare next generation lamp, was another star turn, followed by the compact and super silent SL80 Pallet and the TL60 family of lights.

Chris Morris said: “It was a memorable evening where we demonstrated the greatest line-up of mobile lighting towers in the world in a spectacular setting.

We were proud to show our innovation against a backdrop of amazing exhibits, including British stalwarts such as the Vulcan, Valiant and Victor bombers.

“Our customers and fellow guests said how much they enjoyed the event. Food and drink were laid on, so it was a great way to socialise and strengthen our relationship with them.”

Morris Site Machinery has a manufacturing plant at Gosberton, Lincolnshire and an assembly plant at Four Ashes, Wolverhampton.

Part of a fifth-generation family business group, it manufactures and supplies world leading site machinery brands and products to serve the hire industry across a range of sectors.


www.morrismachinery.co.uk

The new Falcon and Apollo from Solid Gear: high tech safety boots for the winter

Incorporating some of the most advanced technical features in safety boot design.

With a focus on comfort and S3 safety, Solid Gear’s Falcon and Apollo boots are probably the most robust boots you can get for the winter months.

With durable uppers these heavy-duty boots will keep your feet dry and insulated so you can work comfortably in the roughest conditions on site.

What’s more, the new oil- and slip resistant Vibram soles deliver outstanding grip on snow and ice – even at low temperatures.

The Apollo has a premium full-grain impregnated leather upper while the Falcon is a mix of full grain leather and a Cordura Rip Stop fabric.

Both boots deliver better water repellency and breathability than many other boots, while their fiberglass toecaps feature multilayer technology for a roomier toe box, while the new thinner and stronger composite plates add extra flexibility.

There’s over 30 boots and shoes in the Solid Gear Safety Footwear range, all of which integrate modern designs and sporty looks with best in class materials for comfort, protection and durability.

To get more information on Solid Gear - the Next Generation of Safety Footwear, call on 01484 854788.

www.solidgearfootwear.com

How to protect your construction business

IN ANY business, the protection of your assets is as important as achieving adequate profits, drumming up trade and increasing your capabilities.

It is no different in construction, where projects require good planning, foresight and cash flow measures in order to be completed on schedule. This article takes a sweeping overview of a construction business and points out the weak spots you might want to consider bolstering to avoid disastrous disruption to your business.

By protecting your business against such disasters, you’ll be better able to plan a more lucrative business strategy for the future.

Insurance

Getting yourself and your employees insured is an absolute number one objective for your business, and you’ll no doubt already have your tools, vehicle and business insurance set up.

The catch here is the small print in insurance documents; there’s nothing worse than finding yourself out of pocket after a disaster at work because you failed to comply with the intricacies of an insurance contract.

Be prepared to read through these and never fail to abide by the rules. A stolen power tool or two can be replaced, but if you are violating construction insurance terms, your business might find itself on the rocks.

Equipment

Stripping it back to the basics, there are two things you absolutely need to do your job: your tools and your vehicle. Both these essential items need to be in good working order at all times.

When they are not, you miss out on trade, anger customers, and create a backlog that can be very difficult and stressful to work through.

Consider getting a wheel nut indicator fitted on your vehicle if it is constantly loaded with heavy tools because by doing so, it’ll avoid wheel damage and loss.

Always keep your tools secure in your vehicle, and have back-ups should they fail on you.

Cashflow

If you are in construction, you know cash flow can sometimes be a major obstacle, especially when you are looking at the bigger jobs and the more long-term contracts.

When money’s low, and you have to pay your mortgage and support your family, it can act to massively shrink your circle of business, causing more money problems.

Short-term loans can be a quick fix to this problem, or else a frank conversation with your bank about overdrafts or loans might be in order. Often in business, a cash injection is just what’s needed to get you up and steaming again.

Contracts

Whatever scale of construction you work at, contracts are an incredibly important part of the job.

Whether you qualify as self-employed or you run a larger registered business, you’ll have far fewer rights in a court of law if you cannot brandish a well put-together document proving that you are operating within the agreement, or that a client, customer or supplier owe you money.

Do not let yourself be persuaded to enter into business without the trust that contract-signing brings: you never know who might leave you hanging after a job.

These four tips should be of use to those in the construction business who desire a more robust and failsafe strategy moving forwards.

 

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