MHM Plant expand into Northern Ireland with Glendun Plant

IN LINE with their current ambitious expansion plans, the UK supplier of generators, lighting and welding machinery, MHM Plant, has confirmed Glendun Plant Sales Limited as their distributor for Northern Ireland.

Glendun Plant Sales is based in Dungannon, County Tyrone and is an established and well-respected dealer and distributor for a wide range of plant, tools and equipment.

Commenting on this latest distributorship for Glendun Plant, Dermot Cunnie, sales director said: “We had seen the success that MHM was having in Great Britain through various trade publications and online media.

"Our interest in the product developed after a very positive meeting at our offices. The quality is a main factor – we're already familiar with the lighting tower products and the MHM generators are a very good fit to our profile."

Following these successful discussions, Glendun Plant Sales placed an initial order for a stock of MHM petrol and diesel generators from 3.0kVA to 25kVA.

They also received an immediate order for a 3,000-litre fuel cube from one of their regular customers and an order for 6.0kVA generators from Balloo Hire Centres.

Glendun have committed to keep in stock a wide range of fast moving items, which will build up as customer demands become apparent in their area.

Dermot added: "Mat and the team have been a great help in getting us up and running. They know the product, market and the business, so it’s onwards and upwards!”

MHM managing director, Mat Llewellyn said: “We are naturally delighted to have Dermot and the Glendun Plant team marketing our range of equipment in Northern Ireland.

"Their success in promoting a complimentary range of machinery drew us to the conclusion that Glendun was the company we should be working with to increase our market share."

MHM Plant was incorporated in February 2010 and they currently operate from two locations. MHM West is located in South Wales and MHM North in Coatbridge, Scotland.

A London depot, MHM South, is currently under development. They have recently invested over £5m (€5.6m) in their exclusive re-hire fleet dedicated to the UK and Irish rental markets.

www.mhmplant.com

WB Power Services are in the spotlight with the Trime X-ECO

The Derbyshire-based critical power supply specialists, WB Power Services Ltd (WBPS), have expanded and enhanced their rental fleet with the purchase of a twenty X-ECO LED site lighting towers from Trime UK Limited.

This is their first venture into the temporary site lighting hire market and these sets will complement their current range of power generation products and ancillary equipment.

WBPS evaluated several different lighting towers before opting for the Trime X-ECO LED.

John Campbell, WBPS Hire Sales Manager, said: “Last year we cross-hired a fleet of X-ECOs for one of our clients and the feedback we had from them was very positive.

“This constructive response was an important factor in our decision to prefer the Trime X-ECO LED.

"It’s obviously a well-made product with all the necessary features and benefits included as standard."

Alongside the X-ECO LED’s environmental qualities, safety considerations are also at the forefront of its development. Consequently, the Trime X-ECO LED is fitted with the AMOSS safety system, which automatically lowers the mast if the lighting set is moved whilst the mast is still erected.

The complete unit features an external emergency stop button, a fully bunded fuel tank, four height adjustable stabilisers and site levels for guidance during deployment. Trime have calculated that the X-ECO LED uses approximately £336.00 less in fuel each month, when compared to a traditionally illuminated lighting set.

WB Power Services Ltd is a leading critical power specialist that provides sales, maintenance and hire to customers across the UK. Their services are designed to ensure that a client’s operations can continue in the event of mains power failure.

They offer immediate access to plant and equipment and deliver and full 24/7-hour 365-day service, via rapid response, with expert advice.

The Trime Group has over 50 years of experience in the development and marketing of environmentally sustainable lighting sets for the construction and rental markets.

Trime UK is headquartered in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire; their manufacturing plant is based near Milan, Italy.

Image: WBPS John Campbell (left) with Trime UK’s Sales Manager Mark Taylor

www.trimeuk.com

 

Engelbert Strauss: power workwear for power teams

Engelbert Strauss is one of the leading brands for work wear globally. It is run independently by a family in their fourth generation, with a factory located in Frankfurt am Main, Germany with approximately 1,200 workforces.

In Autumn 2016, the company joined the Fair Wear Foundation, in order to ensure three things: there is no child labour; fair wages are paid; and working conditions are safe within a reasonable amount of working hours.

Above and beyond the entrepreneurial activities, Engelbert Strauss push to make useful contributions to society. They have decided to focus social commitments on education projects in developing and emerging countries - in particular they would like to make access to education easier for children of workers at their manufacturing sites, for example through the construction of school buildings and providing teaching materials.

They do not have a fixed yearly budget for the money required for these projects, but decide the number of projects to support at their own discretion and personal beliefs.

The Engelbert Strauss products includes aspects of safety, environmental sustainability and fairness. Engelbert Strauss is the trend-setting market leader for workwear and occupational safety.

They develop practical products for everyday use for our customers from the trade, industrial and service sectors. With almost 30,000 items constantly in stock, they offer the widest range of special fields the possibility of purchasing not only workwear, but also important tools and accessories from one source. They focus on their own developed products in the textile, shoes and glove fields so that we are always in a position to offer complete solutions for everyday use. The production is scrutinized from raw material, colour production to cut and sew to guarantee constant high level of quality that are being tested throughout the production process.

As cold days are fast approaching, there are several Engelbert Strauss safety workwear options; from jackets or overalls with multi-functional features such as waterproof, windproof with breathable outer layer to protective hand gear from knitted to leather, with senso grip.

With a large range to choose from with affordable - prices are available on their website:

www.engelbert-strauss.co.uk

JCB's cotton based workwear perfect for hot and cold weather

Since the almost universal adoption of workwear by the trades, there have been a number of developments. Nowadays it is not all about practicality, writes PETER BRETT.

Some trades always had favourite kit styles, while there are now also favoured workwear styles - with oneupmanship on who has got the trendiest, coolest, most expensive workwear on site. 

Workwear has also become cheaper and much more widely available via the ‘sheds’ and tool outlets, so it is not uncommon to see practical folk of all kinds dressing the part for gardening, working in the shed or doing domestic tasks in general. 

The net result is workwear brands have had to join the endless cycle of launching a new range of clothes every season. So when the parcel of JCB workwear dropped onto my front doorstep. I was keen to see what was in it.

T-Shirt Time

As I write, the weather here in the South East corner of England is doing its best to break sunshine records, so it is definitely T-shirt weather. 

The 100% cotton JCB TRADE T-shirt in black and grey is a perfect solution here. I prefer natural materials for shirts as I find them more comfortable in hot weather, and they also serve as a nice underlayer in colder weather. 

This shirt is well cut for ease of movement, with grey panels under the arms that allow easy movement when lifting or bending. It washes very easily too – because as a basic layer, most users would want to wash it regularly. 

I ran it through several wash cycles and it came up fresh every time. Very comfy to wear and very practical, getting my thumbs up.

The JCB Essential Polo Shirt is smarter and appealed to me because it seemed better dress for working inside a client’s property, when a T-shirt might be a bit informal. 

It is made with 65% polyester and 35% cotton, so will be wearable and crease-free straight out of the wash. The grey colour is very reminiscent of the grey doors, window frames and woodwork that are currently on trend so it should catch the zeitgeist. 

Again, I found the generously cut shirt very comfortable to wear and quite lightweight in warm weather. I also liked the collar and short sleeves that provided some protection from the sun for my very sun sensitive skin when I worked outside. 

Again, I ran it through several wash cycles and it came up smiling every time.

Sticking to Tops

Of course, we all know that a British Summer includes all the ups and downs of wind, rain, sun and possibly thunderstorms, hence it is as well to go out with layers of clothing so we can add and subtract to suit the conditions. 

The outer layer of the selection I was sent has a long title – the JCB Trade Grey Marl Essington II Full Zip Jumper. 

Made of 100% knitted polyester it immediately feels warm and cosy when you put it on, and has a pleasant weight to it that denotes the quality of the fabric from which it is made. 

It is packed with little features that add up to a practical, and dare I say it, stylish garment that is very handy to have in the van for emergency warmth back up. 

The jumper is largely made of a mottled grey knitted fabric with some stretch for comfort, with black nylon stretch panels under the arms and across the shoulders. There are reflective panels and a JCB logo across the shoulders and on the chest plus zipped pocket liners. 

There are three zipped pockets, two on each hip and one on the chest. The two hip pockets are deep enough for a tape measure and pencils, as well as for keeping hands warm. The chest pocket is big enough for keeping a phone handy. 

A full zip makes it easy to put on and to help regulate the temperature, while the waist has an elasticated draw cord. 

A cosy bit of black fleece lines the funnel neck collar, and this helps to keep warmth in and rain out. The cuffs are also elasticated for a snug, draught-free fit, but they are loose enough to be comfortable and easy to put on. 

Because of the warm weather I wore this jumper only a few times in the evenings. It is definitely smart and stylish, and the hi-vis flashes drew some comment about just how visible they are – these must be a safety plus then!

Nitty Gritty Shorts and Trousers

Unfortunately, my legs are now old enough to not be allowed out unaccompanied and I don’t generally like wearing shorts on site, because I prefer the extra protection offered by trousers. 

My willing volunteer was 40 or so years younger than me and has no such qualms. After a couple of days, he reported back to me his findings on the JCB Trade Plus Shorts in Black/Grey. 

The cotton/polyester (35%/65%) fabric proved to be comfortable and easy to wear – the shorts did not feel ‘sweaty’ as some 100% manmade fabrics can feel. 

There are two hip pockets fronted by two bellowed holster pockets that are a must in any work trousers I use. 

There is also a cargo pocket on the left leg for pencils or a phone with a Velcro fastener. On the back, there are two more pockets, one with a Velcro fastening and the other without. 

With seven 20mm wide belt loops, a belt is easily and comfortably supported. My volunteer had enough pockets and a comfortable fit and cut to the shorts so he was keen to keep them…..

In my discussions with trades I have found work trousers can be an issue. They need to be comfortable and practical - but for some, also a bit fashionable. Pockets are another area of controversy – holster pockets or not? A big debate. 

The JCB Trade Grey/black Cordura work trousers follow the current trend of being quite smartly cut as well as having enough space to be able to bend and move easily. 

The Cordura material is used because it is breathable and comfortable as well as being hardwearing and rip stop. 

On the front of the trousers alone there are two hip pockets, two multi-pocketed holster pockets, a Cargo pocket with Velcro closure, and a couple of leg pockets on the right leg. 

Behind there are two more pockets, one with a Velcro closure – in short, wearers are spoilt for choice and if they filled all these pockets, the trousers would bulge like an overstuffed hamster – but with triple stitched seams there is no danger of splitting them.   

I wore them for several days on site and in the workshop, and they proved to be comfortable and easy to wear. 

The pockets are useful and since I tend to confine myself to carrying a tape measure, several pencils, a phone and maybe the odd pocketful of screws, I didn’t strain my belt on the seven belt loops. 

With only one wash so far, they dried quickly on the rack, and were ready to use the following day. 

Aimed at: Pros and amateurs looking for practical, stylish and reasonably priced workwear.

Pros: Easy to wear and care for, and will make a practical coordinated range to cover all weathers.

Why buy?

• Comfortable
• Good fabrics
• Well made
• Will suit a range of trades and conditions
• Stylish with good colours
• Some hi vis safety in some garments
• Pockets aplenty!

Hitachi C7UR - Retro Power

Hitachi corded circular saws have had a reputation for robust construction, power, and reliability that stretches back for decades. I still see 20-year-old examples of these tucked into the back of builders’ vans now.

Perhaps they aren’t used as often due to the cordless revolution, but they will be called upon as a back up, when a seriously demanding job is in the offing, writes PETER BRETT.

What are the USPs of the C7UR?

The USPs are few and quite simple, and perhaps betray a little of what I mentioned above. There are still times when mains power is needed, not only for a more powerful mains motor, but also for the extra speed of cutting.

Cordless is perfect for boards and such like, but sometimes the slow feed rate of a cordless motor cutting roof timbers, for example, simply will not do, as it holds up the job.

Power and Speed – the Main Features

The brushed motor on the C7UR features 1800W of power and a high RPM of 6,800 – so it is not only powerful, but fast. Compared to smaller and brushless motors we are becoming used to, it feels like a brute.

There is a definite torque kick when you press the trigger, and the noise level feels old fashioned as it runs. However, there is no doubt that the speed and power make for very efficient cutting.

One of my tests was cutting slices off a piece of 50mm thick brown oak. The motor didn’t slow at all – it simply sliced on through. It was even easier on some treated 50 mm thick softwood rafters.

However, I do miss some features I have got used to – I would like a motor or blade brake to stop the blade quickly after releasing the switch. This is perhaps where the role of the lower blade guard comes into the equation – see below.

The trigger switch arrangement is unusual too. There is a well-textured loop handle, with a space for a forefinger only.

The rest of the fingers fit into a separate aperture behind it, while the thumb goes over to meet the forefinger. The switch is a simple click for ‘on,’ and then release for ‘off’.

There is no safety release button or lever that is commonly found on circular saws - mains or cordless - these days. I pondered this a while, because the arrangement feels a bit retro.

The fact the forefinger has to find its own specific place to find the ‘on’ switch, helps to keep all intentions with the saw deliberate. It also helps there is a large and well-placed auxiliary handle in front of the main one.

For good guidance of the cut it is used a lot, and that helps keep both hands well clear of the blade.

As standard, the saw comes with an 18-tooth TCT 185 mm diameter blade. The blade has large gullets for clearing waste quickly and is also only about 2mm thick, so the resulting thin kerf also aids speedy cutting.

There is also the very nice feature of a powerful dust blower right over the cutting line, that helps keep it clear and visible.

Back to Base

Like many of its other saws, Hitachi has decided to use a solid alloy baseplate. At about 4mm thick it is rigid and squarely accurate, and there are eight countersunk screws to attach the saw and its adjustments, so that they don’t move.

They are therefore also easy to service. On the front and right hand side of the base measurements are marked in inches, betraying the fact the larger market is the US.

My guess is they will rarely be used by British and continental workers, except as a rough guide. A simple steel fence is included, with the kit for basic guided cuts.

Guarding the Blade

Another important feature is the cast alloy lower blade guard. This is robust, and the strong coil spring ensures that it quickly springs back to cover the blade at the end of a cut, thus partly answering the query I had above, about the need for a blade brake.

There are a couple of options here that need to be decided. Out of the box, a longer lever is fitted as standard for raising the lower blade guard.

It reaches fully to the top of the fixed upper blade guard, and therefore is easy to reach. It also keeps your fingers well away from the blade. Safety First indeed.

The downside to this is that the dust port on the upper guard, carefully designed to deposit a long, neat pile of dust alongside the base while cutting, can also be very messy, especially if it is a little windy on site.

For users who need good dust collection, they have the option of attaching the robust dust spout, (one screw only needed) that does indeed up the dust collection game quite considerably. When attached to an M-class extractor, there is not much cleaning up required at the end of a working day.

But in order to attach the dust spout, the longer guard-raising lever needs to be removed and replaced with a smaller one.

The downside is that when you need to lift the guard to start a cut, your fingers are closer to the blade – not dangerously close, but needing-to-be-careful close.

Adjustments

When it comes to adjustments the C7UR is spot on. Depth of cut and blade mitre angles are all achieved with cammed levers that are large enough to work easily and lock positively.

A nifty arrangement on the angle setting allows users to select 45 degree cuts, but if you need to select angles of 45 to 55 degrees, simply click the stopper out of the way and select the angle on the well-marked quadrant.

Blade changing is quick and easy via the hex key kept on the body and the spindle lock on the front of the motor, and I did appreciate the handy cable holder at the base of the main handle.

This helps to control the cord and prevent it accidentally going near the blade while cutting.

Why Choose the C7UR?

I suspect this saw will appeal to trades for the same reasons that older Hitachi models did. It is robustly built, powerful and simple to operate, as well as having the virtue of having a long service life – for example the brushes are located for easy replacement.

But is it also faster cutting and more powerful than its predecessors, and therefore it fits the current preoccupation with productivity and efficiency.

Aimed at: Pros and demanding amateurs, because it is well priced and tough

Pros: Fast cutting and powerful, strong and reliable

Why buy?

  • Tough
  • Reliable
  • Well priced
  • Quicker cuts
  • Easy adjustments
  • Cable holder for safer use
  • Big stable base

www.hitachi.eu

Door handle manufacturer sees surge in 'Dual-Tone' hardware

This year's interior door furniture shows Dual-Tone finish tops the popularity ratings.

One of the UK’s leading door hardware distributors has seen a surge in demand for Dual-Tone door handles, with popularity soaring as Dual-Tone becomes one of the biggest interior design trends of 2018.

Birmingham-based Hiatt Hardware has a rich experience of 35 years supplying high-end interior door handles and accessories to the DIY & trade retailers.

Hiatt Hardware's Nipun Agrawal said: “The Dual-Tone has become our most sought door handle finish followed by Chrome this year.

Designers, Tradesmen and DIYers alike are using two tone pieces as focal points to tie rooms together. Upsurge in the volumes demonstrates these handles being used as features in modern interior design.

Monitoring the trends in interior design, the company has experienced a consistent growing demand for Dual-Tone finish door handles and accessories, demonstrating the increasing popularity in modern interior home designs.

Nipun added: "Although door furniture, particularly interior door handles are relatively small parts of the wider interior design canvas, they can impress a sense of style and class upon a room.

“Dual-Tone door handles are not only aesthetically attractive and at the forefront of chic design, but they also have an added advantage to easily match the finish with other door accessories and room interior.”

www.hiatt-hardware.com

Snickers’ comfort fabrics provide maximum mobility in new stretch clothing

Snickers Workwear is well known for its uncompromising approach to quality and functionality, comfort and durability.

Hi-tech fabrics and body-mapping designs ensure maximum working mobility wherever you are.

With a range of new Trousers, Jackets, Rainwear and Accessories on their way, there’s plenty of scope for every professional craftsman and craftswoman to stretch their performance on site comfortably.

The brand new comfort fabrics woven into Snickers’ latest designs deliver enhanced freedom of movement as well as improved ventilation and close quarter mobility.

This also mean that the clothes have a slim-tailored fit for better all-round looks and protection against snagging.

So check out these newest designs – the optimal choice for craftsmen and women who need to get the job done comfortably on site.

www.snickersworkwear.co.uk

Direct customer contact and product promotion: Mirka are becoming social media masters

Customer service was once about answering telephones and responding to written requests, but our fast-paced, social media-driven society has put this function firmly in the spotlight.

Consumers now post on a variety of social media platforms about anything from a positive experience with a product to an issue, or with an item being out of stock.

With the rapid evolution of these channels and the immediacy of the content, we have started to see the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram become customer service portals as well as places where people can publish selfies or thoughts on the job at hand.

This change is a good thing for the customer service side of the business, as it allows organisations to see what consumers are saying about their products as well as providing them with channels through which they can build relationships, educate, advise and highlight key messages to a large and engaged audience.

At Mirka, we use Twitter not only to promote our products but also to direct customers to other areas such as customer services.

Sometimes 280 characters (formerly 140!) are not enough to provide all the information required, so we aim to drive traffic back to our website, where users can find out more detailed information and potentially look at other solutions.

We also point users to our added value services such as our approved service centres and we use social media to ask for feedback to help us continually improve what we are offering.

While some companies may view that there is a downside to these channels, as they offer an immediate way to get in contact with the brand, often in a negative way, they have a strong upside if handled correctly.

A good customer service team would respond to comments or questions within 30 minutes to one hour of receiving them. Even if the posting is negative, the person should feel warmer towards the company because he or she is being listened to.

With Twitter, businesses should think carefully about the tone of the response. At Mirka, we aim to answer in a more conversational voice, as it humanises the brand and makes people feel as if they are talking to a real person instead of an automated system churning out generic answers.

We prefer to direct message, or take the query offline so we can make contact and provide full details as required.

For Instagram, the platform is used more as a customer service tool to educate users through product imagery shown in its natural environment, as well as provide them with relevant information. For example, where to find products or how to register a warranty.

The advice and information posted on social media is starting to play a bigger role as part of the customer service strategies of businesses, because having a good online presence shows your customers you care about them and are willing to listen to their queries or issues and are very accessible.

This, in turn, will lead to a greater rapport being built with them, leading to goodwill towards the brand, the end result of which is usually increased sales and greater profitability.

www.mirka.com/uk

Snickers Workwear offers freedom of movement with the newest working clothes

CHECK out the latest workwear designs from Snickers Workwear that will really stretch you to the limit on site.

There’s superb new clothing styles coming your way to make working in cooler weather so much easier and comfortable – all of them incorporating the very latest in market-leading designs and stretch fabric technology.

There’s 37.5 high-tech Undergarments, plus jackets, trousers and accessories added to the RUFFWork, FLEXIWork and ALLROUND clothing families for both professional craftsmen and women, as well as the range of Hi-Vis garment collection for maximum safety and wellbeing.

They’re all working clothes that deliver superb functionality, comfort, protection, and are equipped for any task at hand.

System delivers ultimate solution Complimented by Snickers’ Profiling and Embroidery services and the UK’s most extensive range of garment sizes, Snickers’ Workwear System delivers the ultimate solution to make every man and woman’s workday easier and safer.

For more information about the newest workwear designs, visit the Snickers Workwear website.

Alternatively, you can call the Snickers Helpline on 01484 854788.

www.snickersworkwear.co.uk

Swarfega grapples with the dangers lurking under gloves

MANY tradespeople now wear disposable gloves to protect their hands from contaminants and harmful chemicals.

Disposable gloves can be very effective at stopping these contaminants from coming into contact with skin, but they do not prevent occupational skin disorders (OSDs) from developing when worn.

Workers can often remove protective gloves at the end of the day, only to find their hands in less than perfect condition.

How common are OSDs?

Dermatitis is thought to affect 1 in 10 workers according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work - which can make routine manual tasks a challenge. Red, irritated and dry hands are often considered ‘part of the job’.

However, OSDs can cause severe, visible consequences for business and individuals. The estimated costs of OSDs in the EU is in excess of £500m per year, with around three million lost working days each year.

Sore, cracked fingers and hands, along with other symptoms of painful OSDs, can restrict hand mobility and the ability to carry out everyday workplace activities.

How do gloves cause problems?

Gloves are a great barrier and often seen as the way to prevent skin damage. In certain circumstances they are part of the solution, but when worn for long periods of time, this barrier can also be the cause of some serious skin complaints.

Normally, when not wearing gloves, moisture passes through skin and into the environment and helps regulate the temperature of the body.

When wearing disposable gloves, this moisture is trapped against the skin and can cause it to soften and become wrinkled similar to when skin is soaked in water. This can weaken the skin and can cause disorders such as those noted above.

Gloves can trap bacteria against the skin in a warm, moist environment often ideal for bacterial growth. If there are small cuts on the skin under gloves, these cuts can quickly become infected, and impact on the person’s ability to work safely.

An independent study commissioned by Deb Group, owner of Swarfega, found people who regularly wore gloves in the workplace reported the following issues were noticeable:

- 74% found perspiration inside the glove
- 51% found gloves uncomfortable
- 47% reported damage to skin/cracked hands
- 44% reported a foul odour
- 40% reported an allergic reaction to gloves

Poor skin condition does not have to be part of everyday working life. By taking a proactive approach to skin health and integrating this with the use of disposable gloves it is possible to mitigate against and prevent OSDs before they became an issue.

Swarfega recommends the following steps when using disposable gloves:

• APPLY protection cream, such as TOUGH by Swarfega Protection Cream, to the skin before putting the gloves on, this will help keep the skin strong under gloves.

• REAPPLY protection cream before putting on a fresh pair.

• WHEN finishing a shift and after washing the hands, use an after-work moisturising gel such as the TOUGH by Swarfega Gel Moisturiser, to nourish and condition the skin, improve its strength, and prevent it becoming dry or damaged.

• USE a suitable hand washing product. If the skin is not heavily soiled, do not use a harsh handwash as this can cause damage to skin. Swarfega has a great range of hand cleaners suited to all types of dirt and grime.

• ABOVE all, it is important to remove disposable gloves regularly, allowing the skin to dry out, and do not reuse already worn disposable gloves.

www.toughbs.com

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