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First time Volvo for Mike Taylor Plant Hire

The new six-tonne machine has been supplied by SMT GB’s utility dealer for the north of Scotland,CSM Sales Ltd, replacing a competitive machine of the same size and was chosen following third-party recommendations and a successful demonstration.

"The majority of our work as groundwork contractors is focused on local housing, large estate work and maintaining hill roads,” comments proprietor Mike Taylor. “We wanted to replace an existing machine and were quite drawn to the Volvo ECR58D. Following some sound third-party recommendations, and having evaluated the machine on demonstration, these factors, coupled with a competitive package on the table persuaded us to break with tradition and opt for our first Volvo."

The Volvo ECR58D is powered by a Volvo 2.6-litre low-emission engine producing 48 hp coupled with a load-sensing hydraulic system for fast cycle times and smooth control. The machine offers a generous horizontal reach of 6.3 metres and a lift capacity of 660kg at full reach across the carriage. Operator comfort and excellent access to all the service points have added to Mike Taylor’s appreciation of the machine. For instance, the ECR58D has a comfortable, spacious cab with a wide uncluttered floor. The instrument panel provides operators with at-a-glance monitoring of all key functions with operator fatigue reduced through easy-grip, high response joystick control levers. The rubber-mounted cabs reduce whole-body vibration and external noise minimizing the rigors of the job site whilst air conditioning with well positioned vents is a standard feature.

The machine’s specification and features have further been enhanced by the addition of a Steelwrist X06 tilt rotator, making the machine a highly versatile piece of equipment. “Besides the smooth control of the machine itself, the addition of the Steelwrist tilt rotator makes the machine extremely versatile and means a lot of the excavation and grading functions can be done from one position,” says Mike. “This combination is the way forward for groundworking contractors such as ourselves.”

With its base in Blairgowrie, Mike Taylor Plant Hire provides both plant hire and groundworking services in and around the Perth and Kinross area.

CSM Sales Ltd, headed up by Managing Director, Calum Shaw, and based at Longman Industrial Estate, Inverness, is SMT GB’s utility dealer for the whole of the north of Scotland.

SMT GB markets Volvo Construction Equipment products which include wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in Great Britain. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres, a dedicated National Used Equipment Centre and a network of utility equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.



EXCAVATOR giant JCB helped TV personality Guy Martin to engineer a tribute to the role tanks played in helping change the course of the First World War.  Now the story of the tank’s role and its modern-day recreation will be told in a Channel Four documentary ‘Guy Martin’s WW1 One Tank’ on Sunday, November 19 at 8pm.

The truck mechanic and TV presenter came up with the idea of producing a replica of a 30-tonne Mark IV tank to mark the centenary of a battle in which they were first deployed.

And he turned to JCB’s engineers and welders to help turn his dream into reality in time for the special anniversary.

They rose to the challenge in double-quick time with the profile parts cut, rolled and bent into shape at JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter before being welded together at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester.

The huge team effort ensured the tank was operational and on display in Cambrai, Northern France on Armistice Day on Saturday, November 11th.

It was at this location - exactly 100 years ago - where the original Mark IV tank helped the Allies on the Western Front to make an unprecedented breakthrough at the Battle of Cambrai.

Guy Martin was given just five months to build an authentic reproduction of the 30-tonne tank from scratch and was quick to call on JCB’s engineering expertise. At more than 26 feet long and 10 feet wide, the 105 horsepower machine had a top speed of just four mph

Guy said: “When I first looked at this challenge, I thought ‘This is a big ask. We’re not going to see this happen.’ It is a massive undertaking and JCB was the main reason this was able to happen. They built the main part of the tank, and then the lads at the Norfolk Tank Museum put all the engine together. But JCB’s technology and knowhow was so important.

“As a challenge to build it, I’d say this is the biggest thing we’ve undertaken. There’s loads of stuff we’ve done – building push bikes to go at 100mph, converting transit vans to do 150mph, but this, I think, is the biggest one. It’s not that we’re restoring them, or modifying them – we’re building an exact replica of a Mark IV Fosters Tank, from scratch.

Working from 3D plans drawn up by a hobbyist modeller, employees at JCB’s World HQ used computer design technology and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques to recreate the chassis of the historic machine in just eight weeks.

The JCB team who delivered the project were Chief Engineer Martyn Molsom, 46, of Stone; Design engineer Tom Beamish, aged 26, of Derby; Welder Chris Shenton, 53, of Leek and welder Chris Brennan, 46, of Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

As a part of driver Guy’s crew, all four were invited to witness the tank they helped to build take part in a moving re-enactment of the moment 100 years ago that tanks first saw action in Cambrai.  They also took part in poignant commemorations in Cambrai.

Martyn Molsom said: “The reproduction of a Mark IV tank from a century ago is a great British manufacturing story and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to get involved in the project. Replicating that innovation in a few weeks was a massive task, but modern techniques and equipment made it a lot easier for us than it would have been back then.

“It was a fascinating project to be involved in, both from an engineering point of view and from the historical aspect, and I was delighted we could make it happen. I don’t think any other company in the UK would have been able to pull it off in such a short time-frame, so I’m proud that it worked out so well.”

The project to produce a replica chassis for the tank was led by Martyn, who revealed data from a Computer Aided Design (CAD) model had given the team a head start.

Martyn added: “A model maker from Germany had created a near-perfect CAD design of a Mark IV that was blown up in the Battle of Cambrai and had been buried there for over 70 years. That gave us a fantastic historical representation, but we had to adapt the design so it could be converted from a model into a real-life machine. The timescale involved made it a massive challenge, but we pulled in resources from different parts of the company and made it work.”

The manufacture of tanks during the early 20th century would have involved cutting, drilling and punching steel by hand using giant presses – requiring hours of manual labour and fair bit of sweat.

But things have changed dramatically in 100 years and, thanks to computer-controlled machinery, the team was able to use a 4,000 watt laser cutter capable of slicing through 15mm of solid steel to complete a similar process in minutes.

Sections of the hull, including the centre cabin and two rhomboid side panels, were built separately and welded together in just 20 days – a process that would have taken considerably longer in 1917.

Yet the team was keen to ensure the Mark IV looked entirely authentic and 3,000 fake rivets - used to join the original tank together - were attached to the replica using a robot welder.

Design engineer Tom Beamish said: “The manufacture of tanks was cutting-edge stuff at the time but looking back on it now, it barely seems possible with the equipment workers then would have had.

“We used modern techniques to rebuild the machine, but the biggest problem was to make it look as though it had just come off the factory line during the war. All of the welding work was done on the back side of the steel plates, so it wouldn’t be visible externally, but the specifications are exactly how they would have been back then. We even replicated the roller spacing for the tracks of the tank, so it would sound exactly the same as the original.”

Guy Martin visited JCB’s World HQ during the early stages of production and was given a virtual reality vision of how the finished tank would look thanks to the company’s state-of-the-art VR system.

He met company chairman Lord Bamford before lending a hand in the welding shop where Chris Shenton said fabrication work took less than four weeks.

Chris said: “It was down to us to put everything together and there was a lot of welding work to be done very quickly. It was a tough task and I don’t think any other company could have done what we did. I’ve worked at JCB for 24 years and this is the biggest project I’ve been involved in, certainly with the timeframe involved.”

Welding shop colleague Chris Brennan, described the project as a ‘real team effort’.

He said: “The project was a huge challenge, but we had a small team working on it throughout and the process came together very quickly in the end. Only four of us were involved from start to finish, but there were other people who gave us support and it was good to be a part of it.”

The completed chassis was transported to Norfolk tank museum, near Norwich, where the remainder of the project took place.

Two ‘sponsons’ – projections extending from the side of the machine – along with a roof section and other parts, also manufactured at JCB, were lifted into place before a restored six-cylinder Rolls Royce engine, tractor gearbox, tractor axles and excavator tracks were fitted.

Guy’s original plan was to drive the tank in a Remembrance Day parade through the centre of his home-town Lincoln, where many of the Mark IVs were originally built.

But when permission was refused, he came up with the idea of taking the machine to France to re-live the moment its distant ancestors rumbled into battle.

The two-hour Channel Four programme, which follows the entire rebuilding process, also looks at the impact made by tanks during World War One. Guy learns what life is like in a modern tank and, thanks to recordings made before they died, hears from men and women who crewed the ground-breaking British invention.

The replica tank itself will return to the UK and will remain at the Norfolk Museum.

There it will form the centrepiece of an impressive World War One display and act as a lasting tribute to the brave crews who lost their lives in the conflict.

Master Abrasives - New Staff Appointments

New applications engineering team!

The team will be managed by Ian Meredith, Applications Engineering Manager, who has vast experience in a range of applications as a qualified apprentice-trained engineer and many years’ experience in the bearing, diamond dressing tool and abrasive industries. 

Martin Stevens will be joining the team as Applications Engineer for both abrasives and grinding machines. Martin is also an apprentice-trained qualified engineer with over 30 years’ experience in industry and recent technical training on grinding machines, making him a key part of the team’s customer-facing support. 

Kelly Warrington, Sales Co-ordinator, will provide vital assistance from the office as part of this team. Kelly has been with us for 2 years and has been working closely with Ian in providing customer quotes and information on our precision product range.

New addition to the sales team!

We're pleased to welcome Dave Beeby as a new member of the Master sales team!

Dave will be taking over the Midlands area from Martin Stevens in his role as Technical Sales Representative. He has a background and valuable experience in the abrasive industry so will be a great asset to our national sales team!

Admin & customer service department!

We're pleased to announce that Jade Cotton has joined our customer service team, moving from her previous role here in administration. Jade is now being trained on products and processes for her new position as Sales Co-ordinator and looks forward to dealing with our customers and their enquiries.

We're also happy to advise that Connor Massie has been appointed to take up Jade's previous role as Office Administrator. Connor has been working in our production and stores departments so has a good knowledge of our system and will be a great addition to our administration team.

Congratulations to you both, we wish you the best in your new roles!

Export & marketing department!

In the next few weeks, Noora will be working alongside our Marketing Manager, Abigail Charlton. Abigail has decided to move on from the company and will pass her marketing responsibilities to Noora and MD Paul Batson when she leaves on 14th November. Although leaving the company, Abigail will be working as our marketing consultant and will continue to support our marketing activities.

Congratulations to Noora on her new role and we wish you both the best for the future


Considerate Constructors Scheme crowns Most Considerate Companies and Suppliers at 2017 National Awards

The Considerate Constructors Scheme - the national scheme established by the construction industry to improve its image - has honoured the Most Considerate Companies and Suppliers at this year’s National Awards.

Four companies were presented with the coveted top award of ‘Most Considerate Company 2017’, they are: CR Civil Engineering Ltd (annual turnover: £10m and over); Elev8 Interiors Ltd (annual turnover: £3.5m to <£10m); Clearly Renovations Ltd (annual turnover: £250k to <£3.5m) and Sheene Contract Solutions (annual turnover: Under £250k). 

 TCi (GB) Ltd triumphed as the ‘Most Considerate Supplier 2017’, making them the second registered supplier to win this prestigious title since Supplier Registration was introduced in 2014. 

The award ceremonies took place on 2 and 3 November at the Four Seasons Hotel in London.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Awards are one of the most respected accolades in UK construction. By registering with the Scheme, companies and suppliers demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the image of the industry.  

The awards recognise the highest performing companies and suppliers which have demonstrated excellence in relation to the community, the environment and their workforce.

In total 22 Gold, 37 Silver and 55 Bronze Awards were presented to registered companies, while 3 Gold and 5Silver Awards were presented to registered suppliers. Of the Gold Award winners, 10 shortlisted companies received the ‘Most Considerate Company Runner-up’ title and two suppliers received ‘Most Considerate Supplier Runner-up’. 

 CR Civil Engineering Ltd is based in Leicestershire and works throughout the UK carrying out a range of construction services including highways, rail and flood defence projects. This highly considerate team was clearly focused on minimising community disturbance and carried out many goodwill and charitable acts in the neighbourhood.

 Elev8 Interiors Ltd is a family-owned business in West Ealing, specialising in building refurbishments, high end residential, commercial work and construction management consultancy services. Elev8’s relentless commitment to pushing the bar in considerate construction has resulted in a number of Scheme National Company Awards, since they first registered with the Scheme seven years ago.

Established for more than 12 years, Clearly Renovations has specialised in high-end residential refurbishments, renovations and alterations in London and the southern counties. Clearly Renovations was highly commended for its innovative approach to branding, using its ‘Clearly’ slogan for a range of meaningful campaigns and initiatives.

Based in Canterbury, Kent, Sheene Contract Solutions works typically with large retail outlets and uses specialist teams including fitters, welders, carpenters and electricians to install specialist catering equipment. This company was praised for its unique operative feedback questionnaire which ensured complete client satisfaction. 

 TCi (GB) Ltd, whose head office is based in Bideford, Devon, was highly praised by the Scheme for its innovative collaboration with a local furniture manufacturer to produce cardboard workstations as part of an integrated waste management initiative.

 Considerate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson said: Considerate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson said: “Each year, the Scheme is amazed by the increasingly innovative and ingenious ways that companies and suppliers devise to elevate their levels of consideration to the community, workforce and environment.  

“On behalf of the Scheme, I would like to offer huge congratulations to all of this year’s award winners who have worked extremely hard to raise standards of consideration, both within their own organisations and for the good of the entire industry. 

“We look forward to continuing to work with the industry to raise standards in considerate construction to an even higher level.”


Leading workwear brand Scruffs has scooped two prestigious industry awards for the second year running.

Scruffs, which is owned by Birchwood Price Tools, took gold in both categories that it was nominated for at the annual On The Tools Awards, retaining the titles of Workwear Brand of the Year and Boot Brand of the Year.

On The Tools is the UK’s biggest construction-based online community with 1.9 million followers, 70 per cent of which are tradespeople.

Talking about the double win, Birchwood Price Tools Managing Director Matt Hunt said: “I’m very proud of the Scruffs Team and everybody across BPT; we’re having a fantastic year.

“It’s a great achievement to be voted for by tradespeople as the best brand in both categories for the second year running, and is a testament to the durability and quality of the Scruffs brand!”

The two categories were voted for by On The Tools’ core following of tradespeople, culminating in an awards ceremony that took place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, in Birmingham, and was attended by some of the biggest names in the construction industry.

Hitachi Koki Announces Brand Name Change to “HiKOKI”

-The re-branding reflects the Company’s commitment to further expansion as a global brand-

Hitachi Koki Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of power tools and life-science equipment, announced today that the company will change its corporate name to Koki Holdings Co., Ltd., effective June 1, 2018, and will rebrand its full line of power tools known as HITACHI and/or Hitachi Koki under the new HiKOKI[1] (pronounced “hai-koh-key”) name, effective October 1, 2018. The name changes are in line with the company’s ambitious international growth strategy, aimed at ensuring sustainable growth while expanding business in the nearly 100 countries in Hitachi Koki’s global network.

Hitachi Koki’s world-class advanced technologies have produced reliable and innovative products throughout its celebrated 70-year history, which serve as the basis for its new partnership with KKR, one of the world’s pre-eminent private equity groups. Through the new partnership, Koki Holdings is streamlining operations and accelerating investment in organic development and acquisitions to enhance its global businesses as a worldwide leading manufacturer.

Simultaneous to the rebranding efforts, the company is establishing a subsidiary as its European headquarters called Koki Holdings Europe GmbH in the suburbs of Dusseldorf, Germany to reflect the strategic importance of the European market. The subsidiary will commence operations in November 2017, and will serve to carry out the parent company’s activities in Europe, with the aim to be closer to our customers to facilitate faster decision making in managing their needs.

“We have delivered award-winning innovation in manufacturing with solid business performance for over 70 years, and now is the time for us to focus on expansion as a truly global company while remaining rooted to our Japanese tradition,” said Osami Maehara, President, Hitachi Koki. “We have fully committed to accelerate growth alongside a dynamic new partner in KKR as we pursue our goal to become a global leader in power tools and life-science instruments. We have set an aggressive sales target of US$2.7 billion in fiscal year 2020. We are confident we can take our business to the next level with the support of all our employees and partners worldwide, and the revamping of the brand name is the first step to making this possible. We look forward to continuing to build a brand that exceeds the expectations of discerning customers around the world.”



UK’s most considerate construction companies and suppliers to be honoured at National Awards

Considerate Constructors Scheme’s soon to reveal winners at prestigious ceremony

 The Considerate Constructors Scheme - the national scheme established by the construction industry to improve its image - is getting ready to reveal the UK’s highest performing registered companies and suppliers of 2017.

The Scheme will be hosting the much-anticipated 2017 National Awards on 2 and 3November at the renowned Four Seasons Hotel in London.

All registered companies and suppliers had their considerate performance assessed against the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice between 1 August 2016 and 31 July 2017, as part of the awards selection process.

This year’s ceremonies mark the second year suppliers have been eligible to win National Awards, after Supplier Registration was introduced by the Scheme in 2014. 

Steve Radley, Policy Director of CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) and Clare Watson, Chair of the NFB (National Federation of Builders) will be announcing whether each winning company has received a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award for their achievements. Runners-up for the coveted ‘Most Considerate Company’ and ‘Most Considerate Supplier’ Awards will also be announced.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson said: “The Scheme is very excited to be hosting its Company and Supplier Awards 2017 in recognition of the persistent and increasingly innovative efforts being made by registered companies to improve their image as well as the image and reputation of our industry.

“From all of the registered companies and suppliers eligible, 115 companies and nine suppliers will be crowned as award-winners for their outstanding commitment to the Scheme and respectful consideration towards the public, their workforce and the environment.

“With many more companies and suppliers registering with the Scheme and raising the bar of considerate construction, competition is extremely fierce. As always, the Scheme is delighted to recognise those who have pushed their performance to the highest levels.

“We hope their achievements will serve as an inspiration and motivation for other companies across our industry, as well as encouraging increased collaboration and truly considerate working practices throughout the sector.”

First interactive map of construction in UK and Ireland launched by Considerate Constructors Scheme

Considerate Constructors Scheme launches pioneering to offer a single point of reference for construction activity across the UK and Ireland.

This easy to use portal provides, for the first time, anyone – whether a member of the Public, future employees, or someone already within the industry – a unique opportunity to see what is happening in the construction industry.

The Map shows thousands of ‘map pins’ – currently over 12,900 – which provide visitors with the ability to:

·        Identify location, project name, client name and site contact details of all Scheme-Registered Sites, Ultra Sites, Companies and Suppliers.

·        View details of Scheme Partners, Scheme Supporters, Professional Partners, Events and National Award winners.

·        Search for Universities and other educational institutions offering construction-related courses.

Visitors to can search by postcode or by keyword.  When the results are presented, they can simply click on pins to find out more about that project or organisation, and also see what is happening near to where they live and work.

In time, the Map will be developed to show industry training locations and industry activities – such as Open Doors and CITB events – as well as the opportunity to be able to interact with those listed and to get updates and feedback on construction activity in the UK and Ireland. is also planned to be used by the construction industry to display jobs and apprenticeship opportunities, provide contact and website details on a particular project and promote success through Considerate Constructors Scheme National Award logos and Scheme star ratings. In addition, there will also be the opportunity for sites and companies to update their details directly to give up to date information about what they are doing.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “Launching the very first interactive construction map is a massive achievement for both the industry and the wider Public. provides an easily usable resource to find out what’s going on and where right across the UK and Irish construction industries. Not only does it provide a single point of reference for the entire population, it gives those committed to improving the image and reputation of the construction industry an opportunity to showcase their projects and be able to demonstrate what they are doing as considerate constructors.

“At this stage, resources available within the Map provides a great starting point, which, over time will be expanded. The Scheme looks forward to continuing to spearhead the development of to grow its functionality and reach in becoming a central resource for everyone interested in construction activity in the UK and Ireland, and beyond.”

To access the Map, go to


Birchwood Price Tools is pleased to announce the arrival of Gary Hutchins as its new Sales Director.

Gary has joined BPT from Rexel, where he was Regional Director for electrical wholesalers WF Senate.

Gary brings with him over 20 years sales experience within a wholesaler and distribution background, having previously worked with many national corporate blue chip customers from the facilities management and end user sectors. In joining BPT, he intends to bring this knowledge to the supplier side in order to further strengthen BPT brands and products as ‘must stock’ items.

Gary says: “What excites me are the strong brands and the quality of the products BPT offer and the opportunity to take these brands into new distribution channels.”

Gary’s priorities are to understand customers’ needs, to ensure BPT is proposing solutions which will help them to grow their businesses, and to understand the potential opportunities for brands in new sectors. In addition, Gary will drive a programme of heavy investment to further strengthen BPT’s nationwide salesforce.

Gary lives in Swindon with wife Emma and their three children. Outside of work, he enjoys fitness and is currently training for the 2018 London Marathon. He will be running for the Jack Dowding Foundation, raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

Birchwood Price Tools, part of Travis Perkins plc, has more than 40 years experience of designing, developing and selling its own brands which serve the needs of tradespeople.

BPT is the owner of exclusive, market-leading brands which include: Scruffs Workwear & Safety Footwear, Defender Power & Lighting and Van Vault Secure Storage Solutions. Its brands are available in all the UK’s leading builders’ merchants, retailers, wholesalers and more than 8,000 independents. Its ranges are also available online.


Home security specialist, ERA has impressed judges of the IFSEC Security & Fire Excellence Awards with its new cloud-based alert and monitoring alarm system, HomeGuard, which has been shortlisted for the Intruder Alarm or Exterior Deterrent Product of the Year award.

Combining advanced security with smart living technology, the ERA HomeGuard works seamlessly with Lightwave smart heating and lighting products to deliver a fully integrated smart home solution. Controlled via a single smartphone app, the ERA HomeGuard not only brings all the benefits of home automation but also the reassurance that comes from having a stand-alone alert and monitoring system.

Commenting on the recent recognition HomeGuard has received, ERA’s marketing manager Tania Tams said, “With smart technology playing an increasingly important role in our everyday lives, it seems natural that home security should evolve and adapt over time. HomeGuard is a first of its kind product, combining security and access control with other areas of smart living in the home. We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for a Security & Fire Excellence Award and will be awaiting the final results later this year with bated breath!”

With product development at the heart of ERA’s ethos, the company has a number of smart product launches set for the near future. Tania continues, “This is a very exciting time for ERA. With our latest products being introduced over the coming months, HomeGuard will soon harmonise with other ERA smart devices, including Touchkey, an innovative keyless smart lock, as well as a smartphone-controlled doorbell device, DoorCam. This next step means that security will soon become second nature with ERA’s smart home range.”


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