GAP’s supply contribution awarded by major customer

GAP HIRE Solutions has won the Best Contribution by Supply Chain Award from Welsh Water, one of GAP’s major accounts, after being nominated by the company itself for its collaborative work with their Capital Delivery Alliance.

Within the capital investment programme framework, GAP is Welsh Water’s primary plant and welfare supplier, proactively offering innovative products to improve the safety and environmental performance of the Alliance’s construction sites. This falls in line with the rental company’s Green Action Plan initiative, within which GAP works with both its suppliers and customers to develop and introduce greener products to reduce their respective carbon footprints.

There are numerous environmentally friendly and safety conscious products offered by GAP including solar powered street lighting which produces zero emissions and requires no cabling or complex control system, making it ideal for public spaces. GAP has also invested in Eco Welfare Units of various sizes, recently becoming the first hire company to invest in the Ecosmart ZERO Welfare Cabin from AJC EasyCabin. Another recent investment sees GAP prioritising safety with the purchase of Wacker Neuson’s Dual View Dumper, which reduces the risks associated with reduced vision and reversing while operating plant machinery.

As with all its customers, GAP has adopted a partnership approach while working with the Capital Delivery Alliance site teams to ensure that it meets the company’s requirements and deadlines. On top of this, innovation is continuously driven by GAP offering free trials or free training on certain products. GAP has offered free trials on battery powered hand-held tools which Welsh Water has benefitted from. These tools eliminate the need for cables or exhaust emissions, both contributing to a safer working environment, especially in confined spaces.

During an urgent project, undertaken by a company within the Alliance, GAP provided Welsh Water with a much-needed gantry and supporting safety equipment. Due to the extremely sensitive location of the project being in the Restaurant Quarter of Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, and very close to the Welsh National Assembly building, disruption had to be kept to a minimum. GAP provided its customers with a quick solution which was developed, with equipment sourced and supplied at very short notice, by the company’s Lifting depot in Cardiff. GAP played a pivotal role in the successful outcome of this project by being able to quickly react to the Alliance’s exacting requirements.

On receiving the award, Major Account Manager at GAP, Anthony Thacker, commented: “We are honoured to have been nominated for this award by the Alliance and to win it is fantastic. It is wonderful to have our hard work, customer service and reliability recognised in such a way by our customers.” 

GAP is instrumental in supporting the Alliance’s vision as a key supply chain partner. Being present on many Alliance sites and proactively investing in new state of the art plant and welfare equipment to ensure that Welsh Water receives the most modern equipment, which also improves environmental and safety performance, is what led GAP to taking home the Best Contribution by Supply Chain Award.

SMT GB appoints Collins Plant Sales Ltd as its new utility equipment dealer

WITH its headquarters located in Ripley Derbyshire, Collins Plant Sales Ltd has been appointed as SMT GB’s utility equipment dealer covering Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire with immediate effect.  

Collins Plant Sales Ltd is a newly formed division of Collins Earthworks Group which has been established with the specific aim of marketing the Volvo range of utility equipment. This will include compact excavators from 1.5 to 9.0 tonnes, compact wheeled loaders up to 1m³ capacity and tandem rollers.

The new venture will be headed up by Managing Director Andrew Purse together with a dedicated team including parts personnel, service engineers and a sales administrator located at the company’s recently acquired premises located on Whiteley Road, Ripley, Derbyshire. Besides a brand new show-room the facility houses a comprehensive workshop, parts warehouse and yard space.

“We have a very strong relationship with SMT GB and are leading advocates for owning and operating Volvo construction equipment for our earthmoving and civils contracts,” says David Collins, Managing Director of Collins Earthworks Group. 

“This exciting new venture is a natural step for us to take and coincides with SMT’s need to appoint a dealer for this important territory and we look forward to a long and mutually rewarding relationship with them.”

Commenting on the appointment SMT GB’s Northern Dealer Development Manager, Charlie Flaws said, “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Andrew and his team to our existing network of utility dealers. Andrew has ambitious plans for the new venture based on offering quality products with first class after sales support. We will be working hard together to ensure that we maintain and enhance our position as a leading supplier in this extremely important area.”

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.

Sleator Plant secures multi-million-pound dumper deal

NORTHERN Ireland-based Sleator Plant, a specialist capital equipment provider to the construction and materials handing sectors, has secured a million-pound deal with CP Hire to add 95 Mecalac site dumpers (85 ROPS models, 10 cabbed units) to its fleet in 2019.

Set to be rented by site professionals across the British Isles, this move will not only considerably expand their fleet size, but also increase the availability of the latest dumper models and equipment technologies.

Jonathan Campbell, Dealer Principal at Sleator Plant, commented: “Over the past two years, we have supplied CP Hire with more than 250 Mecalac site dumper units. This is not only testament to our close working relationship and customer care provision, but also the high quality of Mecalac’s earthmoving equipment.

“The latest agreement was negotiated in a matter of days – almost unheard of for a deal of this size! We are very fortunate to have a strong partner in Mecalac, as the team appreciates the importance of tight production timescales and was able to guarantee delivery – for the entire order – in Q2 2019.”

John Rawnsley, Managing Director of CP Hire (GB) Ltd, added: “Sleator Plant is our first point of call when it comes to ordering rental-tough compact site equipment. The Mecalac portfolio is highly versatile, allowing us to offer various solutions to fit our customers’ exact needs.

“Our latest site dumper order comprises a mix of one, three, six and nine-tonne ROPS models, alongside a number of Mecalac’s new MDX cabbed units. Our experience with Mecalac equipment has always been first-rate, while the team at Sleator Plant have always gone above and beyond to exceed our expectations."

Paul Macpherson, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd, concluded: “We are committed to working closely with our dealer network to provide state-of-the-art construction equipment. Seeing loyal customers like CP Hire returning to our dealers is a real testament to the reliable service they receive.”

Good support and back up prompts more orders from Central Plant Hire

CENTRAL Plant Hire of Horsham, West Sussex, has ordered a brace of Volvo EC18E compact excavators from Glosrose Construction Equipment thanks to the continued high level of aftersales support offered by both Glosrose and SMT GB.

The Horsham based plant hire business has been running Volvo 1.5, 3 and 5-tonne excavators since 2000, operating a total of twenty-five Volvo branded machines in a mixed fleet of compact excavators and site dumpers. “The Volvo compact excavators have proved themselves in the field and we have found them to be very reliable and robust machines,” commented Managing Director, Tony Fiveash. “More importantly, the high level of after sales support offered by both Glosrose and SMT GB is vital for our business and one of the main reasons we continue to purchase Volvos for our hire fleet.”

The new E-Series Volvo compact excavators offer significant improvements over the ever popular D‑Series models in terms of stability, lifting capacity, a simplified operator interface, an improved ease of serviceability to the main components and improved styling, thanks to a new three-piece cast iron counterweight and pressed steel side panels. In addition, the two new EC18Es sold to Central Plant Hire have been supplied with Volvo’s coded key option for added security.

The E-Series models have a common platform that is built with durability in mind. All‑round steel panels are safely recessed 10mm behind the Volvo exclusive high-profile cast iron counterweight, which ably provides protection and digging stability. With a machine height of a little over 2m and a variable undercarriage that can shrink to less than 1m – these new models can gain access to even the most confined of work areas. Once in position, the undercarriage can expand up to 1.35m for additional stability. The design ensures that the right frame corner, swing post and cylinder all stay within the tracks, resulting in maximum visibility and a reduced risk of machine damage when working alongside obstacles.

The EC18E takes performance to a new level, with a 13 percent increase in tractive force along with 2,130kg of combined digging forces. Its lifting capacity has increased by an average of 22 per cent at the front compared to the D-Series model it replaces. The machine’s undercarriage has been elongated to provide even better all-round lifting capacity and stability, compared to the previous generation, together with a 140mm increase in digging depth. For further flexibility, the auxiliary hydraulic flows can be independently adjusted in each direction, ensuring optimal speed and control, and a second auxiliary line or X3 service is also available as an option.

The E-Series affords an improved ease of maintenance and access to the main serviceable components thanks to a hinged fuel tank which is unique to Volvo. A 50-hour greasing interval further contributes towards the best-in-class serviceability on the EC18E. “Good service access is another good feature on the Volvo EC18s,” said Tony. “It was good on the D-series but it’s even better on the new E-series machines.”

Established in 1988, Central Plant Hire specialises in both operated and self-drive hire of excavators ranging from 0.75 to 14 tonnes in operating weight as well as tracked and wheeled site dumpers. Covering Surrey, East and West Sussex the company has established a regular portfolio of clients ranging from main contractors in the construction industry to individual building firms, trade and DIY and is strategically located on the busy A264 Crawley Road on the outskirts of Horsham with excellent road connections across the area.

Glosrose Construction Equipment is SMT GB’s utility equipment dealer covering Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Greater London south of the River Thames marketing the full range of Volvo compact excavators from 1.5 to 9 tonnes in operating weight, compact loaders and tandem rollers.

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.

MHM Plant expands stockist network

MHM PLANT, the supplier of power generation, solar-hybrid-generators, fuel storage, lighting towers, engine drive welders and product related accessories, is expanding its stockist network following the appointment of three firms, each authorised to market the full range of MHM products.

In Cornwall, contractors will be able to purchase MHM goods from Vincent Tractors and Plant - a multi-faceted equipment dealer with depots in Fraddon, Holsworthy and Smithaleigh. Vincent Tractors and Plant supply a wide range of equipment for the construction, arboriculture, grounds care and agriculture markets. They will stock products from MHM range ready for quick delivery to firms in their areas.

Likewise, firms in Scotland’s central belt can now purchase MHM machinery from the Coatbridge based stockist, D and S Plant Services - a leading provider of services to the construction machinery industry. Aside from supplying new machinery, D and S Plant also have a well-established and experienced plant repair service.

With over 15 years’ experience in the supply of construction machinery, Gloucestershire-based Equipment One Limited was a natural choice for MHM to hold their equipment in the South-West area. Equipment One already stocks a vast range of construction related products including; Excavators, Dumpers, Rollers, Telehandlers and Vibrating Plates. The MHM products will complement their current range.

“We are fully aware that many local builders and contractors often prefer to buy their equipment from their local suppliers and therefore we knew to reach these types of firms we needed to look out for regional suppliers,” said Mat Llewellyn, MD of MHM Plant. “Individuals and SME’s in Gloucestershire, Cornwall and in Central Scotland can now have direct access to our equipment through these stockists. I would like to formally welcome, Vincent Tractors, D and S Plant and Equipment One to the MHM family. I am sure that it will be a mutually fruitful arrangement,” added Mat.

MHM are seeking to expand their scope of supply and welcome enquiries from construction machinery suppliers, throughout the UK and Ireland, to stock the MHM range.

MHM Plant was incorporated in February 2010 and their head office is in Port Talbot, South Wales.#

GAP Group exceeds £300,000 donation milestone

SINCE its formation in 2015, GAP Group’s Charitable Foundation, GAP Giving, has donated over £300,000 to 356 different charities across the UK and further afield.

Established in 1969 by Gordon Anderson, philanthropy has always been an important part of GAP’s family business story. GAP Giving has embedded these ideals and beliefs even further in the company’s culture, distributing a percentage of the company’s profits to various charities each year.

During the financial year of 2018/19 alone, the company donated £56,624 to 88 different charities including The Brain Tumour Charity, Wish Upon a Dream, CALM and the Samaritans.

There are various ways in which GAP’s Charitable Foundation can help to raise money for good causes. For example, all of GAP’s 1,800+ employees located throughout the UK are encouraged to apply to GAP Giving to nominate a charity they feel is deserving of support. The successful applications result in the chosen charities receiving a donation from GAP. Additionally, the company has a ‘Charity of the Month’ programme which offers every region, division and Head Office department the opportunity to pick a charity to receive a donation of £1,000.

In addition to making regular donations, GAP operates a matching scheme, named GAP Match, within which GAP will match any employee’s fundraising efforts, up to £750. GAP’s employees can regularly be found taking part in sponsored activities such as coffee mornings and bake sales to outdoor events including walks, marathons, triathlons and three peak challenges.

Shaneen Waddell, GAP Giving's Chairperson, commented: “We are beyond thrilled with what we have achieved so far through GAP Giving and reaching this amazing amount as we enter our 50th year is even more cause to celebrate. It is fantastic that GAP is able to help people and give back to local communities in such a way; it is very humbling to be involved with such worthy causes.

“Of course, the outstanding efforts from our employees have enabled the company to reach this notable milestone – their enthusiasm, compassion and fundraising really makes a difference.”

Essential e-learning launched to beat construction-related occupational cancers

THE Considerate Constructors Scheme has announced a new e-learning course ‘Occupational Cancers’, designed to help the construction industry’s workforce to improve its understanding of occupational cancer risks and how to mitigate them.

With 40% of all deaths from occupational cancers arising within the construction industry, the need to support the workforce in this area has never been so critical.

The main causes of occupational cancers in construction work are exposure to silica dust, asbestos, diesel exhaust emissions and UV radiation, with those working in construction:

  • 100 times more likely to die from an occupational disease than a workplace accident (BOHS, 2016)
  • 6 times more likely to develop skin cancer than the general population (HSE, 2018)
  • dying by cancers caused by silica dust – over 500 workers a year (HSE, 2005)

The ‘Occupational cancer’ e-learning module is made freely available to the entire construction industry via the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub. It follows the successful series of e-learning courses on other cross-industry issues, including Air Pollution, Drugs and Alcohol and Mental Health.

The Scheme’s e-learning courses have received unprecedented engagement, with over 53,000 people working in construction taking the courses so far.

Edward Hardy, Chief Executive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme said: “There is no doubt that the shocking number of deaths and long-term illnesses caused by significant exposure to carcinogens in the workplace needs greater attention by everyone. We must continue to improve our standards in how we raise awareness and understanding of the risks and how to take measures to, where possible eliminate them, or at the very least minimise them.

“We call on everyone across our industry to take the ‘Occupational Cancers’ course and to encourage colleagues, friends and family members to do the same.

“The Hub also features the ‘Spotlight on…occupational cancers’ campaign which provides excellent examples of best practice in tackling this issue provided by construction sites, companies and suppliers to the industry across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland. We anticipate more examples of best practice being shared across the coming months in order to drastically reduce the impact of carcinogens on our workforce.” 

Click here to take the ‘Occupational Cancers’ e-learning.

'Cut VAT on home improvements to boost economy', says FMB

THE Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is calling for the Government to cut the VAT on home improvement work following official data from the ONS published today.

While there has been a rise in output over the first quarter of the year, construction output decreased month-on-month by 1.9% and the repair and maintenance series fell to its lowest level since December 2018, experiencing a fall of 3.1% compared to the previous month. 

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “It’s not at all surprising that construction output has dropped at the end of the first quarter of this year, given the unprecedented political uncertainty we’ve been facing. To get us through these turbulent times, the Government must be bold in its thinking when it comes to supporting the economy bucking any downward turn. One course of action would be to cut VAT on work in the home improvement and private domestic sectors from 20% to 5%”

“A cut in VAT would help stimulate demand from homeowners resulting in more work for the thousands of small to medium-sized construction companies which would help support local economies and increase training opportunities. This is all the more important given that the FMB’s own State of Trade Survey for Q1 2019 saw the first dip in workloads for small builders in six years."

Berry concluded: “Cutting VAT would also be an important step to help encourage more retrofits of our existing buildings to make them more energy efficient and deliver a cut in carbon emissions.”

Trime UK is with Glendun Plant at the Balmoral Show

DUNGANNON'S Glendun Plant Sales are ready to display two examples from the Trime UK range of lighting and dust suppression equipment.

Glendun Plant will showcase the Trime products alongside their expanding scope of supply at the Balmoral Show, which is Northern Ireland's largest agricultural event. The show is set for 15 to 18 May and held at Balmoral Park, Halftown Rd, Sprucefield.

With visitors anticipated from right across the island of Ireland, delegates will have the opportunity to view the Trime X-CHAIN site lighting unit alongside their brand new product the X-DUST dust suppression module.

The X-CHAIN LED is a stand-alone tower floodlight fully equipped with stabilisers, retractable handles, fork-lift pockets and a telescopic, stainless steel mast. Illumination is provided via four low consumption long life LED lamps, delivering over 2000sq. metres of safe, bright lighting.  Up to four Trime X-CHAIN LED sets can be connected together using the simple ‘socket-in/socket-out’ system and then attached to a single power source - either ordinary mains or a portable generator. The Trime X-CHAIN LED has no individual fuel costs or carbon emissions and will operate totally soundlessly. The unit is designed for zero maintenance and up thirty-two units can be delivered on a single truck.

The X-DUST is designed to provide workers with safe protection from airborne contaminates in concentrated areas, helping to deliver a healthier atmosphere in which to complete their duties. The X-DUST produces a fine spray of water through a series of high-pressure jets; the mist is then propelled onto the site by a powerful fan, rendering the area free from unhealthy and hazardous material.  The X-DUST is ideally suited for both outdoor and indoor applications.

Glendun Plant Sales is Trime UK’s Northern Ireland’s distributor. They are based in Mullybrannon Rd, Dungannon BT71 7ER.

Trime UK is headquartered in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. They supply a wide range of energy saving site lighting towers together with wash bays and dust suppression machinery.

The British Safety Council launches mental wellbeing videos

AHEAD of Mental Health Awareness Week (13 – 19 May), it is still true to say that mental health is considered the poor relation of physical health. Too many people are suffering in silence while at work.

The British Safety Council is urging employers to make changes in the workplace that address mental wellbeing and is offering employees practical tools to help them deal with stress and anxiety at work.

The charity is launching three videos to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. They are based on tried-and-tested wellbeing techniques and exercises that encourage staff to relax in order to alleviate racing thoughts associated with stress and anxiety. They also encourage physical activity at work.

Matthew Holder, Head of Campaigns at the British Safety Council, said: “Emotional resilience is important because it improves effectiveness at work. However, it also helps people gain greater immunity from certain illnesses. By making these exercises part of their daily routine, employees should be able to improve their wellbeing and resilience to stress.”

A breathing exercise aims to control stress and anxiety with the help of breathing, by slowing the overall activity of the brain and relaxing both the mind and the body.

A visualisation exercise is intended to release tension and improve concentration. Visualisation exercises combined with deep breathing are proven to reduce stress and relax the body, giving the person a moment of peace in the hectic work environment.

Chair exercises include shoulder, leg, feet and stomach exercises for relaxing various parts of the body that stiffen and ache as we spend long periods of time at our desks. The modern sedentary lifestyle is responsible for an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and a loss of muscle and bone strength.

Matthew Holder continued: “The British Safety Council’s wellbeing videos are intended as a practical resource to help employees look after their wellbeing and deal with the pressures of everyday working life. We hope that they will become a part of the lunchtime routine, accessed in bite-size chunks and used when required.

“Workers’ wellbeing is a shared responsibility between employers and employees and a true reflection of organisational culture. For workers to practice wellbeing and mindfulness at work, they must be supported by their organisations, their senior leadership and by line managers. Our videos feature simple wellbeing exercises, which do not require any infrastructure investment from employers. However, workers’ ability to use them in the workplace is likely to be proof of employers’ commitment to their workers’ health and wellbeing.”

Recognising that mental ill health is affecting society from an early age, this spring the government launched pilot schemes in 370 primary and secondary schools. They are designed to test different approaches to improving children’s mental health. The trial will teach students mindfulness, meditation and breathing exercises to help them “regulate their emotions” and deal with “the pressures of the modern world.”

The British Safety Council’s vision is that no-one should be injured or made ill through their work. The charity recognises that great progress has been made in Britain on addressing safety issues, but there is still significant work to be done on wellbeing and health, particularly when it comes to mental health.

Last year, using its training expertise, the British Safety Council, launched a range of mental health training courses. The courses are designed to start conversations about mental health and support employees who are experiencing mental ill-health. These courses are now available in both classroom and online formats.

In November 2018, acknowledging the growing importance of workplace wellbeing and the numerous uncertainties around it, the British Safety Council published a report Not just free fruit: wellbeing at work. It defines wellbeing in the workplace and suggests a set of metrics for effectively measuring wellbeing programmes and interventions.

In 2017, the British Safety Council helped to launch Mates in Mind. Mates in Mind provides a joined-up approach for employers when addressing mental health. It is now working with 210 organisations to support more than 188,000 employees.


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