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New HAE director says reorganisation will help raise standards

RESTRUCTURING of Hire Association Europe Limited’s business operations will allow the trade organisation to spearhead continuous improvement in standards across the specialist tools, plant and event hire sector, says the new Executive Director Certification Services.

Working his way up through the ranks to General Manager of Lord Hire Centres after joining the firm in 1989, Carl Bartlett has over 30 years’ industry experience, along with significant auditing knowledge, working with HAE’s membership services for almost all of that time before joining the Association’s Technical, Health and Safety panel in 2015.

His focus will be on engaging members, raising awareness and the benefits of safety initiatives like the successful SafeHire Certification Scheme. He also plans to raise the bar in general for the Hire Industry by achieving accreditation to a construction industry benchmark, the Common Assessment Standards (CAS).

CAS was introduced by Build UK and the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (CECA) to tackle inefficiencies that are costing the construction industry up to £1billion a year. Backed by 31 of the largest clients in the sector, CAS aims to reduce duplication, time and cost, which resonates with HAE’s mission to help members achieve accreditation that reduces form-filling and paperwork.

“As the standards of safety within the Hire Industry continue to improve this reflects on both legislative requirements and the commitment of members to the SafeHire scheme,” said Carl Bartlett. “Promoting high standards will no doubt lead to a reduction in time spent completing sections of tenders, approved supplier documents, pre-qualification questionnaires and SSIP documents.”

As part of the reorganisation, Graham Arundell has stepped down as Managing Director to take up a part-time role as CEO to oversee implementation of the new set-up and achieve UKAS accredited status, while Rupert Douglas-Jones has become Executive Director Member Services, responsible for management, personnel and running the Trade Association division.

In addition to these senior employee appointments, SafeHire and other certification schemes will be split from Membership Services to allow members to receive an even more focused provision. HAE envisages that the structure is now in place to drive the organisation forward in the years ahead.

HAE’s reorganisation is designed to not only give members opportunities for advancement, compliance and the raising of standards in general, but also to continue to progress with training programmes to equip more people with the skills needed for a sector supplying the operational resources and equipment to fulfil vital infrastructure contracts.

Graham Arundell concluded: “Challenges in the industry still appear to be dominated by recruitment of experienced or suitably skilled personnel. In recognition of this HAE continues to expand the training portfolio to support the needs of members.”

 

For more information on how to become a member of HAE EHA and details of the SafeHire Certification scheme go to www.hae.org.uk

HAE in major overhaul to boost services

HIRE Association Europe Limited Main Board has announced a major restructuring of its business operation to capitalise on the success of its SafeHire Certification scheme, optimise revenue and improve the efficiency of its training and recruitment services for the specialist tools, plant hire and event hire sector. 

Membership and Certification Services will become separate divisions within Hire Association Europe (HAE) from June 1 2019, a move designed to benefit members by targeting resources more effectively, says Graham Arundell, who will step down as Managing Director to take up a part-time role as CEO to oversee implementation of the new set-up and achieve UKAS accredited status.

As part of the reorganisation, Rupert Douglas-Jones is promoted to Executive Director Member Services, responsible for management, personnel and running the Trade Association division. To head up the SafeHire Certification Services, Carl Bartlett, who has 30 years’ experience in the hire industry along with significant auditing knowledge and experience in the industry, has been appointed Executive Director.

It is now four years ago that SafeHire became an integral part of the HAE membership package and there has been a huge take-up by businesses keen to demonstrate safety credentials. SafeHire provides an ongoing business improvement programme and for those firms who have successfully passed the audit, additional credibility in the supply chain for the building, construction and event industries.

To tap into the potential for further revenue growth in this area, which will be reinvested for the benefit of the Hire Industry, the Board decided that SafeHire and other HAE certification schemes will be split from Membership Services, which can now focus on developing programmes for recruitment, training and career development.

HAE will initially focus on further developing the SafeHire process and income through collaboration with other trade bodies and schemes. The eventual aim is to achieve UKAS accreditation within 18 months, offering a number of ISO certifications to members and non-members alike.

Another catalyst leading to the change is the concern over the future of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and the potential negative effect on training that the loss of its grant may have.

This is due to the fact that hire companies will potentially no longer have access to comparable sources of training revenue and is specifically why HAE, as the industry’s representative body, saw it as imperative to take action and address these concerns.

By providing services that help to retain revenue within the industry, and as a not for profit organisation, HAE is in a unique position to help members reduce overhead costs associated with certification, redirecting any surplus generated back to the sector for its future benefit. HAE intends to do this through the Certification Service for the benefit of all members.

MD Graham Arundell said: “Splitting the Membership and Certification Services into separate divisions allows HAE membership to receive an even more focused provision. This, coupled with additional senior employee appointments, means that we have the employees and structure in place to drive the organisation forward in the years ahead.”

One of the key changes for SafeHire is its alignment to PAS91, which is a prerequisite standard for those involved in the construction industry. HAE’s overall objective in making this change is to help members save time and money through having to complete fewer Pre-Qualification Questionnaires (PQQs) for customer projects.

However, HAE’s restructuring is not only designed to further develop and refine the SafeHire Certification process, but also to give a training provision to equip people with the skills needed for a sector supplying the operational resources and equipment to fulfil vital infrastructure contracts.

www.hae.org.uk

Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay 

HAE EHA launches new hire industry training event to promote wellbeing at work

SHOCKING statistics reveal that male workers in construction have a suicide risk that is three times higher than the average for England and even those in skilled construction jobs also have an increased suicide risk.

To address this unacceptable statistic, Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association (HAE EHA), along with their training partner HAE Business Guard, are organising the first of a series of courses aimed to improve the ability of the hire industry to support the mental wellbeing of its workforce.

The two-day training event, which will be delivered by St John Ambulance and is endorsed by Mental Health First Aid England, will take place on 21 and 22 May at the association’s headquarters in Birmingham. The course is available to all members and non-members wishing to promote mental wellbeing in the workplace. This new training programme is designed to raise awareness of common mental health issues that affect the workforce and that can lead to a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing at work.

The course will give employers practical ways to open up a helpful conversation on this topic and then be able to provide their workers with the care and support they need at the most appropriate time. Ultimately, the aim is to change business cultures so that mental health issues are taken as seriously as other health and safety matters.

Mental health problems in the construction sector are often due to the innate characteristics of the industry; it is a highly mobile industry with lots of casual workers, uncertain contracts, exacting timelines and is quite macho in culture. Often people don’t feel comfortable in raising personal issues and then muddle along until they can cope no longer.

HAE EHA has made it a priority to educate the industry to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression before they get out of hand as well as giving businesses the tools and knowledge to assist employees with recovery. Being able to spot the signs of mental illness and offering help and support rather than judgement, should allow employees to thrive at work with the positive and significant knock-on effects that brings to the industry.

HAE EHA’s Commercial Manager, Paul Gaze added: “Our main aim is to raise awareness and help support employers to tackle this issue in an informed and positive manner. We want to help the industry and society in general. Everyone has mental health. Some days it’s good and some days it’s bad. It is just a question of making sure that employers are sensitive to this and can support people in the correct way.

“As an industry, we have a great opportunity to come together and help our workforce now and in the future. If we all work together to address this issue, then some real progress will be made. None of us is as strong as all of us.”

HAE EHA believes in leading by example and has already signed up to the Building Mental Health (BMH) charter to support its own staff by embedding a wellbeing strategy for its workforce and is encouraging members to do the same. Training staff to become mental health first aiders is a way to provide discreet support for individuals and encourages them to achieve a healthy work-life balance to minimise work-related stress levels.

For pricing and further details about the May course and other courses to be rolled out later in the year, contact HAE on 44 (0)121 380 4617 or visit the website www.hae.org.uk/courses

www.hae.org.uk

Hire firm raises £4.5m investment from Mercia's EV Growth II fund

QUICK Reach Powered Access, a fast-growing national equipment hire business, has secured a £4.5million equity investment from Mercia Fund Managers.

The investment, which is the second from Mercia's £45.1million EV Growth II fund, will allow the Manchester-based company to double its fleet of powered access equipment and continue its nationwide growth.

Founded in 2014 by brothers John and David Barton, who have a background in the equipment hire industry, Quick Reach now has depots in Manchester, Birmingham, Doncaster, East London and Wishaw in Scotland, and a fleet of over 1,000 units ranging from large telehandlers to smaller scissor lifts.

Jill Williams, Investment Director for Mercia's EV Growth II, said: "Quick Reach has become a well-established provider of powered access equipment in a very short period of time.

"Its success has been underpinned by solid relationships with customers and suppliers and the industry experience of John and David. This funding will allow them to pursue their ambitious growth plans."

The company which now employs 36 staff, has grown rapidly, achieving average annual sales growth of 77% over the past three years. The deal will give Mercia a minority stake in the business and provide investment for growth. 

Wayne Thomas, who leads the EV Growth II team, said: "Quick Reach is exactly the sort of innovative and ambitious SME that EV Growth II seeks to invest in. This is our second investment from EV Growth II, and we have several more deals in process which we expect to complete over the next few months. This demonstrates the ongoing demand from good quality businesses seeking buyout funding and development capital of up to £5million."

David Barton of Quick Reach said: "At Quick Reach we are committed to delivering the very best service and customer experience in our industry sector. With further investment in new equipment, and a more extensive distribution infrastructure, we are well positioned for further growth."

The EV Growth II fund makes investments of up to £5.0million in established and ambitious SMEs, looking to grow, with a focus on management buy-outs and development capital. The fund completed its first deal in July 2018 with a £4.0million investment in the parking aggregator site ParkCloud.

Investec in Leeds provided fundraising advice to the company. Dow Schofield Watts Transaction Services provided financial due diligence to Mercia while Craig Scott of Hill Dickinson provided legal advice.

www.meriatech.co.uk

GAP Group Invests £3m in Dual View Dumpers

GAP Hire Solutions has recently taken delivery of their first six-tonne Dual View Dumper from Wacker Neuson, becoming one of the first hire companies to supply the high-performance machine.

Dual View allows the operator to conveniently and quickly change the seat position through a 180-degree rotation of the entire operating and seat console, meaning the operator always has a perfect view of the direction of travel during transport, loading and tipping.

The Dual View Dumper will be a new addition to the extensive GAP fleet of ROPS and cabbed dumpers ranging in size from 1-10 tonnes and offering high discharge, forward tip and swivel skip variants.

Head of Procurement at GAP Group, Ken Stewart, said: “The Dual View Dumper is an innovative product offering enhanced safety and comfort for the operator, in addition to increased operating efficiencies and improved productivity.

"Our range of Wacker Neuson cabbed dumpers have been particularly well received and we see the Dual View Dumper as a logical extension in dumper design and development.

"It is encouraging that Wacker Neuson involved Tier 1 contractors as part of the design process and it is evident their input has been incorporated into the final design.

"This delivery is part of a wider investment of almost £3m by GAP for a total of 60 Dual View Dumpers equally spread between 6t and 9t swivel skip models.

“We’ll continue to invest in innovative cutting-edge products and services, subject to key commercial criteria being met, and to offer our valued customers the very best equipment available via our national depot network."

With more than 140 locations throughout the UK and an ongoing intention to increase this number, GAP recognises that a constant programme of heavy investment is key to ensure the continuing success and growth of the business.

During 2017/18, GAP’s capital expenditure was £75.5m and this new financial year has already seen record investment in tools which, alone, will reach £10m by March 2019.

This level of reinvestment spending ensures that GAP continues to make their customers’ lives more productive, safer and environmentally friendly.


www.gap-group.co.uk

The Preparation Group awarded Hire Industry Trusted Supplier status

THE Preparation Group, specialists in surface preparation, removal and finishing, has achieved ‘Hire Industry Trusted Supplier’ status or HITS, the hallmark of quality, competence and safety across the UK hire industry.

It is currently one of only two companies to be both HITS accredited for supply to the Plant Hire Sector and be SafeHire certified, for customers hiring equipment direct.

The Hire Association Europe’s Supply Chain Board created HITS as an extra layer of reassurance for businesses purchasing services, that their chosen supply chain partner is fully committed to maintaining the very best practices and that its suitability as a supplier is recognised.

Kate Walshaw, The Preparation Group’s Hire Group Manager, said: "In gaining HITS, we have demonstrated our commitment to a high standard of hire operations and that we deliver across key areas of training, safety, environmental policy, R&D, production processes and data security.

"Hire customers can be assured that we run a professional service when supplying our grinders, planers, shotblasters, STG’s, hand tools and vacuums, with an emphasis on delivering full customer satisfaction.

"Having both HITS and the SafeHire Certification means that we are in a unique position and customers can be doubly assured that we are a reliable partner for hire of surface preparation, removal and finishing equipment and tools."

www.thepreparationgroup.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

 

Hire advice from industry expert Dan Daintry

IN A SPEECH in February, Prime Minister Theresa May revealed there is more to her Government than Brexit by announcing new measures to boost housebuilding.

The PM’s government also provided alternative methods to deal with the ‘housing crisis,’ such as allowing an extra two storeys to be added to houses and flats.

When developing houses, building companies and tradesmen need to know all about the current market for hiring or buying tools.

In a complex marketplace, it’s essential that they receive expert advice. So step forward PAL Hire’s Director, Dan Daintry, whose nationwide company is at the forefront of the booming sector.

Dan, who is based in Greater Manchester, said: “With the housing market as competitive as it is, more and more people are choosing to renovate their own homes rather than moving house.

“This has led to an increase in projects across the country, which means more people need to hire tools to do the job.

“We all know the importance of having the right tool for the job, but when the job you’re doing might only be a one-off job. Ask yourself, is it really worth paying for a piece of kit you’ll never use again? I don’t think it is.

“This is where hire specialists PAL Hire can help. We provide customers with an access to a wide range of tools and equipment at the fraction of the cost of the purchase.”

Unfortunately for tool manufacturers, the tool hire industry is a casual one and there is no correlation to work off to what hire companies specifically require, as Dan further explained.

He said: “When a customer wants a particular tool, it’s up to a hire firm to have that particular product ready to go.

“That’s why it’s important to have a range of products on standby to deal with covering a whole range of tasks – this can lead to good financial practice.”

Dan also revealed the hire market has always been strong as it allows both domestic and commercial customers to access tools and equipment which they may not have the financial resources to obtain. For these clients, there wouldn’t be any general value in an option to buy.

Dan continued: “With so many industries requiring to hire tools for renovation, landscaping, demolition and construction, people will always require temporary access to job specific equipment. “In short, as long as people are working – there will be people wanting to hire.”

Like most industries, tool hire is a sector trying to improve energy efficiency in order to reduce downtime. Dan believes ‘insider knowledge’ about the hire or sale of tools can mean large cash savings.

He said: “It’s more important to select the right tool for the job and not to pick a cheaper alternative. Also, make sure the job is done properly, and it will cost less in the long term.”

Dan explained that when choosing between buying and hiring, it’s important to consider the following:

  • How often will equipment be used?
  • The full hire price v. outright purchase
  • Delivery costs
  • Finance options - what is the finance rate?
  • When responding to a commercial enquiry, it is also pivotal to understand what the depreciation period is.

Dan’s many years as a leading figure in the sector have shown him that by working together, customers and clients can make the entire hiring process easier.

He concluded: “It’s always easier if customers do their research on what equipment is suitable for the task at hand, and they should always check equipment reviews if they are unsure.”

www.palhire.co.uk

Volvo - TLC Plant moves up a gear with a Volvo EC27D

Established just 12 months ago by two young entrepreneurs, TLC Plant has moved up a gear by adding a new Volvo EC27D compact excavator thanks to the continued demand for more and more work in the Devon locality.

The new 2.7 tonne compact excavator was supplied following a successful demonstration by SMT GB’s utility dealer for the south-west of England, Plant and Engineering Services. “We were looking to add a larger machine as our existing micro-excavator has its limitations in terms of digging capacity, so we rang around the obvious candidates,” explains co-partner, Lewis Clarke. “It was Plant and Engineering Services who proved to be very proactive in giving us an opportunity to try a machine on demonstration, then follow this up with a sensible quotation. Straight away we were extremely impressed with the Volvo EC27D - everything was just right – from the smoothness of the controls, the machine’s stability and the quality of build, so we had no doubts about placing the order,” he continues.

Joining a smaller 1.2 tonne micro-excavator, the EC27D is powered by a Volvo 1.6 litre, low-emission Stage-III engine coupled to a load sensing hydraulic system for optimum performance and fuel saving. Simultaneous control of slew and offset movements provides faster, more precise performance due to the right joystick control lever that features an electronically proportional roller. This allows the operator to accurately adjust hydraulic flow as needed. All hydraulic functions are performed in total independence for more control and less delay when handling multiple tasks. An automatic two-speed travel system engages when operating in high-speed mode, automatically shifting gear from high to low according to the travel load. Another feature for increased efficiency is the standard auto-idling system that lowers engine speed to idle if a control is not used for five seconds. The engine reverts to the pre-selected speed almost instantly when any control is moved. This system delivers lower fuel consumption, longer engine life and less environmental noise.

The EC27D features Volvo’s industry-leading comfortable cab for less fatigue and more production. The ergonomically designed cab offers greater leg and foot room, making it one of the most spacious in its category.

The new arrival will be used on general self-operated hire and will be deployed on groundworks, drainage and ditch maintenance, driveway construction and other related activities.

TLC Plant is located near Crediton and not far from Exeter and the main arterial routes connecting Devon and the West Country, The recently formed company is operated by business partners Lewis Clarke and Tom Lee.

Plant & Engineering Services of Beare near Exeter is the dealer for Volvo utility covering the south-west of England.

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.

Volvo EW60E has kerb appeal for King Construction

A new Volvo EW60E compact wheeled excavator has been delivered to Liverpool based, King Construction, for a major road-widening project in the Merseyside capital.

The six-tonne machine has been supplied by SMT GB’s utility dealer for the north west of England – Howard Plant Sales - following a successful demonstration which proved to be just the ticket for King Construction. “We were looking for a compact machine to handle kerb laying on a high-profile road-widening scheme stretching from Liverpool City centre to Seaforth,” explains King Construction’s Transport Manager James Shalliker. “The very nature of the job demanded a machine that was small enough, yet capable of lifting and laying kerb stones with the minimum disruption to daily traffic. We were very impressed with the EW60E on demonstration and found it to be quick, nimble and operator friendly,” he continues.

Equipped with a powerful Volvo Stage-IIIB engine, delivering 61 nett hp and adjustable hydraulic flow, the EW60E features a well-balanced driveline for optimum performance whether working on a job site or on the move. With its 2.9m boom and 1.6m dipper arm, the EW60E boasts generous working ranges for a machine of this size. Maximum forward reach is 5.81m, its maximum dig depth is 3.29m and practical load over height is 4.44m which, coupled to a minimum front swing radius of just 2.35m, means the machine can work in very confined spaces.

Permanent four-wheel drive is provided by one large variable axial piston motor and a two-step power shift gearbox, giving a maximum speed of 30kph and a maximum tractive effort of 29kN, making the EW60E highly versatile both on and off road. Equipped with a 1.93m wide dozer blade as standard, the machine has an operating weight of 5.6 tonnes.           

The EW60E is equipped with a number of features combined to maximize uptime and machine availability. For example, access to the machine’s service points is carried out at ground level and greasing points are conveniently grouped together. Service intervals can easily be monitored via the in-cab screen, which shows reminders when maintenance is needed. The machine comes with an auto-idle feature as standard whereby the engine stops automatically after a preselected idle time, lowering fuel costs and noise.

As with all Volvo compact excavators, the EW60E comes fitted with hammer / shear hydraulic lines as standard. In addition hose, rupture valves fitted to both the boom and dipper cylinders are also a standard feature whilst other hydraulic functions such as grab-rotation circuit, hydraulic quick- fit lines and lines for hand held tools can be added as optional extras.  

King Construction is no stranger to owning and operating Volvo Construction Equipment products and currently has a line-up of compact excavators ranging from the EC18D up to the ECR88D. “Our Volvo machines are proving to be very reliable and are good performers on a whole range of our civil engineering and road maintenance projects which was another reason for choosing the EW60E,” says James Shalliker.

In addition, the company recently purchased a Volvo P6870C wheeled paver for its road maintenance division. When not on contracting work, the machine will be used at a new academy which is in the final stages of being built on a five-acre site along the Derby Road in Liverpool. The Real Academy is an initiative supported by King Construction and Liverpool City Council to encourage young people to get involved in construction and specifically in asphalt paving with training and apprenticeship opportunities.

King Construction is a busy civil engineering company based in the northwest delivering various framework and term agreements for a number of Local Authorities and PLC’s within the northwest. The company specialises in a wide range of projects including highway construction and maintenance, environmental improvement schemes, junction improvements, drainage construction and maintenance, ducting, carriageway resurfacing, landscaping and other civil engineering type works.

Howard Plant Sales Ltd, based at Middlewich, Cheshire, is SMT GB’s dealer for Volvo utility equipment including compact excavators, compact loaders and compact rollers covering the north west of England.

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.

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