Plant industry on importance of fuel efficiency

FRIDAY, JULY 03 RD, 2015

With figures from the Construction Products Association (CPA) May 2015 trade survey reporting an eighth consecutive quarter of growth in activity, it is no surprise that the market for construction plant is growing.

Recently commenting on growth forecasts, CPA Economics Director, Dr Noble Francis, said “Increases in orders and enquiries indicate that the construction industry’s longest expansionary streak in six years is set to continue over the next 12 months, with activity led by the private housing and commercial sectors.”

With these sectors in particular boosting demand for general construction equipment, Finning News spoke to Patrick Flannery, Director of leading plant hirer, Flannery Plant about its recent purchase of the new GC telehandler range and the equipment needs of its customers.

“Our demand for telehandlers in particular has been driven by what we would define as the general office, sheds and house building market. Over the last few years we have seen customers switch to using more and more telehandlers. They are now regarded as the general workhorse of a site, because they can carry large loads and also help to overcome health and safety issues.

“In particular, telehandlers are being used to limit the need to work at height and carry building materials from one level to the next. Units like the Cat TH414C GC and Cat TH417C GC have 14 and 17 metre reaches respectively so are perfect for these applications.

Cat TH414C telehandler walkaround

“What is even more interesting is that customers are now using telehandlers with a range of attachments for a larger amount of work. The telehander is therefore currently seen as part of the primary onsite plant and because of this we have noticed customers are far more interested in fuel efficiency.

“This is especially the case for longer-term hirers, with contractors in particular having to now report on carbon emissions as part of the overall environmental impact of a project. Equally, with programmes now being fast tracked, more hirers are asking us about the service backup we offer and requesting equipment that is robust and has excellent visibility, especially when construction sites can be quite tight, with challenging ground conditions.”

As part of the development of the new GC telehandler range, Finning spoke to different end users across the UK, working with Caterpillar to develop the product range, as Tom Moss, Finning product manager explained to Finning News:

“Before we launched the new range, we listened to our customers’ requirements and recognised the construction market had an appetite for two distinct models, which were dependent on reach. So we developed the general construction Cat TH414C GC, 14 metre and the Cat TH417C GC 17 metre reach units.

“To make the range more bespoke, we focused on the four staples from our feedback, owning and operating costs, including fuel efficiency and maintenance, durability, ease of use and visibility. A new four cylinder 3.6 litre 74kW engine was introduced along with a 3 speed transmission and robust gear pump driven hydraulic system, for faster cycle times.

“From a health and safety perspective, a new chassis design means the boom pivot has been lowered, improving visibility to the rear of the machine. Coupled with the introduction of a single lever joystick control, including an integrated forward and reverse function, operators will now find it much easier to use the new equipment.

“To date, feedback from customers has been very positive, so it is no surprise that the new fuel-efficient range is higher up the list of equipment purchased by plant hirers.”


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