New Focus On Plant Hire

SUNDAY, MAY 03 RD, 2015

With the UK plant sector dominated by plant hire companies, large and small, Finning News spoke to two of the well-known players in the industry, Hewden and Hawk Plant Hire, to find out what they are focusing on.

“Having a healthy plant hire sector has always been so important to the UK construction industry and wider economy, that is why we have been ramping up our investment in new equipment and services over the last few years.” Commented Jeff Schofield of Hewden.

Jeff “With the election now over, we will also start to have a much clearer picture in the next few months of what the customer demand for plant hire solutions will be for the rest of 2015.

“For Hewden, it is all about how we can offer onsite solutions on a national scale. This is why in 2013, after speaking to a wide range of customers and analysing hire trends in our business, we launched our core fleet guaranteed next day delivery offering for the 30 pieces of plant our customers hire the most.

“As part of this research programme, we also determined the most desired product brands and the level of service support our customers required. This enabled us to focus investment in people and products, in-turn creating an internal hunger for practical innovative on site solutions that could have a positive impact on our customer relationships.

“A good example of this is how we have adopted a range of equipment management solutions from partners like Finning. In using these new services we have been able to improve asset management tracking, preventative maintenance and transparency of equipment usage, through the collection of GPS data, fluid samples, service records and more. By being open to new technology and services we have also learnt a lot more about our equipment and business that we can share with customers.

For example we have recently prevented an expensive engine failure by identifying serious fuel contamination and also reacted quickly due to GPS alerts to stop thieves stealing one of our telehandlers. Both actions were as a result of responding to the data, in each case our customers appreciated the intervention as it minimised disruption and loss of productivity. In addition to clearly preventing what could have been a sizeable invoice.”

For heavy plant hire specialist, Hawk Plant hire, a similar focus on technology has also had an impact on the business, as Director, Paul Allman explained:

“At Hawk we are very focused on sustainability and value. We have been looking into how new equipment management solutions can help us to get the most productivity out of our plant, for the lowest fuel and maintenance costs which not only benefits our customers but also our contracting business.

“Working with Finning, we have been paying particular attention to the GPS data we receive through its Finsight engineering team and the new My Finning online portal. Because we have access to weekly reports, focusing on business critical information, we are able to analyse productivity data like idle times, fuel burn and asset utilisation, from equipment spread across the UK.

“This allows us to monitor the overall health of each machine, so we can spot potential issues and solve them onsite, wherever possible. It also gives us the information to benchmark the performance of one unit to the next. This in-turn helps us to identify operator training needs, which we fulfil in our own training academy.

“Because we have integrated solutions into our everyday business, scaling them to fit product and operation type, we can now concentrate on productivity and uptime,

the two critical measurements that determine our overall profitability and performance.”