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Hitachi invests in Scottish operations with new Cumbernauld base

HITACHI Construction Machinery UK (HCMUK) has announced it is relocating its Scottish depot to a much larger premises to meet demand for product support from its ‘fast-growing’ customer base north of the border.

The company is swapping a 1,200 sq ft parts depot in Bellshill for a new 12,500 sq ft product support facility in Cumbernauld at the Ward Park Industrial Estate.

The new depot will provide parts, service and sales support to Scottish-based customers. Eight full-time employees will be based there, with the facility boasting a parts warehouse with trade counter, workshop space, office space, and a concrete yard to house new and used Hitachi machines.

Hitachi revealed the new base will also create two new full-time jobs.

Stephen Creaser, director of product support at HCMUK, said, “HCMUK is delighted to announce the opening of this large depot in Scotland to support our loyal customers. By investing in bigger premises, employing new sales staff, additional service engineers and a dedicated product support manager we can ensure that customer uptime will be maximised throughout the region to increase profitability and reduce machine downtime.

“There is massive scope for growth here in Scotland, as we have already gained the trust of many new customers since the announcement of the new depot, and we look forward to driving their business forward over the coming months and years.”

Special charity mission for new Lomond Plant backhoe

A special-liveried backhoe loader is set to raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity when it goes to work on construction sites across Scotland’s central belt.

The JCB 3CX has been painted and decked out in the charity’s colours, and features QR codes and even a postbox to help facilitate crucial donations.

The machine belongs to Falkirk-based construction equipment hirer Lomond Plant. The business will donate money to the hospital charity for every hour the machine is put to work.

Joint MD Ross Easton came up with the idea to show his appreciation to the hospital after his teenage daughter Carmen spent six months there last year receiving vital treatment for cancer.

He explained, “In August last year we were down in the Cotswolds on holiday when my daughter, who was 14 at the time, fell ill. We took her to a hospital in Swindon to get checked and she was diagnosed with cancer. She was then taken to Oxford before being transferred to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, where she had six months of treatment including intensive chemotherapy.

“Being in there for six months opened my eyes to what they’re doing. I could not fault anybody; it’s just second-to-none.

“I’ll never be able to repay what they’ve done for my daughter, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to put something back in.

“We’ll donate money to the charity for every hour the machine works. I’m hoping one or two of our customers might pay a bit extra to hire the machine, and we’ll donate that as well.

“There’s not a great deal of room on the 3CX but the whole idea of using that rather than a 13 or 20-tonne tracked machine is I can control where it is. The bigger machines could end up down south and it might lose some of its impact. The operator I have on the 3CX – John Tonner – is from Kilsyth and he generally works in the Glasgow area so it will get as much coverage as it can in that particular area. It will be out driving on the roads, working with local authorities, and appearing on building sites.

“John’s already been getting the thumbs up when he’s been out in it, and it has definitely generated interest.”

After posting images of the machine on social media, Lomond Plant raised almost £2,000 in just two days, including a substantial donation from Scot JCB. The machine will now be put to work across the country and could make some special appearances too, including at next year’s ScotPlant exhibition.

William McGowan, head of partnerships & events, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said, “Every day, 500 children require life-changing treatment at the children’s hospital in Glasgow. We are incredibly grateful to staff and customers at Lomond Plant for their generous support, which will allow us to continue our charity-funded projects, enhancements and services to support our young patients, their families and our NHS heroes. It is fantastic to see the latest addition to the Lomond Plant fleet proudly supporting the Charity, and we wish Ross and the team every success in their fundraising endeavours.”

To donate, please visit


Sales of construction equipment remain ‘strong’ in the UK

SALES of construction equipment in the UK remained ‘strong’ in July at 31% above the levels seen in the same month last year, new research has uncovered.

In total, sales in the first seven months of this year were 66% up on 2020 levels, as the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic continues to gather pace. This amount to over 22,000 units.

Sales are also ahead of 2019 levels despite concerns about supply chain constraints for components and parts.

The figures were produced by the construction equipment statistics exchange, which is run by Systematics International Ltd. This scheme is run in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).

Sales have been strongest in Scotland and the north west of England, at more than double last year’s levels so far. Weaker sales growth is being seen in the West Midlands and Wales, at 28% to 35% above last year’s levels respectively.

Telehandlers for the construction industry are the machines seeing the strongest growth, with sales more than double last year’s levels at this stage. Road rollers have also doubled on last year’s levels.

The ‘weakest’ sales are being seen from mini/midi excavators, with the rate of increase easing back to 49% this year, after being the strongest growing product type in 2020.

Silver service as ScotPlant exhibitor marks 25 years in UK

The Takeuchi stand at ScotPlant 2018

SCOTPLANT exhibitor Takeuchi is celebrating 25 years of operating in the UK this year. The manufacturer began trading in the UK market in 1996 and has since grown in popularity, today boasting an established network with more than 30 dealer locations across the UK and Ireland.

In Scotland, the dealer network of JMS Equipment, CAM Engineering, Ramsay and Jackson, AT Best Handlers and Argyll Engineers has helped build the Takeuchi brand north of the border, particularly in the past 15 years.

Takeuchi machines have become a familiar sight at the Royal Highland Centre during ScotPlant exhibitions. Now with a range of 25 models, the manufacturer has a machine in every weight class including: micros, minis, midi, short tail, hybrid, wheeled, fixed and offset boom excavators.

The latest addition is the TB325R 3 Series short tail mini excavator in the towable weight class. Takeuchi described the model as offering a ‘powerful yet legally towable’ option – compact in size with reduced tail swing. Available in both cab and canopy, the TB325R weighs in at just under 2440kg cab or 2310kg canopy, leaving room for attachments and materials on the trailer.

The machine boasts 16.5kW of power, 19.3kN of digging force and breakout of 11.3kN, along with digging depth to 2,540mm and ground reach to 4,350mm.

The TB325R has a 1,500 x 1,890mm machine footprint combined with a short tail radius of 8,825mm and overhang of 70mm when 90 degrees to the track, which is said to provide ‘maximum access’ in limited working spaces.

Visibility is boosted by LED work zone lights as standard positioned on the cab and boom. The TB325R also has fully lockable service panels and comes with the TSS Takeuchi security system fitted as standard and the TFM Takeuchi Fleet management available as an option.

Full steam ahead for ‘even more special’ ScotPlant 2022

WITH pandemic-related restrictions continuing to ease, it’s full steam ahead for ScotPlant 2022, which is shaping up to be the largest exhibition in the event’s illustrious history.

Around 170 exhibitors are currently scheduled to be in attendance at the Royal Highland Centre in April for the show, which will feature for the first time ever at ScotPlant exhibitor space in the long avenue which separates the indoor Lowland Hall from the main outdoor showground.

The most recent additions to the line-up include Grangemouth-based Jarvie Plant, one of the biggest names in the Scottish plant industry.

Bradleys, the UK supplier of Prinoth Panther rubber track dumpers and utility vehicles, has also signed up, as has GenAir, specialists in compressed air hire.

Orba Group, providers of washing and screening equipment for the separation of aggregates in the construction and recycling sectors, is another new exhibitor, while track carrier specialist PowerBully has also joined the roster since our last update.

Brian McGrane, Liebherr area sales manager, recently told Project Plant about the appetite within the industry to get back out to trade shows again after the enforced absence due to Covid-19.

“I can’t wait (to get back to exhibitions again),” he said. “It is always an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our products and meet our customers in a more relaxed atmosphere. I’ve been going to ScotPlant since 2006. It’s not all rushed, you’re able to spend a bit of time with customers. I’ve sold machines at ScotPlant and it’s always been good.

“This one I think will be even more special as it is the first one after the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Liebherr is just one of a number of global manufacturers with a strong presence at the show. The latest machines and product innovations from the likes of Caterpillar, JCB, Kubota, Takeuchi, Doosan, SANY, Hyundai, Hitachi, Komatsu, Kobelco and CASE will all be making their way to the iconic venue.

ScotPlant 2022 takes place on Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23 at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, near Edinburgh Airport.

New names add to ScotPlant anticipation

PREPARATIONS for ScotPlant 2022 are in full swing, with a number of new exhibitors signing up for the showcase event for Scotland’s construction equipment industry.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, next year’s much-anticipated exhibition will be the first ScotPlant since 2018.

Recent additions to the stellar line-up include Wacker Neuson dealer LCF Engineering, King Trailers, SPAL Automotive, Easy Track Survey, MHM Plant and Scotia Survey and Safety.

They will join some of the biggest names in the global plant equipment market when the show returns to the Royal Highland Centre next April.

John Young, operations and sales manager at East Kilbride-based LCF Engineering, said, “We’ll be sharing a stand with Crowmec, who are Wacker Neuson dealers in the north east of Scotland. The show will be a first for us. I’ve been to ScotPlant in the past as a visitor and exhibitor and it’s always been very positive. It’s a great opportunity to show off your wares and also see what competitors are doing. These exhibitions are so important because you can see such a wide range of potential customers in one place.”

John said business has been going “very well” for LCF, with the company recently winning awards for being the top Wacker Neuson dealer in the UK in 2020 for both light equipment sales and spare part support. He described the equipment market at the moment as “very buoyant”, adding that there is a real appetite within the industry to return to outdoor exhibitions and meet people face-to-face again after the Covid-related restrictions of the past 12 months.

“This is a hands-on industry,” he said. “We all want to get out and meet people again. We’ll look to have a couple of special edition machines on the stand, but I can’t say any more than that at the moment. Watch this space!”

ScotPlant 2022 will feature the latest machines and innovations from some of the world’s top construction equipment manufacturers including Liebherr, Caterpillar, JCB, Takeuchi, Kubota, Doosan, SANY, Hyundai, Hitachi, Komatsu and Case.

• ScotPlant 2022 takes place on Friday April 22 and Saturday April 23 at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, near Edinburgh Airport.

Attachment specialist can’t wait to showcase latest products in ‘real life’

The Miller stand at ScotPlant 2018

ATTACHMENT manufacturer Miller UK has revealed how much the firm is looking forward to returning to exhibitions once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

The firm recently enjoyed a successful showing at Hillhead Digital, using the virtual event to showcase its new range of quick couplers.

However, as cities around the world start to re-open, Miller revealed the events industry is ‘more eager than ever to get back to some sense of normal’. While adding that digital shows could now form part of the ‘new normal’, and have provided ‘essential’ business opportunities during the pandemic, Miller added that ‘we all look forward to the future where the industry can deliver safe and successful exhibitions and drive game-changing opportunities’.

Hillhead, the quarrying, construction and recycling exhibition held biannually in Buxton, Derbyshire, has, like ScotPlant, been postponed until 2022 due to ongoing Covid restrictions. Organisers of Hillhead recently hosted a virtual exhibition, where visitors could virtually meet with exhibitors, download materials and watch promotional videos. Miller highlighted the firm’s GT Series of quick couplers and created a virtual product demo of the new range with the support of industry journalist and vlogger, Peter Haddock from Content with Media.

Miller’s Barry Robison said, “We were disappointed when we heard the news that Hillhead was to be postponed until next year as it’s such an important show for us. It’s a sign of the times and people have to adapt to move forward, and Hillhead Digital has proven to be very valuable for us. The GT series is bringing innovation to the excavator industry like never before. It’s exciting and we can’t wait to show our visitors in real life at next year’s show.”

Exhibitor adds to sales team with three new appointments

THERE will be some new faces on the Molson Young Plant Sales stand at ScotPlant 2022 after the firm announced it has strengthened its sales team with three experienced appointments.

David Pinner has been appointed sales manager for north west Scotland and the Highlands and Islands. With over 15 years’ service in the Royal Air Force in various roles covering Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE), Molson said David’s ‘eye for detail and mechanical mind’ will give an extra level of understanding, both to the products offered and the challenges that customers face. After recently working for Sunbelt Rentals, David also brings industry knowledge to the new role. 

He said, “For me, if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. This mantra is part of my DNA, so customers can expect an uncompromising attention to detail in order to make sure every machine is exactly as they would like it. The wide range of products available from Molson, along with the scale of after sales support will help me offer real value to both new and existing customers that I am looking forward to speaking with.”

Gus Kerr has also joined the business as sales manager for north east Scotland. He has over 14 years of industry experience, including stints at Buckhurst Plant Hire and Morris Leslie. He said, “It’s an exciting time to join such a fast-growing company, as an established name in the industry, with a great range of products to offer customers. Despite the limitations around Covid, I am looking forward to speaking to both new and existing customers in the coming weeks.”

The third new arrival is Blair Allan, who takes up the position of sales manager for east central Scotland. He has over 11 years’ experience in the construction and agricultural sectors. Blair will be offering products from a full range of brands including Kobelco excavators, Thwaites dumpers, Cormidi tracked dumpers, and Ammann compaction equipment. He said, “I will only sell products that I personally believe in. The range of machines available at Molson Young Plant Sales is second to none, ranging from Japanese-built excavators to world leading dumpers built here in the UK. I cannot wait to start explaining why I believe these are such great machines to existing customers that will not have seen some of the new products in our range yet, as well as new customers.”

Komatsu at the double with new machine launches

SCOTPLANT exhibitor Marubeni-Komatsu has announced the launch of two new models recently.

THE first is the Komatsu PC24MR‐5 mini excavator, which has been added to the manufacturer’s MR‐5 range. Described as being ‘powerful and versatile’, and boasting the latest EU Stage V engines, the MR‐5 new generation range builds on the MR-3 product line. The machine has an operating weight of 2,430kg (cab version), a maximum digging depth of 2,615mm and maximum digging reach of 4,500mm. The KOMTRAX monitoring system comes as standard, while the compact undercarriage at a width of 1,450mm allows easier access in confined areas.

Safety features of the MR-5 range include a seat belt indicator, secondary shut down switch and protected PPC levers. The range also benefits from Komatsu-designed and developed factory-fit options such as fingertip proportional controls and a hydraulic quick coupler line.

Simone Reddi, Komatsu Europe product manager for mini-excavators, said, “The MR-5 range concentrates the quality and performance of the larger Komatsu construction range into a compact package, and with a unique design concept the Komatsu MR-5 excavators are sure to stand out on jobsites across Europe. The PC24MR-5 is positioned to combine with the PC26MR-5 to form a strong 2-model attack strategy in this all-important segment that requires high performance and easy transport.”

Komatsu has also launched the PC88MR-11 midi excavator, which builds on the foundations of the PC88MR-10, with new features designed to boost productivity and reduce fuel consumption. The model boasts a Stage V engine (50.7kW/68hp) and has a factory-fitted Lehnhoff Powertilt option.

Komatsu explained that a tight tail swing allows operators to concentrate on the work at hand without worrying about rear-swing impacts, and helps to make the PC88MR-11 a ‘versatile’ solution even in confined areas. The manufacturer added that a redesigned blade offers better dozing, while an automatic change-over valve provides more comfort when changing attachments.

Simone Reddi said, “This is not just a simple model update. The PC88MR-11 introduces several improvements in digging performances and structure. The whole dig-loading cycle is improved, increasing production, giving the feeling of a faster machine. Last but not least, this latest Komatsu midi excavator features the European debut of the brand new EU Stage V Komatsu 2.4 litre engine with KDPF (no SCR needed). Enjoy lower fuel consumption, higher performances and unrivalled efficiency.”

ScotPlant postponed to April 2022

THE next ScotPlant exhibition has reluctantly been postponed to April 22 & 23 2022 due to the continued disruption and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The rescheduled flagship event for Scotland’s construction equipment industry was due to take place in April 2021. However, it is clear that events are likely to remain impacted by restrictions over the coming months while Scotland, the rest of the UK, and other countries around the world roll out the vaccine programme.

Organiser Peebles Media Group has secured new dates for 2022 to bring clarity and enable exhibitors and visitors to plan with confidence for next year. ScotPlant 2022 will take place in its usual venue – The Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston – on Friday April 22 & Saturday April 23 2022.

ScotPlant sales manager Mark Griston said, “The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone who attends ScotPlant is our number one priority. We appreciate that postponing again will come as a huge disappointment to our loyal attendees, but if we decided to proceed this year, we would be doing so without being able to guarantee what restrictions might be in place or what impact the pandemic would have on visitor numbers, travel plans and the overall experience. ScotPlant has become the leading event in the Scottish construction equipment sector precisely because of the people who attend and the interaction which takes place over two days.

“We know the importance of delivering a show which provides maximum value to all those in attendance. By delaying until 2022, we are confident that we are allowing enough time for the vaccine programme to be fully rolled out, current restrictions to ease, and for industry to adapt to post-pandemic challenges. As organisers, we will now focus on making ScotPlant 2022 the standout show the industry deserves, featuring, as ever, the world’s leading construction equipment brands and a host of exciting new products and innovations.”

For more information about the event, please visit


West Calder firm has huge crush on new bucket

PATON Construction has become the first company in the UK to have an MB BF60 crushing bucket fitted onto a Manitou telehandler.   

The investment has allowed the West Calder-based firm to offer a recycling service to customers on job sites. The bucket enables the company to crush aggregates on site, meaning no haulage, no tippers and no landfill costs.  

This mobile service is offered across Scotland. Owner Aaron Paton explained, “We are crushing predominantly sandstone and whinstone for our customers.  We can crush it down to their desired size, be that 15mm stone or 80mm stone. It’s saving them time and money.”

Paton’s varied customer base includes small landscaping companies who dig up old driveways or paths, and then crush and re-use as Type 1 to lay new driveways using the service. Paton revealed they are helping these customers price jobs more competitively and save money on materials.

The business is also helping farmers to recycle on their farms – be this stone picking in the fields and re-using materials for paths, tracks and gateways, or demolishing and rebuilding outbuildings and barns.

One customer is a small housing company in Edinburgh, which was operating in a restricted space.  With the help of Paton Construction, they crushed the materials from a demolished house in just two-and-a-half days before using the recycled materials to backfill the new house to be built.

Another farmer reportedly saved £20,000 on a renovation project by crushing the material from old walls he had knocked down and re-using it. 

Aaron did his research before offering this service to customers and approached ScotPlant exhibitor Worsley Plant’s Sean Heron for help. The BF60 has previously been used on larger machines but was fitted to his Manitou telehandler, allowing him to offer the mobile service.

Aaron added, “Investing in the MB bucket has provided me with a new business opportunity. I’m attracting new clients, helping them recycle and save money, be environmentally friendly and helping other small businesses thrive.”

Aiming high: SANY in huge Scots investment

SANY is assembling a team to drive growth in Scotland and the rest of the UK

SANY is investing heavily in the Scottish construction equipment market and has outlined ambitious plans to become  the top supplier of excavators in the country.

The manufacturer is putting the final touches to plans to open a new UK headquarters on the outskirts of Glasgow and is in the process of assembling a team to help drive growth.

The Scottish base will be headed up by Lyle Sibbald, Scotland general manager for SANY UK.

Lyle told Project Plant the business is currently operating out of Sibbald Training in Blackridge, West Lothian, but he expects to receive the keys to the new premises by the end of this year.

While SANY will continue to operate a network of dealers in England, Wales and Ireland, Scottish customers will be dealing directly with the manufacturer.

Lyle explained, “The headquarters of SANY UK and Ireland will be in Scotland. This is us entering our next chapter and we are going to be selling and supporting the product direct as the manufacturer in Scotland. 

“SANY looked at the UK and Ireland at the end of last year and saw that it was the biggest market in Europe for excavators. They previously only had one person employed by SANY directly in the UK. They had a dealer – TDL – who laid good foundations throughout the UK, including in Scotland, but felt they needed to take the next step and that having one national dealer was not strong enough to meet demand because SANY want to be number one. They want to be the biggest excavator supplier in the UK. 

“They are by far the number one in China, in India they’re one of the top players, and in America they have their own assembly plant and are getting bigger and bigger. SANY Europe was established in 2012. They sold over 1,000 excavators in 2019.”

Lyle Sibbald

Lyle added that SANY considered the UK and Irish market to be ripe for development, hence the reason for establishing SANY Heavy Machinery UK Ltd as a company. With all SANY dealers in the UK set to be supported by the Scottish facility, Lyle revealed that customers in Scotland will benefit from a full parts stocking.

As well as Lyle, Stewart Smith has joined as SANY Scotland sales manager and Murray Allan has been appointed field service engineer. The business is currently looking to recruit a dedicated salesperson for the north of Scotland and also has a parts manager and workshop technician ready to start.

Lyle said the resources are there to invest further when necessary.

“We’ve got a full team dedicated to selling and supporting excavators in Scotland,” he said. “At the moment there are over 70 SANY excavators in Scotland. I was fortunate enough to sell the very first one back in 2015. That was to Shaw Plant Hire up in Ardgay, in the Highlands. That was an SY75. He’s still got that excavator and absolutely loves it. 

“AB2000 have 19 of them, Malcolm Construction have 11 of them, and Allma Construction have 23. There are lots of other ones dotted around the place. That’s the reason why SANY chose Scotland for their headquarters for SANY UK and Ireland – there’s such a big population of SANY excavators in the country. The product has been so well accepted. The customers running them just feel the product is so reliable. That was a big reason for me coming to SANY.

“I was working for TDL when we first started selling the SANY product back in 2015. I’ve been working in the crane industry for the past three years. SANY contacted me at the end of last year to see about joining and helping them set up this direct sales route in Scotland. It was through speaking to the likes of AB2000 and Malcolm, just asking how the product was performing, that was a big reason for me to come and work direct for SANY. If the product was terrible, I wouldn’t have come near it. Just the fact it’s been so well accepted and is such a reliable product – that was a key driver for me. 

“Also, the ambitions of SANY. They want to be number one and will throw resource at it. They have six Chinese employees living in Scotland now, who are going to be part of the team supporting the product. In Scotland we’ll have a technical specialist reporting direct to the factory. We’ve also got two product development managers in the country to update the existing products that we have. They want to get customer feedback to learn how to improve the product and also learn about what other SANY products we can bring into the UK. SANY does everything from excavators and dump trucks to cranes and concrete machinery. They’re the fifth largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world now. They’re number one for excavators – globally they are the bigger supplier by volume of excavators in the world.”

To begin with, the focus will be on excavators, but plans are afoot to add loading shovels to the SANY UK portfolio next year, with the potential for further product additions down the line.

The new HQ in Scotland’s central belt will be leased, though Lyle said that if demand is there, SANY could one day build a facility in Scotland and potentially even an assembly site somewhere in the UK. 

He believes the challenging site conditions in Scotland are ideally suited to the SANY machines, citing the brand’s success in China, which he called ‘probably the most difficult market in the world’.

“SANY is on course this year to sell 80,000 excavators globally,” he said. “The product’s been well proven. I know it’s not as hot in Scotland, but in China they’re working in hot climates, cold climates, and some of the toughest environments all over the world. What we’ve found with the SANY excavators in Scotland is that they’re tough and reliable. Up in the Highlands, they’ve been performing well on rock. In general plant hire fleet, they’ve been performing very well. We just feel they’re very well suited to the plant hire industry in Scotland. The product has been working very well in the waste sector, not only in Scotland but down south as well. We’ve had a lot of very good feedback.”

Lyle admitted that trying to grow SANY’s presence in Scotland this year has been made more difficult by the Covid-19 pandemic. Working from home has been a challenge when recruiting for key positions and trying to find premises. A significant focus, he explained, has been reassuring customers that SANY is here for the long haul.

“A lot of people felt that when TDL left Scotland, SANY had left Scotland,” Lyle explained. “That’s definitely not the case. In fact, it’s the total opposite. SANY is investing heavily in Scotland. Last year there was nobody employed directly by SANY in Scotland. By the end of this year, we’ll have five or six people employed directly. That just shows the level of investment. Also, the fact we’re going to have our headquarters based in Scotland shows the level of investment here.

“At the beginning of the Covid period, SANY closed down production in China, but that was only for the month of March. As a bounce back recovery, in the month of April they had their busiest spell, selling 12,000 excavators in one month. They really ramped things back up and did it so quickly that they broke records. A lot of that was due to the domestic infrastructure investment in China for the likes of hospitals, schools and roads. There are negative connotations with a Chinese company during this Covid period. A lot of our competitors are manufacturing products in China. I think everyone has felt the difficulties with Covid.”

Turning his attention back to the new Scottish base, Lyle is excited by the prospect of getting things up and running.

“It’s ready to go,” he said. “We want to hit the ground running so we can look after our customers as best and as quickly as possible. It’s fit for purpose and ready to rock.

“It shows people the commitment SANY is making to the Scottish market. We’re going to have parts on the shelves, machines in the yard and a team out on the road.”

Astrak launches new stabiliser pads for Brokk robotic equipment

ASTRAK has announced the launch of new stabiliser pads for Brokk machinery.

The ScotPlant exhibitor said specialist robotic technology is ‘rapidly’ becoming the way forward for the demolition industry.

Astrak explained that its DuraLine XD replacement rubber pads for Brokk robotic demolition equipment have been designed and produced with ‘extreme durability, tough duty cycles and ease of fitting’ in mind.

Available in different styles and sizes, the DuraLine XD range is produced within Astrak’s manufacturing facilities from abrasion-resistant rubber. Hardwear is supplied with each pad to ensure a ‘speedy’ fit to the machine without having to reuse old components.

End of an era as Takeuchi marks major JMS changes

JUST CHAMPION: Jim Mulligan celebrates his award on the stand with Tomonori Tamaru, managing director of Takeuchi MFG (UK) Ltd.
Tamaru Tomonori and Jim Milligan at a previous ScotPlant exhibition

Takeuchi revealed the firm’s success story in Scotland over the past 14 years started with JMS Equipment, headed up by Jim and Janice Milligan. The business has been responsible for over 750 Takeuchi machine sales in the north of Scotland. 

Jim and Janice have now decided to retire their Takeuchi dealership, but before doing so, Takeuchi said they made sure to secure the continuation of the JMS dealership for customers in that part of the world. Takeuchi explained that for JMS customers, it will be business as usual with familiar faces Derek Rae and Michael Milligan still in place, and the company will continue to trade as JMS Equipment. 

The new JMS Equipment will operate in the city of Aberdeen, based at the Blackdog Centre, Bridge of Don, adjacent to the A90/A92 road network. Takeuchi said the new dedicated facility will stock a wide range of new and second-hand machines as well as offering all the sales, parts and service support customers are used to.

New owner John Walsh is familiar with the excavator brand, having spent the past ten years owning the Takeuchi dealership for Lancashire and West Yorkshire, D&J Machinery. John and his business partner Iain Riddoch are positive about the new-look JMS.

Iain Riddoch, MD of JMS Equipment said, “JMS Equipment is a strong regional dealership and this new Scottish venture aims to continue that success.”

Takeuchi in the UK said it will be sad to see Jim and Janice retire, with the duo having played a pivotal role in the brand’s success in Scotland. Jim and Janice plan to carry on in Turriff with their local plant hire and used equipment side of the business.

Takeuchi UK sales manager Chris Bushell, who appointed JMS back in 2006, said, “Jim and Janice and the team at JMS have been the perfect dealer. A regular winner of Dealer of the Year who helped Takeuchi understand the nuances of the Scottish plant industry. Their efforts in promoting the Takeuchi brand has been outstanding, successfully converting customers to using a Takeuchi for the first time and selling our machines in the most remote locations – whilst offering their customers that 24/7 dedicated support.”

Tamaru Tomonori, MD of Takeuchi UK, added, “Before Jim started, Takeuchi had zero presence in Scotland and on behalf of all the team at Takeuchi UK and from head office in Japan, we would like to say a big thank you for your tremendous hard work. Jim will be a hard act to follow but we promise not to let his hard work diminish by continuing with a proven dealer in support and a strong brand for Scotland.”

It shouldn’t happen to a sales rep!

Paul Thorne

Paul Thorne, director of ScotPlant exhibitor SCG Supplies, reminisces about his early days in the industry and explains why, even in the online era, there’s still a role for experts offering personal advice

I’M sitting in a lay-by in 33 degree heat just outside Swindon. The decision maker that I’ve had a meeting arranged with for over a week (and confirmed by text yesterday evening), stopped taking calls or answering texts a couple of hours earlier. His registered site address is a public park and I’ve been on the road since 4:30am.

I am browned off – officially.

This got me to thinking a bit (once I’d simmered down and found some other places to go so the trip wasn’t completely wasted).

I sold my first screen to a guy who ran a few lorries in a place I’d never heard of, never mind been to a couple of weeks earlier. The guy was John Binks and the machine sale didn’t keep me my job!

The place was Cramlington, by this time a desolate former mining town in the north east of England.

It was 1991 and it marked the very start of the waste recycling industry led by guys like John, all over the country, who wanted to separate some soil from rubble and reuse both fractions.

Some of these guys (and gals) were demolition contractors or scrap yards, some were road hauliers and some were muck shifters. Some were even agricultural contractors but none were waste recycling companies.

The machine that didn’t keep me my job, by the way, was a MK II Powerscreen and the reason it wasn’t a career saver was that it was a used machine. As anyone knows in the capital equipment business, it’s the constant turnover of new stuff that pays the bills. Trade-ins are just a necessary evil, a by-product of the main business activity.

Things soon took a turn for the better. A week later my boss at the time, Pat McGeary, could be heard breathing a huge sigh of relief at not having to look for yet another salesman for the north east when I told him that Ken Todd from Thirsk (who I had been virtually living with and pestering the life out of) had agreed to buy a Powerscreen Chieftain. A brand new one at that.

Fair play Pat and Ken for their patience with a very green and persistent young eejit!

Ken’s company was a haulage and farm contractor so again the word recycling didn’t feature in the sales process. All they wanted to do was separate soil from rubble for re-use.

You have to bear in mind that all the early recyclers had was sand and gravel/coal/quarrying equipment to choose from so it was a really bold step to go from running lorries or harvesting sugar beat, to leading the way in helping start a waste collection and recycling industry worth in excess of £20 billion annually 30 years later.

The reason the guy in Swindon stopped answering his phone is because he is catered for by another huge industry that didn’t exist 30 years ago – waste recycling equipment manufacturing.

Unlike John, Ken and so many of the other early waste entrepreneurs, new and inexperienced customers now have a huge menu to choose from. A constant menu, fed to them through various online media at their fingertips, with each manufacturer or dealer claiming to outperform, outclass or be of better quality than all others in the sector.

So as the tragic events of the last few months have highlighted, there may no longer be a requirement for personal advice when you can learn everything to inform your purchasing decision by watching stuff online.

Like so many before him, Swindon man just wants to separate soil from rubble. He’s starting out and just wants to make a go of it, like any of us in business. He doesn’t need an industry professional, just a smart phone.

Now don’t get me wrong, please. I’ve spent a lot of time recently asking for advice on how to better my own company’s online activity and visibility so I’m not yearning for a golden age when Fred Dibnah showed us how to climb a chimney without the aid of a safety net! Nor do I think social media should be replaced by a chat in the butchers shop on a Saturday morning.

I do the web thing myself, in fact. The central heating boiler in the house broke down a while back and instead of lifting the phone and dialling the local plumber, I searched online and got instructions on what I needed to do. Happy days, but I’m still not sure whether it’s 100% right, efficient or compliant.

For example, would an experienced heating engineer have condemned the boiler, or recommended any servicing that might have been saving me money ever since? Maybe the new boiler would have saved its own value in fuel by now. I’ll never know because I didn’t ask.

When I’m asked what the best thing about my machine is, I mostly reply ‘the people’. Some look at you as if you are crazy and others get what you mean, but all ask ‘how’d you mean?’

I suppose what I mean is: you can’t tell the moisture content or organic content of a material from a video. It’s hard to see the actual quality of welding from a social media post, just as hard as it is to estimate earnings and savings derived from the purchase of the right bit of kit as opposed to the one that looks the same and costs a bit less.

One of the statements that is used by us all in the plant industry to justify buying whatever we want is ‘there’s no such thing as a bad machine any more’.

This is probably not completely wrong or right. Clearly, in an innovative market like recycling where the legislation, regulation and material streams are ever changing and the offerings from manufacturers are evolving or being repurposed to suit the latest trend, there will be some failures at the leading edge of technology. Equally, the basic designs and components of many machines are confusingly similar and this is where mistakes can be avoided and earnings maximised with the correct advice from the beginning.

If you are dealing with a sales rep, you may be assuming that he or she is under pressure to deliver results and you’d be right, but that doesn’t necessarily make them useless to you. They may be backed up by excellent technical staff or have seen working practices that you haven’t.

Looking online is not the same as seeing in the flesh and if you have the opportunity to access knowledge about other applications like yours, why not take it?

There’s a new breed of contact out there now. They are consulting as much as selling. Some are young and well educated and others, like me, have grown up with this young industry from the beginning. Both are fine as long as they are not solely interested in their own earnings at the expense of yours.

If someone comes to see you about a recycling application and knows the answer to every question, you are on dangerous ground because nobody does. If they know nothing apart from the spec sheet of all the products and prices, they are even more threatening. If, on the other hand, you meet a consistent blend of network and knowledge you may have a useful resource on your hands.

Sure, you still have to play the game and be a shrewd buyer but give everyone a short window to give you their thoughts and then either bring them into your network or let them go.

I genuinely hope Swindon man is okay and has bought something that he is happy with. When he needs something a bit more technical than separating soil from rubble, we will all be waiting to help – whether we are sales reps or consultants!

CRJ completes perfect hat-trick

MATERIAL processing equipment solutions specialist CRJ will be at ScotPlant 2020. The firm recently divulged details of its work to help a Lancashire-based renewables business save money.

Lancashire Renewables Limited, owned by Lancashire County Council, operates two mechanical biological treatment plants (MBT) in Thornton and Farington. The plants take in municipal waste from local residents for sorting and treatment, allowing for the recovery of recyclable materials.

At the Farington facility, CRK said an average of 900 tonnes of comingled material (plastic, paper, card, cans and mixed glass) is processed every week. The material is processed through its material recycling facility, with around 200 tonnes being rejected/deemed unrecyclable per week. 

Initially, the reject material was not reprocessed, and was sent out at a cost to a third party. In an bid to reduce costs, Lancashire Renewables needed to remove as much reclaimable material as possible. 

The organisation approached CRJ for a solution. CRJ sales director Rob Symons visited the site to evaluate the waste stream and client requirements. To remove as much material as possible, a three-machine solution was proposed: a Doppstadt SM518, a Kiverco picking station and a Steelweld eddy current separator. 

CRJ explained that in order to remove the fine fraction of sub 40mm, a trommel (Doppstadt SM518) was suggested. The material is mainly glass, and is bundled into a mixed grade glass product and sent out to an off taker. The oversize from the trommel is then transferred to the picking station where two operatives pick out any incompatible materials such as WEEE waste, metals and large bulky items. 

An overband magnet then removes any smaller metal pieces as the remaining material leaves the picking station. 

The WEEE waste and metals are collected separately and sent out to an off taker. 

CRJ added that the smaller metals from the overband magnet are inspected for quality and, if good enough, transferred to be bailed. If the quality is poor, the material is reprocessed separately through the MRF, baled and sent to an off taker. 

The remaining material leaving the picking station is fed directly into the Steelweld eddy current separator. The Steelweld Strobe ECS uses magnets to remove both ferrous and non-ferrous metals from the waste stream. The remaining non-metallic material is then transferred to another area where is it shredded and sent out as an RDF material. 

The metals removed via the Steelweld Strobe ECS are assessed for quality, and if high enough, they will be bailed and sent out to an off taker. 

CRJ said the three pieces of equipment ‘seamlessly’ integrate with each other, reducing the need for multi handling of material. By using this solution and separating out as much of the reclaimable materials as possible, Lancashire Renewables was reportedly able to reduce the amount of comingled reject waste they dispose via 3rd part processors, which subsequently reduced their costs. 

ScotPlant 2020 set for expansion

SCOTPLANT 2020 is set to expand to meet increasing demand from exhibitors.

For the first time in the show’s 20-plus year history, the long avenue between the indoor and outdoor arenas at the Royal Highland Centreis available to hire as exhibitor space.

Caterpillar dealer Finning, crushing machinery specialist McCloskey, tiltrotator manufacturer Rototilt and surveying equipment supplier Opti-cal are amongst the first companies we can confirm will feature in this area.

The reason for opening up this avenue is because the main showground is filling up rapidly. The vast majority of previous exhibitors are poised to return, with some of them requesting bigger stands. Scot JCB, for example, have already snapped up a significantly larger plot for this year’s show.

Space is also filling up in the indoor Lowland Hall arena, with some long-time exhibitors looking for extra space and show debutants looking to come on board for the first time.

ScotPlant 2020 will be held at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, on April 24-25, 2020. For more information about exhibiting, call Mark Griston 0141 567 6005 or email


Garic appoints new Scottish sales chief

Jim Connolly

GARIC has appointed Jim Connolly to head up its Scottish sales operations, working out of the welfare specialist’s distribution hub in Falkirk.

In his role as regional account manager, Jim will be tasked with developing client relationships across Scotland. He was previously business development manager at Jarvie Plant and before that he worked for Sibcas, Wernick and Ravenstock.

Jim said, “I’m thrilled to have joined Garic at such an exciting time for the company. Garic has been supplying market leading welfare products to customers throughout Scotland for many years but things have really picked up since the Scottish hub was opened.”

Garic’s Falkirk depot manager Martin Gardner added, “Jim is a fantastic asset for Garic, he is highly regarded and very experienced. What’s more he is already making great progress for us having stabilised our existing account portfolio and achieved some important new business wins in his first few weeks. His extensive experience and supportive, hands-on approach are really making a difference.

“The Falkirk depot is proving to be really successful, we have managed to get it set up and growing more quickly than we’d planned. This is largely due to the number of customers we are now supporting across the central belt of Scotland who seem to appreciate not only the broad range of products we are supplying but how fast we can get them to site too. In the vast majority of cases we are delivering units the next day and where we can, some are even going out on the day of order.”

End of an era as Brian Young retires

Brian Young with Kubota UK dealer manager Colin Frost

MOLSON Young Plant Sales is marking the end of an era with the retirement of MD Brian Young.

Brian, whose parents Tom and Bridie founded the Doune-based business more than 40 years ago, is one of the most respected names in the Scottish plant sector.

Current head of sales, Mark Proudfoot, is taking on the role of director in Scotland and will be tasked with overseeing day to day operations.

Brian will remain involved with the business as a consultant and will still look after some key accounts. The Young family will also continue to have a presence in the shape of Brian’s son, Joe, who works in the aftersales department.

Young Plant was credited with introducing the mini excavator concept to the Scottish market and remains one of Kubota’s longest standing dealers. Today the firm’s portfolio also includes products from the likes of Kobelco, Dieci and Bergmann. Since being acquired by the Molson Group, further brands have been added including Molson Green recycling equipment.

Brian told Project Plant he plans to spend as much time travelling as possible and already has trips lined up to the likes of Poland, Holland and Belgium. If his wife Jean gets her way, he’ll also be busy with DIY tasks around the house! Brian is also staying on as a committee member of the Scottish Plant Owners Association.

To mark his retirement, Brian and a number of colleagues gathered at the Dunblane Hydro where he was presented with a gold Kubota excavator model by Kubota UK dealer manager Colin Frost in recognition of his success with the brand in Scotland over several decades.

Brian’s colleagues from Molson Young Plant Sales joined him to mark his retirement

Brian said, “My retirement has been in the plan for some time following the acquisition of Young Plant Sales by Molson Group in 2016. My aim was always to manage the business through the handover period, making sure our customers, staff and suppliers had continuity as our business became a key part of the Molson Group.

“I have spent many years building relationships with a huge number of people within the industry, but for me most importantly I believe we have built trust. I am a man of my word, so it was important for me to ensure the business, which will continue to carry my family name, is capable of maintaining these standards. I know that both the team at Molson Group and the staff I leave running the Molson Young Plant Sales business are cut from the same cloth as myself, so the family name is in safe hands.”

The Young Plant team at ScotPlant back in the day

Molson Group joint MD Jonathan Wilson commented, “Brian has been a fantastic servant to the Scottish construction equipment industry over many years will certainly be missed as he steps back to enjoy his well-deserved retirement. With many stories from a long and illustrious career, I am sure Brian will deservedly look back with pride on the many successes that he has achieved. He leaves a business on a clear upward trajectory, with new dealerships on the horizon and in the midst of an interesting time in the Scottish construction industry. I am sure the team we have in place are more than capable of continuing to improve the service our customers receive from Molson Young Plant Sales, as Brian has strived to do throughout his career.”

A special interview with Brian Young looking back over his career will appear in the next issue of Project Plant magazine.

Cat dealer to make welcome ScotPlant return as new avenue starts to take shape

ScotPlant 2018
ScotPlant 2018

PREPARATIONS for ScotPlant 2020 are heating up, with several new and returning exhibitors joining established names in signing up for the most important event of the year for the Scottish construction equipment sector.

Earlier this year, we revealed that for the first time in the show’s history, the long avenue between the indoor Lowland Hall and the outdoor showground will be available to hire as exhibitor space.

We can now reveal that Caterpillar dealer Finning has taken a 980 square metre plot within this area. The firm was a notable absentee at ScotPlant 2018 but has chosen to make a welcome return to the exhibition. Finning will be joined in this avenue by crushing machinery specialist McCloskey, who are relocating from an alternative area of the showground, and surveying equipment supplier Opti-cal, who will have both an indoor and outdoor presence at the event.

Discussions are progressing with a number of other interested parties.

In other ScotPlant 2020 news, MB Crusher and Kato Imer dealer Sellars will make debut appearances at the two-day event. Marubeni-Komatsu, who returned to ScotPlant in 2018 after an absence, have confirmed they will be back again, while Bobcat/Doosan will share a large stand. 

Marubeni-Komatsu at ScotPlant 2018
Marubeni-Komatsu at ScotPlant 2018

Tiltrotator manufacturer Engcon has also taken a significant space, while Scot JCB has doubled the size of its stand. Hiab, which bought Scottish dealer Logan Inglis last year, has also confirmed its attendance.

ScotPlant sales manager Mark Griston said, “With less than six months to go until ScotPlant 2020, the show is really starting to take shape. It’s great to have the first exhibitors in the new avenue confirmed and it’s clear that, yet again, ScotPlant will be a must-attend event for anyone with an interest in the Scottish construction equipment sector.”

ScotPlant 2020 will be held at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 April, 2020. For more information about exhibiting, call Mark Griston on 0141 567 6005 or email

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