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JCB locks down mini deal with safety conscious hire firm

A Worcester-based plant hire firm has purchased 30 JCB 8018 mini excavators and developed its own patented trailer lockdown system to maximise their safety in transit.

WHC Hire Services has designed and manufactured the quick and easy system which securely fastens JCB models– the UK's best selling mini excavators – to a standard trailer. The excavator is guided into the centre of the trailer and secured in minutes with a metal frame, making it immovable, without the need for straps. The system has two published patents and has undergone stringent load testing at Loughborough University.

WHC has subsequently purchased the thirty new 1.5 tonne JCB models to service its hire contracts across the Midlands. The new additions create a fleet of 70 JCB plant including 3, 4 and 8 tonne excavators and a series of 3CX backhoe loaders. The new 801 models are already out on hire to WHC's diverse customer base which includes blue chip companies, water boards, highway agencies, construction and building companies and the manufacturing sector.

Highlighted by the development of its own lockdown mechanism, WHC puts health and safety at the forefront of its operations. Under a 2006 directive from the Health & Safety Executive, by 2010 companies will have to carry out risk assessments on all plant and vehicles. WHC has met this directive now with a programme of preventative measures to ensure its customers are not being over exposed to vibration.

Managing director James Clutterbuck said: “We had heard of incidents of injuries caused by plant falling from trailers in transit. Three years ago we set about devising a system that could prevent accidents happening in the future. Our lockdown mechanism was designed by myself and our chief engineer Charlie Greco and has been developed and fine tuned over the last three years. Manufactured in house at our main branch it has recently had patents published. We are now in a position to actively market and sell the system to other plant hirers and contractors with similar safety concerns to ourselves.”

“Placing massive emphasis on health and safety, all of our excavators, rollers, and dumpers are Whole Body Vibration tested as part of their 3 month service schedule.

“Furthermore, vibration levels are taken strongly into consideration when we select our plant –carrying out our own tests before any purchase. The new JCB's are far more impressive in this department than any competitive models we tried.

“In addition, the 8018 models outshone other minis in the class in several further areas. They really look the part and the quality of service and back up from our dealership Gunn JCB is outstanding. The extending undercarriage gives great stability and the longer dipper gives a bigger digging area than most competitors. The JCB models are also more powerful and we are able to pass these benefits on to our customers.”

WHC Hire Services was purchased by its current owners in 1997. Since then it has developed from a small tool hire company to one of the region's leading independent tool and plant hire companies. All equipment is maintained to the highest standard and is issued with the relevant certification and service cards. This includes testing and recording Hand Arm and Whole Body vibration levels.

With an operating weight of 1662 kg, the JCB 8018 mini excavators is powered by an economic 14.2 kW diesel (19 HP) engine – the highest performing in its class. Easy to service and maintain and with superb visibility and stability, the 8018 models are designed with both the operator and service engineer in mind. It features an auto kickdown two-speed motor and longer tracks for added stability.

JCB mini excavators are extremely popular in the rental sector due to their sensitive control and extremely light handling. Thus, even the most inexperienced of users become familiar with the machine extremely quickly to ensure maximum efficiency.

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