John Cummings, (pictured), who has 30 years’ experience in the hire industry and was previously managing director of Speedy Scotland & Northern England, arrives at the Glasgow company as commercial director. “We are delighted he has joined us,” said managing director Colin Inglis.
The company is also spending on new equipment, moving up into the popular eight-tonne excavator market and updating a number of its 1.5-tonne and three-tonne models.
Article posted 20/11/2017
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Continued investment by a Glasgow plant hirer has seen it assemble one of Scotland’s biggest fleets of Kubota mini excavators.
Eagle Plant has almost doubled its Kubota holding to 27 machines over the last year and has moved into the 5-tonne sector for the first time with the acquisition of a number of U48-4 models. And managing director Colin Inglis said the spending will continue.
“We bought our first Kubota in 2008 and although we have a few other minis in our fleet, our preference is for the reliability and durability of the Kubotas. They’re tough machines and the customers like them so that’s a strong combination for an independent hire company like ours.”
In fact it was customer demand that convinced Eagle to bring five-tonners into the east end yard. “Companies who hired other plant and tools from us were keen for us to become more of a ‘single source’ type of operation where they could get everything they needed with one phone call. So when they started asking for certain types and sizes of machines it was logical that we consider adding them to our portfolio. The five-tonne Kubota was one of those machines.”
As well as the new five-tonne models Eagle’s Kubota holding now runs the gamut from micro K008-3s through to the KX015-4, KX61-3 and U27-4 models. A number of JCB and Bobcat machines complete the mini excavator line-up…for now. “We plan to increase by around the same amount over the next 12 months to move the fleet closer to 50 machines,” said Inglis.
The company has been spending freely across its equipment ranges in the last 12 months, doubling the size of the concrete equipment fleet with items such as ride-on and pedestrian powerfloats and setting up a traffic light division. It remains on track for another increase in annual turnover and Inglis said the reliability of the Kubotas has helped maintain margins. “What we are now seeing is a trend where rates are not the only criterion when customers look to hire. People want to deal with smaller independent hirers, with people they can put a face to. They want reliable equipment and high levels of service and during the recession we never compromised on that. Our customers appreciated that approach and it has paid dividends in the long run.”
Inglis is also happy working with Kubota dealer Young Plant Sales which he believes shares his philosophy on customer care. “We have similar thoughts on service and support. They’re responsive, react to our needs and understand our business.”
♦ Eagle has a way to go before it can match Jarvie Plant, which has bought 50 Kubota minis this year to add to the 50 it acquired from Young Plant in 2014. The latest package ranges from 0.9 to 8.5 tonnes and includes a number of zero tail swing units.
Both hirers work with Young for other equipment. Grangemouth-based Jarvie runs Kubota tracked dumpers, recently adding its first KC250-4 to work alongside previous model KC250 machines, and its latest shopping list to the dealer also included 20 Socomec breakers for fitting to the minis and it has taken a number of Hyundai excavators. Eagle, meanwhile, recently boosted its Bomag roller fleet to 12 with the purchase of another two machines.
Article posted 17/11/2015
A Glasgow tool and plant hire company is digging deep again to finance its continuing expansion programme.
Eagle Plant Hire has spent £250,000 in the last 10 weeks on mini excavators, pedestrian rollers and other fleet additions and is already looking ahead to further investment, currently budgeted at around £500,000, in 2015 that will take spending in the last three years through the £1m barrier.
In addition, the company recently acquired more than 500 items of equipment from the liquidators of East Kilbride Tool Hire following the sudden death of proprietor Ian Wilson. “When we spoke to customers of Mr Wilson it was obvious they valued the local service he provided,” said Eagle director Colin Inglis. “He supplied a wide range of customers, from small local builders to main contractors, and we thought it would be a good addition to our business.
“We purchased assets such as access towers, tile hoists, power tools, concreting equipment and so on and transferred everything to our premises in the east end from where we can easily service the East Kilbride area. We’ve been contacting customers of the business and so far 80% have opened accounts with us so that’s very encouraging.”
New equipment coming into the yard in recent weeks has included Kubota and JCB micro and mini excavators – bringing the fleet up to 25 – Terex and Bomag rollers as well as access equipment and power tools. “We need to keep the fleet as modern as possible to ensure we retain our existing business and attract new customers,” said Inglis.
To help bring in that new business Eagle is looking to recruit a salesperson with a solid background in the tool and plant hire sector to cover the central belt. The hire desk team will also be strengthened.
Article posted 3/12/2014
More kit is arriving weekly at a Glasgow plant hire business as it accelerates its expansion plans.
“To be honest I could give you a list as long as my arm of new equipment arriving,” said Colin Inglis, director at Eagle Plant Hire. Latest additions include four Kubota excavators, a pair of Mercedes pick-ups, power screeds and floats, generators, road-tow compressors, alloy towers and Stihl saws. In the coming weeks the attention will switch to recruiting new sales staff, hire desk personnel and drivers.
The latest investment is on top of a £330,000 spend at the end of 2013 on new equipment and expanding the workshop and storage facilities to cope with a surge in demand and to help meet its target of doubling turnover over the next four years. That target may now be achieved earlier than anticipated. “Business is really taking off,” said Inglis, “and it’s being driven by groundworks and utilities customers. We’re also moving into the supply of barrier fencing and road signs and one of the new Mercedes will be dedicated to delivering those products.”
A further four excavators are also on the cards although a decision on manufacturer/dealer has yet to be made by Colin and his co-director and brother Alan.
A Glasgow hire firm has spent £330,000 on new equipment and expanded its workshop and storage facilities to cope with an upsurge in business.
“Over the past year we have seen a significant increase in demand from existing and new customers as the recovery builds, especially in the groundworks and concreting side of things,” explained Colin Inglis, director at Eagle Plant Hire.
The bulk of the investment has been on additional concreting kit such as roller strikers, power screeds, power floats and concrete pokers. At the same the east end business has moved into adjacent premises that gives it the extra room it needs for storage and the workshop activity that supports a hire fleet including access platforms, mini excavators, dumpers, breakers and compaction equipment.
“Our customer base is increasing all the time and we put this down to the service we provide and the relationships we have built. Customers who have been quiet are now getting busy again and they’re coming back to us. We maintain good relations with customers, even when they’re struggling, and I think they appreciate that personal touch.”
Colin and his brother Alan bought the company nine years ago and it has expanded four-fold since then. Now the target is to double turnover again over the next four years. “We are expanding our access and mini excavator fleet to help supply our customers’ demands and this should help with our expansion targets.”
In addition to the hire operations Eagle runs a repair service for customers’ equipment such as Stihl saws and power tools and an additional two repair technicians have been recruited for this area of the business, which includes PAT Test certification.
A Glasgow business has been named of Isuzu Dealer of the Year for 2015 in recognition of its “stellar contribution” to sales and customer service.
Eaglesham Garage, an Isuzu specialist since 1989, landed the title after a year in which it sold 112 of the multi-award winning D-Max pick-ups.
In addition to vehicle, parts and accessories sales, the Dealer of the Year award jury – made up of Isuzu UK’s senior management team – takes into account sales aftercare and general customer service when assessing dealer sites.
’William Brown, general manager of Isuzu UK, said it wasn’t just Eaglesham’s strong sales that helped it win the prize. “Its excellent improvement over its performance in 2014 was taken into consideration, as well as a general all-round excellence in its approach to catering for customers’ needs.”
The Eaglesham team also completed the full Isuzu UK training schedule throughout 2014 and 2015, equipping its staff to deliver outstanding service to customers. It dropped just one mark out of 20 in its customer service score.
Corrie Motors of Inverness was New Dealer of the Year.
Article posted 5/3/2016
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A Glasgow plant hirer has taken a lead in making sites safer for construction workers.
Eagle Plant Hire has bought in extensive stocks of a guardrail system for access towers and says a number of its contractor customers are already considering making it mandatory on their sites.
The Cam-Lock Advance Guardrail (AGR) is an alternative build method for BoSS Clima and BoSS Ladderspan towers and was designed to provide greater stability, improve safety and reduce losses.
Eagle director Colin Inglis said the product is attracting great interest from contractors in Scotland. Some have stipulated that towers without Cam-Lock or similar guardrails will not be allowed on their sites and more are expected to follow suit.
“We’re one of the first companies in Scotland to make a substantial investment in this system. Because of the inherent safety aspects some of our own customers now regard its use as a ‘best practice’ option.
“The word is spreading and we believe that in time it could become very difficult for access towers without such guard systems to satisfy contractors’ health and safety requirements.”
Pete Wishart, regional sales manager at Youngman Group, said Eagle was one of “a select few” companies to invest in the system. “Health and safety is of paramount concern in all areas of construction and an increasing number of companies are demanding that AGR is mandatory on all sites, Kier being one example. Eagle has recognised this and has invested accordingly.”
Glasgow contractor CBC has been specifying the Advanced Guard Rail system for some time according to head of procurement, Alistair Murray. “The advantage of the AGR system is that the safety guard is in place before the operative ascends the platform, hence reducing the potential of the operative falling from height during the build.”
He added: “The system also has fewer parts and has an easy-to-use locking mechanism for the guardrails. Our operatives find it very user friendly and safe to use on relevant tasks.”
Inglis said conventional BoSS build systems would continue to be available for sites where Cam-Lock is not mandatory.
Article posted 13/4/2015
Renault Trucks UK is launching two free packages on all new range orders placed before December 31. The UK Fuel Eco pack is designed to help operators achieve greater fuel efficiency while the Simplicity pack comprises a two-year service and inspection or repair and maintenance contract, depending on model. Both support Renault’s ‘total cost of ownership’ approach to help operators maximise uptime, productivity and profitability over the life of their vehicles.
Nigel Butler, commercial director, said: “The introductions of the Fuel Eco and Renault Trucks Simplicity packages are our way of providing an even better service to our operators, with tools and offers that will help ensure the optimum performance of these fantastic new trucks.”
The fuel pack is made up of three elements:
1- Five months free trial of the Optifleet telematics system. All medium- and heavy-duty vehicles in the new range are pre-equipped with the appropriate telematics gateway for quick activation at delivery. Full training is included.
2 – Renault’s one-day Optifuel driver training course. As well as providing advice and guidance in rational driving for fuel efficiency and safety, the course counts as seven hours towards a driver’s CPC.
3 – A specific bundle of features to give further fuel-saving benefits. These include the Softcruise and Ecoroll systems, plus an optimised gear shift pattern, engine idle shutdown, a clutchable compressor and a variable flow power steering pump.
“With the new range, fuel savings of up to 5% are possible depending on application and driving style, due to the innovative, aerodynamic design and engineering of the new product,” said Butler. “With the Fuel Eco pack we are giving operators all the tools at our disposal to improve this still further and boost their bottom line, as well as improving driver comfort and safety, though better, more anticipative driving styles.”
With the Simplicity pack, the company is offering a free two-year service and inspection deal on new heavy rigids or a free two-year repair and maintenance contract on new tractors.
The two new packages will be available on all new heavy D range distribution, T range long haul and C and K range construction truck orders.