Aggregate result for Cat


Caterpillar has launched a loading shovel for aggregates that it claims will handle up to 25% more payload than a standard wheeled loader.

The 990K Aggregate Handler will enable users to load trucks and rail cars faster and to move more material in load-and-carry and stockpile applications it says.

Payload is 20 tonnes and it has a full-turn static tipping load of 43,738 kg, stabilised by an additional counterweight. The machine is available in standard lift configuration with 4108mm dump clearance and in high lift configuration with 4569mm clearance.

The 990K complements the smaller 986K and 988K Aggregate Handlers in Cat’s large wheeled loader line but is not designed for use in quarry face or other shot rock applications.

The machine is equipped with rear view camera system and in-cab display to show the operator the area at the rear. Cat’s object detection system, available as an option, builds on the camera system with radars and in-cab software that notify the operator when an object is within the radar coverage area.


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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 8/1/2019

‘We’re unbeatable’


A winning combination makes the earth move



A Glasgow business that supplies up to 250,000 tonnes of topsoil a year believes it has come up with an unbeatable combination for delivering loads.

Allstone Glasgow Ltd’s new Scania tipper is fitted with a Slide ‘n’ Go sheeting system and lightweight front end tipping gear, both from HARSH, and director and co-owner Stewart McNeish explained: “In our experience, the HARSH front to back sheeting system is the only one that guarantees 100% weather protection for the load being carried.

“It also enables us to deliver exactly the same amount of material each time, because wet soil is obviously very heavy and the last thing we want to be doing is having a large part of our payload being water.”

The front to back operation allows for easy loading from either side of the vehicle, with little risk of a shovel damaging the sheet. And when traveling with the sheet in the closed position, the truck’s aerodynamics are improved, giving a small improvement in fuel economy.

McNeish is similarly impressed by the company’s backup service. “We had a repair issue with an early HARSH sheet but their service people got it sorted very quickly and entirely at their own expense.”

The company’s new Scania has been specified with the smaller and lighter P cab as well as with a lightweight HARSH combined ram and tank front end tipping cylinder. The body is a single skinned, all-steel Loadmaster Lite, built by Thompsons at its factory outside Edinburgh.

“You might describe the truck we really need as a lightweight heavy duty tipper,” said Allstone’s transport manager Robert Tipping. “We can’t compromise on the ability of the truck to handle all our jobs – which also include moving stone, aggregates and recyclables – but we do want to save weight wherever possible. The HARSH cylinder gives us a worthwhile few extra kilos of carrying capacity.”

McNeish went on: “Our aim is for zero downtime, top fuel economy, happy drivers and maximum residual value. As a specific example, the vehicle that our new Scania has just replaced had multiple bodywork problems, so this time we had no hesitation in choosing a Thompsons Loadmaster, especially as they are now built locally. Right now, we think the Scania/HARSH/Thompsons combination looks unbeatable.”

Founded by McNeish and co-owner Gerry Sweeney, Allstone Glasgow operates from a 200-acre site at Milton of Campsie and also runs plant hire and crushing and screening operations.


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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 8/1/2019

A9 section ready to start


Drivers will face traffic restrictions from next week as Balfour Beatty, the contractor for dualling the A9 from Luncarty to Pass of Birnam, begins the final phase of enabling works.

The operation will take around three weeks and allow completion of temporary site access along the route and prepare for the installation of traffic management and barriers in advance of the main construction works beginning in earnest in early February.

Most of the works will take place overnight and traffic management restrictions will include temporary two-way traffic lights and a speed restriction of 30mph through the site.

In addition, traffic management is required to allow workers to extend two lay-bys north and south of the main construction site to accommodate wide loads.

Two consecutive sections of the A9 to be dualled were last month included in the latest series of ground investigation contracts. Soil Engineering Geoservices Ltd will undertake the £2.6m contract for the Pitlochry to Killiecrankie and Killiecrankie to Glen Garry schemes totalling more than 17 miles. Work gets underway this month.


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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 6/1/2019

Two hurt in excavator fall


A demolition contractor has been fined £134,000 after two workers sustained serious injuries when they fell from an excavator attachment.

Greater Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how Cheshire Demolition and Excavation Contractors Ltd was demolishing a derelict nightclub in Alderley Edge, Cheshire in November 2016. The two workers climbed into a pick bin and were lifted by an excavator but the bin suddenly released, causing both men to be ejected and fall around seven metres on to a pile of bricks and rubble. One suffered a broken back and the other a fractured skull.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the contractor did not properly plan the work and failed to provide suitable access equipment. The company had provided a scissor lift on site but decided to remove it from site prior to the incident. The operatives had no other means of accessing areas at height.

Cheshire Demolition and Excavation Contractors pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £134,000 with £6,303 costs.

HSE inspector David Argument commented: “These risks could so easily have been avoided if the work at height was properly planned and appropriately supervised. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”


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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 6/1/2019

Last chance for operators


The organisers of an event in Stirling to discuss the future of plant operator card schemes have issued a ‘last chance’ alert for those who want to attend.

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) is hosting the open meeting on January 24 to debate the status of schemes that certify an operator’s ability to work on various types of equipment (read earlier article here).

The events were organised after the Construction Industry Training Board’s announcement that it will hand over the Construction Plant Competence Scheme (CPCS) to an external organisation.

The Stirling meeting is free to attend but the CPA says there are only a few spaces left. Contact


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©Scottish Plant.  Article posted 6/1/2019

GAP spending hits £58m



By Mike Travers


More than 900 excavators and 400 dumpers have been bought by GAP Group as spending in the first eight months of its trading year reaches £58m. And that doesn’t include investment in the commercial vehicle fleet or depot network.

Capital expenditure on plant and tools represents an increase of £12.1m on the same period last year and the group is poised to hit turnover of £200m this financial year.

Ken Stewart (right), the group’s head of procurement, said: “All our divisions are showing a healthy increase in capital expenditure as we continue to benefit from increased utilisation levels.

“Continuity of supply has been maintained throughout the year with no delivery issues being experienced. By investing heavily we are able to continually improve our age profile and our customers can take delivery of equipment which is generally to a high specification and conforms to the latest legislation.”

He added: “We’re fortunate in having a relatively flat management structure. Provided we meet key financial and operational criteria, the board of directors has been extremely supportive when authorising capital expenditure.”

As the business moves into the final third of its trading year, Stewart said planning was already underway for the 2019/2020 spending programme.


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Article posted 14/12/2018

‘Perfect for rental’




H.E. Services (Plant Hire) expects its 85 new Mecalac dumpers to begin arriving soon on customer sites across the country.

The machines, a mix of TA1eh, TA3sh, TA6 and TA9 models, are described by the customer as “the perfect solution” for the rental market.

The package from Mecalac Construction Equipment UK will update and expand H.E.’s fleet and will be manufactured at Mecalac’s UK manufacturing HQ in Coventry. Specification includes ‘seatbelt in use’ beacons, white noise alarms and Trackunit telematics and immobilisation systems.

Peter Durey, managing director at H.E. Services, commented: “Our priority is to provide rental professionals with robust, reliable and highly-capable compact equipment to perform in the toughest conditions and deliver outstanding results. Mecalac’s market-leading range offers the perfect solution.”


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Article posted 3/12/2018

TDL in Europe’s biggest Sany excavator deal



One of the seven SY215s.


By Mike Travers


TDL Equipment is set to deliver the final machine of the biggest single order for Sany excavators ever won by a European dealer.

The deal for 23 machines valued at just under £2m is also the largest single fleet investment by Glasgow customer Centre Plant and sees it break a 26-year relationship with Case as its exclusive supplier of larger excavators.

Shipments have been arriving since August and the final machine, an SY365, is currently en route from the Sany factory in China to join the 22 others in the package. TDL saw off competition from Caterpillar, Volvo and Case dealers to win the landmark order.

Centre Plant is the sister operation of infrastructure and groundworks business Allma Construction and is responsible for supplying excavators and other equipment to Allma’s contracts with the country’s major house builders. It runs a fleet of 55 excavators from 13-35 tonnes and until now all were supplied exclusively by Case.

What changed? Managing director Pat McBride explained: “With the amount of machines we were looking to replace, we decided to go out to the market and got quotes for Case, Cat, Volvo and Sany machines. Once we looked at the prices and what was being offered, we whittled it down to Sany and Case.

“TDL did a very strong presentation, gave us 13- and 21-tonne machines on demo and we put two of our most experienced operators on them, guys we knew would moan and groan if there were any problems. The feedback was very positive. There were similarities between Case and Sany on big-ticket items such as engines and pumps but quite frankly, from a commercial point of view, Case was less competitive.”

It wasn’t an easy decision to change such a long association: in fact, Centre Plant at one time took on the Case dealership for a couple of years following the liquidation of previous incumbent Saville Tractors, and plant and parts manager Willie McMillan ran Saville’s operation in Scotland.


A 135C working for Allma on a housing site.


From beginning to completion, the negotiations with TDL took around six months, enough time for the new suitors to make a solid impression. McBride went on: “Because the machines we were changing had been well maintained and serviced by our own in-house fitters we weren’t under pressure to sign up to anything. I didn’t have much knowledge of the Sany product but when TDL came in they were enthusiastic, the spec we wanted was higher than standard so they went away, did their sums and came back with a good offer. They’ve worked hard at building the relationship.”

The other half of that relationship was led by Grant Maclaine, TDL’s regional sales manager. He explained: “Word was getting round that Allma was looking to replace machines and possibly change supplier. I contacted Willie McMillan who didn’t know a great deal about the Sany products but invited us to come in and meet him and Pat McBride. At that time they were looking to change just 12 machines and we supplied a 21-tonner and a 14-tonner for assessment. The reports coming back from the operators were good and the some months later the order was increased to 23 machines.”

Centre Plant joins the growing number of customers that have cemented Sany’s reputation in Scotland. AB2000, WH Malcolm, Garriock Bros., and Dow Waste Management (which has adapted a number of machines to high-rise cabs) are among the high-profile owners.

When the Chinese machines first arrived on the UK market there was uncertainty over residual values but that concern appears to have eased, certainly as far as Pat McBride is concerned. “The residuals are strong. We got some finance quotes when we were looking at these replacements and it’s not particularly an issue. The market is strong just now.”

Centre Plant normally renews every five years so the 32 Case excavators that remain in the fleet are not due to come up for replacement for another two/three years. “That gives Sany plenty of time to show us what they can do,” said Pat.




The order is made up of 15 SY135 models, 7 SY215s and the soon-to-arrive SY365. Standard spec includes automatic air-conditioning, two-way auxiliary hydraulics, rotation circuit, and the Sany 1-3-5 warranty (1 year/2,000 hours on the machine, 3 years/6,000 hours on powertrain and major components, and 5 years/10,000 hours structural on chassis, boom and arm.

Centre’s additional spec saw all machines equipped with Hill Tefra hydraulic hitches, Strickland buckets, vandal guards, boxing rings, and green ‘seat belt in use’ beacons.




Allma Construction was founded 26 years ago by chartered surveyor Pat McBride and his father Peter who between them have 80 years experience in the construction industry.

Current turnover is £30m and there are 300 employees, around 100 of them holding tickets for excavator operation. Every digger from 13 tonnes upwards has an assigned in-house operator.

The company has 20 mini excavators from 1.8 to 8.0 tonnes in a mix of Case and Takeuchi. It also runs dumpers, rollers, telehandlers, tippers and road sweepers.



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Article posted 11/11/2018

Hilti’s hammer time


Hilti claims to have taken power and safety “to the next level” with its new demolition hammer.

The TE 2000-AVR weighs in at 14.5kg and combines 35 joules of impact energy with 1,800 impacts per minute. That leads to a removal rate of up to three tonnes an hour the company says.

That power-to-weight ratio is said to provide a lighter alternative to traditional electric 30kg demolition hammers.

Hilti’s active vibration reduction means a hand-arm vibration value of just 4.8 m/s², which allows a full day’s work and is up to 40% less than competitor tools in the 30kg class. When used with the TE DRS-B dust removal system and a Hilti M-class vacuum, up to 95% of hazardous fine dust is removed from the point of impact.

The tool has been designed to demolish concrete floors that are less than 20cm in depth as well as thin slab and screed demolition and exposing rebar.


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Article posted 22/11/2018

Liebherr opens €30m centre




The Germany factory that builds Liebherr machines for the UK market has opened a €30m development and demonstration centre.

The facility at the Kirchdorf factory will be used to develop and test construction and materials handling equipment. The 12.7 hectares site includes a testing hall, demonstration area and 1.2km test track where operational environments can be simulated.

Lee Palmer, Liebherr GB’s managing director, said the investment demonstrated the manufacturer’s commitment to remain at the forefront of UK and global markets.

Around 1,400 visitors from around the world attended the official opening, toured the factory and watched a series of machine demonstrations.


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Article posted 28/11/2018