With an annual spend of over £70 million in 2006/7 in new plant and equipment, A-Plant can confidently claim that the company has the youngest hire fleet in Great Britain, providing a lead for the market in innovation and guaranteed service levels. This will be reflected by the company's stand at Construct Equip 07 where A-Plant will be showing examples from the latest fleet investments, including large plant such as Dumpers, Excavators, Telehandlers, Powered Access, Accommodation and Rail Machinery to smaller equipment such as Air Tools, Lifting Equipment and Safety Equipment encompassing the latest PPE products and Dust Removal Equipment.
One of the many highlights of the Construct Equip 07 show is its London location and, at the show, A-Plant will be showcasing the company's new operations covering projects in and around the capital city. A-Plant has created two divisions - the London division which services the area within the M25 and is headed up by Keith Cooper - and the South East division which caters for the wider region and is headed up by Neil Beglin. The company has also set up a dedicated hotline number - 0870 054 2012 - for contractors working on Olympic sites.
Within the new London division, A-Plant operates a number of locations in close proximity to Olympic sites, with depots in Barking, Battersea, Bow, Croydon, Heathrow, Leatherhead, Romford, Southwark, Staples Corner and Watford, plus two on-site locations at the Royal London Hospital and St Barts Hospital. It is believed that A-Plant's depot in Bow, which offers a vast range of Tool Hire Equipment from Air Powered Tools and Low Level Access Equipment to Lighting Towers, is one of the closest equipment rental depots to construction and infrastructure work taking place for London 2012. The South East division operates depots in the wider region, including Maidstone, Ford, Canterbury, Fareham and various other strategic locations.
Underpinning the company's new structure in London and the South East is the new A-Plant Guarantee, one of its most important customer service initiatives ever. The first of its kind in the industry, the A-Plant Guarantee provides customers with guaranteed service levels with regard to Delivery, Service, Availability and Out-of-Hours Response.
If A-Plant does not fulfil these service levels, the customer is offered a free hire or free delivery of a range of guaranteed stock items. The list of guaranteed stock Items offered by A-Plant includes a range of equipment and tools across its product offering.
Sat Dhaiwal, Chief Executive Officer of A-Plant, said: "We have earned an award-winning reputation for customer service through our ability to offer an excellent choice of product, a market-leading customer response and by providing added value through elements such as the A-Plant Extranet. Through the A-Plant Guarantee, we are ensuring that we exceed our customers' expectations by making sure they get the equipment they need, when they need it and where they need it."
Incorporating state-of-the-art features, the new equipment added to the A-Plant fleet offers high operator comfort, ergonomic controls, environmentally friendly engines with very efficient fuel consumption, reduced emissions and lower noise levels.
In just one area of fleet expansion, A-Plant has taken delivery of over 250 new powered access machines worth more than £5 million, with an additional 100 units worth £3 million ordered for delivery before the end of 2007. Split between four powered access suppliers - JLG, Skyjack, Genie and Niftylift - the new £8 million plus investment is the latest phase in a three year programme valued at more than £30 million.
A-Plant has also added new tools, dust extraction/suppression products and other equipment to the company's hire fleet to help construction companies meet new dust exposure limits introduced in October 2006 by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The new Workplace Exposure Limits (WELs) set by the HSE are aimed at reducing contact with airborne dust containing Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS), which can cause the irreversible lung disease, Silicosis.
A-Plant's dedication to raising health and safety standards in the construction industry is clearly demonstrated by the company's highly popular 'Site Safety Pack', a comprehensive pack of safety information comprising folders, posters, stickers, Hand-Arm Vibration leaflets and an extensive 60-page health and safety handbook. To support the new dust extraction/suppression products in the fleet, A-Plant has launched an enhanced version of the Site Safety Pack featuring a new Dust Supplement focusing on the substantially reduced WELs for RCS exposure.
Sat Dhaiwal said: "We are firmly committed to ensuring that our fleet and depot network supports all the projects earmarked for London, including Thames Valley Gateway, the 2012 Olympics and the Kings Cross redevelopment. Our stand at Construct Equip 07 will help us to maximise our participation in this work, which already accounts for a massive 27% of total new construction work in the UK and £36 billion of large new build projects."
A-Plant, which employs over 2,000 people nationally and forms part of FTSE-250 company Ashtead Group plc, has recently celebrated outstanding financial results for its 2006/7 financial year, with turnover up by 18% to £189.9 million and operating profit up by 45% to £20.1 million. In recognition of the company's achievements, A-Plant has just been declared Badenoch & Clark Business of the Year at the National Business Awards North West Regional Final 2007. A-Plant also triumphed in the Cable & Wireless Award for Customer Focus for the second-year running.