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Catch up with the latest D & K Planthire news and projects

The Great Warranty Myth

Richard Brown - Tuesday, March 07, 2017

In 2016 I can buy a car with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos that were unheard of just ten years ago, I am talking about, sat-nav, bluetooth, lane recognition, automatic braking, etc. As a customer in the plant world, things seem to move a lot more slowly. For example, as car and van manufacturers increasingly add technology and comfort the prices remain competitive or static due to increased competition, contrast this with the annual 4-8% increase we see in construction plant every year, and it is clear we are getting a raw deal.

Not only this but said cars and vans typically come with 3-7 year warranties (some with unlimited mileage), meanwhile plant companies are lucky to get 2-3 years warranty, and this usually comes with a host of excluded wearing part items. Maybe the arrival of the Chinese manufacturers will shake the market up, and we can look forward to better support from our suppliers in line with developments across other sectors, but I’m not holding my breath.

What is the value of Plant?

Richard Brown - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pay rates in construction held back by the recession of 2008 have been released, and wage-price inflation is back. Try getting a brickie or a plumber, and you will soon find out these guys don’t get in the van unless the money is good. Clients and customers are happy to pay upwards of £20 - £25 per hour for their services. These guys turn up with a bag of tools and their expertise.

So what is the value of an excavator and driver? £50,000 of machinery and the knowledge to operate it, the answer is sadly still around the same value as a bricklayer or plumber. The construction machinery that drives production on site remains undervalued. We often hear of groundworks squads making good bonus in a week why? Because the machine man got them the production.

Construction plant skilfully operated is invaluable to site production, it is time the industry realised this and paid accordingly.

The Agency Problem

Richard Brown - Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Construction needs labour, some weeks it needs more than others, hence the need for agencies. Employing people is expensive, add onto the hourly rate Employers National Insurance (“ENIC”), sick pay and accrue for holiday pay and suddenly employers realise that they don’t want staff that aren’t 100% utilised, so again we need agencies.

However, agencies should only be there to top up labour requirements not to be the principle source. In the not too distant past, you had to employ apprentices and labour to get onto tender lists, these requirements have long since gone, the framework and partnering the Gordon Brown introduced were quickly forgotten as clients (many of them local authorities) focussed solely on price.

As such huge swathes of skilled construction employees are on agency books, depriving HMRC of tax revenue through avoidance schemes and depriving the industry of future skills due to a lack of training.

Agencies are needed, but so is investment in skills and training, large companies should be employing their staff, and this can be encouraged if ENIC the “tax on jobs” as George Osborne called it were to be reduced.

Skills Shortage for North East Plant Hire

Richard Brown - Friday, January 06, 2017
D&K Plant Hire JCB moving Soil

We have over 30 plant operators on our books, average age, mid 50’s. You don’t need to be a genius to see the skills shortage coming. Why is it like this? A number of factors spring to mind, and the first one is money.

Plant operators are highly skilled, working in pressured environments providing much of the impetus to a construction project. They are often paid a lower hourly rate than the man on the shovel, as contractors have pushed more and more to subcontract groundworks, the pressure on plant operators to work faster and harder to deliver results for the groundworker have only increased.

The primary beneficiaries are the groundworker and the client, the driver who drove the progress might get a little £50 bonus, but we don’t see this very often for our guys. In less than ten years there will be an acute shortage of drivers, rates of pay will have to go up to attract people to the sector and this will, in turn, push up plant hire rates.

The Bright Side For North East Plant Hire

Richard Brown - Monday, December 05, 2016

The national construction statistics have been rather gloomy lately, which got me thinking about the North East our region. To be fair, I am struggling to think of when so much has been going on. Nissan continue to invest in Sunderland, the new Wear crossing is taking shape, the A1 western bypass works have just finished, and the A1 Morpeth Bypass is ongoing.

In addition, the Silverlink roundabout on the A19 has commenced, and the housebuilders continue to start new sites across Newcastle, Northumberland and North Shields in particular. I can’t remember a time when so many large projects were happening, which of course leads to a healthy demand for construction plant.

Looking ahead the A1 should be duelled to Berwick and the A69 should also be improved, with low-interest rates here to stay, I believe that demand for plant will remain strong for the foreseeable future.

1T to 6T Dumpers latest Thwaites machines

Richard Brown - Sunday, September 13, 2015

Latest Thwaites site dumpers in stock from 1 tonne high tip to 6 tonne power swivel. Discounted haulage available when taken with an Excavator. Delivery across the region guaranteed same day or by 8:30 am next day. Call Paul now on 191 214 0577 to discuss your requirements.

Not just a JCB, huge range of self drive excavators and dumpers available

Richard Brown - Sunday, September 13, 2015

We know you ring D&K for a JCB, but we do so much more, we supply dumpers; mini excavators, midi excavators and large excavators. We also have an extensive range of hydraulic breakers. Haulage discounts are available on long-term and multiple item hires. Call Paul and talk to a plant hire specialist today.

£1 million invested in our construction plant hire fleet

Richard Brown - Sunday, September 13, 2015

Break-downs, cause downtime and slow your contracts down. We have invested over £1 million this year and £2.5 million in the last 3 years to ensure we hire the best equipment to our clients. We only buy JCB, Bobcat & Volvo, brands so we have the best construction plant hire in the business. Our fleet together with our delivery service and back up mean we will keep you and your sites working 24/7. Call us today to find out more information on our products and prices.


Richard Brown - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

We have invested over £250,000 in 3 New Doosan DX140 Excavators, this expansion give us a greater capacity to satisfy our clients requirements form larger machinery. The machines were supplied by the Lloyd Group.

Do you like our new website?

Richard Brown - Thursday, September 26, 2013

Welcome to our new website, specially designed to assist you find out as much as you can about our company and equipment.  If you have any comments on our site please contact us using the e-mail details or call us.

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