Buckland Newton Hire fuels growth with Cat excavator fleet
Buckland Newton Hire is a family run plant hire and waste disposal company based in Dorset. To expand its long-term hire capabilities and support the opening of a new facility, the company turned to long-term partner Finning UK and Ireland, the region’s exclusive distributor of Cat® equipment, to expand its fleet.
Buckland Newton Hire opted for a fleet of excavators, as well as two next generation GC machines, including the first 313 GC delivered in the UK.
“Buckland Newton Hire was founded by my father in 1979 and remains a family business through and through,” explained Brad Perrett, Manager of Buckland Newton Hire. “While we were originally more of a groundworks and waste disposal company, over the years our business model has shifted. Our waste disposal arm remains strong, but around 50 per cent of our business is now in self-drive plant hire — we see a bigger future in this area.
“Our rural Dorset location means our key plant hire customer base is made up of self-employed builders and owner drivers, who are typically working on smaller projects,” added Perrett. “Because they will be driving the machines they hire themselves, they really value comfortable, high-quality equipment with a good specification, so it’s really important we offer them a high level of reliability and quality.
“We’ve always been a single branded company,” continued Perrett. “All our lorries are Scania and all our dumpers are Thwaites; we apply this principle especially with Cat equipment. We and our customers love Cat technology and all the comforts and capabilities it brings. Locally, it is what sets us apart; Cat is a huge part of our brand!”
Buckland Newton Hire has always been a believer in Cat machines, the company’s first purchases were a 205 and 211B, over 35 years ago. In the company’s early days, it purchased second-hand machines, including a 302.5 and a 307, making its first ever investment in a new machine in a 312.
Over the years, Buckland Newton Hire’s Cat fleet has included over seven telehandlers, six rollers and 50 excavators. In December 2020, Buckland Newton Hire purchased its first ever dozer, a D6. In April 2021, it will receive its first ever wheel loading shovel, a 950 GC.
Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Buckland Newton Hire successfully opened a second office in late 2020. To launch the new office in Poole, Buckland Newton Hire required a reliable rental fleet. The company turned to Finning, ordering a fleet of machines, including a 300.9, 301.6, 301.8, 302, 302.7, 305, CB1.7, CB2.7 and a TH357, for its new customer base.
Long term hire potential
Buckland Newton Hire is continually upgrading and increasing its self-drive plant hire fleet to help serve its customers better. Recently, Buckland Newton Hire has seen opportunities in specialist long-term rentals, offering customers machines for several years and taking responsibility for the servicing and maintenance. For example, it recently purchased an agricultural telehandler to meet a farming customer’s needs.
To provide long-term support to a local recycling company, Buckland Newton Hire invested in two next generation Cat machines, a 313 GC Hydraulic Excavator and 950 GC Wheel Loader. The 313 GC, delivered in January 2021, is the first of its kind to be delivered in the UK and is already working hard on the customer’s site. The GC models will help Buckland Newton Hire in its mission to stay competitive, while offering a premium product range.
“The new GC product range means many companies can purchase Cat equipment for less than they think,” explained Jack Cezair, Territory Account Manager at Finning. “The 313 GC offers enhanced cab comfort, fuel saving features and longer maintenance intervals. It is a great asset for plant hire companies like Buckland Newton Hire, as the 313 GC is competitively priced, yet offers higher productivity than machines of the same size. It also uses significantly less fuel, reducing operating costs for the customer.”
“I briefly sat in the cab of the 313 GC before we delivered it to our customer and I was impressed with the simplicity,” added Perrett. “The cabs in the next-generation machines are fantastic, with easy-to-use controls on fast, powerful, nice looking machines. We have received positive reviews from our customers on the next-gen machines — they love them!”
The start of something new?
For the first time, on the two new GC machines, Buckland Newton Hire has opted for servicing contracts as part of Customer Value Agreements (CVAs) with Finning. Previously, Buckland Newton Hire handled servicing and maintenance in-house, outsourcing only specialist repairs to the team at Finning.
“We’ve always strived to be highly self-sufficient,” shared Perrett. “For example, we move all our own equipment on Scania lorries, and have a team of fitters that do repairs and maintenance in our workshop. We’re a hands-on company!”
However, the recycling customer using the 313 GC and 950 GC is based over an hour’s drive from Buckland Newton Hire and has no on-site fitter. To ensure the customer will get the most out of the machines, Buckland Newton Hire opted for service contracts with Finning, for one year on the 313 GC and for three years on the 950 GC.
“Our engineers will provide preventative maintenance servicing every 500 hours to sample and top up the fluids, change the filters and perform an overall health and safety check,” explained Cezair. “We’re excited to show Buckland Newton Hire what we can do, showcase how our service capabilities could support the business’ growth and demonstrate how we can guarantee a low overall cost of ownership.”
A bright future ahead
“As our name gets out there and we get more enquiries, we plan to continue building our fleet. I can see us ordering another ten machines this year! We are proud to have one of the largest Cat fleets locally, and are grateful for our longstanding relationship with Finning,” concluded Perrett.