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Leap of faith pays off for Scottish contractor

“Money well spent,“ is how Gordon Skene, Director of GRS Construction Services sums up his investment in Engcon tiltrotators for his fleet of Takeuchi excavators. The successful groundworks and landscaping contractor, based in Buckie on the north east coast of Scotland, has three EC209 systems, an EC214, an EC10B, grading buckets and a host of other tools and attachments.

“I took a leap of faith when we purchased our first units three years ago as it was a really big investment for us, but now I wouldn’t be without them,“ says Gordon - one of the UK’s growing number of happy Engcon customers.

Flash in the pan

Initially, Gordon and his dad Robert, who has since retired from the business, thought tiltrotators were just a flash in the pan gadget. Now Gordon is glad he took the time to find out more by reading reviews and talking to his trusted Takeuchi dealer, JMS Equipment Ltd, who recommended John Craig at JCC Engcon Group in Stirling. Gordon was finally convinced to purchase his first Engcon tiltrotator from John when he watched a friend using one and could see the cost and time saving benefits for himself.

Competitive edge

With a combination of powerul yet compact Takeuchi excavators, Engcon tiltrotators and attachments including forks, kerb grabs and brushes, GRS has gained a critical edge in the market. “We work in a very competitive industry,“ explains Gordon. “Although rates for the kind of jobs we do have come down in recent years, we’ve been able to maintain our margins by increasing productivity and efficiency. Our investment in Engcon has really paid off.“ he adds. For example, digging drains and service trenches for a typical four-bedroom house used to take GRS about two days. “Now we can get the same work done in under half that time, and with greater accuracy and a much tider finish,“ says Gordon with a smile.

Increased safety, less fatigue

One of the many advantages of being able to tilt and rotate buckets and tools using a tilrotator is fewer machinery movements. As well as saving time this also increases safety, which is always a top priority for GRS, as Gordon explains “We are often working on very large and busy construction sites and ensuring the safety of our team and others is paramount for us and for our clients. Gordon has also noticed that his operators are less fatigued at the end of a shift. He believes this is partly due to the fact that they can access different digging positions without having to keep moving their machines around.

Must-have technology

When he had to hire an excavator a few months ago that wasn’t fitted with a tiltrotator, Gordon says he found it extremely restrictive and realised just how much he has come to rely on his Engcon units to help his business work more profitably and more safely. As he reflects on his decision to invest in Engcon, he says the technology is fast becoming a must-have for UK owner-operators. “Tiltrotators transform a digger with a bucket into a robotic operator. Life is so much easier with Engcon!’

"We work in a very competitive industry. Although rates for the kind of jobs we do have come down in recent years, we’ve been able to maintain our margins by increasing productivity and efficiency. Our investment in Engcon has really paid off."

Gordon Skene, GRS Construction Services

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