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Living the dream!

When he decided to strike out on his own less than two years ago, independent owner operator, Richard Collett , couldn’t have dreamt that he’d now be running his own plant hire business in Newark, Nottinghamshire with six JCB excavators. One of the most recent additions to his fleet is a new JS130 13-tonne tracked excavator, fully equipped with an EC214 Engcon tiltrotator, Q-Safe and EC-Oil system.

Richard explains how the chance to take on a large civils job that required a 13-tonne machine and tiltrotator prompted this investment. “Although buying new equipment for what could have been just one contract was a potential risk, great support from JCB and Engcon has made it a risk worth taking. The Engcon system is brilliant – even better than I thought it would be!” he says enthusiastically..

Life-changing decision

Established in October 2015, Richard’s business, Collett Plant Hire Ltd, has gone from strength to strength. His success story began when he went along to one of JCB’s Be Your Own Boss events and was inspired to make a life-changing decision. “I was fed up working for someone else so thought I’d check it out,“ says Richard. Hearing stories from people who had taken the plunge, and the advice available through JCB’s programme, helped him make up his mind to go for it. “It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,“ he says.

Great deal

Richard’s EC214 tiltrotator, complete with Q-Safe and EC-Oil, is an ex-demo system from Engcon’s Training and Demonstration facilities at CTA in Doncaster. He comments: “Engcon gave me a great deal and was also able to supply custom-made buckets to UK width specifications, which are essential for the kind of excavation services I offer.“ Although Richard admits it was a bit nerve-wracking when he first got into the cab and saw the tiltrotator sitting above the bucket, he soon got used to it. An array of tools and attachments complement his core system including grading beams and a compactor plate. He is also getting kerb grabs that will enable him to lay kerbs to within centimetres of the required position, making this task much less labour-intensive. He also finds the wide swivel range very useful when using his tiltrotator with a fork. “I’m discovering new things I can do with my Engcon system all the time – it’s so versatile.”

Generating new business

Richard currently offers his JS130/EC214 combo on an operated plant hire basis at an hourly rate, calculated to reflect his capital investment and running costs. So far, he says he’s getting a good return and the equipment is very much in demand. Initially purchased for one particular contract, the Engcon system is now attracting new business. The photos he’s posted on social media of his Engcon system in action have already generated a number of enquiries from potential customers.

Reliability and performance

As an independent plant operator, Richard recognises the importance of providing a dependable and cost-effective service for all his customers’ projects, from excavation and site clearance to drainage and ditch maintenance. He believes his investment in JCB and Engcon is enabling him to deliver reliable, high quality service that will help him to continue building his business on repeat custom and positive referrals from satisfied customers.

"Engcon gave me a great deal and was also able to supply custom-made buckets to UK width specifications, which are essential for the kind of excavation services I offer."

Richard Collett

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