H.E. Services and Marubeni-Komatsu – a long-term partnership
As the UK’s largest specialist excavator hire company, H.E. Services (Plant Hire) Ltd has an enviable reputation to uphold. Having a plant fleet of over 3500 items is a great start, and having ten depots strategically located around the UK makes the offer readily available to customers wherever they are. But what is it that’s kept this privately owned business at the top of their game for the last 44 years?
“For us, it’s all about being able to supply the very best machinery to our customers, backed up by the very best service.” explains Sales & Marketing Director, Pam Durey. “It’s what our customers know us for, and it’s what keeps them coming back year after year.”
The foundation of this business ethos is obviously the equipment, so what is it that makes the H.E. Services fleet so special? “There are several reasons and they each interlink” explains Managing Director, Peter Durey. “Firstly, our excavators range from 1.5T right up to 49T and include long reach models, so in terms of machine size we’ve got an excavator for every job imaginable. Secondly, we ensure all our excavators have a high spec, which meets - if not exceeds - customer demands. Lastly our continual investment means that none of our machines are more than 3 years old.”
Renewing equipment on a regular basis like this has led to some fantastic long-term business relationships, a prime example being with Marubeni-Komatsu. “2016 sees us celebrating 25 years of buying Komatsu excavators. Our working relationship with Marubeni-Komatsu has gone from strength to strength and we’ve built up a great trust, which has paid dividends to both companies over the years. Over the last 12 months we have bought 330 Komatsu excavators as part of our on-going fleet renewal program. Quite simply, they represent everything we want to offer our customers – the cleanest, most efficient equipment, from a quality brand, with excellent reliability and first class service and manufacturer support.”
In terms of the excavator’s specification, H.E. Services have worked out that there are a few small things that can make a huge difference to the overall user experience. The simplest, is the extra fuel filter that Marubeni-Komatsu fit protect the engine from potentially dirty or contaminated fuel from site bowsers. Next is that all the Komatsu excavators are spec’d to include the additional plumbing required for attachments including breakers and grabs (including the rotational circuit). This means customers can request additional attachments mid-hire without potentially having to swap machines. Lastly, H.E. Services fit a Masterhitch Ram Guard to every excavator, providing the customer with that little bit of extra reassurance and protection from unwanted downtime and cost due to damaged rams. “Those little changes eliminate three of the most common causes of downtime on site, and that makes a huge difference to our customers,” commented Peter.
So what’s next for H.E. Services? Pam Durey explains… “Our customers are working on increasingly complex, high profile and highly legislated projects and our goal is to keep ahead of their requirements. We are already accredited with FORS Silver and are working towards having FORS Gold within the next 12 months. We also have industry-recognised accreditations including CHAS, Achilles, Construction Line, SMAS and RISQS (formerly LinkUp). By the start of 2017 we will also have the ISO9001 Quality Management System in place and plan to follow that with ISO14001 Environmental Management System and the new ISO45001 Occupational Health & Safety Management System. It’s going to be a busy but rewarding year.”
“As we’re always looking 6-12 months ahead, we’ll also be talking to the team at Marubeni-Komatsu about our excavator orders for 2017. They’re always really flexible with timescales for us but it helps both parties if we get a draft plan in place before the end of the year,” concluded Peter. “That way, we know we’ll be able to continue supplying our customers with quality machines in the months and years to come.”