UK lockdown sparks Bobcat xxpansion at Black Cat Plant Hire

With rental business increasing because of the lockdown, Black Cat Plant Hire has expanded the company’s fleet with the purchase of new Bobcat E10z and E27z zero tail swing (ZTS) mini-excavators from AMS Bobcat, the local Authorised Bobcat Dealer. 

Jack Lycett, company owner of South Yorkshire-based Black Cat Plant Hire, said: “I started the rental business for the self-drive market, as a complement to our paving business, J L Paving and Driveways, which we’ve been running very successfully for over 35 years. But the rental side really began to take off as we went into lockdown in February-March of this year, to meet demand from people looking to do work on their own properties in the extra time they have during the lockdown.”

In addition to the increased domestic market triggered by the lockdown, Black Cat Plant Hire serves local contractors and other businesses in Barnsley, Sheffield and the wider South Yorkshire area as well as Wakefield in West Yorkshire. All of the Bobcat machines in the company‘s fleet are ideal for a variety of applications including construction, demolition, refurbishment, landscaping, trenching and drainage work.

Bobcat Range in a ‘League of its Own’
Commenting on why he has mainly purchased the Bobcat brand, Jack Lycett said: “I believe the Bobcat mini-excavator range is in a league of its own - I even named the business in honour of the Bobcat logo, to show the confidence I have in the brand. It’s the digging power Bobcat machines offer in all conditions including the tough limestone and clay soils we have to deal with in South Yorkshire, which all the Bobcat excavators find it easy to deal with. That’s not the case with some of the other machines on the market.

“The first Bobcat excavator I bought was a 2013 second hand E26 model which really impressed me with its all-round performance and I have subsequently bought two more E26 models. The E26 is an easy-to-use, robust machine optimized for specific rental industry needs as well as those demanded by owner-operators. Again my first E10 or E10z as it is now known was second hand - it is an exceptional machine, providing the productivity you would expect of a 1.5 tonne mini-excavator rather than a one tonne machine.”

King of the 1 tonne Class
With sales unabated and approaching 11,000 units in the 12 years since it was launched, the E10z is the market leader in the 1 tonne machine class. The E10z has a maximum digging depth of 1.82 m and a transport weight without attachment of 1077 kg, ensuring the machine is easy to transport. In addition to the access provided by its retractable undercarriage reducing its width to only 710 mm, the integrated foldable TOPS (Tip Over Protective Structure) facilitates passage through openings with low headroom, for work inside buildings and in basements. Once the excavator is positioned and ready for work, the undercarriage on the E10z can be expanded to 1100 mm, for maximum stability in all working conditions. 

Another feature that differentiates the E10z from other machines on the market is the patented side adjustable consoles which accommodate hydraulic pilot pressure controlled joysticks. This design is unique in its class, allowing the operator to enjoy the comfort and feel of much larger machines, whilst being able to adjust the width of the consoles for easy passage through narrow openings.

Award-winning Bobcat Excavator
The new E27z 2.7 tonne excavator is one of five models in the award-winning R-Series 2-4 tonne mini-excavator range. The E27z model further enhances the excellent performance characteristics of the E26 machine, with the largest cab for this size of machine on the market. Like the E10z, the ZTS design of the E27z offers the highest flexibility of movements when working close to walls, coupled with best-in-class 360-degree stability and a low weight for easy transportation. 

Jack Lycett added: “The ZTS design is very useful for groundworks and accessing/working on confined sites. It is also a safety feature that means that a banksman is not required when working in these tight areas. We are still a small concern in rental terms, but with 8-9 machines going out every day, the new Bobcat machines have helped us to meet the increased demand we have seen during the lockdown.” 

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