Wheel of fortune

Wheel of fortune

Dorset-based hire business calls upon Cat machines to help progress an unusual power project.

As part of a plan to install what is thought to be Europe’s largest electric producing waterwheel at its Dorset headquarters, plant hire firm Buckland Newton Hire (BNH) has purchased two new Cat 302.7 mini excavators and took a Cat 320 2D medium excavator on trial, as it looks to complete the necessary groundworks and landscaping.

The company arrived at the idea of having its own source of electricity after having installed hydro schemes for some customers and subsequently  sought planning permission for its very own water wheel to power its business and houses.

Once the scheme received approval the firm purchased the mini excavators, while simultaneously trialling the Cat 320 2D medium excavator.

Manager and director, Brad Perrett, said he believed, once completed, the waterwheel will be the largest in Europe, capable of a flow of 150 litres per second which will power 20 commercial units, five houses and some stable blocks located at the family farm.

“The waterwheel has been an interesting project to work on as we carry out all sorts of renewable energy schemes for clients but not for ourselves, and it has all been done with our own Cat machines and operators.”

“Our location really lent itself to this kind of hydro scheme and it has meant raising one of our lakes here by nine metres, but we’re almost complete now and I believe it will be the biggest electrically generating water wheel in Europe once it’s running.”

“We’ve used Cat machines from Finning to carry out the work as we’ve always run them from the 80s because they’re good machines and we trust them and know them inside out. Finning has always offered us good customer service, and although we do a lot of our own servicing, Finning is great at supplying any parts we need and providing any diagrams to our mechanics.”

“Caterpillar reliability and resale value, together with the after-service repairs and support Finning provides through the warranty give us complete peace of mind and make them ideal for our business.”

Reuben Bentham, territory account manager at Finning, said he has been working closely with Buckland Newton Hire for just over two years.

“Buckland Newton Hire, with a fleet of more than 80 machines now, has a reputation for staying ahead of the curve and ordering new Cat models early, and it operates more than 40 small to medium Cat excavators with the largest being a 15 tonne which they’ve purchased over the last five years.”

“When we heard about the water wheel project, we provided the latest 20-tonne Cat 320 2D on demo for them to use, as it’s a huge piece of engineering. The wheel is over eight metres in diameter which meant it needed substantial groundworks to be able to install it and they’re also landscaping the whole surrounding area with paths for viewing and safety.”

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