28 next generation mini-excavators and counting for Nottingham plant hire firm
Andy Norris from Norris Plant Hire certainly doesn’t do things by halves. 18 months ago, he purchased the company’s first Cat® next generation mini-excavator and was so impressed with the machine that he replaced half his fleet with them. In fact, he recently took delivery of the company’s 28th Cat.
Norris Plant Hire & Sales Ltd has been a customer of Finning UK & Ireland, exclusive dealer for Caterpillar® machines and parts, for the past 12 years. The family run business was established in 1981 by Andy’s dad, Steve Norris, who is now semi-retired, and specialises in the hire and sale of plant machinery to customers in the construction and agriculture industries across the UK.
The latest additions to Norris’ fleet, two 301.6 tonne Cat next generation mini-excavators, are already out on hire to customers. The new duo takes the number of Cat machines in the company’s fleet to 28, now making up over half the machines available. It includes three Cat 302.7s, two Cat 306 mini-excavators, and three eight tonne excavators.
“We’ve been buying Caterpillar machines since 2008,” explained Andy Norris, managing director of Norris Plant Hire. “We started with backhoe loaders and were so impressed with the build quality and reliability of the machines that we began replacing some that we’d had from other manufacturers with Cat equivalents, starting with a couple of eight tonne excavators. From then on, we’ve progressively increased the number and variety of machines in the fleet.
“Cat machines are very popular with my customers, many of whom work on long-term utilities projects across the Midlands. The Cat mini-excavators are tough and durable as well as being versatile. They enable customers to tackle a range of jobs from breaking trenches, pulling ducting cables and filling in. Even our domestic customers find them useful. We’ve had them be used for digging out garden ponds, foundations, or even cleaning out cow sheds.
“For me, it’s the high specification and quality of the machines that makes the difference. Although they’re not the cheapest machines around, they are exceptionally reliable. We always take out the two-year standard dealership warranty with Finning, but in all the time we’ve been buying Cat machines, we’ve had very few breakdowns. We’ve been working with some of our customers for more than 20 years. Many of them have long-term building and utility contracts with clients and therefore just can’t afford any machine downtime, which could cost them dearly.
“We always buy the machines with the full built-in technology features and even though a number of my customers have been working in the industry for years, they’ve found these new features easy to use and have had a direct bearing on how productive and efficient they are on site.”