From starting out as an advertising platform for recruiting plant operators and mechanics in Scotland, Scottish Plant and Operators has enhanced its profile by growing into a dedicated plant hire company
In February 2014 Scottish Plant & Operators was born out of a realisation that there was a demand within the industry for recruiting good quality operators and service mechanics. Managing Director Stewart McNeish quickly saw a niche in the market place for providing such a service for plant fleet operators, ground works contractors, in fact any fleet user in the whole spectrum ranging from quarrying to waste handling, demolition and even agricultural contracting.
In Scotland specifically, what would you do to recruit an excavator or dumptruck operator? Probably place an ad in the local gazette or Scottish national press and hope for the best? Stewart McNeish’s vision was to create an on line advertising platform using the strength of social media to revolutionise and speed up the recruitment process and so Scottish Plant and Operators was born. Since its inception the company boasts it has a total of 81000 followers on facebook with this number rising on a daily and weekly basis. “We have at least 40 large companies operating a whole range of plant advertising with us on a regular basis,” comments Stewart. “The on line adverts are widely viewed and we estimate to have had over 100000 views so far. There’s a huge demand and this method of recruiting good quality operators and fitters, welders – you name it, is proving very successful,” he continues.
An almost immediate by-product for providing this online service came a demand for providing machines for hire as well. “Our plant hire side was born out of the service we were providing online,” continues Stewart. “Our first excavator was a Volvo fourteen tonner which has proved to be very reliable and we have recently traded out an EC220D for the latest E version. In all we now have seven excavators, a dozer, screens and crushers along with some items of smaller plant. One of our main reasons for choosing another Volvo is thanks to the after sales service and support we receive from Volvo’s customer support centre in Stirling. Yes we had some issues with the EC220D but the team at Volvo stood by the machine and looked after our interests and this speaks real volumes,” he continues. “The plant industry is a people business and we like to deal with the people we know and can trust.”
The new twenty two tonne EC220E, along with all the remaining machines in the Scottish Plant and Operator’s arsenal, is available for hire but is also used as and when needed to service the needs of other parts of the business. This includes soil and aggregate screening, contract crushing and screening and handling inert industrial waste material which operates under the auspices of Allstone (Glasgow) and GS Site Services.
Powered by a six cylinder Volvo engine developing 174 nett hp the EC220E offers the latest in engine technology and operating sophistication. Operator comfort is another major plus point with the Volvo Care cab providing plenty of leg room and foot space. Excellent all round visibility is enhanced by pressurized and filtered cab air supplied by a 14 vent, climate control system. An adjustable easy to read LCD colour monitor provides real time information of the machine functions. “Our operators are certainly impressed, not only with the cab comfort, but also from the smoothness and responsiveness of the machine itself,” says Stewart. “We’re really peased with the new EC220E.”
Scottish Plant & Operators is headquartered at Milton of Campsie, Glasgow. Besides its plant hire and plant division, the company’s mission is dedicated to consolidating a network of plant affiliated companies and operators throughout Scotland with the aim of building improved communications between operators, prospective employers and to improve training opportunities.
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