Hewden has spent £1.3m on new equipment from Caterpillar, JCB and Thwaites to boost its “core fleet” of frequently hired machines.
Hewden’s order includes several Caterpillar 308 excavators.
The core fleet idea was launched late last year as a way of offering an enhanced service, says Hewden director Jeff Schofield.
“We studied over 100,000 hire transactions and identified the 30 products that our customers ask for the most.
“At the same time we introduced a new Microsoft ERP system to manage the fleet and this enables us to offer a guaranteed next-day delivery on all core fleet machines”, he explains.
Core fleet customers will receive a £100 refund if the equipment is late.
An SME focus
Mr Schofield says that the core fleet forms part of a new strategy to attract more SMEs to Hewden – traditionally a big hirer geared up for supplying major contractors.
“Over the past six to nine months we have been repositioning ourselves to SMEs who assume they’ll get a better service from a small local hirer.”
The £1.3 million investment – for 8-tonne Cat excavators, 22-tonne JCB excavators and 9-tonne Thwaites dumpers – reflects a noticeable increase in orders for this class of machine, says Mr Schofield.
The company plans to extend the next-day delivery guarantee to other equipment categories, starting with the site accommodation fleet, in a few weeks’ time, he adds.