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Hirers at a disadvantage

CONTRACTING firms who show up on site with their own machines and workforce have a huge advantage over those who hire, according to Hampshire- based Dean & Dyball Construction.

Director David Hiscock said local authorities, in particular, tended to prefer contractors with their own gear: Over the past 10 to 15 years the business went a different way when everyone hired everything. Today, I believe it counts for a lot with a client to see you backing your business by investing in your own machinery. Its better than having an agent ringing around trying to hire any plant and labour he can to do the job.

Dean & Dyball has just spent more than 450,000 on five new Caterpillar excavators from Finning, its largest ever one-off plant investment.We like to own our own plant because it gives us more control. We have our own men driving them and know what we can expect out of these machines over the next seven years or so, and if we hired them it would cost us a lot more over that time. And you dont always get the best drivers when you hire, said Mr Hiscock.

However, he said the company did turn to hiring when necessary to top up its plant and workforce.

The firms latest purchase takes its Caterpillar fleet to 27. It also owns Komatsu, Hitachi and Poclain plant. The five Caterpillar 320L excavators will be used as general-purpose back- bone machines on a variety of civil engineering jobs, Mr Hiscock said. All the excavators have been fitted with check valves, safe-load indicators and feature up-rated undercarriages and specially built high-strength buckets.