Speedy Hire, the United Kingdom’s largest equipment and tool rental company, has invested £3.3 million (about U.S. $5.1 million) in JCB 8018 mini excavators, the largest order the U.K.-based manufacturer has received for that model in the past year. Speedy made the purchase to strengthen its fleet in the utility sector, which includes such major customers as Thames Water and Welsh Water.
JCB developed the design for the unit with input from leading utility contractors. Special safety features include a steel panel in place of the lower door window in order to reduce glass damage to the cab and a weight-sensitive seat, which only allows the machine to be driven when the operator is fully seated.
The extending undercarriage offers additional stability in unstable terrain, including undertaking excavations on inclines or soft ground before laying pipes. Speedy also ordered some machines with high visibility paint to reflect vehicle lights for late night repairs.
“We’ve been working in utilities for many years, and this market continues to grow for us,” said Andy Connor, supply chain director at Speedy. “JCB designed this piece of equipment in collaboration with the utilities sector, so procuring it for our customers was a natural step and we expect it to be very popular.”