Sunshine and success at Hillhead 2005
For three gloriously warm sunny days in June Tarmac Central’s Hillhead Quarry, near Buxton, Derbyshire, once again became the focal point for the international minerals and heavy construction industries with the staging of Hillhead 2005, the world’s largest working quarry show. As always, the sights, sounds and activity generated by the vast array of plant and equipment being displayed and demonstrated by the 430 exhibitors at this unique event completely filled the 140,000m2 showground.
Highlighting the status of this biennial extravaganza on the international trade show calendar, visitors and exhibitors alike had once again travelled from all four corners of the globe to attend and participate in the show, some jetting in from countries as far afield as Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Iran, Japan and Uruguay, to name but a few. Total attendance at this year’s show was in the region of 19,500, with the middle (and hottest!) day once again proving to be the busiest, so busy in fact that a number of exhibitors claimed they were quite literally overwhelmed with enquiries.
As well as being the first day of the trade fair, day one of Hillhead has also become an important platform for the launch of key industry initiatives and developments, and this year was no exception. The Quarry Products Association chose the first morning of the show to officially announce its new five-year health and safety Hard Target scheme, which builds on and reflects the success of the first Hard Target commitment made five years ago to halve the number of reportable accidents occurring across the quarrying industry.
The quarrying sector was the first industry group to sign up to the Health & Safety Commission’s voluntary pledge to commit to reducing the number of reportable accidents by half in the five years to 31 March 2005. Although HSE figures for the full period are not yet available, the first four years show a reduction of 46%. With the launch of the new Hard Target scheme, QPA members have once again pledged to reduce the incident figure by a further 50%.
Launching the scheme, QPA chairman Linda Thompson said: ‘Our success over the last five years shows what the industry can do, but we are still determined to do better. We continue to work towards an overarching aim of zero incidents and the new Hard Target is another major step on that road.’
Immediately after the Hard Target launch the stage was handed over to EPIC for the official launch of EMP Awarding Body Ltd, the new name for EPIC Awarding Body Ltd.
Throughout the rest of the show the QPA, in co-operation with The Institute of Quarrying, hosted a series of presentations on career opportunities in quarrying and road contracting for groups of visiting schoolchildren sponsored by leading aggregates companies such as Tarmac, Hanson and Aggregate Industries.
The school visits were in support of the QPA programme to promote the industry to young people to help combat the relatively low numbers of entrants into quarrying and road contracting jobs, and Hillhead 2005 was seen as an ideal occasion to demonstrate the many and varied career opportunities available to young people, not just in manual roles, but also in administration, marketing, sales and technical positions.
Notwithstanding the importance of such programmes and initiatives, the main business of the day at any Hillhead event is the promotion and sale of the latest plant, equipment and services to a high-calibre international audience, and as usual both the static display stands and the live demonstration areas were full to capacity and bristling with action. Indeed, many Hillhead attendees say it is the constant live action displays in a real working environment that give the show its unique and popular appeal.
At the north end of the showground, Terex, Caterpillar and Liebherr were all in their usual familiar positions overlooking the face demonstration area, where the latest loading and hauling machines from all three companies had the chance to show off their earthmoving capabilities alongside competing models from other exhibiting manufacturers such as Bell, Case, Daewoo, Hyundai, Komatsu and Volvo.
This year, for the first time ever at a British exhibition, a Mobilmix modular concrete batching plant complete with silos, feed hoppers and specially built loading ramp took pride of place on Liebherr Great Britain’s static display, providing a dramatic backdrop to their more familiar array of mobile plant. Meanwhile, next door to the ever impressive and always busy Caterpillar–Finning stand, Terex UK displayed some of their latest mobile plant innovations on the company’s most extensive stand ever at a Hillhead show.
Terex UK marketing director Debbie Robertson said she was very pleased with the company’s presence at the show. ‘Hillhead is very different to other exhibitions and has a unique and important status within the industry. This year’s event was very well attended and we made a number of sales both on the stand and subsequently as a result of the show,’ she commented.
Likewise, Nigel Chell, UK PR manager with JCB, said he was delighted with the quality and quantity of visitors to the JCB stand, where the new JS330 HRD long-reach demolition rig loomed large over the demonstrations of other new products including the 456 wheel loader variants and the JZ140 zero-tail-swing excavator. ‘We were particularly pleased with the volume of prospective customers from the aggregates sector as well as from overseas,’ said Mr Chell. ‘There was a great deal of interest in our products and we took hundreds of leads, many of which we expect to convert into orders.’
The JCB stand stood out prominently in its now familiar position adjacent to the Blue Machinery-sponsored recycling demonstration area, where the latest crushing and screening machines from companies such as OM, Terex Finlay, Redox, Herbst, McCloskey, Red Rhino, Rubble Master and CGCS were put through their paces handling demolition waste in front of large crowds. Also engaged in lively demonstrations in the recycling arena were a pair of Tiltrotators from Engcon, including the EC30, the largest unit in the family. Other exhibits at this end of the showground included weight-saving trailers from Faymonville, the latest high-tech surveying and machine control equipment from Trimble and Topcon, and a state-of-the-art volumetric concrete mixer from Reimer.
In the rock-processing demonstration area a large array of mobile crushing and screening equipment was kept busy throughout the day with a regular supply of material from the face area. Among the new machines taking part in the action this year were: the RK1412T secondary impactor from Tesab; the Warrior H3S dry screen and Chieftain 2100 triple-deck unit from Powerscreen International; the J-1175 tracked jaw crusher from Terex Finlay; the 302 Voyager three-way-split double-deck screen from McCloskey; the F640 track-mounted screen from Fintec; and the 1412 Trakpactor primary impactor from Terex Pegson.
Also making their UK show debuts on the Terex Pegson stand adjacent to the demonstration area were the 1165HA Premiertrak and Metrotrak HA mobile jaw crushers. Describing the company’s presence at Hillhead 2005 as ‘highly successful’, Terex Pegson marketing manager Judi Sault said: ‘We had a lot of interest in the new 1412 Trakpactor and all eight of our crushers on display and demonstration were sold to customers visiting the stand. We also secured another seven orders and expect more to follow.’
Among the other exhibitors with crushing and screening machines on display and demonstration at this year’s show were APR, Aughey, BJD, Baughans, DUO, Don Valley, Extec, Haver & Boecker Hazemag, Kleemann, MMD, Maggoteaux, Mogensen, Ore Sizer, Rhewum, Rotex, Sandvik, Skako and Trio to name just a few.
Amid the ‘relative’ peace of the static displays, many exhibitors expressed their delight with the number of enquiries and the quality of visitors arriving on their stands. Chris McCumesky, managing director of CDM Steels Ltd, manufacturers of the Hippowash range of wheel-washing systems, said the show had exceeded all expectations. ‘We sold a Hippowash unit on the first day and had over 100 enquiries. I would expect to convert at least half of these into firm orders within 12 months,’ he enthused.
In a similar vein, concrete equipment suppliers Utranazz said they had their most successful Hillhead appearance ever, selling a volumetric mixer to Wigan-based First Base Ltd and a T13 batching plant with Hydromix low-level silo to A. Thomas Concrete in Carmarthen. Sales director Dan Fordham commented: ‘We had a lot of interest at Hillhead this year and picked up over 150 strong sales leads. Most visitors to the stand were interested in our volumetric mixer and mobile batching plant with silo, and this was reflected in the sales we made at the show.’
Likewise, CDE reported a high level of interest in their varied display throughout the three days. Among the items on show was the latest 20 tonnes/h overhead-beam filter press, a new 150 tonnes/h dual sand plant, an integrated hopper–conveyor with 35-tonne bin, an 80 tonnes/h Rotomax log-washer, and a 20-micron micro-cyclone desilter. Many customers were also eager to find out more about CDE’s recent construction and demolition waste plants for Coleman and Gaskell Bros, and several went on to view these installations after the show.
Expressing his delight with the interest in CDE from international markets in particular, chief executive Tony Convery confirmed that a number of orders were agreed on the stand including washing plants for delivery to Trinidad and Iran. He added that these export sales were perhaps the greatest reward of all, given the company’s interest in developing new markets.
Attending Hillhead for the first time, Phoenix Transworld offered potential and existing customers the chance to view at close range their new, highly mobile, two-chassis, 80 tonnes/h RoadStar 1000 asphalt plant together with its larger stablemate, the 120 tonnes/h RoadStar 1500 model. Although Phoenix manufacture a range of static and mobile asphalt plants with capacities up to 400 tonnes/h, the company decided to use Hillhead 2005 to promote the mobility and ease of erection of the RoadStar range.
Phoenix Transworld’s Gino Ciuffardi felt this decision had paid dividends with both models generating much interest. ‘A number of orders were concluded at the show and more are expected in the coming weeks,’ he said.
Similarly, Rod Bishop said attendance was excellent at the Benninghoven stand, the centrepiece of which was a giant 240 tonnes/h Continental high-level asphalt plant. ‘We had a very good show and were incredibly busy throughout, but particularly on the middle day. In fact, things were so hectic we could quite easily have done with a fourth day!’ he exclaimed.
Taking up their usual position in the drilling quarter, Atlas Copco Crushing & Mining were equally upbeat. Marketing assistant Jessica Hammond described the show as excellent and said all four drill rigs on the stand, including the new ROC D7 RRC remote-controlled unit, had been sold together with three large hydraulic breakers. ‘We had a lot of enquiries and a lot of good feedback. It really could not have gone any better,’ she said.
Elsewhere in the main showground engine manufacturers Cummins were showing their latest low-emission engines including the new QSB, which was on display in the UK for the first time. Marketing communications manager Steve Nendick said the show was very positive with the company’s recently rebranded products and new colour scheme generating a great deal of interest. ‘A major part of a show such as this involves relationship-building with major customers,’ he commented. ‘We had a lot of OEMs on the stand enquiring about our new technology and we have a number of good enquiries to follow up. It was an excellent show.’
The final comment in this brief look back at Hillhead 2005 comes from Len McGarry, founder of Moisture Reduction Systems, who should surely win a prize for making the most of his 3m x 3m stand space in the main pavilion.
Exhibiting an accelerated moisture-reduction pumping system designed to rapidly reduce moisture content in sand stockpiles, Mr McGarry said he had a ‘magnificent’ show with high-quality enquiries generating potential business worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. He said his only regret was that he hadn’t booked a bigger stand. ‘We had 47 positive leads including enquiries from Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Qatar and Uruguay. A number of these are already one step along the road to an order.’
Looking forward to the next Hillhead show in 2007, Mr McGarry added: ‘I will certainly be back but next time I will definitely be booking a much bigger stand.’
QMJ Publishing Ltd, the organisers of Hillhead 2005, would like to express their gratitude to Tarmac for all their help and support. Grateful thanks are also due to the various sponsoring companies.