Lynch Plant Hire Ltd have reported a good attendance for the first family plant show and operator open day held on Sunday 1 September 2013, which was organized in conjunction with UKplantoperators.com.
Around 3,000 people attended the event held at the Sedgemoor Auction Centre, located near junction 24 of the M5 near to Bridgwater in Somerset.
Buoyed by the success of this first show and open day, Lynch are now planning to run a similar event next year in the south-east of England near to London. In addition, with some of the Lynch team dressed as cartoon characters and carrying collecting boxes, a total of £2,000 was raised for The Lighthouse Club, the construction industry charity.
Lynch Plant Hire opened a depot in Bridgwater 18 months ago and this facility is now supplying around 400 machines to customers in south-west England. The plant show allowed the hire company to promote its increasing presence in the area, highlight the important part that plant operators play in the business, recruit new staff and get youngsters interested in construction plant.
Rob Lynch, sales director, said: ‘One of the main reasons for organizing the plant show was to be able to spend quality time with our operators and their families. The event has also allowed us to recruit and make contact with other operators in an area where there is a lot of activity and we are gaining a bigger share of the hire business.’
With plans progressing to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, the need for more plant operators in the area is already being addressed. In January this year, Bridgwater College opened a new civil engineering centre at Carrington, close to the Hinkley Point C power station site, and it is now running regular two week pre-employment courses in construction plant for youngsters aged over 19. These ‘Get into Construction Plant’ courses teach practical skills and give participants the opportunity to gain their CSCS and a CPCS site dumper ticket.
Bridgwater College had a stand at the family plant show and operator open day to publicize its new facilities and training opportunities. Lynch Plant Hire are working closely with the college and sponsoring one of the ‘Get into Construction Plant’ courses in October. The hire company is also supplying machines for a forthcoming course for articulated dumptruck operators.
The free admission family plant show allowed visitors to view machines and attachments from many makers and dealers.
Amongst the plant on display were machines from Bobcat, Bomag, Case, Doosan, Hitachi, Hyundai, JCB, Kubota, Merlo, Takeuchi, Terex, Thwaites, Volvo and Wacker Neuson. Quick coupler and attachment suppliers showing their wares included: Hill Engineering, Miller, ProDem, Strickland and Worsley Plant.
Operators were able to display their prowess by taking part in a number of timed challenges. These included inserting a pin suspended from the dipper arm of a Case CX26B ZTS mini-excavator into vertical tubes positioned in the ground at different distances around the machine, placing rubber ducks on top of road cones with a Takeuchi TB228 mini-excavator, stacking 10 tyres using a ProDem rotating selector grab fitted to a Wacker Neuson 9503 wheeled midi-excavator and lowering the backhoe bucket of a JCB 3CX backhoe loader onto an array of cones.
Some of these challenges were much more difficult than they looked – thereby providing a good indicator of operating ability. Lynch personnel marked the contestants and the best of those not already employed by the company have been offered jobs.
It is recognized that the construction plant industry needs to do a lot more to attract young people and the family plant show was a good way to spark and reinforce an early interest in construction machinery. The event allowed supervised children to sit on static machines and to watch equipment working.
As well as full size kit, many large-scale remote-controlled trucks and construction machines were also seen in action.