Thomas Plant Hire turns to Xwatch for safety systems

Welsh equipment contracting business Thomas Plant Hire has installed around 65 Xwatch safety systems on a variety of excavators, and has more on order as it looks to future-proof its fleet. 
Loading, Hauling & Excavation / February 1, 2023
By Liam McLoughlin
Thomas Group plans to install more Xwatch safety systems on its excavators
Thomas Group plans to install more Xwatch safety systems on its excavators

Thomas Plant Hire began its journey a quarter of a century ago in 1998 when MD Wyn Thomas founded a contracting business in Holywell in North Wales.  The company has since grown into somewhat of a force majeure within the sector, with many subsidiary companies within the Thomas Group – in fact, there are seven other Thomas Plant divisions, and the company has no plans to slow down its future growth. 
Thomas Plant Hire has more than 3,000 machines within its hire fleet including a wide range of excavators ranging from 1.5tonne up to 50 tonne – which include machines from OEMs Hitachi, Caterpillar, Kobelco, Komatsu and Liebherr. The company also owns a fleet of 72 dozers with another 20 on order. 
Ian McMillan, head of business development at the Thomas Group, says that the company invested in the region of £50m in new plant and machinery during 2022 and is planning to invest a similar figure during 2023. 
The company is also a big investor in ‘machine technology’ with its OnGrade Machine Control division, which offers training, sales and hire for Intelligent GPS Machine Control systems, which include Leica, Topcon and Trimble. 
Thomas Group's Xwatch systems have been installed by Xwatch partner Gareth James - owner of GJ Plant and Auto Electrics and Xwatch’s, sister company Fitzgerald Plant Services, based in Cwmbran, Wales. So far in January 2023, James has installed 13 Xwatch Systems on behalf of Thomas Plant. 
McMillan commented: “We chose the Xwatch systems as they have Network Rail approval, which is a very valuable endorsement for the products and allows us to operate on Network Rail projects. The backup and service we receive from both Gareth James and Fitzgerald Plant Services are second to none - 100% positive." 
He added: "When working with tier one contractors they mandate that an engineer is on-site within a maximum of four hours of an issue, with Gareth, Fitzgerald Plant Services and the Xwatch, support team this service is guaranteed, although we have next to no issues with the Xwatch systems.
“Xwatch design and manufacture fantastic systems, which are simple for the operator to navigate, and again Network Rail and National Highway’s approval is a big driver for using the brand.” Concluded Ian 

Thomas Plant Hire MD Wyn Thomas commented: "As a forward-thinking and progressive business we are always looking to work with companies with the same approach. That's why Xwatch is our preferred supplier for machine safety solutions. Quality of installation is also key and both Gareth James and Fitzgerald, deliver on every level."  
Jemma Dycer-Hopkins, UK business development manager at Xwatch Safety Solutions, said: "Working with Gwyn, Wyn, Ian and the rest of the fantastic team at Thomas Plant, is always a pleasure. We are honoured to be the company's preferred supplier of safety systems for their modern fleet. We look forward to continuing our working relationship with Thomas Plant and meeting their safety requirements." 

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