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17 December 2013

Hope is for Tuesday but use the rest when required.

First published16/12/2013
Britain’s Hope Construction Materials has invested in a new fleet of quarry machines in partnership with Finning, which has provided a range of new technology to enable Hope to manage the fleet “to achieve maximum productivity, flexibility and fuel efficiency.”

The deal will see Hope making “an entrepreneurial move” by taking the operation of its new fleet of 21 Cat machines in-house, supported by a bespoke fleet management package from Finning. The machines will be used at a range of Hope's aggregates and cement sites across then Counties of Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and Bedfordshire and the Manchester, England.

The new fleet includes the UK's first Cat 988K wheeled loader, which will be joined by two Cat 966K XE wheeled loaders and eight Cat 775G off-highway trucks.

By combining these fuel efficient machines with training, telemetry and service support from Finning, Hope Construction Materials says it AIMS to show the industry the benefits of taking an innovative in-house approach to fleet management.

As part of the multi-million pound fleet management package, Finning will provide a full turnkey support package to Hope Construction Materials. This will include onsite Eco-Drive operator training for Hope operators and site managers; equipment monitoring from its Finsight condition monitoring team and the use of the Vital Information Monitoring System (VIMS) data through Caterpillar's MineStar system.

The over-riding fleet management package will cover every unit in the new fleet, which also includes two Cat 390D LME excavators; two 740B ADTs; two 980K wheeled loaders; a D6T LGP dozer; a 962K high-lift wheeled loader; a TH407C and a TH414C telehandler.

Simon Philips, Managing Director, Concrete, Aggregates and Asphalt Division, Hope Construction Materials, said: “As Britain's leading independent supplier of cement, concrete, aggregates and asphalt, we made a conscious decision when we were formed in January 2013 to continually review the key elements of our operations.

“With our aim to become a reliable and responsible business, when it came to our mobile fleet strategy, we saw there was a clear opportunity to have a greater control and understanding of this key function. Following detailed analysis, we decided to bring the operation of our mobile fleet completely in-house. We wanted to take a new approach to fleet modelling that would allow us to optimise site by site, but also have the in-built flexibility to move equipment across our entire operations.

“So when we went out to the market, we were not just looking for the best purchase price of a machine, we wanted to work with a supplier that was much more aligned with our entrepreneurial approach to doing business.

“I was delighted with the Finning proposal: they demonstrated great knowledge of our quarry operations and worked with us to identify a complete fleet management package, integrating with our team and sharing knowledge. With access to the extensive Caterpillar range and finance from Cat Financial, Finning was not only able to match machine to machine, its team was also able to optimise the whole production and investment cycles.

“As we all know the whole life cost of plant and equipment is so critical, and when we assessed this with Finning, we looked at everything from haul roads, tyre wear and fuel usage to utilisation and availability of the mobile plant supplied by Finning, and the matching of this to ensure we utilise our fixed processing plant. The Finning team also showed us how we could use services such as its Finsight condition monitoring team, to increase uptime and equipment performance.

“As a business, wherever possible, we look to support our people and help them do their job better. So when Finning introduced us to Eco-Drive, we saw a clear opportunity to combine operator training with an enhanced fleet, to get the most out of our investment.”

Now in operation at Hope sites in Bedfordshire, South Yorkshire and Derbyshire (including Dowlow Quarry near Buxton), the new fleet is being constantly monitored by the Finsight engineering team in Cannock, County Staffordshire, England.

Dean Turner, Finning customer account manager said: “Since Hope Construction Materials was formed, we have worked closely with the business, fulfilling its requirements for the site, using our customer support fleet to ensure a smooth transition to the new equipment. Our UK branch network and in particular our Chesterfield branch, which is very close to Hope Works and Quarry and Dowlow Quarry, has been key to supplying operational support to the business.

“Over a short period of time we have built strong working relationships across the whole business, understanding how it is looking to develop, its values and goals for the future. This led to us being invited to tender for the fleet deal. Throughout the tender process, we consulted with each site and the management team, to identify how we could add value and flexibility to the deal, bringing in colleagues from Caterpillar and Cat Financial.”

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