Louise Murphy of The Construction Equipment Association provides highlights of this year’s Plantworx Construction Machinery Show…
The 2nd Plantworx Construction Machinery Show drew to a close on 4th June 2015 following a spectacular three-day action packed event. The show opened to gale force winds and driving rain – but this did not dampen the spirits of visitors who flocked through the gates to see the plethora of brand new equipment on display at the show’s new Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground home in Leicestershire. The Plantworx team has also reported a record footfall of more than 14,000 visitors over 3 days, up 18% on the 2013 event.
The show, which spanned 135,000 square metres and was home to 344 exhibitors for three-days, was deemed a huge success and following the show social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook were ‘buzzing’ with positive comments from both exhibitors and visitors alike.
The show even attracted the attention of BBC Breakfast news who broadcast live from the event from 6am to 9am. BBC Breakfast reporter, Victoria Fritz donned a hard hat and hi-viz and interviewed leading figures from the construction equipment industry including Rob Oliver, chief executive of CEA (Construction Equipment Association). The programme was viewed by an estimated 1.5million viewers and went along way to raising the profile of the Construction Equipment Industry.
Cheque books at the ready – deals done at the show
Day two of the show saw the sun peeping through the clouds and the wind and rain were an almost distant memory. The aisles were once again filled with happy visitors many with cheque books in hand eager to update their fleets. Many deals were done at the event – too many to mention them all – but here are just a few:
L Lynch Plant Hire signed a £5.8m deal to buy 50 Cat 320E L Hydraulic Excavators at the show. The machines were sold by UK and Ireland Caterpillar dealer Finning.
This deal was followed by a visit to the Hill Engineering stand where L Lynch placed an order for 50 Tefra couplers to support the new Cat machines – this deal is worth £120K.
Merrill Lynch, director at Lynch Plant Hire said:
“This investment is indicative of the growing demand in the plant hire market due to huge UK projects, including Crossrail, M25 widening and moving forward HS2.”
Hewden finalised a deal at the show investing around £1m in a range of Miller breaker attachments, which will see more than 180 new breakers added to Hewden’s attachment portfolio for use with its range of excavators (1.5-ton to 22-ton) and telehandlers (5m to 17m).
The final day of the show (Thursday 4th June) was a heatwave with ice-creams being the order of the day. As well as trade visitors, Plantworx opened its doors to students from local schools and colleges in the hope of encouraging more youngsters into the Construction Equipment industry. Over 300 children attended the student event – each were presented with a hi-viz jacket, kindly supplied by Plantworx Exhibitor Nylacast, and were given a student trail to follow where the children were encouraged to visit participating stands, answer questions and take part in challenges.
Rob Oliver chief executive of CEA said, “The sheer delight on the faces of many of our junior visitors on the last afternoon suggests we may repeat the experiment of allowing the next generation of construction equipment enthusiasts access to the event”.
Onsite awards at Plantworx
Over the three days of the show awards were presented to a number of exhibitors for their outstanding efforts and contributions to the event.
Best Operator Award
Sponsored by Earthmovers magazine in association with DiggerBlogMan, Bobcat’s Robby Bosch was crowned the best operator at the Plantworx show. Robby caught the judges’ attention while operating a tracked skid steer loader.
Graham Black, editor of Earthmovers, said, “There were some spectacular performances by professional demonstrators, guest operators and visitors to the event. Those working with tilt and tilt-rotating hitches were particularly good, making a significant contribution to the ongoing industry debate on these time-saving attachments. However, this year Nick Drew (DiggerManBlog) and I focussed on those operators that demonstrated the full potential of their base machine.
Best Demonstration Award
Diggers and Dozers’ editor Mark Anthony was charged with selecting the Best Live Demonstration at PlantworX 2015. His choice was a gravity-defying dozer. Mark said, “I have spent almost a quarter of a century watching mobile equipment demonstrations and displays from SED and Hillhead to Intermat, Bauma and ConExpo. I have seen dancing diggers and dancing girls; I have watched skid steer loaders performing stunts; and I have witnessed excavators teetering on the very brink of safety. But the display put on by UK LiuGong Machinery dealer Construction Plant & Machinery Sales was right up there with the very best.”
Best Stand Safety
Sponsored and judged by Fuchsia exhibition’s Nick Coleman, the Best Stand Safety award went to Caterpillar. Nick said, “From the moment the Cat team arrived onsite they showed the very best in safety standards. During build up every aspect of constructing their stand demonstrated the amount of thought and planning that went into the procedure.
The bringing in of machines was seamless and the construction and design of their demonstration plot was also highly professional and adhered to all the safety rules. Out of the 344 exhibitors Caterpillar was a clear winner.”
Best Outdoor Static
There could only be one winner for Best Outdoor Static and that was Altrad Belle for its ambitious stand construction. It took the company two weeks to construct with the team working tirelessly day and night to complete the ‘work of art’. At the heart of the stand was a wooden cabin, hand constructed, complete with solar panels, winches and a pulley to demonstrate the lifting of its new bucket. This was surrounded by underground tunnels, pumping water and an eight foot tree encircled by hand painted small equipment showing their ‘green’ credentials.
Judging this award, sponsored by the CEA, were Plantworx organising team members Angela Spink and Simon Frere-Cook. Angela said, “Altrad Belle really went above and beyond in designing and constructing their stand – it really drew in the crowds. Every detail was well thought out and used space to its best potential. Well done to all the team at Belle.”
Best Indoor Static
Sponsored by Plantworx and judged by Angela Spink and Simon Frere-Cook from the organising team, this category is a tough one to judge and is awarded to the best pavilion stand and celebrates the best use of a small space. Following a lengthy tour around the pavilion a winner was decided – and that was Ifm Electronic who dedicated their stand to its ecomatmobile system solutions for vehicle and mobile machines. Angela said, “Ifm really used the space available to its full potential. The stand was welcoming and the stand staff were attentive. The displays were clear and innovative and drew in the crowds. A huge well done to Ifm Electronics.”
A successful show
As Plantworx 2015 closed its doors on Thursday 4th June the feeling amongst its exhibitors, visitors and organisers was one of success. Rob Oliver chief executive CEA said in response to the show, “The aerial photos of the event are stunning – and underline the fact that we have created a show of substance and clear benefit to the UK construction market. I believe we have delivered on the promise of a show “for the industry, by the industry” with lots of business being conducted.
We will study the detailed post-show responses, but the venue seemed to get strong thumbs up from exhibitors and visitors. The quality of visitors set a new benchmark for the show.”
We now look to the 2017 event which is taking place Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th June 2017. Venue to be confirmed – but initial responses all point towards Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground.
Construction Equipment Association
Tel: +44 (0)20 8253 4502