Trelawny SPT and Champion Hire going strong with exclusive trial

January 23, 2015

Sheffield-based Champion Hire has helped to evaluate a new machine that will be officially launched at the Executive Hire Show. Alan Guthrie reports.

Champion Hire has increased its fleet of surface preparation equipment with its recent purchase of 15 machines from Trelawny, supplied by UK distributor Fairport Construction Equipment. These units will be available from all five of the hirers’s depots covering Sheffield, Leeds/Bradford, Chesterfield, Nottingham/Derby and Doncaster.

As Champion MD Keith White told EHN, this category of equipment has been represented in the fleet virtually since the company’s foundation back in 1968. “In those days, there was considerable demand from the many factories and industrial buildings that existed across our region and which needed to keep surfaces in good condition. This accelerated with the introduction of the Health & Safety at Work Act in 1974. We would source floor grinding machines principally from Errut, right up until its closure in 2003, when we had to find other suppliers.”

Trelawny was one of the manufacturers that saw an opportunity to target a growing market. “We had specialised in pneumatic tools such as scabblers for marine, construction, oil and gas industries, both at home and overseas, and we decided to develop a range of petrol and electric floor preparation products, sold through specialist distributors,” said Area Sales Manager, Glenn Chapman. “We have steadily expanded the line-up, especially with regard to offering solutions for issues like HAV and dust.”

Following the demise of plant sales business Oswald Record, Fairport was appointed as Trelawny’s UK distributor in 2013. On a visit to Champion Hire’s Sheffield head office last year, Sales Manager Steve Watkinson (who worked with Errut until its closure) found that the company wanted to expand its surface preparation range. “I left some machines for Keith White and his team to evaluate, including the TCG 250 and TCG 500 single and twin head grinders. They quickly proved popular with customers and to be robust in operation, and Champion placed an order for five TCG 250s in 110V and ten TCG 500 machines, comprising 110V and petrol engine versions.” The TCG 250 is designed for preparing and levelling small to medium sized concrete floor areas and has a maximum cutting width of 250mm, while the TCG 500 offers a 590mm maximum cutting width.

Champion Hire has also been exclusively evaluating since August a new Trelawny product, the TFS 230 tile and floor stripper, which has been well received by customers. It will be officially launched at the Executive Hire Show, at which Trelawny and Fairport will, like last year, have adjacent stands. The electrically-powered machine is available in 110V and 230V options and its oscillating blade is designed to cope with tough adhesives for the efficient removal of linoleum, carpets, vinyl and other floor coverings.

“We aim to standardise on Trelawny machines for our floor preparation fleet,” said Adam Langham, Champion Hire’s Operations Manager. “At busy periods, we have a lot of inter-depot equipment transfers to cope with demand across our region. Commonality of equipment means our customers and staff are familiar with the products and it reduces the number of spares we need to stock.”

Steve Watkinson says that Champion Hire’s feedback regarding the TFS 230 has been very valuable, and that it is a good example of a supplier and a hirer working together to develop a new product. “The machine has been working across the Champion network, enabling staff to evaluate it and customers to use it in real working conditions.”

Keith White adds that “the Trelawny machines are also an excellent opportunity for complementary business following on from hires of Fairport concreting equipment, which we have in our fleet. Builders can hire the compaction plates, pokers and screeders they need for laying the wet material, and we can later supply grinders and other items required for any remedial work on the hardened concrete. It is a very popular equipment category, and many contractors take a whole package of equipment from us to use throughout the various stages of a project.”

Trelawny’s Glenn Chapman believes that the potential market is considerable, particularly for industrial floor maintenance and refurbishment. “Preventing slips, trips and falls is a major Health & Safety issue in factories, warehouses, manufacturing facilities and other workplace environments. This is creating hire demand not only from contractors that are called in to renovate, re-paint or re-lay floors, but also from people who are hiring machines to do the work themselves and reduce costs.”

“It was exactly this sort of user that we would typically hire to when we offered floor preparation equipment in the first place,” adds Keith White. “There were not many specialist floor maintenance contractors in the 1970s, and businesses just got the job done themselves, so in some ways we have come full circle.

“I am looking forward to attending the Show again, along with other staff. It is important to keep abreast of new equipment, as products change so quickly as technology advances. The days of keeping equipment for many years are over: you have to offer the latest machines that offer greater efficiencies and cost-savings. I tell other Champion Hire staff to always focus on the future, and to look out for the new trends that the business needs to be aware of.” •

Article from Alan Guthrie @ Executive Hire News

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