DIGGER giant JCB has secured an order for more than 1,000 machines from one of the UK's leading plant hire companies in a deal worth £35 million.
A-Plant has bought a huge fleet mainly consisting of mini and midi excavators and JCB Loadalls, as well as rough terrain forklifts, Teletruks and 3CX backhoe loaders.
And for the first time, A-Plant has also ordered a number of JS130 tracked excavators from JCB as it looks to expand its range into the 13-tonne machine market.
The deal comes on the back of 800 machines ordered by A-Plant last year and a further 550 in 2012.
JCB Chief Executive Graeme Macdonald said: "This is a highly significant order and the biggest of the year so far for JCB in the UK.
"We are delighted that our relationship with A-Plant, which now stretches back more than 25 years, continues to go from strength to strength.
"The UK market is currently the fastest growing in the world and JCB is on course for its best performance in the UK since 2007, which helps to offset downturns in markets such as Brazil, India and Latin America."
All the machines, which are being supplied by dealer Greenshields JCB, will be built at JCB's Staffordshire factories; the backhoe loaders and Loadalls at the World HQ in Rocester, the mini and midi excavators at JCB Compact Products in Cheadle, the Teletruks at JCB Utility Products, Cheadle, and the tracked excavators at JCB Heavy Products based in Uttoxeter.
Asif Latief, A-Plant Marketing and Strategic Accounts Director, said: "This order allows us to meet with the increasing demand in the market place and continue to supply one of the youngest and most up to date fleets in the industry".
He added: "We have also added the new JS130 tracked excavators to our fleet to service a contract with the Environment Agency because of its environmental efficiencies which address issues such as CO2 emissions and use biodegradable hydraulic oil.
"This is a standard requirement on the Environment Agency's excavators".
A-Plant, which forms part of FTSE-100 company Ashtead Group plc, is one of the UK's largest equipment rental companies with more than 125 Service Centres across Great Britain, more than 2,250 employees nationwide and over 30,000 customers in the construction, industrial, commercial, utility, public sector, homeowner and events markets.
The firm has in excess of 110,000 items of Plant, Tools and Specialist Equipment available to hire from locations nationwide.