PPE appeal…

Cantillon and De Group join forces to combat COVID-19.

While stocks of PPE are already depleted and orders backing up, we might find ourselves not really having meaningful use for what we have got.

If that were the case, there are likely to be massive shortages within the NHS and probably zero current stocks for all Vulnerable Group Charities and Organisations. We should therefore, retain a base stock and make the rest available to those that will need it most.

Cantillon and De Group are pulling together their resource to reach out to our competitors, peers and partners to seek quantities of excess Masks, Overalls, Glasses and Gloves.

We have contacts within the NHS and the Emergency Services who have already said this would be gratefully received. They may use it themselves or indeed direct us to the Vulnerable Groups. Fact is, it can do a lot of good, but not while it sits on our shelves gathering dust.

This is a Free of Charge donation, its giving back in an hour of real need.

Contact Paul Ford via email paul.ford@deconstructuk.com to commit products or raise any queries via mobile 07973 116786

Or Paul Cluskey via email paul.cluskey@cantillon.co.uk or via mobile 07867 369943

We can manage collection and distribution and your contribution will make a huge difference and hopefully save lives.

You can hear Cantillon’s Paul Cluskey talking about the campaign below:

Hillhead bumped…

Hillhead and PlantworX shows agree postponement amidst COVID-19 crisis.

As we predicted in yesterday’s Comment piece, the Hillhead 2020 exhibition has issued a statement to say that it has been shifted back by a year in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

An official statement says:

In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Hillhead 2020 is being postponed by 12 months.

Hillhead event director Richard Bradbury explains: ‘The health and safety of exhibitors, visitors, contractors and employees is our number one priority and with the peak of the epidemic predicted to coincide with the show in June, this would be severely compromised.

‘Following an extensive consultation process, the decision has been taken to delay the event by a year to allow market conditions to stabilise and to best support the construction and quarrying industry during this challenging period.’

Also, following industry consultation, PlantworX – previously scheduled for next year – will also be put back a year.

Rob Oliver, chief executive of the Construction Equipment Association, comments: ‘Whilst we are, of course, reluctant to change our plans for Plantworx 2021, these are unprecedented times. In the interests of both our sets of exhibitors and the industry as a whole, we will shortly announce our new dates for the next Plantworx in June 2022 at our Peterborough home.’

NDTG acts on COVID-19 threat…

Training group posts update on CCDO card renewals.

“…NDTG are aware of the uncertainty and growing concerns regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 and the likelihood that this may impact the ability of individuals renewing or updating their CCDO cards.

At this time, all CCDO cards should be in date, however with the situation the industry is currently facing, in the coming months this may not be the case. Therefore NDTG can only advise that employers use their discretion in accepting CCDO cards that will expire from 1st April 2020 onwards until the COVID-19 situation is brought under control.

If you wish to request an extension on your existing CCDO card for an initial period of three months, please call the team on 01442 217 144 (Option 2) or email: hello@ndtg.training

The NDTG will be continually monitoring the current situation with CITB, Build UK, HSE and will continually be updating our website…”

JCB halts production…

Manufacturer responds to COVID-19 threat.

JCB is today stopping production at all of its UK manufacturing plants as disruption resulting from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic causes an unprecedented reduction in global demand.

The company is halting production for the rest of this week and the whole of next week at its nine manufacturing plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wrexham. Shop floor employees affected by the move will be paid in full during this period. No decision has yet been taken on what happens from the week commencing Monday, March 30th and beyond. Office staff will continue to work a 39-hour week, with many working from home, in support of the Government’s social distancing policy.

“These measures are unprecedented in the history of JCB but are absolutely necessary to protect the business. As we continue to deal with the health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more challenging to maintain business continuity in this volatile economic climate. JCB is a global exporter and worldwide demand for our products has dropped sharply as customers cancel orders and defer deliveries. This is not just a UK issue, it is worldwide and with countries like France, Spain and Italy going into lock-down, those key markets for construction equipment disappear overnight,” says JCB CEO Graeme Macdonald said: “In light of this fast-changing situation, we need to re-plan our production and, as a result, manufacturing at all UK factories will cease for the rest of this week and all of next week. This will allow us to take stock of the situation, re-plan our order book, prioritise products that are definitely required by customers, and ensure parts and components are reassigned to support the production of these products.”

JCB’s plant in Pudong, near Shanghai, ceased production last month as the impact of the pandemic initially took hold. After several weeks of disruption, the factory is now fully operational again.

Comment – The show must go on…?

COVID-19 fallout hits industry exhibitions.

The ConExpo 2020 exhibition in Las Vegas last week was shortened by a day amidst fears over the Coronavirus pandemic. News has reached us this morning that the ScotPlant exhibition in Scotland has been postponed along with the Glastonbury music festival that was scheduled to take place in June to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Although there has been – so far – no comment from the organisers, this must surely raise doubts over the Hillhead exhibition that is currently scheduled to take place in Buxton, Derbyshire in June this year.

If the Hillhead show IS postponed, it will be sad on a number of levels. First of all, this is a show that – in recent years – has embraced the demolition and recycling sector. It is a show in which it is still possible to see some truly big equipment in action. And, unlike bigger international shows such as Bauma, it is still possible to see all of the Hillhead show in a single day. For these and so many other seasons, Hillhead has a special place in my heart.

However, it is impossible to ignore the potential implications of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Indeed, even if the organisers decide to press ahead with the show, it is likely that they will see a number of exhibitors pulling out.

It is easy to say that the show could be pushed back by a year, much like the Glastonbury festival.
But it is not that simple. 2021 is already earmarked as a PlantworX year, and equipment manufacturers and dealers’ marketing budgets can only stretch so far. Besides, two shows in a year risks “exhibition fatigue” among even the most committed and eager show attendees.

Should Hillhead skip 2021 in the hope of getting back on an every-other-year rotation whilst avoiding clashes with PlantworX, it will find itself competing for attention (and marketing spend) with the behemoth that is Bauma.

I sincerely hope that Hillhead can go ahead as planned and that exhibitors and visitors are able to give it the support this well-established exhibition so richly deserves.

But as it stands today, that is looking increasingly unlikely.

Report reveals MEWP accident zones

Sites prove proportionally safer.

Accidents while using Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) are proportionally more likely when working in public areas or alongside roads than on controlled work sites such as construction sites, commercial or rental premises, according to the latest detailed safety analysis from the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF).

IPAF’s Global MEWP Safety Report 2016-2018 presents key findings from the federation’s analysis of accident statistics gathered through its worldwide accident reporting project, which has incident reporting from 25 countries around the globe. The report is now available to view or download via www.ipaf.org/accident

Accidents on construction sites account for the joint highest average number per year, but as MEWPs are used much more widely in construction than in other sectors and locations, they are in fact proportionally less likely to occur on a controlled work site than in a remote location or a public area, such as alongside a road, the report shows.

As well as the increased proportional risk of an accident occurring when working away from controlled job sites, the new report identifies recurring underlying causes of incidents involving MEWPs as falls from the platform, electrocutions, entrapments, MEWP tip-overs and MEWPs being struck by another vehicle. This is in line with previous years’ fatal accident analysis and demonstrates yet again that the industry should focus on ways to reduce underlying factors common to these types of incident.

“With this report there’s a new methodology to much of the analysis and the way the findings are presented, plus the report is interspersed with key recommendations to mitigate common risk factors,” says Richard Whiting, IPAF’s General Market Manager for UK & Ireland. “We’ve worked hard along with a dedicated group of IPAF members to analyse, interpret and present the data in a new way, to assist the wider industry to stay safe. Renewed focus must be brought to bear to warn managers and operators of the relatively higher proportional risks of a major or fatal accident when not working on a controlled, segregated work site. IPAF’s Street Smart safety campaign already seeks to do this; we must look at how best to evolve this campaign to help reduce electrocutions or other accidents in forestry, for instance.”

“MEWPs are still among the safest ways to conduct work at height. When unplanned incidents do occur, it is vital we capture that data and analyse the resulting statistics to see what trends are occurring and to influence IPAF’s technical guidance, adapt our training programme and inform our safety campaigns. We must work with our members and all industry stakeholders to improve incident reporting. It’s vital that all incidents including minor mishaps and near misses are logged; this helps identify heightened risk and mitigate underlying factors to reduce the number of major accidents or fatalities that do occur using the knowledge gained,” says Peter Douglas, IPAF’s CEO & MD, who as a member of the UK Country Council was instrumental in initiating the ongoing worldwide incident reporting project in 2012. “Some people may be unaware of IPAF’s reporting portal, while others may feel they will get into trouble if they report something. Our portal via www.ipaf.org/accident is quick, simple and allows any incident to be logged with total anonymity, so I urge anyone who is aware of an accident involving a MEWP that might not have been reported to log on and enter the details without delay – it may help save a life in future.”

Ritchie Bros. responds to COVID-19

World-leading auction house focuses online.

With concerns about large gatherings growing around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many trade shows and events have been cancelled. Thanks to its industry-leading online bidding system and mobile application, Ritchie Bros. will continue to conduct regular onsite auctions, with temporary changes to the process and procedure of those events.

Instead of bidding in person, the company is encouraging customers to participate online or via its mobile application. An auctioneer will still be used to conduct Ritchie Bros.’ onsite auctions, but all equipment and trucks will be sold virtually.

Upcoming auctions in France, UK and Germany will be held entirely as Timed Auctions – an easy-to-use online bidding system with set opening and closing times for each item. When bidding closes on an item, it is sold to the highest bidder. Closing times may vary per item and are available on rbauction.com.

• St Aubin sur Gaillon, France – all items will be sold via Timed Auction between 13 – 18 March
• Maltby, UK – all items will be sold via Timed Auction between 20 – 25 March
• Meppen, Germany – all items will be sold via Timed Auction between 19 – 27 March
• Caorso, Italy – auction is postponed to 28 April

“The safety of our customers and employees is our first priority,” says Ann Fandozzi, Chief Executive Officer, Ritchie Bros. “The demand for equipment right now is high—as witnessed by the strong pricing we’ve seen in all our recent events. With our online bidding technology, we can keep the market moving while simultaneously keeping people safe.”

Today, upwards of 78 percent of winning bids in Ritchie Bros. live auctions are made online. Additionally, due to new efforts to drive online demand, Ritchie Bros. has seen visits to rbauction.com and web account creations increase by 15% and 19% respectively. Ritchie Bros. mobile application users have also risen drastically, up 90% year over year.

Ritchie Bros. will also conduct live and virtual onsite auctions at its sites in Columbus, OH; Sacramento, CA; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA and St. Aubin sur Gaillon, FRA this week. A limited number of bidders will be allowed to participate onsite (based on local legislation), but bidders are encouraged to participate online. For a complete list of upcoming Ritchie Bros. auctions, visit rbauction.com/auctions.

Pulling Together…

What can we do to help you during the COVID-19 crisis?

I have just got back from the ConExpo exhibition in Las Vegas and, on the advice of the US’ Center for Disease Control, have placed myself in self-isolation for the next seven days. I am fortunate in that I generally work from home; so my period of confinement will be pretty much like any other week.

However, I am very conscious that the current COVID-19 crisis is having wider and far more severe implications in the demolition community. We are aware of many jobs that have been placed on hold and others with start dates that have been pushed back. This is likely to have a big impact upon many demolition companies; and an even greater impact upon demolition workers, many of whom are not directly employed and, therefore, don’t have employment benefits to fall back upon.

I am not a health specialist, nor am I an employment specialist so I can offer no assistance in either of those areas. But what we do have is a massive global audience of demolition professionals, together with the ability to communicate directly with that audience.

And so, we are throwing open our channels to you. If you want to express your fears or concerns over the virus, we’re here to listen. If you want to communicate with your fellow demolition professionals to find out how they are managing the spread of COVID-19, then we will put you in touch. If you are a demolition worker in need of help or alternative employment, then please get in touch.

In truth, I am not entirely sure what help we can offer; so we’re hoping that you can help us shape our response. If we need to set in place a fundraising initiative to help those that are struggling financially, then that’s what we will do. If you need us to be purely an information conduit, we’ll do that.

To cut a long story short, or channel is your channel. The demolition industry has been very kind to us over the years. If it is within our powers to return that kindness now, then we will certainly do if it’s within our powers.

Most of all, now is the time for the demolition community to pull together. There is every likelihood that we are about to enter a Coronavirus recession that could have a devastating effect upon demolition companies and individual workers.

While it might be of scant consolation, we are here for you, come what may.

Cat’s big beast…

Caterpillar unveils new ultra high demolition machine.

Caterpillar has given the demolition world a first-glimpse of the long-awaited Cat 352 UHD ultra high demolition excavator that DemolitionNews first saw (exclusively) in prototype form in Japan last year.

The new Cat 352 UHD is designed to handle difficult demolition of tall structures using a range of Cat demolition attachments, including multi-processors, grapples, shears and hydraulic hammers with the retrofit boom. It can carry a 3.7 tonne tool to 28 metres.

The UHD front can be switched for a straight or bent (retrofit) boom position for lower-level demolition and earthmoving applications. This switch typically is done in about 15 minutes with 2 people with no special tool required. The 352 UHD features a variable-gauge undercarriage (hydraulically activated), as well as the Cat Active Stability Monitoring system, which continuously informs the operator of work tool position within a safe working range and warns when approaching stability limits.

We will be covering the Cat 352 UHD in greater depth in the next edition of the Demolition magazine.

In other equipment-related news, Volvo Construction Equipment has made the bold decision to pull out of next week’s massive ConExpo exhibition over Coronavirus fears. Rumours circulating the Las Vegas Convention Center suggest that the Volvo stand is all but complete but that it will remain unmanned for the duration of the show.

The return of the Scrap Kings…

Action-packed TV show returns on 17 March.

The Scrap Kings TV show is back for a brand new series, as it continues to bring the people behind hands on demolition and salvage, to the forefront.

The show follows the men and women who have turned waste into wealth. Redundant buildings and vehicles get stripped for spare parts and then crushed by dinosaur-like excavators and engine cracking machines, salvaging any scrap metal that can be reused.

The brand new season will bring louder explosions and bigger challenges as the nation’s kings and queens of destruction knock down giant tower blocks and blow up bridges, mega-mining machinery and factories. Follow these demolition experts as they bang, blow, smash and crunch their way around the UK.

The brand new series of Scrap Kings premieres exclusively on Quest 9pm, Tuesday 17 March.