From starting out as an advertising platform for recruiting plant operators and mechanics in Scotland, Scottish Plant and Operators has enhanced its profile by growing into a dedicated plant hire company choosing Volvo excavators along the way.
In February 2014, Scottish Plant & Operators was born out of a realisation that there was a demand within the industry for recruiting good quality operators and service mechanics. Managing Director Stewart McNeish quickly saw a niche in the market place for providing such a service for plant fleet operators, ground works contractors, in fact, any fleet user in the whole spectrum ranging from quarrying to waste handling, demolition and even agricultural contracting.
In Scotland specifically, what would you do to recruit an excavator or dump truck operator? Probably place an ad in the local gazette or Scottish national press and hope for the best. Stewart McNeish’s vision was to create an on line advertising platform using the strength of social media to revolutionise and speed up the recruitment process and so Scottish Plant and Operators was born. Since its inception, the company boasts a total of 81,000 followers on Facebook with this number rising on a daily basis. “We have at least 40 large companies operating a whole range of plant, advertising with us on a regular basis,” comments Stewart. “The on line adverts are widely viewed and we estimate to have had over 100000 views so far. There’s a huge demand and this method of recruiting good quality operators and fitters, welders – you name it, is proving very successful,” he continues.
An almost immediate by-product for providing this online service was a demand for providing machines for hire as well. “Our plant hire side was born out of the service we were providing online,” continues Stewart. “Our first excavator was a Volvo fourteen tonner which has proved to be very reliable and we have recently traded out an EC220D for the latest E version. In all, we now have seven excavators, a dozer, screens and crushers along with some items of smaller plant. One of our main reasons for choosing another Volvo is thanks to the after sales service and support we receive from Volvo’s customer support centre in Stirling. Yes, we had a few issues with the EC220D but the team at Volvo stood by the machine and looked after our interests and this speaks volumes,” he continues. “The plant industry is a people business and we like to deal with the people we know and can trust.”
The new twenty-two tonne EC220E along with all the remaining machines in the Scottish Plant and Operator’s fleet is available for hire but is also used as and when needed to service the needs of other parts of the business. This includes soil and aggregate screening, contract crushing and screening, and handling inert industrial waste material under the auspices of Allstone (Glasgow) Ltd and GS Site Services. “Our operators are certainly impressed, not only with the cab comfort, but also with the smoothness and responsiveness of the machine itself,” says Stewart. “We’re really pleased with the new EC220E.”
Scottish Plant & Operators is headquartered at Milton of Campsie, Glasgow. Besides its plant hire and plant division, the company’s mission is dedicated to consolidating a network of plant affiliated companies and operators throughout Scotland with the aim of building improved communications between operators, prospective employers and to improve training opportunities.
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