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Wed September 30 2020

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Bobcat purchase fuels Frank Key’s ambitions

29 Jun 11 Nottinghamshire-based builders merchant Frank Key has continued the expansion of its plant hire business with the purchase of 10 new Bobcat mini-excavators from local dealer Butler Reynolds.

The shipment comprises a mixture of E10, E14 and 328 models and are available for hire from Frank Key’s Daybrook and Somercotes depots.

The Bobcats are part of a wider investment that sees the company buying more kit this year than in any previous year of its 34-years in plant hire.

Frank Key Hire general manager Richard Johnson said that demand had been fuelled partly by a slight improvement in the local economy but mostly by offering a good service to customers. The company focuses on running mini-excavators up to 3t in weight but will obtain larger or more specialist machines for customers by cross hiring if necessary. 

Frank Keynow has more than 30 Bobcat mini-excavators. Mr Johnson said: “The Bobcat range of excavators meets all our prerequisites for a hire product, offering the best combination of high performance, stability, operator safety, ergonomics and durability.  The Bobcat machines are very popular with our customer base.” 

Picture shows (left to right): Richard Milner, sales, Butler Reynolds; Robert Sansom, owner and chairman of Frank Key Group Ltd; Richard Johnson, Frank Key Hire general manager; and Nigel Long, director, Butler Reynolds 

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The Bobcat E10 micro-excavator is a zero tail swing (ZTS) machine with a maximum digging depth of 1.82m and a machine weight of 106 kg.  The retractable undercarriage takes the width of the machine down to only 710mm, allowing access through a standard doorway. 

For passage through low headroom openings, the TOPS folds down.

Mr Johnson added: “The fold-down TOPS and retractable undercarriage simplify operation for the user and, along with a second speed range as standard, the E10 is able to move quickly around job sites, complete projects faster and work more efficiently.  The E10 is also unique for this size of machine in having pilot joystick controls, the position of which can be adjusted to suit different operators.”

Following the purchase of two other builders merchants in the Nottingham area, including the purchase of Parker Severn in 2009, which added the Somercotes depot, Frank Key is keen to continue expanding.  “We opened our second hire depot at Somercotes a little over a year ago and if the right opportunity reveals itself, it is the intention of the business to continue this expansion in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire areas through acquisition,” Mr Johnson said.

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