The doors of plant hire depots and stores are firmly shut to visitors, but behind them staff are continuing to work, preparing tools and machinery and fulfilling orders.
Up and down the country, it seems, so longs as there are still construction sites and other customers still needing equipment, the hire sector is continuing to trade, taking orders by phone and online, and making deliveries.
Here is a selection of latest statements culled from across the sector:
Speedy: “To continue to provide support to essential services such as the NHS, power stations and more, we remain open for business and are operating a normal delivery service via phone, website and our app. However, to comply with government advice in safeguarding our customers & staff against Covid-19, our depots are closed to the public at this time.”
A-Plant: “Today all of our locations remain open to deliver for our customers, but we’re asking our customers not to come into depots. We’re still available to speak over the phone or via email to keep everyone safe.”
Ridgway Rentals: “Following advice from the UK housing minister – we are open for business & taking precautions to protect our staff and customers.”
Brandon Hire Station: “Following the prime minister’s update yesterday we have made the decision to temporarily close all UK branches to visiting customers at noon on Tuesday 24th March but will continue to offer collections and deliveries whilst we seek urgent clarification from the UK government. We will review this policy as we receive additional clarity on the situation.”
Nationwide Platforms: “Depots are still running and we have very strict guidelines on working practice aligned to the UK government’s guidelines. Where possible, Nationwide Platforms is working hard to ensure as close to a ‘business as usual’ customer service as possible, however, we acknowledge this will become more and more challenging.
L Lynch is also continuing to serve customers but with contingency measures that have become characteristic of the new working environment.
- Avoiding face-to-face visits with customers
- Use telephone conferencing where possible
- Stopping all unnecessary site visits
- Stopping all unnecessary depot travel
- Displaying posters about personal hygiene and social distancing
- Dispensing hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial hand wash at entry and exit points of Depots
- Sanitising surfaces regularly
- Sanitising plant & vehicle cabins
- Using contactless and digital processes only
- Monitoring official sources regularly
L Lynch adds: “We would like to take a moment to admire the dedication and resilience of our workforce in this challenging time. It’s thanks to our people that we can and will continue to provide customers with enthusiasm and desire to deliver excellent service to keep projects running.”
It is a sentiment that no doubt many employers would echo in regard to their own staff right now.
There are exceptions, however, and some firms have suspended all business for the time being. Northern Ireland’s Balloo, for example, says: “In line with the latest Covid-19 advice issued by the prime minister & UK government, Balloo Hire Centres will be closing until further notice.”