Balfour Beatty has taken delivery of its first 22 specialist earthworks machines, in a package valued at £3.2m. This represents a third of its planned investment in earthmoving machinery this year – £9.6m.
First machines in the new fleet include eight Volvo articulated dump trucks, eight Komatsu excavators and two Caterpillar dozers.
Andy Ormerod, Balfour Beatty's managing director of plant & fleet services, said: “By building our own fleet of specialist earthworks machines, Balfour Beatty will be leading the market in providing an in-house expert earthworks capability setting new standards of enhanced safety and increased efficiencies.”
The contractor has specified all machines with 360 degree cameras, rated capacity indicators, telematics and in cab cameras facing on the operator.
While Balfour Beatty’s Gammon joint venture in Hong Kong and recently exited Middle East JV with Dutco have retained substantial equipment fleets of their own due to a lack of a mature rental market in those regions, in the UK Balfour Beatty has looked to rental partners A-Plant, Speedy Hire, Nationwide Platforms and Vp for most of its equipment needs in recent years.
Balfour Beatty’s BPH Equipment division, the former Birse Plant Hire business acquired in 2006, owns a substantial fleet of crawler cranes and piling rigs, but not earthmoving machinery.