Established in 1987, family owned Tecni:Block specialises in all types of paving for both commercial and domestic customers and now wouldn't be without its fleet of little green Avants.
Managing director Phil Annable says: "I really didn't think our first Avant would last five minutes on our type of work, but I have to say they have since proved to be absolutely brilliant with one of our 635 models now over eight years old and still going strong."
Just to be clear, 635 is the model number – not the quantity that he owns.
The key feature that attracted Tecni:Block to the Avant machines is their ability to lift a one-tonne pack of blocks and place it into position prior to laying. In addition, the pallet forks can be quickly changed to a bucket for sand handling and levelling or a vacuum lifter when working on obstacles such as steps or even a breaker when required.
"Our latest 750 model has a little more lift capacity,” Mr Annable says, “which enables it to handle larger blocks with ease. It also benefits from two-speed drive which is useful when we have to carry packs some distance on large sites."
With several gangs working at different locations throughout the Midlands, he also likes the fact the Avants can be towed to site behind a regular 4x4 vehicle.
The 750 has a Kubota four-cylinder diesel engine developing 36kW (49hp), driving through a two-speed hydrostatic transmission that provides a top speed of 25km/h. The all-wheel drive, articulated machine is just 1050mm wide and can handle loads of up to 1.4 tonne.