Norris Plant Hire & Sales has been a customer of Caterpillar dealer Finning UK & Ireland for the past 12 years. The family run business was established in 1981 by Andy’s dad, Steve Norris, who is now semi-retired.
The latest additions to Norris’ fleet, a pair of two-tonne 301.6 machines, are already out on hire to customers. They also have three Cat 302.7s, two Cat 306 mini-excavators, and three eight-tonneres..
“We’ve been buying Caterpillar machines since 2008,” says Andy Norris. “We started with backhoe loaders and were so impressed with the build quality and reliability of the machines that we began replacing some that we’d had from other manufacturers with Cat equivalents, starting with a couple of eight tonne excavators. From then on, we’ve progressively increased the number and variety of machines in the fleet.
“Cat machines are very popular with my customers, many of whom work on long-term utilities projects across the Midlands. The Cat mini-excavators are tough and durable as well as being versatile. They enable customers to tackle a range of jobs from breaking trenches, pulling ducting cables and filling in. Even our domestic customers find them useful. We’ve had them be used for digging out garden ponds, foundations, or even cleaning out cow sheds.
“For me, it’s the high specification and quality of the machines that makes the difference. Although they’re not the cheapest machines around, they are exceptionally reliable. We always take out the two-year standard dealership warranty with Finning, but in all the time we’ve been buying Cat machines, we’ve had very few breakdowns. We’ve been working with some of our customers for more than 20 years. Many of them have long-term building and utility contracts with clients and therefore just can’t afford any machine downtime, which could cost them dearly.”