Peter Andrews, pictured above, started operating construction machinery in the 1960s. It is said that he was the first person to operate a JCB 6C tracked excavator when it was launched in 1968. It was delivered personally to his then employers, Brooks Diggers in Poole, Dorset, by Joe Bamford himself.
A year later in 1969 Peter struck out on his own and set up Dorset-based firm Andrews Plant Hire with a second-hand JCB backhoe loader. From these beginnings he now has a fleet of 38 JCB machines including a brand new 457 wheeled loader (below). The new JCB 457 is operating at pits owned by Imerys Minerals where it extracts sand and loads it into screeners.
Peter Andrews says: “We’ve operated JCB products since the very beginning and the recent wheeled loading shovels have been outstanding performers in tough applications. That drove the decision to purchase the latest 457 model and everyone loves it. Performance is first class and the service from our dealer, Holt JCB, continues to go from strength to strength.”
JCB sales director Dan Thompstone says: “Andrews Plant Hire is one of JCB’s most loyal customers and certainly one of the longest standing in the world. We are delighted to continue our long association with them.”
The company’s fleet includes JCB 427 wheeled loaders, JS130, JS220 and JS360 tracked excavators, along with mini and midi excavators and new JCB site dumpers. His son Chris Andrews is also now a director of the family business.
Andrews Plant Hire offers plant on both self-drive and operated basis, and it also undertakes contracts, from bulk earth moving, land restoration and lake construction to tip lining and covering, muck away, mineral extraction, site clearance, low loader haulage and demolition.
Here are some shots from the company archive, showing an 808 and 807B at work on the A31, an 820 Super on the beach and a line-up of new backhoes from 1987.