The company, based near Rochester, provides internal plant hire to the Group’s civil engineering, groundworks, design and build, concrete construction and infrastructure businesses, working throughout Kent and the South East of England. With 32 crawler excavators on the fleet, of which 25 are now Volvo models, Hague has a range of machines from 0.8-29 tonnes.
“We’ve had Volvo excavators for many years and they’ve proven to be a very good product,” says plant foreman Kai Bailey. “Parts availability is good and the machines tend to hold their value well, providing us with a good return on our investment.”
The company is keen to ensure that operatives looked after the machines while in their care. To that end Hague held a competition, open to all employees within the company with children under the age of 10 years old. The winning five children have had their names sign written on the new models, on the cab door and on the main boom, delivering a sense of ownership to the workforce.
The EC220DL has been named Joshua, the three EC140DLs are Ellie Rose, Grace and Nell, with the EC55C now called Tess. Other children within the Hague company ‘family’ will soon see their names applied to older machines as they go through the firm’s workshops, and to additional new models as they join the fleet.
“Hopefully the lads will see it as an incentive to look after the machines even more,” says plant manager Fiona Smith.
All five of the machines have been supplied in standard UK specification, though they are equipped with double-acting auxiliary hydraulic circuits to handle crusher buckets, breakers and, in the case of the EC220DL, a vibropile driving attachment. The EC220DL is a replacement for the previous EC210CL, the additional operating weight contributing to increased productivity and performance on site.
This machine benefits from the use of Volvo’s Stage IIIB D6 engine, delivering 175hp (129kW) of power and 849Nm of torque. Working through Volvo’s improved hydraulic system, the EC220DL boasts a 12% rise in fuel efficiency and shorter cycle times, when compared to the previous model.
It’s a similar story with the powerful EC140DL, which uses Volvo’s D4 Stage IIIB engine. This delivers 116hp (85kW) and 535Nm of torque, again offering up to a 12% improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the previous generation excavator.
The five machines have been purchased to replace existing Volvo models within Hague’s fleet. These excavators have proven so productive that the firm had no hesitation in turning to Volvo Construction Equipment once again. “They really have been very reliable,” says Mr Bailey. “We tend to carry out all maintenance in-house, unless it requires specialist computers or machine knowledge, and Volvo has always been there when we need back-up, wherever the machines are working.”
Hague Plant has always run a clean fleet of equipment. Now, with a more personal interest in the machines, it is hoped that the Volvos will prove even more efficient, productive and reliable.