Privately owned hirer Southern Plant and Tool Hire has taken the bold step of opening a second branch post Brexit and before the country comes fully out of this year’s COVID 19 lock down.
Based in Henley on Thames, since being established, the second branch is in Brackley 50 odd miles to the North. Brackley’s only recent claim to fame is as home to the dominant Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, based just round the corner from Southern Plant and Tool Hire’s branch.
Brackley, just off the A43, gives easy access to both the M1 and M40 motorways with Coventry, Kettering, Northampton, Bedford, and Oxford all being in the branch’s service area.
Officially opened in early March, without fanfare due to COVID restrictions, the new branch is well stocked not least with 12 new Kubota mini-excavators supplied by Tring based Boss Plant Sales Ltd the official Kubota dealer for London, the home counties, and Oxfordshire. The order, fulfilled by Boss Plant by the time the branch opened, was for 4 off 1 tonne K008-3’s, 4 off 1.7 tonne U17-3 alpha’s, and 4 off 2.6 tonne U27-4’s, all supplied with a range of buckets. The new Kubota’s meet all the latest safety and emissions standards. Additionally, the new fleet is fitted with green seat-belt safety indicator lights.
The range of new Kubota’s join Bomag tandem rollers, Thwaites site dumpers, access equipment, compressors, generators, welding sets, wide range of powered hand tools and consumables, including the handy ‘Fuel Box’, in stock ready for their new customers both professional and domestic.
Southern Plant offer very flexible hire periods to suit their customer’s need from half a day to longer term rental agreements.
THE KUBOTA U27-4 ON-SITE HIRED TO OXFORD DRAIN DOCTOR
One of the first hires for this new Kubota was working on a farm a few miles from Brackley. The hirer, Oxford Drain Doctor, was contracted to install a new 20m drainage pipe run and an 18m3 stone-filled soak-away.
The 2.6 tonne zero-tail swing Kubota U27-4 has a spacious cab and excellent all-round visibility, which the 6-foot 3-inch operator appreciated. Digging with a 600mm bucket the operator was able to dig out the soak-away, in hard dry compacted ground, from one side using the machine’s powerful digging force (dipper 12.3kN, bucket 21.0kN) and 2.82 metre dig depth.
The U27-4 allows the simultaneous operation of four functions. When the operation of the boom, arm, bucket, and swivel are required all at the same time, two variable pumps distribute an accurate amount of oil flow to each actuator according to the lever stroke. This process enables continuous high performance digging and dozing on the toughest application.
Southern Plant, formed in 1988, is a ‘family’ company. The current Directors are Vincent Rose and brothers Murray and Robson Gale.
Southern Plant was formed by the brother’s father Simon Gale a ‘larger than life’ character whose infectious passion for life and business fuelled the growth of Southern Plant until his untimely death in 2019.
As soon as the company was formed Southern Plant bought their first mini-excavator, a Kubota. At the time, the once ubiquitous backhoe loader was popular on sites. Southern Plant managers, as early adopters of the then ‘new’ product, got it right as mini-excavators now dominate the market with backhoes now rarely seen.
The brother’s, Robson and Murray, joined the business in 2012 and 2015 respectively. Robson starting his career as an apprentice at age 15.