Explore Plant and Transport Solutions committed to leading the way in site safety with Xwatch

Explore Plant and Transport Solutions is a nationwide plant hire and transport firm, headquartered in Worksop.  The company is part-owned by blue-chip contractor Laing O’Rourke.

Explore owns a 150+ strong excavator fleet made up of Komatsu, Caterpillar, and Hitachi, ranging in size from 0.8tonne to 36tonne.  The company continues to grow and renew its fleet and is committed to leading the way in site safety through the continued development of new innovative technologies and software. 

Xwatch Safety Solutions XW series is the company’s preferred height and slew limiting system and has been mandated on the Explore fleet of machines weighing 13 tonne and above for the last two years

Chris Gatheridge, Head of Operations at Explore Plant and Transport Solutions, explained why he chose Xwatch Safety Solutions over competitors in the sector. “ Dan Leanney (Xwatch) approached Explore with a product that was relatively new to market around two-years ago. We trialled the Xwatch system on one of our eight-tonne machines and we were very impressed with its functionality and ease of use – the system basically does what it said on the tin!  The system also represented excellent value for money and proved to be a good long-term investment with its reliability. 

As a general rule, we fit XWatch to all the machines 13 tonnes and above – we specify RCI (rated capacity indicator) as a minimum safety requirement, but we do have a number of machines with the full XW5 system which further adds height & slew limiters” 

Chris added, “Our machines are working on many high profile Laing O’Rourke projects including  Everton Football Club’s new football stadium, East-West Rail Alliance, and HS2, to name but a few, and reliability and ease of use on hire machines are key and the Xwatch safety systems deliver.” 

“The Xwatch system software is also very adaptable – for example – through a conversation with Dan we were able to adapt an XW system and it was installed on one of our 6tonne cabbed dumpers.  The system alerts the driver and records its pitch and roll if it’s in danger of tipping over.  Should it tip over (and we have not had a case yet), the engine will be isolated and through telematics, we would receive an email to notify us (and any construction manager!) that the dumper has been rolled while out on hire!”

People plant interface is one of the top fatal risks identified in the construction industry – Explore’s commitment to safety prompted the company to approach the Xwatch team to develop a system which would integrate into a 3rd party camera – together the companies developed the ‘Explore AI Site Safety’ which is powered by Presion BlindSight , Toolbox Spotter (TBS) hazard awareness system and Xwatch.

The BlindSight system consists of multiple cameras fixed to the outside of an excavator, for example.  When a person enters the camera’s safety exclusion zone it alerts the operator that there has been a breach – the Xwatch system then overrides the operator’s input and significantly reduces the speed of the machine to protect the person that has entered into the exclusion zone. 

Once the person has left the exclusion zone the machine returns to its previous state and the operation can safely resume. As well as reducing the slewing motion of the machine the system can also limit other motions such as boom or dipper operation. As the person enters the exclusion zone the operator is alerted and the boom’s motion is reduced. 

Explore Plant and Transport Solutions has invested in over 35  Xwatch Safety systems to date and will be adding more systems to the fleet across its 2022 orders – a significant investment in our customer safety! 

Dan Leaney Xwatch Sales and Operations Director said, “ Working with Chris at Explore is always a pleasure – we have developed a long-term collaborative partnership. By working together Explore can offer its customers state-of-the-art equipment that not only meets but exceeds, all safety requirements.”

Watch the BlindSight and Xwatch system in operation here…