GROWING CASE FLEET DELIVERS FOR HYWEL GRIFFITHS ON SITE AND ON THE ROAD

Machine performance, productivity, operator acceptance, fuel consumption and dealer back-up are all contributing factors in Welsh groundworks contractor Hywel Griffiths Plant Hire and Groundworks’ continued move to a CASE Construction Equipment fleet of machinery.

The company, established 28 years ago from its base in Clunderwen near Carmarthen in South Wales, first turned to the CASE equipment line when looking for a mid-weight dozer.

“We had been thinking about it for a while and had a CASE 1650M on demo,” said Mr Griffiths. “In the end though, we went for an 1150M, as it better suits our work.”

Equipped with Topcon 3D laser machine guidance and Leica GPS machine control systems, the dozer has become an essential part of the Griffiths earthmoving fleet, often working in tandem with other CASE models on a range of projects across the region.

The company initially operated in plant hire and construction, before concentrating on the groundworks sector, which now makes up the majority of its work. Griffiths has 25 staff working across the firm and each machine has one dedicated operator, many of whom have been with the company for some time.

The CASE fleet includes a 1.2-tonne mini, an 8-tonne CX85D SR, three 13-tonne CX130E crawler excavators, a CX145D SR, a CX225 MSR and a CX245D SR. A second CX245D SR is currently on order to replace an older machine.

All of the excavators, bar the CX130Es, are short radius models, allowing easier access to confined job sites and reducing the risk of potential damage from impact in congested working areas. They have been purchased in a very high specification, with Steelwrist tilt rotators added for maximum versatility. This has involved opting for short dipper arms on some of the machines, to allow for the added weight of the tilt rotator.

The CX85D SR short radius machine also sits on wider 600mm track pads and works with a straight monoboom, while both the 13 and 14-tonne machines have been specified with the larger 800mm pads, boosting their abilities on wet and difficult terrain and further adding to their stability.

“The lifting capacity is really good, even with the short radius,” said Mr Griffiths.

The CX130Es have also proven extremely economical to run, saving money when compared to the company’s last excavators. “The CX130E is doing around £7.50-9.00 an hour on fuel, compared to our previous machines at £13-15 an hour. That’s a huge saving,” he added.

If fuel economy was a major factor in the move to CASE, of equal importance has been the level of service and machine back-up provided by local dealer Riverlea Industrial.

“Riverlea are brilliant. The back-up is great,” said Mr Griffiths. “I used to service everything in-house, but now we get a service package with CASE and all of our kit is looked after by Riverlea. It’s half the price of some competitors.”

While he does like to have ownership of the equipment in the fleet, Mr Griffiths has also praised Riverlea for the finance that is available when acquiring new machinery.

“CASE Finance is absolutely fabulous, really good,” he said. “We finance about 40% of the machine and they have been great to deal with.”

With strong order books and a relatively new fleet of machinery, Hywel Griffiths Plant Hire and Groundworks is looking to the future. It has certainly come a long way from the early days with a single 8tonne excavator. The company’s CASE machinery looks set to become a familiar sight on construction projects across the region.

Plant hire and contracting machinery is not the only connection between Hywel Griffiths, CASE Construction Equipment and Riverlea Industrial. Mr Griffiths has a share in a motorcycle racing team called TH Racing and CASE, in association with Riverlea, has become a major sponsor of the team for the 2024 season.

Having become a competitive road racing team half-way through last year, 2024 will be the first full season for TH Racing in its current form. The team will field a 650cc KMR Kawasaki Supertwin, alongside a Honda CBR600RR Supersport, with South African rider AJ Venter and Welsh rider Jay Bellers Smith. The bikes will compete in the Isle of Man TT, the North West 200, the Manx GP, three Scarborough race meetings and the Aberdare Park Road Races.

The CASE Construction Equipment logo adorns the bikes’ fairings in a number of places and the companies will be hoping for continued success on some of the best road racing circuits across the UK and Ireland throughout this year.

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