Electric machines on display at Executive Hire Show

16 February 2023

Exhibitors at the Executive Hire Show (EHS) in Coventry were taking a “wait and see” approach to how the UK market will perform, IRN reports.

Perhaps inevitably, this year’s Executive Hire Show (EHS) from 8 to 9 February 2023 at the Coventry Building Society Arena drew comparisons with last year’s show, where the atmosphere ranged between buoyant and frenetic, signalling a post-pandemic recovery in full swing.

The HD12e zero emission small electric tandem roller from Hamm (Wirtgen Group). Photo: IRN.

There was still some optimism in the air at the 2023 event, albeit tinged with realism over a more mixed outlook; major construction projects continue apace, offset by a housing slowdown triggered by interest rate hikes.

Low carbon machines were in evidence across all product categories. 

Among the first machines visitors could see on entering the exhibition space was Hamm’s zero emission small electric tandem roller, the HD12e is designed for low maintenance, ergonomic, simple, intuitive, and easy-to-use design.

Hamm Sales Manager Julian Green told IRN the machine’s key point of difference was its emissions free operation, along with oscillating drum set-up the minimise damage to surrounding areas operation.

He hinted at wider financial caution however; “It’s had a mixed reception in the UK,” he told IRN. “People are responding positively to the machine itself, but they’re concerned about the initial price which is considerably more than it would be for the diesel equivalent.”

Electric Sany mini excavator
Chinese OEM Sany was exhibiting its SY19E electric mini excavator in the UK for the first time. The electrically driven 1.8 tonne SY19E mini excavator has zero pollutant emissions and lower noise levels.

A Sany representative told IRN that while interest in the machine was strong, there was also “a bit of caution in the UK market” in terms of investment plans. “It’s a bit too early to tell how the market will go this year. House building is slowing because of interest rates and some builders have stopped new projects.”

Chinese OEM Sany was exhibiting its SY19E electric mini excavator in the UK for the first time. Photo: IRN.

Commenting on the show itself; “It’s not as busy as last year, but still looking strong,” said Dave Webster, Regional Export Sales Manager at Thwaites.

The company was showcasing the prototype of its 3-tonne electric dumper, fitted with four long-life, lithium-ion (dry-cell) batteries, operating at 48V.

Webster said the dumper was already gaining strong interest from the Nordic countries.

Meanwhile; “They keep talking about a recession [in the UK] but we haven’t seen any sign of it yet from a business point of view,” said James Walton, Business Consultant EMEA at Point of Rental Software. “We’re busier than ever.”

Walton told IRN he had taken up a newly created role at the company offering business consultancy services to rental firms to ensure they were using Point of Rental software effectively.

Some may have felt that the show wasn’t as busy as last year, but the organiser said that there were 2045 unique visitors, which was 119 more than 2022. Chris Moore, who is the event’s Publishing and Events Director, said he was delighted with the turnout; “All hire industry visitors were from national and independent operations, which is consistent with previous years. This reconfirms the pivotal role of the show and its continued ability to attract relevant, quality hire professionals.”

First timers and launches
First-time exhibitors at the show included tank specialist Atlas Tanks Group, battery specialist Instagrid UK, and Italian OEMs Merlo and Mecc Alte.

Atlas Tanks supplies portable and static tanks for storing and dispensing diesel, oil and AdBlue; Instagrid UK is said to have invented the world’s most advanced 230V battery, which can power any device, regardless of location; Merlo will be showing the latest range of telescopic handlers. Mecc Alte manufactures alternators, genset controllers and battery chargers.

The PCX 13/40 E+ compaction plate from Altrad Belle. Photo: IRN.

JCB was unveiling its “smallest ever” loadall telescopic handler. The 514-40 has a cab height of 1.8m and a width of 1.56m.

Tufftruk, also UK-based introduced the new ‘Electric BENDie’ mini dumper, a battery-powered mini dumper that provides maximum versatility and light touch operation.

Available as an EB400 and EB500, for use indoors or outdoors, the compact TRUXTA (EB400 2ft 6”/ 730mm or EB500 or 3ft/850mm) fits through most doorways.

Wood chipping specialist Timberwolf was launching what it describes as industry first solution – the self-charging TW 280HB hybrid woodchipper, responding to a challenge to deliver power suitable for an 8” woodchipper whilst also minimising emissions.

At the smaller end of the size scale, Altrad Belle’s stand included new and recent launches, many of them ‘Eco’ battery powered machines, including the PCX 13/40 E+ compaction plate, designed with a shorter baseplate to offer improved compaction, manoeuvrability and finish.

Tools specialist Husqvarna launched its “next generation” battery core drill DM 1 PACE at the show, among several new battery products on its stand.

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Ollie Hodges Publisher Tel: +44 (0)1892 786253 E-mail: ollie.hodges@khl.com
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