Construction plant shortages start to bite

Aaron Morby 3 years ago

Contractors and plant hirers are struggling to secure new kit as the industry tries to gear up to lead the recovery.

For some types of smaller plant, manufacturers are now said to be quoting 2022 delivery dates.

The market is heating up rapidly in the North and Midlands where major projects are starting to get going as part of the Government’s stimulus package.

Extended delivery times threaten to undermine the Government’s push to get the construction industry investing with a newly announced 130% super deduction tax break for firms buying  new plant in the next two years.

One hirer told the Enquirer: “We are screaming for new gear, but it’s difficult to get.

“It may not be so bad for the major hirers, who as big buyers have pre-ordered a lot of kit, but as a smaller business trying to buy, dates are being quoted towards the back end of this year or even 2022.

Another regional civils business boss said: “I have seen six month lead times in my career but never eight or even 10 months.

“It’s gone mad. Good condition second-hand machines are now selling for more than they were bought for a year ago in some places.”

A spokesman for Euroauctions, which is gearing up for a four-day sale in Leeds, next week said: “Sourcing plant is becoming a big issue and we are expecting a bumper auction because of long lead times on new kit.”

The bottlenecks are most acute in the smaller end of the market with 1-3t excavators and small dumpers in short supply. But extending lead times are now becoming widespread across a broad range of equipment and machinery

One firm said: “There’s even four months being quoted on quick hitches and 7.5t tipper trucks are hard to find.”

The heart of the problem stems from the fact that construction equipment is a global market with the whole world being plunged into recession at same time with Covid. Now all major markets are coming back at the same time.

“Usually it’s only one part of the world but manufacturers cut production globally during the pandemic and now everyone is ramping up again and everyone wants machines,” said another hirer.

“Manufacturers told us they are having problems sourcing steel for machines so the knock-on effect is huge.”

Latest plant news

Plant sales slumped 29% in final quarter of last year

Excavator sales hardest hit by downturn
5 months ago

Lower Thames Crossing to lead switch to hydrogen fuelled plant

National Highways commits to remove 66 million litres of diesel on tunnel job
12 months ago

World’s first hydrogen-electric powered access platform

Speedy Hire and Niftylift pioneer zero carbon MEWP
12 months ago

JCB launches all-day operation electric site loader

Compact loader promises productivity matching 403 diesel model
1 year ago

Barhale fits digital ‘thumbs up’ safety signs to diggers

Digital AI safety feature tells workers when safe to approach plant on site
1 year ago

Hydrogen-powered backhoes approved to drive on roads

Government approves use of hydrogen-fueled diggers on public highways.
1 year ago

Vac UK puts in another giant order for £10m of machines

20 new Longo Rhino excavators add to specialist's impressive fleet
2 years ago
Vac UK

Construction materials cost increases hit 40-year high

Steel and timber soar quickest with rises set to continue next year
3 years ago

Cementation Skanska switches all large-scale plant to bio-fuel

Piling contractor commits to Green D+ fuel after big HS2 site trial
3 years ago

JCB targets first hydrogen diggers by end of 2022

Plant giant is investing £100m in developing super-efficient hydrogen engines
3 years ago

House builder backs plant warning cameras on all sites

Countryside commits to AI proximity warning cameras on all site telehandlers
3 years ago

Police launch specialist plant theft busting unit

ACE unit will focus on tackling organised plant theft gangs
3 years ago

On-board breaker takes suction excavator to new level

Specialist manufacturer cracks problem with world first design innovation
3 years ago

Construction plant shortages start to bite

Smaller excavator delivery dates being pushed to 2022
3 years ago

Laing O’Rourke joins switch to electric cars

Plan to transition 1,000-car fleet to all-electric by 2025
3 years ago

JCB to hire 400 agency workers in production push

Demand for machines has rebounded sharply in Europe and North America
3 years ago

Strong trading lifts hirer P Flannery revenue to £116m

Revenue soars to record high for fast-growing plant hirer
3 years ago

Plant hire firm plans £33.8m tourism development

Perthshire site will see construction of hotel, lodges and transport museum
3 years ago

New pothole machine delivers road repairs four times faster

JCB Pothole Pro machine can repair a pothole in under eight minutes and at half the cost of a road gang
3 years ago

Wernick acquires Robert Purvis Plant Hire’s portable accommodation fleet

Wernick boosts presence in Scotland
4 years ago

Plant hirer fined £220k after crane nearly hits apprentice

Court hears how apprentice forced to leap for his life
4 years ago

JCB launches electric telehandler and dumper

Stand-alone rapid charger unit also unveiled to support E-Tech range
4 years ago

City Hire expands guaranteed tool hire service

Equipment delivery time guarantee extended beyond London
4 years ago
City Hire

Three sisters set-up plant hire business

Finnegan sisters buy first kit after securing funding deal
4 years ago

Fox Bros snaps up north west hirer Clive Hurt

North West haulier and earthworks contractor now on the hunt for bigger jobs
4 years ago

Speedy trials electric taxis as tool delivery vans

Converted red taxicabs can carry two pallets up to 800kg
4 years ago

Major plant hirer Vp sees revenues rebound

Hire revenues back to 80% of pre-Covid level
4 years ago

Flannery trials first electric tele at HS2 site

Skanska Costain Strabag JV to roll out more machines across HS2
4 years ago

Tower crane lifts end long climb to work for operators

Laing O'Rourke trials mast climbing lifts for tower crane operators at London site
4 years ago

JCB powers up first hydrogen fuelled digger

JCB in race to lead the world on hydrogen-powered plant
4 years ago

Contractor services