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Didcot Plant News

The latest news from the world of Didcot Plant.

Check regularly for the latest announcements of additions to our hire fleet.

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Spring Preparations Begin

22nd January 2021

Despite the current wet and cold wintry conditions we’ve turned our attention to a nicer time of year: Spring.

Early Spring is when the gardening season starts in earnest and demand will properly pick up for gardening equipment. With that in mind we have this week placed orders for more 9hp Barreto rotavators and another Dosko stump grinder and taken delivery of another Active turf cutter.

These new items will complement our existing range and help to make sure we keep up with demand. Roll on Spring!

New Stihl Disc Cutters

24th November 2020

Stihl TS410 disc cutter/cut off sawStihl’s reputation for being the premier manufacturer of 2-stroke equipment is well founded and for many years we have run nothing else. Stihl’s brush cutters and hedge trimmers are top notch, as is their industry leading 12″ petrol disc cutter, the TS410. In November we added two more to our fleet.

So what makes the TS410 so good? Simply put Stihl combine their long experience of market leading production with the latest technologies to make a petrol disc cutter that is efficient, reliable and operator friendly.

Starting the TS410 is aided by a small primer pump that delivers fuel to the carburettor and a decompression valve that helps reduce the pressure on the starter recoil (and operator’s bicep!). These features combine to reduce the amount of pulls necessary and effort needed in starting.

Once started the TS410 benefits from reduced-emission engine technology that gives more power with lower fuel consumption and pre-separation air filtration that gives longer filter life.

Operator comfort is addressed with Stihl’s anti-vibration system and modern ergonomically designed handle that allows the TS410 to be used in different working positions.

Check out the TS410 in our catalogue: Stihl TS410 disc cutters/cut off saws

New Mini Dumper

18th November 2020

Hinowa HS701 Mini DumperGaining access to the back garden of many properties for diggers and dumpers can be a problem so it’s no wonder that equipment like the Hinowa HS701 mini dumper is so popular. We’ve just added another one to our fleet.

At just 758mm wide the HS701 can join the Kubota K008 1.0t mini excavator in the tightest of access situations for building and landscaping projects, saving on back-breaking manual wheelbarrow work. And with its high tipping, skip loading, feature the spoil is deposited quickly and easily into a skip or trailer.

Check it out in our catalogue here: Hinowa HS701 mini dumper

New Heaters Arrive

11th November 2020

Master B150 diesel oil fired direct heaterDirect heaters provide large volumes of instant heat, right where you need it. They are best used in well ventilated areas such as warehouses, factories and on construction sites.

With the cold months fast approaching we have added two more of the Master B150 diesel oil fired direct heaters to our hire fleet.

The B150 produces 150,000Btu of heat burning diesel (red or white) at a rate of 4 litres per hour. With the tank holding 44 litres it can run for 11 hours. Each B150 heater is suitable to heat an area of approximately 20,000 cubic feet (570 cubic metres).

View the full spec in our catalogue: Master B150 diesel oil fired direct heaters

New Paslode Nailers Added to Fleet

5th October 2020

Paslode IM350 First Fix Cordless NailerPaslode’s cordless nailers have been a market leader in timber to timber construction for many years, highly trusted by professional tradesmen for their performance and reliability.

With demand high we have added another IM350 First Fix Nailer and IM65 Second Fix Nailer.

The IM350 is a beautifully weighted nailer designed for first fix applications. It is supplied for hire with two Li-ion+ batteries, each with a maximum capacity of 9000 shots per 90-minute charge. We can provide it with either 51mm, 63mm or 90mm nail packs (1100 nails and a fuel cell providing enough fuel to handle fixing all 1100 nails).

View the IM350 in our catalogue »

Paslode IM65 Second Fix Cordless NailerThe IM65 is an easy to use nailer designed for second fix jobs firing 16-gauge straight brad nails. We stock brad nails in 32mm, 38mm and 50mm packs (2000 nails and two fuel cells providing enough fuel to handle fixing all 2000 brads). It is supplied for hire with two Li-ion+ batteries, each with a maximum capacity of 10000 shots per charge.

View the IM65 in our catalogue »

Extra Milwaukee 900K Breakers Purchased

1st September 2020

Milwaukee 900K Breaker in use in a building siteFormally developed and manufactured by Kango, the 900K has been the go-to medium sized demolition hammer for decades. Now marketed by Milwaukee Power Tools the classic design of the 900K lives on and remains a favourite of professionals and DIYers alike.

The perennial popularity of and demand for the 900K makes it essential for us as a hire company to maintain a suitably large fleet and assure availability at all times, so to this end we have just added two further units.

The Milwaukee 900K is an 11kg variable speed demolition hammer providing 20 J blow energy from its 1600w motor. It utilises Milwaukee’s Digitronic fullwave electronics system for precise power adjustment.

View the 900K in our catalogue »

Changing Excavator Buckets

28th June 2020

An excavator bucket resting on the ground prior to being removedThis guide will take you through how to change buckets on the excavators available from the Didcot Plant hire fleet.

Also available to download as a PDF guide.

1. Rest the bucket lightly on level ground (to avoid putting pressure on the bucket pins).

2. Remove the two lynch pins.

3. Push bucket pins out with large screwdriver (do not hit with hammer). If they don’t slide easily reduce pressure from arm. Don’t allow removed bucket pins to collect dirt or grit.

4. Lift boom up, away from bucket.

5. Place new bucket under links.

6. Lower boom to line up holes, making small adjustments as necessary.

7. Slide bucket pin in by hand (it should slide in easily, no hammering) and fit pin. (Note: some buckets have lynch pin locators on opposite side).

!!! IMPORTANT: Injury risk – keep fingers out of holes !!!

8. Lift bucket in the air.

9. Lower rear link (crowd bucket) and line up bucket pin and link by hand.

10. Slide bucket pin in, wiggling bucket if necessary and fit lynch pin.

!!! IMPORTANT: Injury risk – keep fingers out of holes !!!

How to Start a Honda Engine

25th June 2020

Honda compactor plate engineThis guide shows how to start a Honda engine as used in our light/medium duty compactor plates.

Also available to download as a short PDF guide.

1. Put the engine switch to the ‘On’ position.

2. Set the throttle lever to approximately half way.

3. Make sure the petrol is turned on by pushing the black lever all the way to the right and the choke is on by pushing the grey lever all the way to the left. Please note if the engine is already warm choke may not be required.

4. Once the engine has started push the grey choke lever to the off position, all the way to right, adjacent to the black petrol lever.

5. To stop the engine put the engine switch to the ‘Off’ position.

How to Build a Concrete Base for a Garden Shed

11th June 2020

Garden shed with a concrete baseIf you want to build a shed in your garden, then a concrete base is your most durable and sturdy option. This base provides you resistance to frost and moisture from the ground, thus preserving the material you used to build your shed and the tools you have stored inside. For a garden shed, you will need to build a concrete base that is slightly larger in every dimension than the shed. Moreover, it must also be a bit raised from the ground.

In this article, we provide you with a step-by-step guide to construct a concrete base for your garden shed, using a concrete mixer.

What Tools are Required for this Project

  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • 4 ft. Level
  • Shovel
  • Garden Rake
  • Water Hose
  • String
  • Timber
  • Screed board
  • Reinforcing Bar and ties
  • Gravel
  • Concrete Mix
  • Concrete Mixer
  • Wheelbarrow, to transfer the soil you are going to dig out for the foundation
  • PPE: Work gloves, dust mask, safety goggles and safety boots

Step 1: Choose the most Suitable Location for your Garden Shed

First of all, you need to pinpoint the exact location you will build your garden shed. You have to keep in mind that a concrete base is a permanent foundation and thus it is difficult to remove. It is very important to ensure before you start digging, that the location you have chosen is free from underground utility lines. When you are sure about that, you can go on and clear the spot from any trees and shrubs. Remember to also clear out 1.5m in every direction so that you have all the space you need.

Step 2: Dig out the Foundation

When you reach this step, you have already leveled the ground above and taken measurements. The next step is to draw the lines where the shed is going to be built, and then digging out the foundation for the concrete base. When you dig out the whole surface, place a line between two stakes and use your level to determine if the surface is smooth.

Your concrete base should be in total around 10cm, with the 2cm above the ground. Therefore, you will need to dig this area and some more, because you need extra space to set the form in place.

Step 3: Build the Form of your Concrete Base

Next, you can build your concrete form. In the market, there are kits for making the concrete form, even though you can easily do it with timber boards. Make sure that you have purchased some quality and straight timber. When taking measurements, keep in mind that the inside measurement is going to be the final result as the form is going to be removed once the concrete is cured.

Step 4: Spread the Gravel to Uniform the Foundation

Now that you have created the foundation, it’s time to fill it with gravel. This filling should be around 5cm high and well-uniformed. If the gravel is too dry, use the hose to mist it so that is sticks together. Level the gravel once again to make sure that it has the same depth in every part of the foundation.

Step 5: Install the Concrete Reinforcing Bar

Reinforcing bar, or rebar, is a steel bar used to enhance the tensile strength of the concrete base. Rebar also prevents concrete from cracking which is a common issue. For this step, you can use steel rebar, steel mesh, or add synthetic fiber to your concrete. No matter the material you use though, make sure to add rebar around the perimeter of your foundation. This way, you will help the concrete be stronger to support the walls of the garden shed.

Step 6: Mix and Pour the Concrete

When mixing the concrete, you should be aware that time is of the essence. Concrete starts to stiffen from the moment it is mixed and will be in a workable state for the following two hours. So, when you begin this process, make sure that you can have all the time needed.

To estimate the concrete you need for your base, multiply the length by the width. Then, take this number and multiply it with the desired thickness. However, make sure that you add about 10% more concrete, to make sure that you are covered in case something goes wrong.

For your concrete, you have two choices, either mix concrete and sand in a 1:5 ratio or use a pre-mixed concrete. Regardless of your choice, place the mix and the water in the concrete mixer. Once you have the correct consistency, pour the concrete from one corner, until it fills the formwork.

Step 7: Level the Surface with a Screed Board

At this point, the concrete should be slightly above the form you have created. Use a rake to spread it evenly in your base. Once this is done, use a screed board to smooth the concrete and fill the areas that don’t have the required concrete. Make 3 or 4 passes with the screed board so that the surface is smooth and even.

Step 8: Finish and Edge the Concrete Base

Let the concrete sit for a while and when the water from the surface has evaporated, the concrete is ready to finish. For this job, use a hand float and then a steel trowel. However, if you need a no-slip surface, you should skip the steel trowel.

Furthermore, at this point you can edge the concrete in the areas that it meets the forms. This helps reduce the chance of chipping.

Step 9: Help the Curing by Keeping the Base Moist

Now that your concrete base is in place, you should let it cure properly to have a longer lifespan. The best way to do that is to prevent the concrete from drying too quickly. For the next 5 to 7 days, make sure to mist the surface with your hose and cover the surface with a plastic cover. Raise this plastic cover so that it doesn’t touch the concrete and use some bricks to keep it in place.

Once the concrete base is set, you can remove the form with the help of a crowbar and install your garden shed.

After following all of the above steps, you have a durable foundation for your garden shed.

New K008 Added to Fleet

28th May 2020

Demand for the ever popular Kubota K008-3 micro excavator remains high so this week we added another one. This latest addition brings our K008 fleet to twelve.

The K008 weighs in at 980kg and has a maximum digging depth of 1720mm. It has an adjustable track width of between 700mm and 860mm and is ideal for working in small spaces, back gardens or where access is tight. The ROPS bar can also be folded down to aid access where height is an issue.

Adjusting the width down to 700mm is a quick and easy process thanks to a single lever operation in conjunction with the removal of one pin to fold the blade extensions.

Operator comfort is addressed thanks to the 008’s Three Vortex Combustion System engine which is quieter with less vibration and emissions.

Check out the Kubota K008 in our catalogue »