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Case Studies

Lynch Invests in Komatsu

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L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage has built a reputation over the last 35 years for operating one of the safest, most cost effective and efficient plant hire companies in the UK. With an extensive fleet of both operated and self-drive plant, along with associated site machinery, Lynch provide fully inclusive packages of equipment to some of the largest, high profile construction projects nationwide.

"On major projects, you'll often see Lynch Plant at work on the site itself, a tipper removing spoil, a sweeper cleaning the road, a Hiab lorry shifting a container and a low loader moving equipment. It's a real full service and if there's anything the customer needs that we don't have, we'll source it", says Chris Gill, Head of Key Accounts at L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage.

The dedication to customer satisfaction is matched by a reputation for quality service and an ongoing investment in staff and equipment. So, when Lynch recently put out a tender for the purchase of excavators as part of their fleet renewal and growth programme, it goes without saying that it was a stringent process. "We invited numerous manufacturers to tender and they were all asked the same questions about the same sizes of machinery so that we could accurately benchmark them against each other" continued Chris. "It was really important for us to get a direct comparison on everything from machine spec and price, to servicing costs, warranty and residuals. It's the only way for us to ensure we get the best overall deal."

During the initial talks, every aspect of the machinery spec was discussed, but there were three key benefits that Komatsu machines offered over the competition, which made them stand out for Lynch: maintenance, ordering flexibility and integrated technology.

"All the Komatsu machines on our tender list include Komatsu CARE™", explained Chris. That's their complimentary maintenance program that covers all the factory-scheduled maintenance for the first 3 years or 2000 hours. It's always carried out by Komatsu-trained technicians and they only use genuine Komatsu parts. For us at Lynch, we really appreciated that this was included in the price and not a 'bolt-on'. Plus, it gives the bonus of freeing up our own engineers to focus on the rest of the L-Lynch fleet."

"One of the big advantages we have at Marubeni-Komatsu is our ability to be flexible with order quantities and timescales" Matt Revell, National Sales Manager at Marubeni-Komatsu explains: "We recognise that although our customers will forecast demand, very often the needs of their customers can change unexpectedly.

Integrated technology is becoming increasingly prevalent in plant equipment. As such, machine telematics have become commonplace, but the Komatsu system is one of the very best, explained Chris. "Lots of our clients are insisting on telematics data on their machines now, and the feedback we're getting is that the Komatsu system - Komtrax™ - is really terrific; very clear, very straightforward and easy to understand – our customers love it!"

The other key technology in high demand at Lynch is 360-degree camera systems. "We've been retro-fitting camera systems to machines for our big customers for a few years now," continued Chris, "but Komvision™ is fitted to the Komatsu machines at the factory as standard. This is great for us as it removes the add-on costs and challenges associated with retro fitting, plus the system is fully integrated into the machine. This has two key benefits for the operator: firstly, there are no 'black' spots where the images don't quite meet, and a person or hazard could be hidden and secondly, the system also shows guide lines on the screen indicating where the machine 'could' swing, as well as a 3metre radius around the machine. No add-on system available offers that!"

We're not the sort of business that's scared to invest in something new if there's a demand.

Chris Gill

With high profile, blue chip clients including Balfour Beatty, Bam Nuttall, Costain and Skanska, the team at Lynch worked with Komatsu to create a machine spec which not just met, but exceeded the standards set by those customers. In addition to the already-high Komatsu standard, the Lynch machines all include Hill quick-hitches, green seatbelt beacons and hi-vis painted handrails - all designed to keep both the operator and site personnel safe. Additionally, thirty per cent of the new fleet are fitted with height and slew restrictors for working on road and rail projects.

The initial tender from Lynch resulted in Marubeni-Komatsu delivering 79 machines, representing an order value just shy of £10m. This includes fifteen PC138US-11's, thirty PC210LC-11's, eighteen PC290LC-11's, fifteen PC360LC-11's and one PC490LC-11. Quantities of three of those models is already likely to grow, and in the case of the PC138, this could easily double.

Most of this new equipment has gone straight onto the vast £1.5bn A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme. This is the biggest Highways England project currently underway, running 26 miles from Huntingdon to north of Cambridge. As lead supplier of plant on the project, Lynch have 150 operators and machines on the project, as well as tippers, sweepers and fuel bowser lorries. A large percentage of the new machinery has gone on hire to various major project across the country, including Hinkley Point and Thames Tideway.

Looking ahead, Lynch are due to start trialling one of the Komatsu Hybrid excavators shortly. Chris Gill of Lynch Plant has commented "Marubeni are letting us test their HB215LC-2 Hybrid excavator for a whole month on the A14 widening project. We've then got a standard PC210LC-11 we will use with the same operator, completing the same work, on the same site, for the second month. We can then look at the telematics for both machines and have an accurate, real world comparison between them from which to build a case study. Once the weather improves, we'll be doing a similar trial on the larger HB365LC-3 Hybrid machine too. We've got great customers who want to try them out and we're not the sort of business that's scared to invest in something new if there's a demand"

Lynch have clearly been impressed with the performance of these new Komatsu machines and customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, leading to further discussions about other products including dozers and dump trucks already under way. As such, this is very much seen as the start of a long term working relationship!


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