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The very compact 515-40 is ideal for projects with restricted space.


Rocket rates Loadall

One of the first plant hire companies to buy JCB’s smallest Loadall is delighted with the machines it purchased. Nick Johnson reports.

One progressive plant hire company that is continuing to update and broaden its fleet is Rocket Rentals of Dursley in Gloucestershire. As well as buying significant numbers of new excavators and site dumpers this year, MD Simon Tomblin was one of the first to purchase JCB’s new 515-40 compact telehandler and he does not regret his pioneering decision.

Having discovered that JCB was going to officially launch its smallest ever Loadall telehandler at the Executive Hire Show last February, Simon made sure he did not miss the event. “I went to the Show to inspect the 515-40 in the metal and I really liked what I saw. I felt it offered considerable potential so I subsequently placed an order for six machines.”

All the telescopic handlers currently in the Rocket Rentals fleet are sourced from JCB. The highest machine has a maximum lift height of 17m whilst most of the others are 14m models. However, the 515-40, which lifts 1.5 tonnes to 4m and is only 1.8m high and 1.56m wide, is in a different league. Simon says he did not have any hires lined up for the compact machines when he first ordered them. So he arranged a staggered delivery schedule and produced an illustrated flyer, showing the benefits of the unit, which was sent to all Rocket customers with their monthly invoice.

Different carriage options

The first 515-40 was received in April and two more have subsequently been delivered. To maximise their operational appeal, Simon can offer both forklift and skid steer style attachment carriages, as well as a variety of alternative implements. His growing 515-40 attachment portfolio includes pallet forks, loader buckets, an Auger Torque auger, an industrial grapple, a Whites sweeper/collector and a muck fork and grapple.

One useful investment was a set of SG Revolution Cushion Solid tyres from International Tyre & Wheel Solutions Ltd. Fitting these puncture resistant tyres to a 515-40 enabled it to be successfully hired to a plastic waste recycling facility. “Versatility is the key for us


and the appeal of this machine to the waste and recycling industry gives us a good route into a potentially lucrative sector.”

Rocket Rentals has purchased its 515-40s with the optional air conditioning to improve operator comfort in the summer. The machines have also all been licensed for road use. One of them went straight out on hire to Devizes–based construction firm Gaiger Bros Ltd. It is hiring the compact Loadall for a three-month period to move materials on a school renovation project in Warminster. The machine’s 1.56m width enables it to travel through a narrow entrance passageway and along pedestrian pathways to the building site.

High utilisation rate

Rocket Rentals’ first three 515-40s are achieving very high utilisation rates.

Rocket Rentals keeps a close check on all its machines using a Syrinx computer system from Higher Concept Software. This enables Simon to report that his first three 515-40s have been achieving a utilisation rate in excess of 90%. A measure of the interest in the new machines was provided by an employee of a block-paving contractor who had used Rocket Rentals in the past. He spotted a 515-40 at work on a housing project for

another company and quickly contacted the hirer to check price and availability. This soon resulted in another 515-40 hire convert.

Rocket’s 515-40s have a Kosran immobiliser and Cesar registration. Simon says theft deterrence is particularly important as the machines are commanding a better rate than some competitors achieve for higher-lift telehandlers supplied to national house builders.

Despite the high utilisation of his first three 515-40s, Simon is waiting until the beginning of next year to take the balance of his order. This will ensure the new trio have a 2011 plate (to enhance resale value) and that they come with JCB’s new Adaptive Load Control system. To meet the latest requirements of the EN1500 standard, these Loadalls are being equipped with the two-stage hydraulic cut-out version of this Longitudinal Load Moment Control (LLMC) system.

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