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Hillhead hotspots

With sweltering temperatures throughout the three-day show held near Buxton in June, Hillhead attracted a record 19,687 visitors from the construction, quarrying and recycling industries. EHN reports on some of the equipment on display.

CRH soaks up the sun

An imposing presence on the CRH Plant stand was a Solatainer hybrid generator, one of a number that the hirer has recently added to its fleet. Made by Gaia Renewable Energy, it incorporates an array of solar panels plus a 13kW diesel generator and has the same footprint as a 20ft ISO shipping container. Director Jeff Aldridge told EHN that, during

daytime operation, the energy harvested by the panels is stored in an on-board battery pack. The generator is configured to run only when the batteries are depleted below a software-set limit or when a demand spike is detected.

Compact power from Altrad Belle

Making its Hillhead debut, Altrad Belle’s line-up included the new Compact 100 pan mixer. It has a maximum drum capacity of 100 litres, producing an 80-litre mix, and is designed for use with bagged epoxy resins and rubber compounds. MD Ray Neilson told EHN that a particular characteristic of the unit is its larger, heavier-duty gearbox to cope with the extra strain these materials can create. He added that demand is growing because of the increasing trend for coloured driveways being installed at houses. The machine has a three-way mixing mechanism with offset mixing forks, paddles

and scrapers, and a 110V electric motor. A simple side lever allows the material to be deposited into either a bucket or wheelbarrow. Larger versions of the machine are under development.

01298 84606

Thwaites sizzles in the sunshine

CRH states that a basic Solatainer can be used

as a direct replacement for a diesel generator in situations requiring up to 20kW. The system is scalable up to 100kW by increasing the size of the solar panel array and adding extra battery cells. The Solatainer provided all the necessary power to run the services in the Genquip Groundhog welfare cabin that CRH was using as its hospitality unit.

01386 830354

With temperatures throughout the three days nearing the 30° C mark, Hillhead enjoyed barbecue weather conditions. Several exhibitors responded by firing up the charcoals and offering burgers and hot dogs to hungry customers, but Thwaites went a step further with a barbecue that had been fabricated by a specialist producer in the shape of one of the manufacturer’s compact dumpers. Thwaites’ MD Ian Brown is pictured (centre) with, from left, Andrea Schofield,

Dawn Cooke, Paul Rodwell and Andy Sabin. While the replica model is not commercially available, a smaller version for domestic use is offered by the fabricator Chicken Shed Creations (

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