Simon Rose points to a Selwood Smart QR code labelled ‘Scan me for more information on this unit’.

machine compatibility. Security is also aided by having a prominent ‘S’ welded on top of each bucket between its connection plates.

For its larger tracked excavators, Selwood has already added the Cat models 308 (8.0 tonnes) and 313FL GC (13.3 tonnes) and, for further purchases, the company is evaluating the new generation 308 and 310 models. Simon Rose says, “Before we made the move to Cat we spoke to our customers to get their views and preferences. This allowed us to make a much more informed decision with our first ever Cat fleet purchase.”

Premium hire rate

Whilst Thwaites machines still feature prominently in the site dumper fleet, the latest purchases have been JCB models including some 6.0-tonne capacity 6T-1 swivel skip machines with cabs. Simon Rose says, “We went with JCB because this range is new and we liked the way the common, purpose-made Sitesafe cab could be easily fitted or removed from both the 6 and 9-tonne models.” The intention is to have more JCB dumpers than cabs, so that full operator protection is then provided to hire customers prepared to pay a premium hire rate.

All the latest plant now carries cleaner, more modern looking Selwood lettering. This subtle branding update has seen the ‘jigsaw man’ logo being retired. It was originally introduced by the former holding company, Pascon, when there were also the Palmers scaffolding and Spacemaster portable accommodation divisions.

Selwood prides itself by being able to provide a complete service with its own engineers and transport fleet. The plant division has 60 experienced engineers as well apprentices being trained at the National Construction College at Bircham Newton in Norfolk.

The company has its own IT department that has developed bespoke plant hire management software. Use is now also being made of the telematics machine data provided by systems such as Cat Product Link and JCB LiveLink.

Security can be enhanced by supplying (with a hire rate premium) machines with Sure-Track telematics tracking and a new Security Keypad Immobiliser system. Moreover, the latest models score by having Selwood Smart QR codes so that operators and mechanics can quickly access relevant information using smart devices.

Upgraded vehicle fleet

The latest Selwood livery carried on one of the company’s newly delivered Mercedes plant hire support vans.

JCB is also Selwood’s principal supplier for telescopic handlers although there are also Merlo machines in the fleet. The company also runs some JCB rough terrain forklifts (RTFL) and Manitou counterbalanced trucks.

Some of the JCB 930 RTFLs, complete with spark arrestors and Chalwyn valves to allow operation in a hazardous areas, have been supplied by Selwood to a customer on a four-year contract hire. Simon Rose says that, if the hire is long enough, it will specially source machines and supply them in customers’ livery.

Other machines found in the standard Selwood non-op plant offering include portable air compressors (sourced from Atlas Copco and Doosan) and lightweight tandem vibrating rollers with drum widths from 800mm to 1,400mm (from Ammann, Bomag and Hamm). Simon Rose says the latest rollers are Hamm units bought from Wirtgen UK because they are well-priced, good quality products available with quick delivery.


The vehicle fleet is being upgraded with new Mercedes vans and DAF trucks. The vans include Citan, Sprinter and Vito models and there are three new 32-tonne DAF CF410 8x2 plant delivery trucks on order with PPS Commercials, cheese-wedge beavertail bodies and Hiab loader cranes. Meanwhile, there are an increasing number of hybrid and pure electric company cars and Selwood has already installed eight charging points at its Chandlers Ford HQ and one at its new Bournemouth plant hire depot.

The purpose-built Bournemouth location, which opened last year, provides much better facilities including a spacious four-bay workshop. There are now plans for a new Southampton plant hire depot building (utilising the same design concept) as part of an ambitious scheme to also replace the head office building on the big 13-acre Chandlers Ford site that the company has occupied since 1953.

Selwood maintains close links with the Chandlers Ford community and when local residents were approached about the new development their biggest concern was whether the company would still have a 40ft Christmas tree on the site every December! They were assured the tradition would continue - some things at Selwood never change.

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