COVID19 Exceptional circumstances
Broughton plant hire continue to remain open, with a core team at each branch. We are supplying equipment to the construction industry and particularly the new emergency hospitals being set up around the country. The Midlands branch have been supplying plant and equipment to the NEC and Preston Nightingale hospitals and the Southwest branch to the UWE Bristol project. In London we have been able to supply equipment to the Excel, Royal London Hospital and many other NHS sites.
The head office in Romford is open for deliveries and by prior arrangement trade counter collections, responding to increased demand we have now put three more trucks back into service.
Whilst benefiting from being on the Government excepted businesses list, we continue to practise the guidelines on distancing and hygiene.
I have canvassed our customer base to determine what customers and sites remain closed due to the current crisis and have offered the suspension of hire for those that remain closed and are unable to return hired equipment. This suspension will be offered up to the 30th April and if necessary reviewed again.
During this difficult time we will continue to support our customer base and will make every effort to provide the excellent service that all have become accustomed to without compromising employee and customer safety.
Previous Update 29th of March 2020
Further to my previous news articles (please see below) we remain open with a reduced team supplying the new emergency hospitals in London, NEC Birmingham, existing hospital projects and sites that have re-opened or started afresh.
All existing hire contracts were suspended from the 25th to the 31st of March, this enabled us to make an appropriate response to government guidance and allow customers to better assess their position.
We continue to benefit from the government exceptions list allowing us to remain trading and supplying hired plant and equipment to site.
I will continue to support those businesses and sites that remain closed due to Covid19, by offering the suspension of hire and will be reviewing this regularly taking into consideration any new government guidance.
My sales team will be sending out customer site surveys for all customers with hired equipment to complete. This is to determine which companies and sites we can consider entitled to suspension and those that can remain on hire and liable for hire charges. If you are using the hired equipment, we will continue to charge hire.
Please take a moment to complete, if we do not get a reply your hired equipment could be charged from 1st of April 2020. Please ensure we get your reply by the 14th of April.
Previous Covid19 Communication on the 29th March 2020
Following Government advice and the measures implemented to restrict movement and halt the spread of Covid19, I took the difficult decision to temporarily close Broughton Plant Hire as of the 25th March 2020. I found that we could not comply with Government recommendations, rather than reduce movement we were receiving unprecedented calls to clear site. In fact, we would have been still clearing site 6 months later, even if we had continued 24 hours a day with a full staff.
I offered temporary hire suspension on existing hire contracts to allow customers to wind down their operations without having the additional cost of hired plant to add to their burdens.
I reminded all that whilst we would suspend hire charges, responsibility would remain with the hirer.
We retained a small team in each branch to deal with urgent enquiries and continue to provide equipment to those involved with NHS projects and the emergency services.
After the Government’s initial statement, it issued a guidance note describing in detail which business could remain open. This was subsequently changed and ‘Equipment plant and tool hire’ was listed within the exceptions. Taking this new guidance into consideration and seeing that some sites will be reopening after implementing procedures that enable compliance, I will be opening the branches for limited trade; all be it with a reduced workforce and capacity. It is worth noting that all our employees remain paid during this period.
I will continue to extend my offer of hire suspension on existing contracts for those businesses and sites that remain closed. However, I will be surveying all customers that have equipment on hire to check if it is available for collection or at risk if not collected. Also, we can identify those sites that remain operational.
We have made operational changes to allow our drivers and staff to adopt social space and distancing measures with increased availability of mobile sanitising stations.
The Government’s review date for three weeks after the initial statement will take us to the 14th April and similarly my review date for the continuation of hire suspension will be the same
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all customers and staff for their understanding and assistance during this unprecedented time.
I have spent years building the business with a team who I consider family and to suspend trading and reduce supply is completely at odds with my philosophy.
But I do believe that by doing the best we can to follow Government recommendations and using common sense, we will beat this terrible virus and get back working to the best of our abilities.
Broughton Plant Hire
29th March 2020