Powys County Council decided it had to be Massey Ferguson when selecting the most appropriate multi-purpose machines to support its Highways maintenance programme, including work undertaken on behalf of the North & Mid Wales Trunk Road Agency (NMWTRA). In a bid to reduce cost on outsourcing work and keep local jobs, Powys County Council’s new line-up includes 5 new Massey Ferguson 5713 SL tractors each with McConnell Hedge cutters and front mounted toppers, three of which were replacement assets and two additional. To maximise the seasonal and operational flexibility of the tractors, ditching heads and snow plough blades have also been supplied for each machine. 2016 saw the local Council launch a plant and vehicle utilisation review project that looked into essential plant and vehicle equipment requirements. A quantity of time-expired equipment was auctioned off and the proceeds set aside for future reinvestment in new assets. The outcome of this review means that the council will reduce the need for hiring in equipment and therefore save cost.
Tractor-related equipment was sourced via an established Framework contract from local AGCO dealer RVW PUGH LTD who has held the Massey Ferguson franchise for 17 years now. The company was keen to work with the Council on this initiative and help it specify relatively compact but powerful tractors that provide optimised manoeuvrability and operator visibility to safely meet the various operational requirements, involving McConnell to add the various implements that will be used on highway maintenance work. RVW PUGH invited the machine operators into the company head office, based in Churchstoke, Powys, to get full training on all the new products from both brand manufacturers. Massey Ferguson and McConnell representatives delivered a day training session for Council staff, providing the opportunity for hands-on familiarisation with all of the machinery.
Working with local authorities on these developments is something the AGCO dealer believes to be very important,; “It is so important for local businesses and authorities to support each other, Powys County Council are working on becoming more efficient and saving local jobs and by using us as a local dealer they are supporting us as a local business, it’s a winning partnership” Robert Pugh, Managing director.
Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The council has to reduce its spending by £29.8m over the next three financial years. This means we need to look at how we provide services and see if they can be delivered differently to meet these savings.
“In the past, we have relied on hiring plant equipment to carry out highway works and this has not been a cost-effective use of our budget.
“By purchasing this equipment as part of a capital investment, not only are we providing the right tools to our staff to carry out the work and improve our highway maintenance service, we are reducing our reliance on using hire equipment, which can be very expensive.
“All of the new plant assets have had satellite tracking equipment installed so that we can get high-quality data to our highways managers so we can ensure they are being utilised fully.
“This is a positive spend-to-save initiative which will help the council meet its savings targets.”