Michelle and Justin Nicoll, are in charge of the Nicoll Group’s Nicoll Plant Hire and Force 8, respectively.
Michelle Nicoll, who runs a Cape Town, South Africa-based plant hire company, Nicoll Plant Hire, says she is optimistic about the growth of rentals for the year ahead in the Cape area. She says 2016 got off to a much better start than 2015. “Last year also ended with a remarkable amount of activity. We are fairly optimistic about rentals for the year ahead in the Cape,” says Nicoll.
Nicoll runs two entities, Nicoll Plant Hire and Plant Hire Broking, a business which sources any item of plant for rental. “There is good synergy between the entities under our umbrella with each entity offering a very specific service,” she says.
Nicoll Plant Hire, part of the Nicoll Group, which also owns Force 8, the authorised distributor of several brands such as Yanmar and Atlas Weyhausen in South Africa, runs a fleet of over 30 units which include a variety of categories and brands. Most are the in-house brands which are represented locally by sister company Force 8, with JCB being the external brand.
“Over the years we have had Terex, Bobcat, Volvo, Komatsu, Zettelmeyer and Caterpillar. We had been in rental business for 10 years (from 1985) before we started a sales division, based on numerous offers made to us to sell brands not represented in South Africa. It was an interesting evolution,” says Nicoll.
In terms of fleet replacement cycles, Nicoll says these differ significantly depending on the category of a machine. “As plant hirers we like to keep the fleet looking good with excellent reliability. We like to offload tandem rollers, excavators and loaders before 5 000 hours with pneumatic rollers and dumpers double to triple that. TLB`s are best disposed of before 10 000 hours,” she says.
Equipment Africa says: When times are this tough, plant hire business seems to be picking up as contractors simply can’t afford to invest in outright ownership of equipment. For plant hirers, it is also advisable to keep those fleets “looking good” as Nicoll puts it. The trick is not to stall or postpone replacement cycles.