£35m order is JCB's biggest of the year

Midland's digger giant JCB has secured a fresh order for more than 1,000 machines from one of the UK's leading plant hire companies in a deal worth £35 million.

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A-Plant, part of equipment rental group Ashtead, has bought a huge fleet mainly consisting of mini and midi excavators and JCB Loadalls, as well as rough terrain forklifts, Teletruks and 3CX backhoe loaders.

Also for the first time, A-Plant has also ordered a number of JS130 tracked excavators from JCB as it looks to expand its range into the 13-tonne machine market.

The new deal comes on the back of 800 machines ordered by A-Plant last year and a further 550 in 2012.

All the machines, which are being supplied by dealer Greenshields JCB, will be built at JCB's Staffordshire factories. The cabs for all the machines are made at JCB Cab Systems in Rugeley where 400 work. The backhoe loaders and Loadalls are put together at the company's world headquarters at Rocester, the mini and midi excavators at JCB Compact Products in Cheadle, the Teletruks at JCB Utility Products, Cheadle and the tracked excavators at JCB Heavy Products in Uttoxeter.

JCB's chief executive Graeme Macdonald said: "This is a highly significant order and the biggest of the year so far for JCB in the UK. We are delighted that our relationship with A-Plant, which now stretches back more than 25 years, continues to go from strength to strength. The UK market is currently the fastest growing in the world and JCB is on course for its best performance in the UK since 2007 which helps to offset downturns in markets such as Brazil, India and Latin America."

Asif Latief A-Plant marketing and strategic accounts director said: "This order allows us to meet with the increasing demand in the market place and continue to supply one of the youngest and most up to date fleets in the industry."

A-Plant is one of the UK's largest equipment rental companies with over 125 service centres across Great Britain including depots at Dudley Road East, Oldbury and Hill Lane, Walsall Wood. It employs more than 2,250 nationwide and has more than 30,000 customers in the construction, industrial, commercial, utility, public sector, homeowner and events markets.

The firm has in excess of 110,000 items of Plant, Tools and Specialist Equipment available to hire from locations nationwide.

*JCB Cab Systems is to move to a new 350,000 sq ft factory at Beamhurst, near Uttoxeter, in the next four years as part of a £150m expansion plan by JCB which will create 2,500 new jobs by 2018.

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