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Benefits of wheeled excavators over truck-mounted excavators

Could upgrading from a truck-mounted excavator to a wheeled excavator make your business more efficient?

Wheeled excavators are easy and affordable to operate and transport from one area to another. They are ideal for use in a variety of fields including forestry, construction, farming, landscaping and demolition. Their mobility also makes them an attractive choice for small contractors.

The core functionality of a wheeled excavator is just the same as a truck-mounted excavator, but instead of being mounted onto a truck they move around independently on their own wheels.

Long-term cost savings – Whilst the initial outlay for a wheeled excavator tends to be a little higher than for a truck-mounted one, they offer more long-term savings as they don’t require additional vehicles or machinery to move them from one site to another. Fuel costs for transporting a wheeled excavator are usually lower than a truck-mounted excavator too.

Increased lift capacity – Wheeled excavators typically have a better lift capacity than truck-mounted excavators, particularly when using a two-piece articulated boom.

Movability – Rather than having to be transported by a large, lumbering truck, wheeled excavators can simply be driven across the site or on the road from one location to the next, usually by the same person who operates them. The small and nimble size of the wheeled excavator also makes it more agile and manoeuvrable when working on-site, allowing it to work efficiently in tight spaces.

Versatility – Wheeled excavators are available with a variety of different attachments, including the mono-boom, two-piece boom, dozer blade, rototilt, cleanout bucket, and outrigger. The huge variety of attachments available for wheeled excavators makes them extremely versatile and reduces the need to invest in multiple machines.If you require help or advice with financing an excavator, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

5 reasons to invest in a mini excavator

Are you using your excavator to its full potential, or could you do the same job using a mini excavator?

Mini excavators are practical, affordable and hassle-free pieces of machinery.

Whilst they’re not always suitable for largescale jobs, if you can get away with using a mini excavator over a bigger wheeled, tracked or truck-mounted excavator then there are plenty of benefits to be had.

Manoeuvrability

The mini excavator is the perfect piece of machinery for working in small or tight spaces. It offers the same level of performance as a larger excavator but in a more compact and practical design. The small size of the mini excavator makes it nimble and agile on-site and means transportation is simple and hassle-free.

Easy to operate

Mini excavators tend to be very simple and intuitive to operate, reducing the amount of time required to train an operative to use the machinery and minimising the risk of errors being made.

Cost-saving

Mini excavators are more affordable to purchase and operate than their larger counterparts. They also offer higher fuel efficiency and lower fuel costs. Their relative ease of operation means training operatives will cost your business less time and money. 

More environmentally-friendly

The small size and increased fuel efficiency make mini excavators more environmentally friendly to run than larger excavators. They also produce less noise pollution, making them ideal for use in noise and pollution sensitive areas.

If you require help or advice with financing a mini excavator for your business, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

4 signs it’s time to replace your tractor

Is your tractor holding your farm business back? Here are four signs it’s time to replace your tractor.

Whilst a new tractor may be a big expense, using outdated machinery can seriously impact your farm business’ profitability, so it’s important to know the signs that may indicate that it’s the right time to bite the bullet and invest in a new tractor. 

Your business is growing or changing

As your business grows and evolves so will its requirements, and you may find that your existing tractor’s capabilities no longer cut it. If you now have more crops than you used to, you may require a tractor with a higher capacity to get the job done more efficiently and save time and money. Equally, if you have diversified into farming a new crop, you may find that you require a new tractor with different capabilities.

You’ve used it for 12,000 hours

Check how many hours you’ve racked up on your trusty tractor. It is generally agreed that standard-sized tractors have around 12,000 hours of use in them, whilst compact tractors have considerably less. If your tractor has done over 12,000 hours, it could be reaching the end of its lifespan.

It keeps needing repairs

If your tractor keeps breaking down or needing maintenance, this could also be a sign that it has reached the end of its lifespan. Rather than shelling out regularly to have it repaired, it may be more cost-effective to simply invest in a new machine.

It uses old technology

If your tractor uses outdated technology, it could be holding your business back from reaching its full potential. New agritech is being developed at a rapid pace and tractors are constantly being made smarter and more efficient. Investing in a tractor that uses modern technology could help to boost your business’ productivity and profitability. 

If you require help or advice with financing a new tractor, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

Ideas for supplementing your farm income during the festive season

Cash-in on Christmas by diversifying your farm business during the festive season.

According to NatWest, two thirds of farms have now diversified their business to generate alternative revenue streams throughout the year and boost their income.

Many farms that have successfully diversified report that their additional ventures have become a vital part of their business.

Whilst the winter months are typically much quieter for agricultural businesses, with a little creativity they can offer excellent opportunities for exploring new business ideas.

Here are a few of our favourite ideas for diversifying your farm business during the festive period.

Holiday letting

Many families and friends book holidays and weekends away to meet up and celebrate together over the Christmas holidays. Rather than letting unused land or farm buildings stand empty and unused during the winter months, why not convert them into holiday lettings. This can be particularly lucrative if your farm is in a scenic location.

Grow Christmas trees

Nothing beats the smell of a real pine Christmas tree, and according to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association over 7 million trees are sold in the UK each year. Choose a type of fir tree that will thrive in your farm’s land and soil type and start growing fir trees to sell locally each Christmas.

Run Christmas events

If you’ve got the land and buildings, why not run a series of festive events for the public in the lead up to Christmas? Popular activities and events could include turning a kids’ petting zoo into Santa’s grotto, running kid’s Christmas craft activities or adult wreath making workshops.

Turkeys and geese

Rearing free-range turkeys and geese can provide an additional source of income around Christmas time when demand for high quality meats for Christmas dinner soars.

To find out if you can apply for rural finance to help with your diversification project, get in touch with our team here at Richmond Asset Finance to discuss your plan in more detail.

What to expect from the new John Deere combine harvester

Agricultural tech and machinery company John Deere unveiled details about their new X9 combine harvester at the recent Agritechnica 2019 event in Hanover, Germany.

If you’re thinking about updating your combine harvester and are looking for a state of the art machine that can improve output and efficiency, then you may want to consider John Deere’s new X9 model.

The X9 was designed to help farmers with large farms and tough harvesting conditions to improve efficiency.

John Deere’s product manager Matt Arnold said: “the machine is suitable for small grains crops, pulse crops, canola, high moisture crop, soybeans, anything that’s either tough to thresh, green-stem material, high-material content.”

The company reports that the new model is capable of harvesting more than 100 tons of small grains or wheat per hour, with losses of less than 1%.

To help you to decide whether the new model would be suitable for your requirements, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the X9’s key technical details.

Greater inside width – The X9 is said to have the widest body in the industry, offering larger threshing and separation areas for improved capacity and crop flow.

Optimised chopper – The X9’s chopper is designed to maximise air flow volume and reduce the amount of energy required.

Data tools – The X9 is equipped with a selection of data tools including Operations Center, JDLink Connect and Combine Advisor to improve efficiency and make the machine simpler and more comfortable to operate.

Dual-axial rotor – Improves the combine’s separating ability to reduce density and maximise performance.

The X9 combine harvester is due to go on sale in June 2020.

If you require help or advice with financing a new combine harvester, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

How can telematics improve your commercial fleet’s efficiency?

Installing telematics in your business’ commercial vehicles could help to significantly improve your fleet’s performance and efficiency.

Telematics are small boxes that are fitted inside commercial vehicles to collect valuable data and information.

This information can then be used by your business to monitor vehicle and driver performance.

Just some of the information and data that can be monitored using telematics includes:

  • Fuel consumption
  • Speed
  • Driving patterns
  • Routes taken
  • Vehicle performance

You can then work together with your fleet drivers to make changes to the way they work in order to improve performance in several key areas including:

Efficiency – Telematics can be used to help drivers to work more efficiently by choosing the fastest routes and avoiding traffic. A more efficient fleet will also reduce operating costs by increasing fuel efficiency.

Safety – Telematics can help to flag up unsafe driving habits including harsh breaking or accelerating and speeding. Ensuring that your drivers are driving safely can help to reduce costly damage to vehicles and the risk of accidents occurring. 

Vehicle performance and maintenance – Set up your telematics to send alerts about your vehicles’ performance to help you to keep on top of maintenance tasks to reduce the need for repairs and keep your vehicles running smoothly.

Operating costs – By honing driver and vehicle performance using the data gathered by telematics you could significantly reduce your fleet’s overall operating costs. This is achieved primarily by improving fuel efficiency, reducing the number of accidents, and keeping up with vehicle maintenance.

Driver job satisfaction – Telematics provide fleet drivers with the data they need to perform better in their jobs. Providing your drivers with modern telematics technology can help to make their jobs easier and more rewarding, resulting in happier, more productive employees.

If you require financial help or advice with updating your commercial fleet, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services.

CNG Fuels to provide UK’s HGVs with first carbon neutral fuel

A carbon neutral fuel will soon be available to businesses running HGVs to help them to dramatically reduce their carbon emissions.

Based in the West Midlands, CNG Fuels are the UK’s top supplier of environmentally friendly bio-CNG (compressed natural gas).

The firm recently announced that they would be launching a new carbon-neutral fuel for heavy goods vehicles in 2021.

The new fuel will use manure to produce carbon neutral biomethane. Manure gives off the powerful greenhouse gas methane, but by using this methane as fuel it prevents it from entering the atmosphere.

With HGVs accounting for 4.2% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the introduction of a carbon neutral fuel has the potential to significantly reduce the UK’s overall emissions.

Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels said: “We want to help decarbonise freight transport and enable fleet operators to meet net zero targets now, supporting the UK’s climate targets.”

CNG Fuels already supplies many businesses operating HGVs with a renewable biomethane fuel sourced from food waste. The company has become the fuel supplier of choice for several large companies including John Lewis, Hermes, Asda and Argos.

The company reports that switching from diesel to bio-CNG can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 85% and cut fuel costs by 35-45%, making it a win-win for businesses operating HGVs.

CNG Fuels are also developing a network of public HGV refuelling stations on major routes throughout the country to support electric and hydrogen powered HGVs in the future.

Need some help financing new HGVs for your business? Here at Richmond Asset Finance we provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services.

For more information or to discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

Fleet management tips for a more efficient fleet

Fleet managers are responsible for employing techniques and processes to help maintain a productive and efficient fleet.

An efficient commercial fleet will get the job done quickly and cost-effectively with minimal hassle. Maintaining an efficient fleet of vehicles is no simple feat though, it is a process that requires constant monitoring and continual improvement.

Use the tips in this blog to reduce running and maintenance costs and increase your fleet’s efficiency.

Service vehicles regularly

Keeping on top of vehicle servicing and maintenance will keep your fleet looking great and running efficiently whilst also helping to prevent costly accidents and breakdowns.

Recruit experienced and professional drivers

Driver behaviour and habits can have a big impact on fuel efficiency and the amount of maintenance a vehicle requires. Only recruit experienced drivers with excellent references and make it a habit to give all drivers regular training and feedback on performance.

Use telematics

Telematics collect data about driver and vehicle performance to help you to monitor driver performance for training purposes. This data should then be regularly reviewed and used to help drivers to adopt safer and more efficient driving techniques.

Invest in the right vehicles

Choosing vehicles that are best suited to your business’ specific requirements will have the biggest impact on your fleet’s efficiency.

Just some of the factors you should pay careful attention to when shopping for a new vehicle are:

  • Size – An unnecessarily large vehicle will waste fuel.
  • Type of journey they suit – Will your vehicles be travelling short or long distances? Some vehicles will be more efficient for short journeys and others for long distance journeys.  
  • Emissions – The more environmentally-friendly your vehicles are, the less tax you will be required to pay.

It’s also important to recognise when updating your fleet is the most cost-effective option.

If you require financial help or advice with updating your commercial fleet, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services.

How to prepare your commercial fleet for winter

Prepare your fleet of commercial vehicles for the colder weather to keep them running efficiently through the winter months.

Treacherous wet, icy and windy weather can pose significant problems for drivers and fleet managers during the winter.

The key to keeping your fleet operating smoothly during this time is good preparation.

Service

Putting your fleet through a thorough inspection or service prior to the cold weather kicking in can help to pick up any problems or damage to the vehicles. Making sure your fleet is in tip-top condition and are all topped up with engine oil and wiper fluid can help to prevent accidents and costly down-time once the bad weather hits.

Inspect tyres

When inspecting your vehicles, be sure to pay careful attention to the condition of the tyres which need to be in excellent condition to manage wet and icy roads. Look out for signs of damage or excessive wear and make sure they are pumped up with enough air.

Winter tyres

Many fleet managers use winter tyres if their fleet are likely to be visiting remote areas frequently. Winter tyres have better grip and can help to reduce the risk of accidents and breakdowns in ice and snow.

Educate drivers

One of the best ways to keep your fleet safe during the winter is to educate your drivers in how to drive in poor weather conditions. Refreshing their knowledge of safe stopping distances and how to adjust their driving for snow and ice can help to minimise breakdowns and accidents.

Emergency packs

Always make sure that your fleet are kitted out with winter survival packs for when they’re out on the road. At minimum, all emergency kits should contain a blanket, de-icer, scraper, torch, high visibility jacket, and extra screen wash.

If you have concerns about the condition or efficiency of any vehicles in your fleet, then it can be a good idea to update them before the winter season. 

If you require financial help or advice with updating your commercial fleet, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset financeservices.

JCB’s fully electric compact digger wins prestigious award

JCB’s fully electric compact digger has won the construction industry’s prestigious Dewar Award for ‘Outstanding Technical Achievement in the British Automotive Industry’.

The one-ton digger is thought to be the world’s first ever fully electric compact digger and represents a breakthrough for the industry in combating emissions and climate change.

The RAC’s Dewar Award is only awarded during years where the committee believe there are worthy contenders. This is JCB’s second win, as they also received the trophy in 2006 for their diesel land speed record-breaking JCB Dieselmax car powered by two JCB engines.

John Wood MBE, chairman of the Dewar Technical Committee, said: “Awarding the 2019 trophy to JCB was a unanimous decision by the Dewar Technical Committee. It represents a bold commitment to the introduction of novel technology in the off-road sector.”

JCB’s 19C-1E electric digger is now in full production and has already sold over 200 units. The digger can do a full day’s work on a single charge, produces zero emissions and is five times quieter than its diesel equivalent.

The 19C-1E is ideal for using inside cities to reduce noise and air pollution and for building projects taking place indoors or in enclosed spaces.

As the impact and consequences of climate change become more severe worldwide, the construction industry is under increasing pressure to review the effects that their equipment, machinery and vehicles are having on the environment.

If you require help or advice with financing electric diggers, excavators, or commercial vehicles, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

New Cat 326 excavator can boost efficiency by up to 45%

If you’re looking for ways to increase your construction team’s efficiency it could be time to upgrade to the new Cat 326 excavator.

Caterpillar’s new 26-tonne 326 excavator could boost efficiency by up to 45% when compared to older models. 

This high performance machine also boasts lower fuel and maintenance costs and meets stringent emissions standards.

Performance

The 326 excavator features a new hydraulic system for better control and efficiency, including a 12% improvement in swing torque and a SMART-mode which matches engine speed and hydraulic power.

Caterpillar’s innovative new Swing Assist feature will automatically stop the excavator swing at predefined points, reducing effort and fuel consumption.

Technology

The machine uses integrated simple-to-use technologies to make it easy to operate. Just some of the convenient technologies that it incorporates includes:

  • Remote start using a Bluetooth fob.
  • Operator-specific programming.
  • High-res touchscreen monitor.
  • A digital version of the operator’s manual.

Comfort

As well as improving performance, the Cat 326 excavator will keep the operator feeling comfortable. Cab vibration is reduced by up to 50% when compared to other models and all models feature automatic climate control. The in-built radio also features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing operators to connect their own devices if required.

Maintenance

Fuel filters on the Cat 326 have a 1000 hour change interval and all maintenance tasks can be performed quickly from ground level. The machine also features improved hydraulic filter performance, reducing maintenance costs by 20% when compared to the Cat 326F.

If you require help or advice with financing a new excavator, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

Would your farm business benefit from a refrigeration trailer?

Investing in a refrigeration trailer can help farmers to safely transport fresh produce further afield.

Farming is going through a difficult time, facing challenges from all angles including political and economic instability, climate change and increased competition.

Farmers are being forced to diversify their businesses as much as possible and become resourceful with finding new income streams.

One affordable piece of equipment that can provide farmers with greater flexibility and freedom to get their produce in front of a larger audience is the refrigeration trailer.

A refrigeration trailer will provide your business with the practical means with which to transport produce further afield without any negative effect on quality or freshness.

Organic, artisan and speciality produce are popular with consumers, and every year hundreds of farmer’s fairs, markets and other events are held up and down the country for farmers to sell their produce at.

A refrigeration trailer provides the means to safely transport fresh produce further, allowing farmers to attend more of these events to boost their income and improve their brand’s visibility.

Why should farmers consider investing in a refrigeration trailer?

Benefits of investing in a refrigeration trailer for your farm business include:

  • Maintains the quality and freshness of your produce for longer for excellent customer satisfaction.
  • Prevents your produce from becoming contaminated.
  • Provides your business with more opportunities to make money by offering greater flexibility.
  • Environmentally-friendly and energy efficient.
  • Helps farmers to meet the guidelines set out by Environmental Health and Trading Standards.

For help financing the purchase of vehicles or agricultural equipment, speak to our team at Richmond Asset Finance on 0113 288 3277. We provide a variety of asset financevehicle finance and agricultural finance services to help your farm business to grow and develop. 

Signs that it’s time to replace or upgrade your overhead crane

Recognising when it’s time to upgrade your overhead crane can help your business to be more productive, save money, and meet safety standards.

Whilst investing in a new overhead crane may seem like a big expense, continuing to use an excessively worn or outdated model may be costing your business more than you realise.

Here are three common signs that it’s time to replace or upgrade your old overhead crane.

Parts are difficult to get hold of

If you’ve had your crane for some time, you may find that it becomes difficult and costly to source parts and components to repair it. This can happen for several reasons, including the OE manufacturer closing and the parts becoming obsolete because the model is no longer in production. This means it can become inconveniently long-winded, costly and complicated to source replacement parts when they become broken or worn. In this instance, it is often more cost-effective and efficient to simply upgrade your crane to a more modern model.

It frequently requires repairs

If your crane is constantly breaking down or in need of maintenance, regularly paying for new parts, labour and expensive production downtime will soon start adding up. When you take all the expenses, inconvenience and hassle into account, investing in a new crane may be the most sensible and cost-effective option.

Your requirements have changed

If your production requirements change, you may find that your existing crane can no longer keep up with, or is not capable of, your new demands. Whether that means lifting heavier loads, working faster, or with more precision, investing in a modern crane can help you to meet more advanced requirements and work more efficiently.

If you require help or advice with financing a new overhead crane, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

Should you invest in the new Claas Lexion combine harvester?

Farmers investing in the new Lexion combine can gain 10% more capacity whilst also saving time and money.

24 years on from the launch of the original game-changing Claas Lexion combine harvester, Claas have launched their new generation of Lexion Hybrid combine harvesters.

When the original Lexion was introduced it changed the way in which crops were harvested and now accounts for around 75% of all hybrid and rotary combines sold in the UK.

The new, more powerful Lexion 8000-7000 series combines can help farm businesses to streamline harvesting to save time and money.

Blake McOllough, Product Manager of Claas America said: “The redesign brings together significant engineering advancements from Claas that deliver on the superior productivity that today’s ag business demands, offering the best return on investment and allowing the operator to get more done in less time.”

Key benefits of the new hybrid Claas Lexion combine harvester

Improved fuel efficiency – The new Lexion hybrid combines are fitted with a Dynamic Power Intelligent engine management system which automatically adjusts engine power output dependent on load to provide excellent fuel efficiency.

Improved belt life – The Lexion 8000-7000 models feature an improved clutch system to engage and tension the belts, resulting in improved belt life.

Increased harvesting capacity – The new APS threshing system features a threshing drum which is 26% larger than that of the current Lexion 780 and features ten rather than eight rasp bars. The new model threshes out 70% of grain and leaves just 30% for the secondary separation system. This allows the new Lexion models to deliver 10% more capacity than previous models.

Higher grain tank capacity – To cope with the higher output, the new Lexion also features a huge 18,000l grain tank.

Reduced maintenance – The new model’s dynamic cooling and central lubrication system mean maintenance time is cut by more than half.

More precise data – The new Lexion combine harvesters uses a pressure cell to collect data for more precise record keeping and yield mapping.

Soundproofing – Operators can enjoy a larger, soundproofed cab for a more comfortable ride.

If you require help or advice with financing a new combine harvester, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance. We provide a range of flexible agricultural finance and asset finance services to help you to grow your business. 

To discuss your requirements in more detail, give our team a call on 0113 288 3277.

How to reduce the cost of your HGV fleet

Use these three ideas to cut the running costs of your business’ HGV fleet whilst also improving productivity and efficiency.

Many businesses that operate vehicles are currently facing challenges that mean they are under pressure to cut their fleet’s running costs.

Some of the key challenges facing transport operators today includes:

  • Rising fleet costs.
  • Driver shortages.
  • An unstable economic climate.
  • Market uncertainty.

In order to successfully cut costs, businesses must be creative and resourceful in how they operate. 

Here are three ideas for effectively reducing the cost of your HGV fleet.

Update your fleet

Spending money on new vehicles may sound a little counterintuitive, but old and inefficient vehicles can be a real drain on resources. Not only do old and tired vehicles need more regular repairs and maintenance, they can also eat up a lot more fuel than modern vehicles.

Modern HGVs are generally safer, more comfortable to drive, and considerably more fuel efficient. The money you safe on maintenance and fuel across your fleet will mean that your investment is likely to soon pay for itself.

Driver training

Your team of HGV drivers are largely responsible for many of the costs associated with running your fleet, their behaviour can have a significant impact on fuel consumption, repairs and maintenance, and insurance costs.

 Ensuring that all drivers receive adequate training, performance monitoring, and regular reviews can help to keep the cost of your fleet down.

Fleet management

Investing in fleet management software can help your fleet to become more organised, efficient, and cost-effective.

Fleet management software uses data and real-time information to monitor traffic and help your drivers to plan the fastest and most efficient routes, saving your business fuel, time and money. It will also track and log information about each of your drivers and their performance to use during training to help improve performance ongoing.

If you require financial help or advice with updating your HGV fleet, speak to our team here at Richmond Asset Finance by giving us a call on 0113 288 3277. We provide a range of flexible vehicle finance and asset finance services.

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