Since breaking out on his own in 2017, Tom Parkinson’s groundworks contracting business, Parkinson Plant Services, has gone from strength to strength. The groundworks and excavation specialist has remained busy throughout the pandemic and is now taking on more and larger jobs, from drainage and landscaping to mass excavation and earthmoving projects.
Larger jobs required Tom to add a larger machine to his fleet of compact excavators and wheeled loaders, and he immediately knew he wanted a Volvo.
“I have operated plant ever since I left school. I have driven machines of all sizes and brands, and Volvo has always been a personal favourite,” he says. “When you are spending a whole day in a machine, you want it to be nice and comfortable to drive. Volvos are built with the operator in mind, and just tick all the right boxes.”
A quick and easy purchase
Tom began his search on the typical used equipment listing and auction sites, before calling SMT GB’s used equipment specialist Pelham Milligan in February 2022.
“I happened to ring up Pelham one day and said ‘I’m looking for a machine in the 14 tonne size class. Can you help me?’ Straight away, he rang me back and said ‘I’ve got this one down at our Used Equipment Centre in Bruntingthorpe. Pop over, have a look and tell me what you think,’” Tom recounts.
Two weeks later, he took delivery.
The machine in question was a used Volvo EC140E crawler excavator – a current model with only 4,000 hours on the clock. SMT GB had carried out a full valet and service of the machine, and Tom requested some extra work to suit his needs. This included the addition of some chevron decals to the counterweight for improved safety awareness on site, and a cab guard for protection against vandalism.
As it was his first large machine purchase, Tom specifically wanted a used machine. “I think it’s good to go for a used machine, especially for the first one, so you can see exactly what you’re getting before you buy it and you don’t have to wait very long for it to arrive,” he says.
“I was a bit unsure as it was my first big purchase, but SMT really helped me out. They showed me how it would work and what they offered with the machine, which made it so easy. I felt as if they couldn’t do enough for me,” he continues.
The best overall package
Tom had also looked at another used Volvo from a non-authorised reseller, but the overall package was not as good. SMT GB gave him free delivery to wherever he wanted, threw in a brand-new ditching bucket and offered a one-stop shop for servicing and parts.
“It was a no-brainer to go with SMT GB. The Customer Support Agreement means I don’t have to worry about servicing the machine. When it’s time, SMT GB will come out and do that wherever the machine is,” he says.
“A used machine is still a significant investment,” he continues, “so the warranty also gives me that peace of mind, that if anything was to go wrong, we’ve got that covered.”
As good as new
So far, Tom’s used Volvo EC140E excavator has been performing perfectly and has even been mistaken for a brand new one.
“Everything is still tight on it regarding the pins and bushes,” he says. “It feels like a new machine and the chevrons looks great, so a lot of people have commented ‘Oh, you have a new machine!’”
It has proven just as easy and comfortable to operate as Tom remembered from his previous experience with Volvo machines, and he has been particularly impressed with the fuel efficiency.
Fuel efficient and compact
“With other machines, I’ve easily gone through a tank of fuel in a day, but I did a bulk excavation job over in Macclesfield recently where the EC140E didn’t even use half a tank. It really helps to keep costs down, especially given the new laws for white diesel,” he says.
Another pleasant surprise for Tom has been the EC140E’s compact footprint, enabling it to work effectively on confined jobsites and making transport between sites easier.
“I did look into the zero tail-swing option, as I was a bit worried about being able to manoeuvre the machine on tight, residential jobs, but it’s actually got quite a short swing radius on it, despite being a conventional design. It’s also quite narrow, so it’s good for working on small sites as well as larger ones, and is relatively easy to transport,” Tom explains.
“I’m very pleased with the machine and I would definitely recommend SMT GB and Volvo to others. It has been a great addition to our business, and is probably the best purchase we’ve had within our company,” he concludes.
Please visit the SMT GB website to learn more about Used Equipment.
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SMT GB is the exclusive dealer of Volvo Construction Equipment and K-Tec Earthmover products in Great Britain. In addition to delivering industry-leading product support throughout England, Scotland and Wales, SMT GB provides a range of end-to-end efficiency and productivity boosting solutions, which ensure customer investments are protected and profits are maximised.