After a year of ups and downs, of lockdowns and social distancing, and of material and skills shortages, it is refreshing to note that construction experts across the UK are painting a positive picture for the industry over the next year with strong levels of activity expected; that’s according to the latest RICS construction survey.
That said, delays to large-scale construction projects have more than doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, while another new report suggests nine in 10 tradespeople throughout the UK are also being forced to delay projects due to the ongoing supplies shortage; the study by Simply Business unveils the devastating impact of the supplies shortage, with over a quarter of tradespeople saying they’ve had no choice but to delay projects by a minimum of four-eight weeks.
Another looming concern is the removal of the red diesel rebate in April; this is reckoned to cost the construction industry in Northern Ireland a whooping £25 million. Not surprisingly, an increasing number of contractors are switching to fuelling their machines with hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO); it is hailed as a perfect replacement for diesel.
Enough bad news, so what have we for you in this issue? We have all our regular features as well as a focus on excavators, plus our View from the Cab series looks at a Kobelco SK130LC-11, a JCB ElectricTeletruk, a Sany SY305 and a Volvo’s FMX tipper. We have also introduced a new feature, Court Report.
In addition, we have been finding out from Ards and North Down Borough Council and from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council what it is like running an extensive fleet of refuse collection vehicles.
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for the Feb-Mar 2022 issue of Plant & Civil Engineer Magazine.