Plant & Civil Engineer Sept-Oct 2017

Where did the summer go? Did it ever arrive? The weather has been a bit like our local politics – lots of dark clouds with just a glimmer of hope that gets quickly dashed.

While there are some silver linings across our industry sectors, almost eight months on since the collapse of the Stormont Executive, there is an underlying concern that if political progress isn’t made soon, and especially with Brexit looming large on the horizon, there may be consequences, and not of the good kind.

On another front, although the recent CPA State of Trade Survey for 2017 Q2 revealed construction product manufacturers experienced growth in sales and activity for the 17th consecutive quarter, higher input costs and
rising uncertainty has dampened manufacturers’ views for the near-term future. While the survey showed that among
heavy side manufacturers, 7% anticipated a rise in sales in the next quarter, that is quite a decline from the 68% who anticipated a rise when asked in 2017 Q1.

However, as we said, there are some silver linings, not least in the rental sector, with confidence within the equipment supply chain remaining positive, according to some recent reports; the rental sector is estimated to account for over 60% of supply to the UK market, and here in the north and south of Ireland it is also a steady if not growing sector.

To other matters now, and in this, yet another bumper issue, we turn the focus on the Attachments market; it’s buoyant and it’s busy, and there are lots of new products and innovations to report on. Working from Height is another area we cover extensively this month, and we also carry a preview of the forthcoming National Ploughing Championships
in Co Offaly where more records are expected to be broken.

We can’t sign off without mentioning our recent Masters Golf Day at the Lough Erne Resort. By all accounts everyone who participated both on the course and off had a great day out, as our comprehensive pictorial coverage of the event demonstrates -and we plan to do it all again next year.

Before then, of course, we have our annual Plant & Civil Engineer ‘Plant, Construction & Quarry’ awards to look forward to. Entries have been rolling in over the last few months, but with the deadline looming you need to put pen to paper pretty soon if you want to be a part of what promises to be a great evening; you’ll find all you need to know elsewhere in this issue.


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