£35m order is JCB’s biggest of the year - 'From the Express and Star'

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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.

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 (pictured) 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.”

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Made in the Midlands Director Charles Addison added: "This is more great news for JCB and Staffordshire and comes hot on the heels of their Made in the Midlands World Cup triumph!"