Hillhead/QMJ 2024
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Digger Man Blog

by Nick Drew  |  Tue 26 Mar 2024

Falcon Flying High with XCMG

The Digger Man Blog visited Falcon Plant Ltd last week to find out more about the business and their appointment as an XCMG dealership.

Falcon Flying High with XCMG

Managing Director Aaron Walsh started in the plant and machinery industry around 15 years ago, running a small plant hire company for 3-4 years. He was later approached by Plantforce to take up a position with them supplying machines to the HS2 project in its early days.

In 2019 he decided to go out on his own and officially started the Falcon Plant Ltd business in November of that year. The business initially kicked off with a total of 6 machines, but as of today in March 2024 they are now running 33 machines plus associated attachments. The fleet is mainly focused on hydraulic excavators and they are at the core of the business. The long-term plan is to expand the fleet to 50 machines by the end of 2025.

The company has more recently become the dealer for XCMG machines covering the Wales area, talking about that decision Aaron said, “It was something of a natural process for us, I always look at all the biggest costs involved in business externally, and try to bring them in-house, so for example, transport was one, we brought that in, hydraulic pipework, we brought that inside, the next natural step was to bring in plant sales, that we could incorporate into our own fleet of machines and to help get a foot behind it. We initially looked at other Chinese brands, but felt that nothing was a good fit for us, then I had a meeting with Mike Lee who was on of the first people from XCMG to come over from China, and he was interested in working with us, this was back during the pandemic period, which actually slowed up their planned UK launch.

Aaron continued, “As you know Alan Sams is now running the UK operation and brought me on as the dealer for Wales in November last year. So far, we have ordered 40 machines and currently have 25 in stock with most of them in a separate holding yard in Wales. We have sold 7 machines so far and we have orders in place for another 9, so it’s going well with the product being very well received by customers”.

Aaron’s first XCMG customer was Royal Contractors, who have been long term customers of his, who were in the market for a 1.5-tonne machine, and he purchased the first XE18E they had sold, he absolutely loves the machine, and he is already considering trading in his Kubota KX027-4 for an XCMG XE55 for a bigger project he is undertaking.

A number of companies are looking into taking XCMG machines on long term hire with their own branding on, so potentially around 10 to 15 machines on sites across the Bristol area, further raising awareness of the brand, who coincidentally, and somewhat remarkably, are the 3rd largest construction machinery manufacturer in the world.

The company had a number of mini and midi XCMG hydraulic excavators in stock at this facility, including the 1.5-tonne class XE18E, XE27E, XE55E, and the 8-tonne class XE80E. Top of the shop was the XE155E CR, a 15-tonne class compact radius machine, which we took out into the yard area for a brief spin. 

The machine only had delivery fuel level in it, and there was no opportunity to put it to work in an actual dig scenario, but I did go through the motions with the machine, and I was pretty impressed with the smoothness and finesse of the controls. Under the bonnet and behind the panels its all the usual blue-chip components we have come to expect on a modern hydraulic excavator, including a Stage V emission compliant, Cummins 4-cylinder diesel engine which offers a power output rating of 90kw (121hp) and the latest Kawasaki hydraulic pump set up.

Well-known name in the plant hire industry locally Melissa Bundy, formerly of Rocket Rentals, and AP Air, has most recently been taken on, in the role of Operations Manager, following a chat with Aaron who she has known professionally for some 4 years, Melissa is enjoying the role and looking forward to being part of the journey going forward.

We will be revisiting this dealer in due course for Earthmovers Magazine, in the meantime checkout a little video walkaround we did during this visit.  



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