Domestic success and an international reach

Rhomberg Sersa ITC BL4 inline ballast excavator with custom Rototilt R6

Callum Mackintosh, MD of Rototilt dealer HHH Equipment, shares his highlights of 2019 and looks forward to 2020

2019 has been a great year for HHH Equipment – we exceeded our targets, strengthened our relationships with existing customers and started working with new ones. Construction plant hire and groundworks continues to form our core business, but we have also made in-roads into the rail sector with an installation for Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, which is my first highlight I’d like to share.

International business

HHH Equipment was commissioned to supply a Rototilt for international rail engineering company Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, which required a new tiltrotator for its ITC BL4 inline ballast excavator, the first of its type in the UK. We reviewed the excavator and the task it was required to fulfil. In one of the most customised jobs we have ever undertaken, we supplied a direct mount R6 unit with the award-winning Securelock safety system, ICS control system and RPS integration into the machine’s Trimble machine guidance system. 

We fitted the equipment on site and have revisited the machine several times to assist in getting the machine through the rigorous testing procedures Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group must undertake to get the ITC BL4 Network Rail approved. Following completion and approval of the machine setup, the equipment will be used to replace ballast at various locations on the rail infrastructure across the UK and we will continue to provide support to ensure that the Rototilt is performing at optimal capacity.

I’m really proud of this project, we got great feedback from the client and we have a lot of learnings that will stand us in good stead for 2020. Keith Manning from Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group said: “Callum and the team met all our needs. They were really professional and helpful and we would happily work with them again.”

Our international reach stretched as far as Sweden this year. A photo on the side of a truck in Sweden is of a Rototilt that we supplied to Nicolson Plant Hire in Skye. To have this photo used on a truck which delivers Rototilts all over Sweden, a country where Rototilt is king, was a real highlight.

Domestic business

It has also been a good year in terms of forming new relationships with some of the larger companies in Scotland. Malcolm Construction Services Ltd this year trialled a number of tiltrotators before committing to purchase. We support this approach and were happy to provide a Rototilt for a trial period and work closely with the team at Malcolm Construction Services Ltd to understand its needs. This resulted in the company choosing a Rototilt because it ticked all the boxes.

Malcoms EW100 duck with Rototilt R3 tiltrotator

As well as new relationships with end users, we have also continued to build on our relationships with machine dealers in Scotland. We’ve got local knowledge and can offer a local service all over Scotland thanks to the service network we have developed over the last few years. It might sound like a very obvious formula but it’s what dealers are looking for and that’s why we are successful. Leigh Dalgleish from Agritrac explains: “As a dealer we are driven by what our customer is looking for, so it is rare for us to have a close affinity with a particular brand. However, this year, working with HHH Equipment, we have witnessed a growth in sales of Rototilt. In fact, this year, we made our first ever sale of a Rototilt attachment for a Hyundai machine. The after-sales service and detailed training provided by Callum and HHH Equipment is likely to lead to another Rototilt sale with the same customer.”

Trade shows

Of course, 2019 was busy as ever with trade shows. The Black Isle Show is always a highlight for us because we’re on home turf and the atmosphere is great. This year we also had a presence at the first ever Forestry Expo Scotland in South Lanarkshire. This was an excellent event and great for lead generation. We had high levels of engagement from visitors, not least because of the attraction we created where you had to use the Rototilt to navigate shinty balls through a wooden maze! 

HHH Forestry Expo


We are already planning for ScotPlant 2020. Along with a big product launch at the show, we also hope to showcase the new attachments from Rototilt, including a new grading beam, asphalt cutter and riddle buckets.

As for the rest of 2020, there is a lot be excited about. Whatever happens in a post-Brexit world, HHH Equipment is prepared for any outcome and our focus will be on growth. 

We see opportunities to expand on our existing customer base in the south of Scotland, where we have built up a strong service support team. We still see growth potential on the hire side of the business and will look to capitalise on that. By increasing our service network provision, we will continue to increase our sales of Rototilt in Scotland.

CASE STUDY: Tiltrotators are certainly no ‘gimmick’

FORT William-based contractor Kenneth Maclennan has operated a Rototilt R4 model for the past year and says he wouldn’t do without a tiltrotator now – which is quite a statement for someone who admits he previously thought the machines were a “waste of money”!

Kenneth told Project Plant, “I always thought tiltrotators were a gimmick to be honest with you. But I’m very, very happy with it. I do a lot of estate work, hill and forestry road projects, and house sites. This just makes life very easy.

“I’d previously bought a Geith PowerTilt from Callum at HHH Equipment and he was always on at me to get a tiltrotator. I thought they were a waste of money and took a lot of convincing. Since buying the Rototilt, I’ve been able to complete jobs a lot quicker and more easily. It’s not hard on the machine either.”

Kenneth Maclennan Rototilt R4

The machine in question is a new Case CX130D. The excavator/R4 combination was recently put to work on a site near Strontian, where Kenneth was carrying out clearance work. The scope of works included extraction of large stumps, excavation and re-shaping of peat, new access and road formation with associated culverts and drainage, plus the diversion of services and utilities.

Kenneth has specified his Rototilt to include the QuickChange automatic coupler system, which attaches hydraulic attachments without the need to get out of the cab. This is ideal in environments like this where Kenneth will change from the Rototilt SG40 selector grab to tree shear and back to bucket throughout the day.