Increased space allows Eagle to spread its wings

Colin Inglis and John Cummings at Eagle’s Edinburgh depot

EAGLE Plant Hire has completed a new extension to its Edinburgh depot after outgrowing the existing premises in just over a year.

Glasgow-headquartered Eagle Plant launched its Edinburgh operations, headed up by former Speedy Scottish MD John Cummings, in November 2018.

The Edinburgh offering was predominantly concentrated on small tools, but the opening of a new yard will allow the site to replicate what Eagle does in Glasgow in terms of supplying a wide range of larger plant including excavators and dumpers.

20 excavators ranging from 1.5 to eight tonnes are due to arrive in the coming weeks, with three extra staff members also joining the business – bringing the total number of new recruits over the past year to nine.

Managing director Colin Inglis told Project Plant that Eagle’s Edinburgh customer base has trebled since late 2018, with new customers coming on board and existing ones providing the company with greater volumes of work.

“90% of our activity in Edinburgh was small tools,” Colin explained. “Now we’ve got it up to capacity with the extension, we can replicate the larger plant side of the business, to complement the small tools, because our new customer base wants us to provide that to them.

“The extension is a larger yard to cater for excavators, dumpers and larger plant. Up until now, the lorries have all been based out of Glasgow and here we’ve had smaller flatbed vehicles. We’ve also got a new 18-tonne flatbed beavertail, which is being built just now and is coming in to help. That will save lorries running so much through from Glasgow and free up capacity in Glasgow.”

The three latest recruits are an extra salesperson, fitter and heavy goods driver.

Glasgow has also experienced expansion in recent times with an additional salesperson, fitter and hire desk controller. The Glasgow base is also soon to be bolstered by the arrival of a Hiab lorry.

Colin said customers in the east of Scotland have benefited hugely from the opening of the Edinburgh depot. “We were already catering for customers’ Edinburgh sites, but having this depot gives them a bit more confidence that we can react quicker and also gives them somewhere they can drop in.

“The new customer base we have is Edinburgh clientele who we would never have got beforehand. They’re now relying on us. They love the way we do business. They’ve utilised us for the small tools side of it and now that we’ve got that relationship, it coincides with us getting to capacity and they’re after bigger machines which maybe in the past they’d have gone elsewhere for. It’s knitting together quite well that way.”

Business is booming, with the Eagle fleet carrying out projects on a variety of tasks from new housing developments to infrastructure work in the utilities sector. The success of the Edinburgh base has also given Colin the confidence to potentially open more depots in the not too distant future.

“We’ve got our eye on a third and fourth depot,” he explained. “(At the moment) we’re just dealing with what’s in front of us because there are so many options as the market is buoyant and we have good momentum with a good customer base. 

“There was no point opening a third depot until Glasgow and Edinburgh was at capacity. If it doesn’t happen in 2020, it will be 2021.”