15-machine package helps AMD service key projects

AMD general manager Stephen Thomson, Scot JCB director David Donoghue and AMD managing director Fraser Dykes

DUMFRIES-based AMD Contract Services Ltd has taken delivery of the final models in a 15-machine deal with Scot JCB since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The haul comprises six JCB 131X excavators, two 150X diggers, four 220X machines, a couple of mini diggers and a wheeled excavator.

Fraser Dykes, MD of AMD, told Project Plant the investment is part of the company’s strategy to grow the fleet and replenish machines every four to five years.

“AMD has grown on having modern and up-to-date machines,” he explained. “The Scot JCB deal was a combination of replacing older machines and extending our existing fleet.  

“The 131X excavators are Topcon GPS-ready to try and help the customer and modernise the systems of work. These machines do everything that all the other excavators in the 13-tonne class do, but the fact they don’t require AdBlue was a major selling point.”

The new machines have been put to work on a range of projects across Scotland including road bypass tasks, the A9 dualling scheme, wind farms and other utility projects.

“Down here in Dumfries we used to do a lot of work in the housebuilding sector until 2008-9 when the crash came,” Fraser added. “We diversified at that point and concentrated more on civils and earthworks in the forestry, highways, utilities and renewable energy sectors.”

AMD runs a mixed fleet including machines from a range of manufacturers including Caterpillar, Case, Hitachi, Takeuchi and Hyundai. That said, more than half of the fleet is still JCB. “We have had a great relationship with Scot JCB for near 50 years, this includes my father before me,” Fraser explained. “We’re loyal to Scot JCB and they’re loyal to us.” 

Like all businesses, AMD has been grappling with the challenges posed by the pandemic over the past year. Because of the company’s involvement in key sectors, it has remained operational throughout.

“There’s quite a bit happening,” Fraser said. “There’s work there, especially in the forestry sector, which we’re heavily involved in. Key worker stuff has kept us busy for the last year because they need timber to run the power stations. The housebuilders also need timber. We were going half-throttle (during the initial lockdown period) but we never stopped because we were involved in utility sector projects.”

Fraser paid tribute to the way his employees have adapted to new working practices in line with Covid-related guidelines encompassing everything from social distancing to enhanced cleaning regimes for personnel and machinery alike. 

“Travelling to sites has been an issue,” Fraser revealed. “It’s been costly. We could be building a new forest road in the back of beyond involving five workers. Before they would have travelled together in a crew cab van or welfare van but we’re now using five different vehicles. This and all the other hoops we are jumping through with SHEQ management has put costs up without any doubt. This all needs paying for and rates will inevitably have to increase. But the staff have adapted no bother – they’re glad to be working.”

Scot JCB director David Donoghue said, “We would like to thank AMD Contract Services for their recent investment in 15 brand new JCB machines, and of course their loyal business over the last 50 years. They are great customers to work with and it was a pleasure to help them strengthen their already impressive fleet.”