Is it Illegal to tow a trailer with Earthmoving Equipment?

JCB Large Machinery Logo

Towing a trailer on the back of heavy earthmoving equipment is a common sight on many sites in the UK. This includes towing attachments, generators, lighting towers and other required equipment. However, in new advice provided to JCB by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), the agency stated that the use of any earthmoving equipment to tow any trailer on the public highway is illegal, even when the only cargo is transport attachments.

This is important news in the Plant Operator industry because towing a trailer with attachments was previously understood to not be classified as “Engineering Plant” by the wider industry.

Following the news, JCB states that they plan on lobbying for a change to this legislation in their blog post here:

They cite in this post that their main point of contention is that is is legal to tow a trailer with attachments behind a car or van, but not a 11.5 tonne excavator which is speed limited! They also state that they will be be working with their engineering devision to find solutions that allows attachments to be carried on-board their excavators and other large machinery.


Tesla Roofing Tiles are now in Production

Tesla Roofing tiles with integrated solar panels are now going into production.


Image Credit: Tesla

After the 2016 announcement, the Tesla roofing tiles were expected to be the next best thing. More durable than the standard tile, easier to clean and containing an invisible solar panel that transforms the utility of your whole roof; these are expected to revolutionise the roofs of homes all over the globe. These tiles also come in multiple styles to match the aesthetic of all sorts of homes and will be cheaper than conventional solar panels! We envision these tiles will be changing the way roofers coming through our Roofing and Cladding NVQ will be working in the future.


These tiles have now finally started to go into production at Tesla’s facility in New York according to Reuters. It is also reported that Tesla is now surveying houses that signed up to the $1000 reserve scheme, meaning the company likely expects to begin shipping and installation soon.


Prices for these tiles is expected to come in between 10% and 15% less than that of a new roof and solar panel array. These roofing tiles are designed to mimic many different styles, ensuring that your home has the perfect solar tile to match.

Cost and Maintenance

Depending on utilities costs in your local area, estimations have been placed that a 30-year use of solar tiles could generate not only savings on energy costs but even generate profit! Tesla has given an example of Maryland, USA where with tax credits and a Tesla Powerwall, the home generates $8000 in its lifetime.

If you want to learn more about our Roofing and Cladding Courses you can find out more about recent developments here.

Read more below…

The environmental benefits of solar roofing are many. Not only do they help relieve the burden on fossil fuel generation, they also do so by reclaiming space that’s already utilized. New solar farms are excellent for providing increasing amounts of electricity to larger areas but developers often have to use large swaths of land to ensure their farms are economically viable. Like other solar panels used for domestic energy supply, Tesla’s solar roofing tiles take advantage of areas that are already used up by buildings, but they do it in a more cost effective way.


Author: Patrick Caughill

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Crawler Crane Operator pay rises by 54% in only two years?

Crawler Crane Operator pay rises by a whopping 54% in the last two years, compared to 11% for the rest of the construction industry since the Brexit referendum, according to staffing software company.

The Construction industry is a fast-paced industry that sees changes in construction techniques, and popular projects. However, Crawler Crane Operators have seen an astronomical increase in average pay of 54% according to Engage Technology Partners, who have analysed data collected since June 2016. This analysis of the pay changes was attributed pay rises to changes in migrant labour trends.

Additionally, electrical testers saw pay increases of 34% and steel fixers have seen a rise of 22%.

The Director of Engage, Drey Francis commented; “In its report on the potential impact of Brexit on the industry, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) highlighted the sheer extent of reliance on international staff, with some locations such as London reporting that over half of the construction workforce consists of migrant workers. While there’s certainly no agreement on the terms of our exit, the impact on the industry is already being noted – and we can expect to see wages rise further in the near future as talent demands continue to stretch.”

Read more below about the latest in the Crane Operator Industry.

Paul Johnson, director of GH Johnson Crane Hire, one the UK’s biggest crawler crane hire companies, said: “As someone who actually pays crawler crane operators I can assure you that this is utter garbage.”

He added: “The construction sector as a whole is probably busier than it was two years ago – meaning there are more crawler crane operators in full-time employment – but pressure on crane rental rates, caused by competition and cheap finance, means that crawler crane operators’ pay has been almost flat since 2016.”

Author: The Construction Index

Link to original article: 


New Zero-Emission Electric Forklift.

The first wave of Large capacity machinery and Forklifts are coming to the construction industry. Electrification is commonplace in the modern era with things like cars and busses seeing increasingly large battery sizes that enable them to run for full days without recharging.


Wiggins Yard eBull Forklift: XL Lifts

The New Wiggins Yard eBull Forklift is the first commercialised fully electric large capacity forklift to be made in the US. Although it is currently available in the US, we don’t have any current indication of a UK release date.

The forklift has a capacity of 30,000-70,000 pounds and included lithium-ion batteries with fast-charging, provided by the modern electric trucking company Thor Trucks. This is the same company who is currently preparing to take on Tesla with their latest vehicle which has been picked by the American Package Delivery company UPS to be used as a part of their fleet of vehicles.

COO for Thor Trucks, Giordano Sordoni commented: “Forklifts are one of the many practical applications of fully-electric powertrains.” “The vehicles stay close to their home base and have access to industrial power, plus the noise reduction and increased efficiency will benefit industrial yards tremendously.”

We hope to see many more electric forklifts in use in the close future in addition to being included in our forklift training courses.

You can read more from the original article below…

XL Lifts president Mike Marzahl says Wiggins Lift Company is revolutionising the high-capacity, electric forklift industry.

“The first of its kind, the Wiggins Yard eBull will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and sound pollution, while enabling industrial companies to do their jobs.”

The biggest driver of demand for lithium-ion batteries is the global push for the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) and the phasing out of internal combustion engines.

The global automotive battery market is expected to be worth $US54.5 billion ($75.2 billion) by 2022 — growing at a rate of 5.7 per cent each year.

Wood Mackenzie senior analyst Rory McCarthy told Stockhead that the market for EVs in terms of battery demand will far exceed that of stationary storage.

There also won’t be any substitute for lithium in batteries — at least not for the foreseeable future, according to Mr McCarthy.

“We have seen all the major car manufacturers invest upstream in the lithium-ion battery value chain meaning they are now banking on it, and consumer electronics, we expect this to be the dominant technology in the market,” he said.

“The scale of demand expected for lithium-ion, particularly for EVs will drive technology improvements, cost reductions and ultimately reduce technology risk making it a lower cost and more bankable form of battery storage than others out there. There will be a place for other technologies, but lithium-ion will dominate.”

To satisfy the demand coming from car makers, at least 3.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) will be required.

By comparison, just 200,000 tonnes of LCE is produced at the moment.

Author: Angela East

Link to article:

Common School Science Equipment found to contain Asbestos!

Credit: Sky News

Common School Science Equipment found to contain Asbestos!

Gause Mats used in common secondary school science experiments have been found to contain asbestos.

Gause Mats containing asbestos have been sold by two companies to schools around the UK. These common pieces of science equipment are used in tandem with bunson burners which creates the risk of asbestos becoming airborne. As a result, schools across the UK have been urged to stop science experiments until the safety of these products can be ascertained. Many schools are now halting and delaying science experiments at in the new school year.


Chris Keates, general secretary for NASUWT union stated according to Sky News;


“It is shocking that suppliers, clearly it seems only interested in profit not people, have distributed such life-threatening equipment to schools putting children and teachers and other staff at risk.”


Chris has also added that it is “unacceptable” that the suppliers of asbestos contaminated gause were not named as the information could help schools to work out if they have acquired “potentially deadly material”.


Schools are known to have received guidance on the use of gause dating back to 1976 and there are now growing calls to name the two main suppliers of asbestos contaminated gause.


The Health and Safety Executive has however commented that they believe the risk of harm being caused by asbestos contaminated gause wire is “extremely low” and schools should only stop using gause as a precautionary measure.


Regardless, technicians and teachers are being advised to treat any suspected asbestos contamination seriously by disposing of the hazardous waste in double baggs or by sealing cupboards where gause is stored until it can be confirmed that the products are safe for use.


The Health and Safety Executive has said that their “limited quantitative testing” on gauze from both suppliers demonstrated a 20% – 30% asbestos contamination rate. However, not all samples showed the presence of the rare asbestos, tremolite.


If you are working in the construction and waste management profession, you can have a look at our RoSPA and IATP approved online Asbestos Training course and our equivalent asbestos course for architects and designers!


Read more about this story below…


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told Sky News that it is “limited by legal process” in what it can say about the suppliers involved, but said both companies are actively cooperating in its investigation.

A spokeswoman added that it is not clear how many schools, colleges and other users have been affected.

The Department for Education said: “Following advice from the Health and Safety Executive we have immediately written to all secondary schools and colleges advising them to take steps to remove and dispose of potentially hazardous mesh gauze used in science lessons.

“We will continue to liaise with the HSE and CLEAPSS [the organisation which advises local authorities and schools on science and technology] over this issue.”

Officials are investigating how they entered the UK in the first place as EU laws prevent asbestos from being used – and the HSE believes the affected gauze mats are imports. Enforcement notices have been served on the two suppliers involved.

In June and July, several makes of gauze mats in New Zealand were recalled because they were also found to contain tremolite asbestos. However, there is nothing to suggest that the companies affected by these recalls were supplying equipment to the UK.

The NASUWT is demanding to know how the government will support affected schools, which are being told they must pay for affected gauzes to be disposed of as hazardous waste, as well as buy replacements.

A Department for Education spokeswoman told Sky News that schools should seek compensation from their suppliers.

Author: Sonnor Sephton

Link to origional article:

Forklift Drivers stop robbery getaway vehicle!

Forklift Drivers for Hardware store stop robbery through heroics and quality forklift operation

Credit: GreenEarth/Youtube

Although we work with forklift operators often through our popular Forklift Training and Forklift Courses, we have never seen anything like this! A group of wannabe robbers were stopped in their tracks when attempting to escape by a group of forklift drivers working at the hardware store. The group of forklift drivers team up to stop the robbers by blocking and trapping the getaway drivers vehicle. Amazing work like in an action movie!

This CCTV footage of the forklift worker and trade parking bay shows the getaway driver pull into the parking space outside of the store, wait for the robber and then attempt to flee around the one-way system in the store carpark. Fortunately a quick thinking forklift driver was able to block the exit with their forklift after reversing in front of the car.

Read more below…
This man shows is a real hero, trying to stop these robbers, who might have been armed, from escaping by blocking their way. The car then reverses and does a U-turn trying to go into another direction, but other workers get into the unoccupied forklifters and block the getaway car on the other entrance.

The dramatic footage then shows the driver of the red saloon suddenly pull out and speed off, apparently aware that the suspected robbers had no chance of pulling off a robbery of the massive hardware shop.

Another forklift driver reverses back and blocks their path, before another two of the workhorse vehicles appear and block it from the rear, in the drama in the city in the Czech republic near the country’s western border with Poland. After this heroic maneuver, the car is caged in. Hopefully these bad boys were brought to justice!

Credit to ‘DEK building materials/Youtube’.

Author: rumblestaff

The Most Common Health and Safety Hazards on House building Sites

Here’s how to handle the most common health and saftey hazards on house building sites


Construction of any sort requires a lot of planning, patience, resources, time and management. In addition to being very difficult, construction jobs are really dangerous too. There are several health and safety hazards present on the site which can really cause serious injuries. Every year, tens of thousands of workers get injured while working on construction sites, all over the world. Construction jobs, due to all these hazards are difficult to carry out and can also, at times, prove to be one of the most dangerous jobs. Which is why health and safety courses are so important to keep workers out of dangers and hazards, which is something offered by SB Skills

While, many injuries happen on construction sites, each year, thousands of workers get injured during their house building projects. According to the statistics revealed by the Health and Safety Executive, during the year 2016-2017, around 1200 of injuries that took place on house building sites, were due to slips, trips or falls.

According to the National House Building Council (NHBC), most of these injuries or accidents could be averted by the effective and efficient management of the working areas and all the access routes. The estimates reveal that around 2.3 million working days are lost each year in the construction field due to workplace injuries, which comprise around 17% of the mix and illness caused by work-related activities, which comprise around a massive 83% in the mix.

Read the full article to learn more about the most common hazards on house building sites and how to handle them effectively!

NHBC highlights the most frequent reported items in the final quarter of 2017:

  • Workers working on scaffold with no guardrails in place;
  • No fall protection on open stairwells;
  • Access routes blocked with site materials;
  • No eye protection being worn when using a paslode nail gun;

NHBC health and safety advisers can provide coaching and advice to site managers, and when the right measures are in place, the safety of a site can be dramatically improved.

Stephen Ashworth, Health & Safety Services Manager, said, “Over recent years, we have seen big improvements with regards to safety on site and the number of injuries to construction workers has reduced.

Author: Isla MacFarlane

The complete article can be accessed by visiting the following link:

Some Roofing and Cladding Laws and Regulations when Working at Heights

This article provides some of the laws and regulations associated with working at heights


Working at height is an important consideration for employers. Several industries such as the oil and gas sector, the construction sector, roofing and cladding, telecommunication sector and the design sector include the use of working on heights. In fact, the industries that do not directly need working at heights may also at some point require the need to use a ladder even to change the bulb or even for putting up some decorations in the office. Working at heights is not restricted by the law but there are regulations to ensure the safety of the personnel.

Roofing and cladding often requires you to work at heights, so the laws and regulations including the health and safety for employees should be any company’s primary concern. The CSCS Roofing and Cladding NVQ course provided by SB Skills includes compulsory units of workplace safety rules and efficient work practices. CSCS Roofing and Cladding NVQ will improve an operative’s health and safety.

This article focuses on some of the laws and regulations that are relevant to working at heights. The “Work at Height Regulations 2005” is the main pieces of regulations that govern this particular type of work. The regulations are devised to prevent injuries and death. The legislation is not complex and has different sections that are important to different types of work.

This article will help you handle the safety of your employees working at heights, read on to learn more!

How to Work at Height Safely

There are three main steps to working safely at height. Once you’ve understood any regulations that are specific to your industry (if any), these steps will help you avoid falling injuries in the workplace. It may be the case that carrying out a working at height risk assessment beforehand is beneficial, as this will help you pull together all of the relevant considerations. Depending on your circumstances, it may be mandatory.

The three steps to reducing the likelihood of workplace injuries as a result of falls are as follows:

Risk Avoidance

The first, and easiest step in working safely at height is to avoid it where possible. In some cases, it will of course be impossible not to climb a ladder or ascend a platform, but there are many solutions out there to help some jobs be carried out from ground level. For example, if you’re trying to clean windows, or reach products down from a high rack, there may be tools available that mean climbing a ladder is unnecessary. Even using a forklift truck to reach pallets down may be safer than climbing racking to reach high stock. Always look for opportunities to make the task safer.

Risk Minimisation

If it is essential that you or one of your employees must work at height, then you should take all possible precautions to reduce the risk of falling. There are many, many ways this can be done, ranging from reducing the time spent working at height, to having guard rails and other barriers on platforms. Having specific guards in place for specific jobs is the best way of making sure that injuries do not occur. Ladders are a fairly common piece of equipment in the workplace, and can be made safer by being regularly checked for condition, and ensuring that staff that use them know how to do so properly.

Author: Alex Bateman