In the UK, the rental company, MTS Group, has provided free-of-charge a new Bobcat E17 compact excavator along with a range of other hire equipment for use in the Big Build for Veterans Project carried out by the team on the popular BBC programme, DIY SOS. The Bobcat E17 and the rest of the equipment was supplied by the MTS Group hire depot at Leigh in Lancashire.
Peter Watson, Managing Director of MTS Group, said: “We were very pleased when we were asked to help with the project by supplying some of our machinery, and jumped at the chance to be a part of this fantastic venture, even in this small way. It is an honour to be able to help our ex-service personnel in any way, all of whom have given so much for us all.
“We provided a brand new Bobcat E17 mini-excavator along with two dumpers for use over the course of the project. The compact 1.7 tonne E17 machine was ideal for the landscaping work needed in the gardens of the homes, and could easily access the narrow path behind the properties to get to where it was required. At MTS Group, we are always more than happy to assist a worthy cause, and have previously helped DIY SOS on other projects across the North of England.”
Presented by Nick Knowles, DIY SOS normally brings together a team of professionals to renovate viewers‘ DIY projects that have gone wrong and not been finished and it is the longest running show of its format having been shown for over 15 years. But as suggested by its name, the Big Build for Veterans Project is the biggest challenge ever undertaken by the DIY SOS team and they were joined by two special royal helpers, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The project was the subject of the DIY SOS Veterans Special, a unique two-part episode of the programme on the BBC1 channel, one of the most moving pieces of TV for some time. The programme showed how the DIY SOS team, working closely with the charities, Haig Housing and Walking With The Wounded, set about the task of transforming streets in the Newton Heath area of Manchester for army veterans to move in with their families. A total of 62 homes have been transformed across two streets in New Street and Canada Street.
The team at DIY SOS rallied the local community to get involved and was also helped by Prince William and Prince Harry, who volunteered on site. Local trades came together to build homes for the families of three former soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan and who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, before also helping them to find new careers in the building trade.
The TV special culminated in presenting the veterans with their new homes in the presence of the extraordinary team of workers who donated their time to make it all possible in what were emotional endings to each of the two shows in the DIY SOS Veterans Special.
As well as the three larger homes developed to house the first three veterans and their families, the project also resulted in another standard size property and a walk-in support centre being created. Another 17 empty homes have been refurbished and will be run by charity Haig Housing, with the aim to create a special veterans’ housing community. Building work has also taken place to provide disabled parking, a planting scheme and to give a facelift to all 62 properties on the streets. The support centre will be run by Walking With The Wounded and will provide therapy for the army veterans.
The Bobcat E17 compact excavator, with a canopy and rubber tracks has an operating weight of 1711 kg, a maximum digging depth of 2249 mm and maximum reach at ground level of 3871 mm, complemented by compact overall dimensions, with easy transportability further enhanced by new tie-down points.
MTS Group runs one of the largest fleets of Bobcat compact equipment for hire in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe. The company offers hire services from the depot at Leigh and others at Birtley in Tyne & Wear, Cumbernauld in Scotland and the headquarters in Wakefield in West Yorkshire.
Complementing the Bobcat skid-steer and compact tracked loaders, compact excavators and telehandlers in the fleet, MTS Group offers the largest selection of Bobcat attachments for hire, covering a wide array of standard and 4-in-1 buckets, hydraulic breakers and road planers to stump grinders, tree transplanters and backhoes, delivering innovation, versatility and time-saving efficiency across a huge range of different applications.
It is the diversity of these applications in construction, demolition, utilities, landscaping, groundcare, farming, foundry work, ship trimming, mining and many other markets that ensures that the MTS Group hire fleet of Bobcat equipment is always busy.