Gem Plant Sales supplies a very specialist  

Wacker Neuson EW65 wheeled excavator

to The Upper Medway Internal Drainage Board

Gem Plant Sales, a long-established construction plant and equipment supplier based in Kent, has delivered a very specialist Wacker Neuson wheeled excavator to The Upper Medway Internal Drainage Board. This customised EW65 will be involved in some pioneering works on watercourses this summer.  

The Upper Medway IDB is a statutory body set out under the Land Drainage Act to ensure adequate drainage and water management within set districts around the country’s main river catchments. The Board, comprising elected landowners and appointed councillors, is tasked with the oversight and control of ordinary watercourses that lead to the main rivers which are then controlled on their behalf by the Environment Agency.

While conventional tooling is used for maintenance work across its network, a specialist machine is required by The Upper Medway IDB to carry out tasks such as weed clearance and desilting operations, while also being suitable for both on and off-road use, given that travelling can be involved as well as roadside working operations.

Typically, a large, tracked machine would be used to carry out these tasks. While they represent a vital and effective tool, they are naturally confined to site and often can’t provide high efficiency, especially given the Board’s geographical spread of watercourses. The decision was taken to seek a more flexible tool for its major excavator works, which led to the use of a wheeled excavator.

The requirement was for smaller profile machine, with large reach, and a double- jointed boom section, which while being more compact in size, did not compromise the ability to reach far sides of the banks.

In 2022 the Board’s Works Supervisor, John Davis, began speaking with GEM Plant Sales about what Wacker Neuson could offer and was immediately impressed with the build quality, backup support, technological and technical scope, and the attention to detail from both the manufacturer and Graham Mortimore, the founder of Gem Plant Sales.

After several site visits to the see both the larger wheeled offerings and the tracked variants, it was decided on the 6.5 tonne wheeled excavator with a double boom, extended dipper, and additional STEELWRIST omni-hitch.

To compliment the bespoke machine, the Board also requested several unusual implements which led it to conversations with West Country attachment specialist, EXAC-ONE. They were able to provide a menu of specialist arborist and pioneering equipment to suit the Wacker Neuson. After demonstrations at their site in Swindon, the Board also opted for the tree shear and the mulcher head.

The tree sheer can cut up to 300mm and retain cuttings using a unique gripping arm. The mulcher head features a fixed teeth drum that activates on the use of the rotational circuit, allowing for high impact debris and brash clearance and excellent control during minor tree grinding.

Completing the order was a 2m Bradshaw type bucket from FLAILS DIRECT to allow for weed and reed clearance works to be carried out. Due to the system requirements of the bucket however, additional low flow circuits had to be installed, representing a technical challenge to the build as it required multiple settings, hook-ups, and limiters.

With the knowledgeable support of the team at GEM, they were able to install a system that allows this vital piece of equipment to not only be used but to be easily swapped out and changed depending on the tasks at hand.

Commenting on behalf of the Board, Oliver Pantrey said: “The machine will see its first outing on the watercourses this summer and the Board would like to thank John, Graham, the staff at GEM PLANT SALES, WACKER NEUSON, Andrew and Doug at EXAC-One, FLAILS DIRECT, and the team at STEELWRIST for their expertise, patience, and quality service to deliver this incredibly diverse product.”

For more information on the Wacker Neuson Product Range including this machine please contact:

Gem Plant Sales Ltd   Tel. No 01622-910074   email: [email protected]

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