FDS Grab Hire purchase Warrior 1400X from Blue

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London, United Kingdom
20th November 2019

FDS Grab Hire purchase Warrior 1400X from Blue


The origins of FDS began in 2001, when business owner Franco De Simone set up FDS Building Services, a company that undertook small to medium sized construction projects in the Cambridge area. The business naturally grew to a point where they were subcontracting a lot of services including grab and plant hire, as well as spending significant amounts on material such as aggregates and soils for the various types of building and construction projects.

At this point it was decided that the company would purchase a new 1.5 acre site with scope for aggregate bays, offices and a workshop, allowing them to bring in larger amounts of aggregates in bulk such as gravel, hardcore and sand etc. to store and call off as and when it was required, then shipped to sites on smaller and sometimes more practical vehicles. The company also increased their fleet to incorporate some mini excavators, dumpers and forklifts and then a 6-wheel grab lorry to reduce third party overheads and generally allow the business to undertake all their own services and become self-sufficient.

This evolving business however, did not stop there, with an ever expanding fleet of new machinery and trucks to now include 8 wheel tippers and grabs, larger plant weighing up from the 1.0 ton mini excavators to 30 ton steel tracked machines, a small fleet of telescopic fork lifts and other lifting equipment, FDS was soon supplying other local builders, developers and landscapers as well as DIYers with material and plant hire, which ultimately resulted in the business splitting in to two distinct parts, FDS Cambridge Ltd which is also known as FDS Grab Hire and Quarterway Construction Ltd.

Quarterway Construction remains the construction element of the business and has expanded in to a new build and developing market, with FDS Grab Hire focusing on material removal and supply as well as both operated and self drive plant hire to both the trade and public. Overall this makes the companies a self-sufficient, one stop shop for the construction industry in and around Cambridge. Quarterway Construction are constantly undertaking building and construction projects in the area, using FDS to supply aggregates and soils as well as machinery.

As part of their overall business philosophy of making themselves self-sufficient, FDS started to look in to purchasing a mobile screener, to screen the material extracted from their building projects and coming in to their site in Ely via their own muck-away vehicles. They did have an aging screen with two way split but this was not serving their requirements and would more often than not require a double pass to produce a saleable material. The business was also sometimes hiring a larger screen to cope with the peak periods, but to maximize the cost effectiveness of the hire, they were stockpiling large volumes, meaning movement around the site became very challenging.

Franco and the team looked at a number of machines as part of the process but decided on the Powerscreen Warrior 1400X for a number of reasons. Franco explains, “We had experience of Powerscreen though our hires and the operators were always impressed. I don’t have a lot of time to research. Everyone I know, recognize and respect within the industry is running Powerscreen, so in all honestly, I jumped on that. Another reason is that I almost class Powerscreen machines as a liquid asset. The residual value will be high, if ever I decide to upscale, I know I will have plenty of people interested in taking the 1400X off my hands”.

The Powerscreen 1400X is aimed at businesses looking for a heavy duty, well-built machine that is versatile and remains easy to transport. This mobile screen offers improved performance and lower operating costs, as well as easier serviceability while boasting outstanding reliability.

Economy has been a major focus in the design of this machine, with reduced fuel consumption being achieved through a lower engine running speed at 1800rpm. A number of media solutions mean that the Warrior 1400X is highly efficient in scalping, screening and recycling applications, making it an ideal machine for FDS Grab Hire, and it can process mixed waste including green waste, soil, concrete, wood and asphalt. The fact that FDS Grab have purchased the machine means that the it can work when required. So not only does it produce saleable material, it also keeps the waste piles down and space within the yard for further expansion.

“People within the trade are already asking me if I have any regrets with buying the 1400X. I reply with Yes – only one! And that is, not buying one sooner!” Franco De Simone, FDS Building Services

The machine will mostly work at their main yard in Ely, but the fact that the machine is easy to transport was a further key consideration in the buying process. The mobile screen can be moved to site for the processing of material to be reused within a construction or remediation project on the same site. This results in both cost and environmental benefits for the builders and local community.

FDS Grab Hire have worked with Blue in the past, purchasing a Hartl crusher bucket for their JS220, and while considering the purchase of a shredder for the green waste coming in to site. Franco highlighted his previous experience with Blue as well as that for this deal. “Blue came across as a good, honest firm and they have helped us out in the past wherever possible. It was nice to see the same engineer come out to our yard to set the 1400X up that had previously come out to set up the Hartl and Doppstadt, which says a lot about the company I think”.


Blue came across as a good, honest firm and they have helped us out in the past wherever possible. It was nice to see the same engineer come out to our yard to set the 1400X up that had previously come out to set up the Hartl and Doppstadt, which says a lot about the company I think.

Franco De Simone, FDS Building Services