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McPhee aims to boost mixer sales with new exports

A SCOTTISH company hopes to record a 20% increase in sales and begin exporting its new range of cement mixers.

McPhee Mixers has incorporated five design features into the vehicles which are custom-built at its plant in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire.

The innovations, which have been developed over the past 18 months, include a chute wash system meaning operators don't have to go to designated sites on the construction site or back to the depot to clean up. That can cut delivery times and reduce fuel costs and CO2 emissions.

There is also a spill-stoppage system to ensure no concrete ends up where it shouldn't and an increased load capacity.

Alongside there are steps to improve driver safety, such as a device allowing the drum to be seen from inside the cab, and a manhole design which means there is no need to step inside the drum when visually expecting it.

Managing director Brinsley McFarlane said: "The McPhee design team has reacted to current environmental legislation and real safety concerns within the concrete haulage industry to produce what we firmly believe is the safest, most environmentally compliant mixer in Europe."

The company expects to increase turnover by around 20% to £3.4 million this year and is hoping to up that to £4m in 2013.

If that increase in sales is achieved around 10 staff will be added to the existing 35-strong workforce.

Mr McFarlane is exploring export and technology licensing options in America with concrete truck giant McNeilus and has also received interest from Russia and Sierra Leone following a recent trade show.

He said: "We don't want the business to stand still. These innovations are tackling modern-day problems that concrete-mixer drivers have.

"We hope to increase our market share in the UK and we are looking at these innovations as a way to push forward and sell into new markets.

"There is no manufacturer in Europe that we know of that has addressed these problems in the way we have."

One of the new mixers costs between £15,000 and £24,000 depending on the specifications of the customer.

The business has been rebuilding sales steadily since only six were sold in 2009 as a result of the global downturn.

Around 80 were sold in 2011 and Mr McFarlane hopes to get between 150 and 180 completed this year.

Its customers include large operators such as Tarmac, Hanson and Lafarge.

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