A Scottish tycoon is paying £87.5 million for JCB’s largest order in its history which includes a fleet of 50 loaders.

The deal was also the largest to date for Perth-based rental firm Morris Leslie Plant Hire.

The huge order from the Scottish company, which operates nationally, includes a “bumper deal for 50 iconic JCB backhoe loaders, at a time when new figures show a resurgence in demand for backhoes in the UK, with the market growing by more than 12 per cent in 2022”.

The investment will also see Morris Leslie Plant Hire take delivery of excavators, site dumpers, telescopic handlers and compaction equipment, “underlining its commitment to provide housebuilders and the construction sector with one of the industry’s most up-to-date fleets”.


Morris Leslie, chairman of the group, said: “We are delighted to have agreed our largest-ever order with our long-term partner JCB to support our 2023 growth plans and by the end of the year our entire JCB fleet will be operating with the latest Stage V engines.

“The backhoe loader part of the order is particularly pleasing, and we look forward to seeing ongoing growth of our JCB 3CX fleet.

"The backhoe continues to be hugely popular with our customers thanks to its excellent loading and excavating capabilities and the ability to travel directly to the site, cutting the need for costly transportation.

"Scot JCB and other JCB dealers around the UK continue to provide first-class service to our depots and our customers.”

HeraldScotland: Morris Leslie, left, pictured with Marco Bersellini of JCBMorris Leslie, left, pictured with Marco Bersellini of JCB (Image: Morris Leslie)

Marco Bersellini, JCB sales managing director, said: “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Morris Leslie Plant Hire. This deal demonstrates confidence in the construction market and confirms that JCB has exactly the right products to meet the needs of hirers and end users.”

Manufactured at JCB’s factories in Rocester and Cheadle, Staffordshire, all the new machines are powered by the latest Stage V engines which deliver low emissions.

They are also fitted with the JCB LiveLink telematics system which enables Morris Leslie Plant Hire and its rental customers to monitor the safety, productivity and emissions of the machines.

The order will be supplied by dealer Scot JCB to Morris Leslie’s 14 nationwide depots throughout 2023.

West of Shetland oil and gas company agrees to £250 million takeover

Hurricane Energy has agreed a deal to be taken over by Prax Group, a British oil refining, storage, distribution, and sales conglomerate, following an approach that values the West of Shetland pioneer at up to £250 million.

Shares in Hurricane surged in early trading after bosses recommended the acquisition, under which investors could receive up to 12.5p per share, depending on the delivery of supplementary dividends and deferred considerations.

Former Rangers directors get green light for Scottish town drive-through

Former Rangers directors Sandy and James Easdale have been granted planning approval from Inverclyde Council for a £2 million food-and-drink drive-through development in Port Glasgow.

The development will replace the former Department for Works & Pensions building at the corner of Scarlow Street and Greenock Road, “creating a mixture of between 40 and 50 full and part-time jobs”, a spokesman noted.

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