Digger-giant JCB has secured a multi-million pound order for more than 500 machines as the UK construction industry rebounds from the pandemic.

Plant hire business Ardent Hire Solutions has placed an order for 525 new JCB Loadall telescopic handlers from the Staffordshire manufacturer – worth £26m.

The machines – supplied by JCB dealer Watling JCB – have already started rolling off the production line at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester, along with 25 3CX backhoe loaders, which are also part of the massive deal.

Steve Fox, JCB group managing director for global major accounts, said: “We are delighted that Ardent Hire Solutions has placed this substantial order with JCB given the very competitive nature of the UK equipment supply market. The size of the order shows enormous faith in the quality of JCB’s machines and also underlines the need to invest in new machinery to support the growth in the UK construction industry, which continues to recover strongly after the Covid-19 pandemic.”

London-headquartered Ardent Hire Solutions is one of the UK’s biggest plant hire companies and covers the length and breadth of Great Britain through 11 hire depots, from Glasgow in the north to Fareham in the south. Specialising in providing plant hire to major housing, civil and construction clients, Ardent is constantly investing in the most technologically advanced machines.

It has more than 7,000 units for rent with an average age of less than three years.

The new JCB machines all come with JCB LiveLink telematics technology.

Ardent’s chief financial officer, Julian O’Neill, said: “Our telehandler fleet is already the largest anywhere in the UK and this substantial investment strengthens our position in the telescopic handler hire sector.”