The UK’s Morris Leslie Plant Hire is kicking off its 50th birthday celebrations in style by placing an order for a huge fleet of new JCB machines worth £68 million.

The machines will all be supplied throughout 2024 in an expression of confidence in the UK’s housebuilding and construction market.

The substantial order – to be supplied by dealer Scot JCB – includes Loadall telescopic handlers, X Series excavators, mini excavators, compaction rollers and site dumpers. Significantly, the deal also includes 50 JCB backhoe loaders – one for every year Morris Leslie Plant Hire has been in business and a product on which the success of the company was built.

JCB Chairman Anthony Bamford handed over the keys to one of the backhoes to Founder Morris Leslie – a special Platinum Edition machine produced to mark the JCB backhoe’s 70th birthday. Lord Bamford said: “We are very proud of our long association with Morris Leslie Plant Hire. Like many of our customers, the company has grown from very small beginnings into a force to be reckoned with in the plant hire sector. From one family company to another, we wish Morris Leslie Plant Hire a very happy 50th birthday.”

Morris Leslie said: “Over the years we have bought more than 7,000 JCB machines, so our success over the past half century is very much intertwined with that of JCB and we look forward to building on our partnership in the years to come.”

Scot JCB Sales Director David Park added: “This significant order for new JCB machines in the company’s 50thanniversary year underlines Morris Leslie’s commitment and confidence in the construction industry.”

Perth-based Morris Leslie has 15 depots across the UK with nationwide coverage, and prides itself in having one of the youngest fleets of machines available. The deal comes less than a year after Morris Leslie Plant Hire ordered £87.5 million worth of JCB machines. Morris Leslie founded his company on his parents’ farm in 1974 in the Carse of Gowrie, near Perth, where he began buying and selling construction equipment. Today the company has a fleet of more than 5,000 machines.