Manufacturing firm JCB has won a £36 million contract to build 550 new machines from a UK rental firm, with the promise of more orders to follow.
The deal was struck with A-Plant and is part of a phased investment programme which has now seen the plant hirer buy a total of 1,089 JCB machines in the past nine months.
The latest order for 550 machines includes more than 400 mini and midi excavators, including 50 JCB 8085 eco midi excavators, which are 27% more productive and more than 20% more fuel efficient than the model it replaced.
The deal also includes telescopic handlers and rough terrain forklifts and is one of the biggest to be secured by JCB this year.
JCB sales director Yvette Henshall-Bell said: "To win a deal of this size is testament to the quality and reliability of JCB's machines. It also shows huge confidence in the market. We are absolutely delighted to have won this business, which cements a relationship going back a number of years."
Most of the machines will be manufactured at JCB plants in Staffordshire.
Procurement director for A-Plant Andrew Winlow said: "This latest order marks the continuation of a long- standing working partnership with JCB which is founded on the shared core value of delivering the highest quality equipment to the market. The provision of class-leading machines supported by excellent JCB service back-up helps us ensure the best possible offering to our customers.
"The scale of the order reflects the strength of our relationship and our positive outlook towards future market growth, which will see us add further JCB models to our fleet."
A-Plant is part of the Ashtead Group, one of the world's biggest hire firms, with extensive operations in the UK and the United States.
Gordon Richardson of the GMB union said: "This order is very good news for UK manufacturing and for Staffordshire and marks another important step away from the deep recession that hit orders when the recession hit in 2008."