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July/August 2015
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Executive Hire News › Archives › July/August 2015 › Executive Report : Executive news

Executive Report : Executive news


Nottingham-based Frank Key Group, which operates builders’ merchant and tool hire activities, has acquired the C Bancroft Group with its two trading subsidiaries, Banson Tool Hire Ltd and Charles Watson (Ironmongers) Ltd. Banson, which has its head office in Halifax, has nine other depots in Batley, Bradford, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds, Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham and Wakefield. The business has traded since the 1960s and became available due to the retirement of the brothers who owned and managed the family business.
Frank Key, which also bought Sinbad Tool Hire in 2012, has hire depots at Daybrook, Stapleford and West Bridgford in Nottingham, and at Somercotes in Derbyshire. Group MD James Norton said, “With the acquisitions, we welcome a further 60 members of staff and greatly expand our number of outlets, moving further north into West Yorkshire and Lancashire.”
Martin Bancroft, shareholder and Director of C Bancroft Ltd said, “As a family-owned and managed business for over 75 years, we are confident that the acquisition will significantly strengthen the tool hire and specialist ironmongery sales of the Frank Key Group, and that the ongoing expansion plans provide continuing stability for customers, suppliers and employees.”
In the short term, Banson will operate independently of the Frank Key Hire and Sinbad branches. To oversee their integration, Richard Meeks has been promoted to the role of Group Hire Director.

GAP continues to grow

GAP has continued its expansion with the opening of a new depot in Walthamstow, within its recently established London Tools & Access division. It will serve customers in the east, north-east and eastern central areas of the capital, and follows the opening of depots in Wembley, Kentish Town, Heathrow and Docklands. Five more will open on a phased basis throughout the year within the M25 boundary.
The Glasgow-based hirer has also opened six additional Survey & Safety depots during the last three months, at sites in Charlton, Leicester, Whitehaven, Norwich, Leeds and Inverness. These have been complemented by three new workshops for this specialist activity, in Bristol, Newcastle and London. The Division now operates from 12 locations, and has its own dedicated vehicle fleet.

GenAir adds Atlas Copco machines

A deal worth over £1.7m has been agreed between Atlas Copco and GenAir, a Wolverhampton-based hirer specialising in supplying compressors nationwide.
Models included in the order are the XAS 137Kd, XAHS 186 and XAHS 237, all of which have been fitted with spark arrestors, inlet shutdown valves and after-coolers. Target markets for these machines include applications at refineries, power stations, railways and for shot blasting.
GenAir Director, Dave Timmins, said, “We have a fleet of over 150 compressors and most are Atlas Copco units. We have been buying its machines for over five years and our relationship has been excellent.”

HAE confirms Convention line-up

HAE has announced that it is hosting its HAE EHA Hire Convention at the Holywell Park Conference Centre in Loughborough on Tuesday 22 and Wednesday 23 September. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Supporting the Hire Industry in Navigating Your Future.’
HAE states that the Convention will explore the potential challenges our industry faces and will consider some of the projects that will help sustain it, as well as discussing some of the innovations that could revolutionise safety and efficiency, and how the industry actually ‘hires.’ HAE also hopes that the Convention will set the scene for industry leaders to start addressing the widening skills gap, and attracting new talent to the industry.
Amongst the confirmed guest speakers will be representatives from Google, Arup, Raleigh International, Cramo, HSE, JCB and Hilti, covering topics such as sustainable construction, working at height, British manufacturing, dust legislation and youth partnerships. There will be a number of smaller seminars taking place offering anything from asbestos safety and SafeHire certification to future hirer’s initiatives with live demonstrations and an exhibition. The registration fee for both members and non-members is £25.
HAE MD Graham Arundell is keen to point out that the Association’s Convention in September will complement, rather than compete with, the established Executive Hire Show. “With our workshops and seminars discussing topics affecting the industry now and in the future, we are confident that our Convention will clearly differentiate itself from the Executive Hire Show, and we will continue to play a full part in next February’s event.”


Travis Perkins reaches JCB milestone

Travis Perkins is buying more than 500 JCB model 8008 and 8014 micro and mini excavators from JCB in a deal worth more than £7m, to be delivered throughout the year. Group Hire Director Richard Dey is pictured, right, with the Watling JCB dealership team.

Fairport Construction Equipment restructures

Plantworx gave us the first glimpse of the revamped Fairport Construction Equipment (FCE) business, following its acquisition by David Porter, left, who is also a Director within the Fairport Group.
As the new MD of FCE, David Porter explains that, faced with a decline in sales, especially within its flexible drive division, and unable to sell the business on the open market, he stepped in to invest in, and take control of, the company, securing the jobs of 17 employees. As a result of this manoeuvre, popular former MD Ken Waller has now retired.
Representing the fifth generation of the Porter family that owns the Fairport Group, David accepts that some hirers has suffered supply and quality issues in recent months, but he is determined to turn FCE around. “We’ve already had an influx of orders for flexible drives,
we will be adding additional product lines later this year and we are confident that the quality on which Fairport built its reputation is being re-established.”
EHN also caught up with Plantool MD Ben Jones on his visit to the FCE stand. “We have no issues with Fairport, and, for the last three years, have standardised on its kit across our six depots. Our most recent £30,000 order comprises plate compactors, single drum rollers, poker units, power floats and pumps. Fairport represents quality British-made equipment.”
• Our Plantworx Review can be seen here.

A-Plant’s Star apprentices

Two A-Plant apprentices are celebrating after achieving success in the CPA’s Stars of the Future Awards, presented during Plantworx. The Awards recognise the most talented young plant technicians at colleges throughout the country.
Paige Carter, who works at the hirer’s Stockton powered access service centre, won in the Level 2 regional and national Awards categories, and Jake Ridley, who is based at the company’s Rotherham service centre, was a regional Level 3 winner and was shortlisted for the national Level 3 Award.
Paige is pictured (left) with the Level 3 national winner, Darragh Spencer of Randall Orchard Construction. Other regional winners included Daniel Trowell of GAP, Nathan Cowell of Hire One, and Ben Smith of CBL.

Niftylift celebrates new premises

Niftylift has officially opened its new headquarters and assembly plant at Shenley Wood in Milton Keynes. The company says it is one of the largest manufacturing businesses in the city, and the new facility is a far cry from the garden shed where founder and current Chairman, Roger Bowden, started repairing access machinery in 1985. He is pictured, right, with MD John Keely.
The company’s earliest machines quickly proved popular with hirers. Lightweight trailer-mounted units that could be towed by a small vehicle made a logical addition alongside access towers. Many continue in use and the original machines are still in production with few design changes.
Open day visitors saw a line-up of Height Rider self-propelled platforms that now represent the bulk of sales, with working heights of up to 28m, including ‘hybrid’ variants offering electric and diesel operation. These were displayed alongside the manufacturer’s popular 10m and 12m trailed models.

Fairfax scores Kubota century

Fairfax Plant Hire of Selby has expanded its range of Kubota machines following the recent delivery of twenty KX71-3 mini excavators and two micro U10-3 zero tail swing models. This brings the number of Kubota units in the company’s fleet to 100.
Plant Director, Matthew Love, said, “the excavators are easy to operate and offer enhanced force on both arm and bucket digging. We have always found the machines to be a reliable and cost-effective choice for operators in the construction and civil engineering sectors, working on projects such as house building, highways, power stations and sports pitches.”

One Stop opens in Wythenshawe

One Stop Hire has opened its twelfth depot in Wythenshawe, southern Manchester. The 3,500ft2 facility will offer hire, sales and repair services, as well as having two classrooms for the company’s growing One Stop Safety Training arm.
MD Steve Hitchen commented that increasing turnover at the existing Bolton and Openshaw depots necessitated a third outlet in the area. “The new location is in the Airport Development zone and is ideal for accessing Cheshire. With ever-increasing traffic congestion around the M60, it means our delivery vans are covering fewer miles, increasing our efficiency.”

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