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Latest industry news

June 21, 2017

Expansion at Rapid Platforms

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 1:10 pm

Rapid Platforms reports that it is investing over £1m in new machines and is expanding its workforce to meet increased demand.

The Hertfordshire-based powered access equipment hirer is adding 24 machines to its fleet as well as two new delivery vehicles and is recruiting four new employees including two service engineers, a truck-mount operator, and a hire desk apprentice. This brings its total staff count to 32 people.

Operations Director Jim Jones says the investment is due to an increase in business during the past year, and positive prospects for the next 12 months.

June 15, 2017

Selco’s half century

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:42 am

Selco has recently opened a new location in Guildford, bringing its total number of outlets to 50. The builders’ merchant, which offers a hire service at each of its branches, plans to open at least ten new depots this year, according to its Chief Executive, Chris Cunliffe.

In opening the Guildford facility, Selco has emphasised its commitment to supporting the communities in which it operates by awarding £1,000 to three local charities. These include the Royal Surrey County Hospital Charitable Fund’s Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit Appeal, 1st Merrow Scouts Group and Macmillan Cancer Support. Selco has supported Macmillan nationally over the last four years, raising more than £400,000 in the process.

June 13, 2017

Strong results from Ashtead

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 10:54 am

Ashtead, the parent company of A-Plant and US-based Sunbelt Rentals,  has reported strong full year results to 30 April 2017, with Group rental revenue increasing 28% and underlying pre-tax profit increasing to £793m.

Group revenue for the year increased 25% to £3,187m (2016: £2,546m) with strong growth in both Sunbelt and A-Plant, delivering 14% and 15% rental-only revenue growth respectively.

A-Plant delivered rental-only revenue of £304m, up 15% on the prior year (2016: £264m), reflecting increased fleet on hire. A-Plant’s total revenue increased 15% to £418m (2016: £365m).

Chief Executive, Geoff Drabble, commented: “The reported results were impacted favourably by weaker sterling but, with 13% growth in Group rental revenue at constant exchange rates, we have good momentum. Our end markets remain strong and, most importantly, we continue to see structural change as our customers increasingly rely on the flexibility of rental.”

He added that Ashtead had made significant investments in the year, spending £1.1bn in capital expenditure and £437m on bolt-on acquisitions. “Our markets remain good and spring has seen a good seasonal uplift in fleet on rent, together with record levels of physical utilisation for this time of year. So, with both divisions performing well and a strong balance sheet to support our plans, the Board continues to look to the medium term with confidence.”

June 7, 2017

A-Plant elects Genquip

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 5:13 pm

A-Plant Accommodation has placed an order said to be worth more than £1.4m with Genquip for a total of 68 static Groundhog welfare units.

The hirer says that, owing to high demand, several of the units are being delivered straight to site from the Genquip production line in south Wales, with some having gone out on immediate hire to be used as Polling Stations for tomorrow’s general election.

The order replenishes and renews A-Plant Accommodation’s fleet of static welfare units and comprises 20ft and 25ft units, as well as 32ft models which are new to the hirer’s -Plant range and can accommodate up to 12 people.

The Groundhogs being used as Polling Stations have an open plan, multi-use design with a de-mountable partition so that, after the election, it can be put back into place for use as conventional models.

June 1, 2017

SRP wins with EasyCabin

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:20 am

A joint initiative between welfare cabin manufacturer, AJC Cabins, and the specialist hirer, SRP Hire Solutions, has proved successful for both companies.

The two businesses shared a stand at the recent Floodex exhibition, held in Peterborough, aimed at contractors serving the flood defence industry. AJC, which exhibited under its EasyCabin brand, showed its EcoSmart 12Xtra mobile unit, which can accommodate eight people and is designed for energy efficiency.

National Account Manager, Mark Samuel, said that AJC received several purchase enquiries at the event, and that Lincolnshire-based SRP, which has its head office in Coningsby and a second depot at Kirkby-in-Ashfield, took many enquiries for hires in its region.

SRP specialises in hiring portable toilets, site welfare cabins and lighting towers to the construction and event markets.

May 26, 2017

EPS adds Snorkel lift

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:04 pm

EPS Hire Centres has bought a new Snorkel A38E electric articulated boom lift for its fleet.

Director David Fielden, who is pictured, left, with Snorkel UK’s Joe Whitton, placed the order at the Vertikal Days lifting equipment event which was held this week at the Silverstone complex in Northamptonshire.

Yorkshire-based EPS, which has depots in Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd, believes that the battery-powered machine will prove popular with contractors working indoor locations such as in warehouses, and that it will facilitate tasks above and over racking, large machinery and other obstacles. The hirer also recently bought two new Snorkel electric scissor lifts.

• EHN’s July/August issue will include a review of Vertikal Days.

May 22, 2017

HSS appoints new CEO

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 10:07 am

HSS has announced that Steve Ashmore will join the Group as Chief Executive Officer on 1 June.

He previously held senior roles at Exel, the supply chain and third party logistics provider, before working in a number of senior leadership positions, including UK MD at Wolseley, the distributor of plumbing and heating products and supplier of building materials. More recently he was the UK MD of Brammer, a distributor of bearings, seals, mechanical power transmission components and other industrial products.

Steve Ashmore replaces John Gill, who will step down from the Board of the company on 23 May.

May 19, 2017

Jarvie Plant scores at Tynecastle

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 7:47 am

Jarvie Plant is supplying a range of equipment for work involved in the re-development of the main stand at Tynecastle Stadium in Edinburgh, the home ground of Heart of Midlothian FC.

The Grangemouth-based hirer has already provided a range of kit including lighting towers, tandem rollers, excavators, dumpers and site storage boxes. As work commences on steel erection, with structural beams and roof trusses arriving on site, it will also supply access platforms, telehandlers and other items.

May 16, 2017

Speedy shows improvement

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 4:41 pm

Speedy’s results for the year ended 31 March 2017 show that the company continues to improve its performance.

Revenue increased to £369.4m (2016: £329.1m), with adjusted profit before tax up 224% to £16.2m (2016: £5.0m). Net debt reduced to £71.4m (2016: £102.6m). The company says that the size of its hire fleet was decreased by 11.4% to £194.8m, reflected in improved asset utilisation.

Russell Down, Chief Executive, said: “These results demonstrate the success of our turnaround plan with significant improvements across all financial and operational performance measures. Whilst we have made a solid start to the year, the market remains competitive. With the business now stabilised and a strong balance sheet, we are well positioned to take advantage of market opportunities and continue to deliver sustainable profitable growth.”

Last December, Speedy acquired Lloyds British Testing Ltd, which carries out testing, certification, and inspection of lifting equipment, as well as training, for £3.8m. The business has now been integrated into Speedy’s operations serving the lifting market.

May 12, 2017

Luscombe becomes Arrowhead dealer

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:53 pm

Arrowhead Rockdrill has appointed Luscombe Plant Hire of Ulverston as a dealer for its range of hydraulic excavator attachments throughout Cumbria.

The product range includes breakers, post drivers, compaction plates and compaction wheels, and the appointment comes as the hirer continues to expanding its sales portfolio.

Our June issue will include an article on other recent developments at Luscombe Plant Hire, which won the 2017 Executive Hire Show Passionate Hirer Award in the Outstanding Single Depot category.

May 8, 2017

Actavo’s half century

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 5:02 pm

The businesses known today as Actavo Hire & Sales and Actavo Industrial Solutions, formerly Deborah Construction Ltd, are celebrating their 50th anniversary today.

The operation started as a services company, erecting and dismantling scaffolding at power stations, petrochemical plants and other locations in the Humberside region, eventually developing a hire and sales business. Today it has depots across the UK and employs 3,500 people.

Marking the milestone are, from left, Roger Hastie, CEO of Actavo Structural Division, Sean Corkery, Actavo’s CEO and Chairman; and Russell Best, CEO of the Industrial Division.

May 4, 2017

Charitable GAP

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 7:59 am

GAP reports that it has donated £80,000 to 99 charities in the financial year 2016 /2017.

The hirer’s Charitable Foundation was set up in April 2015 and gives approximately 0.5% of the company’s profits to worthy causes. Donations are allocated via a dedicated Giving committee comprising staff members from various roles within GAP, meeting monthly at the company’s Head Office in Glasgow.

Any of GAP’s 1,600 employees can nominate a charity they feel is deserving or who may have helped themselves, family or friends in the past. In addition, under a GAP Match scheme, a team member who fundraises for a charity will see their efforts matched by the charitable committee to an amount of up to £500. Twenty-five such donations have already been made this year, with personnel involved in events such as marathons, mountain climbing challenges, sponsored walks and coffee mornings.

April 25, 2017

Vp acquires Zenith Survey

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 5:53 pm

Vp has acquired Zenith Survey Equipment for a cash consideration of £3.85m plus assumed debt of £2.3m.

Zenith was founded in 1986 and trades as Zenith Survey in England and Wales, and Survey Connection in Scotland. It specialises in hiring and selling survey and safety equipment from seven locations across the UK.

It primarily serves the construction and civil engineering markets, and will be integrated within ESS Safeforce, part of Hire Station, Vp’s tool hire business. Vp Chairman Jeremy Pilkington said, “The acquisition of a well-established business like Zenith represents an important expansion of Vp’s specialist tool hire activities.”

April 24, 2017

Bradfords Superbike sponsorship

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 5:18 pm

Bradfords Tool Hire has been announced as a sponsorship partner of the Zoek Racing Team competing in the 2017 British Superbike Championship Ducati Cup.

This year’s championship sees riders Sean Neary and Craig Currie competing in the Ducati Cup that runs from April until September, at venues such as Donnington Park and Brands Hatch.

Simon Gibbons, Bradfords Tool Hire Sales Director, commented, ‘We are excited to be one of the sponsors. The team has grown and developed over the last six years to compete at the forefront of the British Superbike Championship. We are sure many of our customers will be excited and we’ll be looking forward to involving them in as many ways as possible.”

April 20, 2017

Astley Hire cleans up

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:43 am

Astley Hire has been presented with an award from one of its suppliers to recognise the growth of its specialist cleaning equipment fleet.

The Leigh-based company’s cleaning division has reported a 300% increase in turnover over the past two years, and has invested £200,000 in equipment from suppliers, including Nilfisk.

The manufacturer found that Astley Hire’s orders contributed to the highest growth in sales in its Central region, and recently presented an award to mark the achievement. The trophy was received by MD Stephen Dorricott, pictured second from left, from former Great Britain ski jumper Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, together with Nilfisk’s Bob Orrock, left, and Stewart Dennett.

April 13, 2017

inspHire launches new website

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 2:13 pm

inspHire has launched a new global website providing information about its hire management software.

A variety of customer case studies are also incorporated, including a specially-filmed video on Leeds-based Chippindale Plant, which has been an inspHire customer for over eight years. It shows how the hirer uses the software on a day-to-day basis, for tasks ranging from raising quotes and contracts, to off-hiring and equipment maintenance.

inspHire says that more than 2,200 hire companies are currently using its software, and the company has offices in the UK, USA, Netherlands and Australia.

HSS seeks new CEO

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:19 am

John Gill, the Chief Executive Officer of HSS, is to step down after eight years with the company. It is intended that he will leave once a successor is in post, following a handover period, and a search for a new CEO is under way.

HSS Chairman, Alan Peterson, said, “John has made an important contribution to the development of the business since joining HSS in 2009. As CEO from September 2015 he has led the company through a period of significant change as we implemented our new operating model. With this work now largely complete, the focus shifts to driving sales growth through the new network and the Board believes it is the right time to look outside the business for a new CEO who can lead this next phase of our recovery.”

April 11, 2017

Morris Leslie expands Volvo fleet

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 5:09 pm

Morris Leslie Plant Hire has purchased a further 66 Volvo mini compact excavators which will be distributed throughout its national network of 13 depots.

The order includes twenty-four ECR25D and sixteen ECR50D zero swing models, along with ten reduced swing ECR88Ds and sixteen conventional EC55C machines.MD Graham Ogilvie says that the company bought a significant quantity of Volvo excavatorslast year and, having proved themselves in terms of reliability, operator acceptance and performance, the decision was made to buy more.

The purchase is part of the first phase ofthe hirer’s investment programme for 2017, after the group’s recent acquisition of four depots following the demise of Hewden. These locations are at Inverness, Whitehaven, Birmingham and Bedford, with the Bedford depot becoming Morris Leslie’s flagship facility for the busy northern Home Counties and north London markets.

“The acquisition of these new depots is strategically important to our expansion plans and we are pleased to say that we have managed to retain and recruit over 50 employees at all four depots,”said Graham Ogilvie.

April 10, 2017

Thwaites’ silver machine

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 10:02 am

To mark the sale of the 750th dumper delivered to its dealer Ernest Doe, which serves East Anglia and south east England, Thwaites supplied the 6-tonne machine in a special silver livery.

The special model took pride of place at the annual demonstration day organised recently by the dealership.

Ernest Doe’s Sales Director, Graham Parker, said, “We were pleased to become Thwaites dealers for the territory in 2012. Since then we have seen sales of its dumpers grow year-on-year.”

Thwaites MD Ian Brown, who is pictured, centre, with Graham Parker, left, and the dealership’s MD Colin Doe, commented, “We were absolutely delighted to mark this milestone sale. We have supported the Doe event for many years and the silver 6-tonne dumper was the centrepiece of the company’s display. Graham named it the Silver Dream Machine and the name really stuck. We are looking forward to the next 750 machines being sold.”

April 7, 2017

Vp makes M&E acquisition

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 10:19 am

Vp has acquired the mechanical and electrical equipment hire and sales activity of Jackson Mechanical Services (UK) Ltd (JMS M&E) for a cash consideration of £3.6m.

The JMS operation has locations in Harpenden and Leeds and will be integrated into Vp’s Hire Station tool hire business.

Also, in a trading update, Vp says that since its interim results on 29 November 2016, it has experienced positive trading conditions through the winter period, and the Board anticipates the Group will deliver full year results in line with current market expectations for the year ended 31 March 2017.

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