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Latest industry news

October 12, 2018

GAP acquires 4Group

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 2:40 pm

4Group of Jersey, which offers equipment hire, training and logistics support, has been acquired by Glasgow-based GAP Group.

Founded ten years ago, 4Group, which comprises 4hire, 4safety and 4fleet, also provides vehicle rental and plant sales. GAP says the names will remain unchanged.

Nigel Blandin, 4Group MD, said, “By becoming part of GAP Group, we will continually develop and innovate to ensure we can support the highly technical projects that are underway and planned for the near future. The construction industry is evolving at a fantastic rate, whether it is in equipment or the methods used. 4Group and GAP are committed to providing the solution and the training required.”

Douglas Anderson, Joint MD of GAP commented, “A vital element of my remit is to ensure that GAP is prepared to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead. The acquisition of 4Group is another strategic step for us, filling a gap in nationwide coverage.

“Jersey is a different market operationally. We recognise the value of a local business’ experience with our capabilities being a good match. I am confident that this acquisition will add considerably to the group’s performance and we are looking forward to working with our new colleagues to deliver further value for our customers.”

October 10, 2018

Birchwood Price Tools changes hands

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 7:20 am

Birchwood Price Tools (BPT) has been sold by Travis Perkins to tools supplier and distributor, Toolstream.

BPT brands include Scruffs workwear and safety footwear, Defender lighting and power distribution, Van Vault secure storage solutions, and Rhino heating and cooling products. The company, which employs 85 people at its Nottingham offices, will continue to operate as a standalone business, with the same personnel.

The BPT brands join the Toolstream portfolio which includes Triton, GMC, Dickie Dyer, Task and Bench Dog.

Matt Hunt, BPT Managing Director, said, “Under our new ownership we will continue to improve our overall proposition and partnership approach. We will also look to develop new relationships with organisations that we’ve not previously supplied, in a number of sectors.’’

October 8, 2018

CP Hire places major Mecalac order

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:58 pm

CP Hire has placed an order for nearly 100 Mecalac dumpers through Northern Ireland-based dealer, Sleator Plant.

The deal includes 95 machines and is said to be worth more than £2m. John Rawnsley, CP Hire (GB) Ltd Managing Director, said, “The quality and depth of the Mecalac range is very attractive. The versatility of each site dumper allows us to offer the perfect option to meet our customer’s exact needs.”

October 5, 2018

Bobcat opens European parts centre

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 11:38 am

Bobcat has opened a new distribution and parts centre for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) in Halle, Germany, for the delivery of spares and other components to dealers and customers throughout the EMEA region.

Located close to Leipzig Airport, the 43,000m2 Bobcat Aftermarket Service Centre covers an area equivalent to 14 football pitches and stocks over 150,000 different parts. The operation is also close to courier DHL’s main European delivery centre and motorway access.

October 4, 2018

JCB helps with Indonesian quake relief

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 11:26 am

JCB has today announced the donation of nearly £200,000-worth of equipment to the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi following the earthquake and tsunami which has killed more than 1,400 people.

Two Loadall telescopic handlers and grab attachments are on their way to the region, which is battling against the humanitarian disaster. The 531-70 and 540-170 models can lift loads weighing several tonnes and, with the grabs, will be used for removing heavy debris. The machines, fitted with a variety of other attachments including buckets and forks, will also help with the reconstruction work once it is under way.

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “The scale of this natural disaster has shocked people all over the world and JCB always tries to help wherever these catastrophes occur. I hope our donation can speed up clear-up operations and help with subsequent redevelopment.”

October 1, 2018

inspHire acquired by Kerridge CS

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:14 am

Software developer inspHire and its sister business Current-RMS have been acquired by Kerridge Commercial Systems (KCS), a supplier of software to wholesalers, merchants and other distributive businesses.

inspHire serves European, US and Australian-based companies in plant and tool hire, construction, access and lifting, medical, oil and gas industries, and Current-RMS supplies cloud-based hire management solutions to the AV, production and event markets.

UK-based KCS says its services are used by 15,000 companies worldwide and include ERP systems comprising supply chain management, financial accounting, CRM, warehouse and transport management, eCommerce, ePOS and business intelligence. inspHire will continue to operate as an independent business unit within KCS, under existing management teams, with the same people and products.

inspHire MD Graham Dobbs says that KCS’ global presence will accelerate inspHire’s growth in overseas markets, and that the two companies complement each other on many different levels. “Our customers can look forward to accessing more features and functions from our combined offerings in the near future. We are all very excited at the opportunities this acquisition brings.”

September 28, 2018

MHM expands lighting fleet

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 1:24 pm

As darker conditions and longer nights draw nearer, MHM Plant has increased its lighting tower fleet by adding machines from Trime UK, which will be offered through its nationwide re-hire service.

MHM has added more of the manufacturer’s X-Eco LED sets, bringing its fleet to over 150. The company says that demand for traditional metal halide lights is declining in favour of LED machines.

Trime’s CEO, Ray Caulfield, reports that demand for this machine is increasing from hirers as they recognise its energy saving attributes.

MHM provides its re-hire service via three depots in the West, North and South of the country, and states that it has recently invested more than £5m in its fleet. Pictured with one of the new Trime machines are, from left, MHM’s Hire Desk Manager Bethan Jones, Operations Director Robert Pullen and Sales & Marketing Executive Megan Rand.

September 27, 2018

Green triumph for AJC EasyCabin

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:04 am

AJC Easy Cabin’s efforts to develop eco-friendly welfare and temporary accommodation units have been recognised in this year’s Green World Awards.

At a ceremony hosted by the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation in Ankara, the manufacturer’s Operations Director Simon Fletcher accepted a Silver Award on behalf of the company from a representative of the Awards.

The Green World Awards are the top tier of the Green Apple Awards which promote environmental best practice. Entries are received from governments, regional authorities and organisations in the private and public sectors worldwide.

Simon Fletcher commented, “I am so proud of what we have won today. The AJC EasyCabin team have worked very hard to achieve this honour. I pay tribute to my colleagues who have worked with me on this project. We will be redoubling our efforts to develop increasingly fuel-efficient products to complement our range of accommodation units.”

The judges recognised the company’s use of new energy-saving and carbon reducing systems in its Eco temporary accommodation units.

September 26, 2018

Mecalac wins export award

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

Mecalac Construction Equipment UK Ltd (CEUK) has won the Export Award at this year’s Coventry Telegraph Business Awards, which recognise outstanding achievement from businesses across the region.

The judges were impressed with Mecalac’s sustained export volumes. Its compact construction equipment factory in Coventry builds products that are used in more than 38 countries worldwide.

“Winning the Award is testament to the whole team’s hard work, experience and commitment,” said Paul Macpherson, UK Sales and Marketing Director at Mecalac CEUK, who is pictured, centre, with Operational Marketing Manager Allison Sedgwick, and Tom Screen representing the sponsor, Birmingham Airport.

September 25, 2018

Ardent wins Gold

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 10:42 am

Ardent Hire Solutions Ltd has achieved Gold in the RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Awards, which recognise achievement in Health & Safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Garry Orr, Ardent’s SHEQ Director, said: “We are thrilled to have received such a prestigious award in recognition of all we do to improve safety in our workplace. We have implemented many changes throughout our 13 depots to improve processes and elevate risk within our business.”

September 21, 2018

New Scot JCB depot opens in Edinburgh

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:39 pm

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford has today officially opened a brand new Scot JCB depot in Edinburgh that is more than six times the size of its predecessor.

Located in Sighthill, approximately five miles west of the city centre, the facility will enhance Scot JCB’s service to customers across the east of Scotland and many new roles created by the move will include engineers, parts advisors and apprentices.

Key benefits include a significant increase in workshop and warehousing space, a training room with AV facilities and an overhead crane to facilitate work on larger plant and machinery.

Lord Bamford said: “Scot JCB is one of the largest JCB dealers in the world and has continued to expand and be successful by investing for growth. This new depot will take sales and service to a whole new level and ensure the service provided to customers goes above and beyond expectations.”

September 20, 2018

Executive Hire Show Scotland generates success

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 3:12 pm

MHM Plant, which supplies generators, lighting equipment and welding machinery, reports ‘excellent’ results from exhibiting at the Executive Hire Show Scotland in Glasgow last week.

MD Mat Llewellyn said, “The Show had all the ingredients to make up a great day. We saw many of our existing clients as well quite a few potential customers. The organisers should be congratulated in securing a great mix of national, regional and independent hire firms to the event.”

The company, which recently opened a new outlet in Coatbridge, supplies generators from 3kVA to 100kVA, lighting sets including LED models, and engine powered welding equipment. It also offers a national re-hire service.

“The intimate setting meant that we were able to properly interact with all the delegates. With our Coatbridge depot now up and running, the timing of the Show was perfect to introduce the team that will be running this brand new operation,” added Mat, who is pictured, left, with colleagues Rob Pullen, centre, and Steve Jones.

September 17, 2018

More support vans for Dromad

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:55 pm

Dundalk-based Dromad Hire has added two more sales support and emergency call-out vans to its fleet, bringing its total to six.

The company’s Darren Rowland said, “These additional vehicles will be dedicated to customer sales support along with site and job surveys, a service we provide free. This ensures our customer is always provided with correct specification machine for their application.”

Darren is pictured, left, with Mark Lynn of local dealer, Lynn Motors, which supplied the Peugeot vans.

September 14, 2018

Nixon Hire acquires Mechplant assets

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 11:44 am

In a multi-million pound deal announced today, the ownership of the equipment fleet of Durham-based Mechplant equipment will be transferred to Nixon Hire with immediate effect.

Mechplant, which forms part of Esh Construction Group, has parted with its plant equipment assets to streamline its business operations. The deal also sees Nixon Hire become the sole supplier of all large plant, and the primary preferred supplier of site accommodation, toilets and welfare products, for a period of at least four years to the wider Esh group.

The acquired assets are predominantly large plant items such as telescopic handlers, dumpers, compaction equipment and excavators. Continuing to base operations out of the existing Mechplant office in Bowburn, a number of employees will also be transferred as part of the deal.

MD Graham Nixon said, “Both companies are based in the North East of England and have worked successfully in partnership for many years now. When the opportunity to acquire the assets arose it was an obvious yes for us. Esh will be able to reinvest the cash into their core business.

“In addition they no longer have the hassle of running a hire fleet with concerns over issues such as purchasing new equipment, utilisation, compliance, maintenance, transport, breakdowns, residual values and equipment sales.

“This is an exciting period of growth for Nixon Hire and we estimate that this deal will secure approximately £12m of business in the region, a huge positive for the local economy.”

September 12, 2018

Pramac-Generac UK to open central location

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 3:34 pm

Pramac-Generac UK will be moving to a new location later this year, as it moves from its dual facilities in Milton Keynes and Crewe, to one central site at a business park in Stoke-on-Trent.

The company states that the new premises at Tunstall Arrow business park will enable its planned over the next ten years.

MD David Oates said, “We have undergone consistent growth in the UK and we feel this new site will elevate and strengthen our product brands which remains a key focus and is critical to our UK strategy. Tunstall Arrow will provide a modern facility to invite our customers, partners and suppliers, as well as deliver state-of-the-art training and aftermarket support to meet the needs of our expanding customer base in the UK and Ireland.”

Close to junction 6 of the M6, the 21,000 sq ft premises will include warehouse and secure yard storage facilities along with office space to support the company’s expanding service, parts, administration, sales and marketing teams.

“We will be fully operational over the next few months and our focus will be on our customers to ensure they continue to receive quality service and product availability,” added David Oates.

September 11, 2018

CPA helps develop new plant apprenticeship

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:25 am

The Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) has granted approval for a new Construction Plant Operator Trailblazer Apprenticeship to be developed supported by the CPA.

A submission was devised by an employer-led Trailblazer working group, supported by the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA). Following a number of revisions, approval was received from and work is now under way preparing the appropriate standards and assessment plan.

The employer-led working group was formed in 2016. Several employers are represented, including construction equipment owners and hirers. P. Flannery Plant Hire and the Hawk Group are acting as the co-chairs, and CPA colleagues are project-managing the apprenticeship process on behalf of the group.

The working group will be developing a Level 2 multi-role scheme similar to the current ‘framework’ apprenticeship where learning will take place with four machines over a 12-month period to act as the stepping stones into the sector. The proposed content includes learning on servicing and basic maintenance techniques, as well as marshalling of plant.

The working group intends to apply to develop a Level 3 Specialist Plant Operator scheme. It is seeking additional employers to help develop the apprenticeship, and interested companies can contact Peter Brown from the CPA on 0207 796 3366.

September 4, 2018

Boels buys Artisan Hire

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:17 pm

Boels Rental has today announced the acquisition of Swindon-based Artisan Hire Centres and its sister company SAS (Survey & Safety Equipment Hire and Sales) as it continues to expand its UK operation.

Artisan and SAS operate from nine depots across the southwest of England. These latest additions follow the acquisition of Supply UK Hire Shops in 2017 and Already Hire earlier this year, bringing its UK branch network to 38.

“This is an important milestone in our ongoing expansion as an international rental company”, says Pierre Boels, CEO of Boels Rental. “Artisan and SAS are both well-established and very successful in the south-west of England. Their acquisition can only benefit the growth strategy that Boels has for Great Britain. Although our ultimate aim is to achieve national coverage, we will focus primarily on local and regional businesses for the time being.”

Chris Comer from Artisan Hire Centres said, “We are very happy to be part of the Boels family. We clicked straight away and discovered that we have the same plans for the future, too. Boels is a major player in the rental market, because of which we will have the opportunity to accelerate our growth under its wing.”

September 3, 2018

Phoenix rises up with MHM

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 4:21 pm

Phoenix Hire and Sales recently expanded its fleet of generators with the purchase of two 33kVA super-silenced sets from MHM Plant.

The Cwmbran-based company, which has just celebrated its tenth year in business, already offers MHM petrol and diesel generators from 4 to 70kVA, and opted for the new GE33 SSY machines following a specific customer request.

MD Gary Derraven said, “We took the decision some time ago to standardise on the full range of MHM generators. These two 33kVA sets are a new size for us, but following our policy to always respond to individual customer needs, we selected them as they matched the exact requirements.”

August 31, 2018

HSS turnaround progresses

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:36 am

In its interim results released yesterday for the six months to 30 June 2018, HSS Hire reported a loss before tax of £7.1m, compared with a £30.1m loss for the same period in 2017.

Revenue grew by 5.8% to £169.8m, as against £160.5m the previous year. Net debt reduced by £7.5m during the first half of the year, from £232.7m to £225.2m. Twelve branches were closed during this period.

Subject to approval by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the proposed sale of the UK Platforms operation to Nationwide Platforms for £60.5m is expected to generate £47.5m net cash, at least 80% of which would be used to repay debt and the balance invested in the tool hire business, says the company.

Chief Executive Officer, Steve Ashmore, said: “We are eight months into our new strategy and the Group has made significant progress. In this time we transitioned seamlessly to a new distribution model, refinanced the Group giving us long-term stability and announced the sale of our UK Platforms business, allowing us to focus on the tool hire business and further reduce our debt.

“Alongside this strong operational progress, trading has been much improved, helped by our increased focus on our tool hire business and by customer demand for our extensive range of relevant seasonal products.”

August 29, 2018

HAE announces Conference topics

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:32 am

HAE has announced details of the topics and speaker for its Conference at Loughborough University on 2 October, which has the overall theme of Forward Together.

A major topic will be how to attract young people into the industry. Mark Woolaston of ITV’s Business Development Team will discuss how to engage and recruit 16 to 24-year-olds, a demographic group that the broadcaster has successfully targeted with programmes ranging from Love Island to the FIFA World Cup. He will suggest how training initiatives can be tailored to appeal to this age band, and to highlight career opportunities in hire.

Also invited to speak is Sat Dhaiwal, who in July retired from his post as Chief Executive of A-Plant, and was the Winner of the Chairman’s Award in the Association’s Hire Awards of Excellence 2018. He has been asked to become an ambassador for attracting young people into the hire industry.

David Rockhill of McKinsay & Company will discuss The Changing Face of the Construction Industry and Opportunities for Hire, while Amanda Knowles, Heidi Russell and Jessica Bowen from Vp plc/Hire Station will talk about leading roles for women in hire and career progression.

Other presentations will address Extending the Life of Construction Equipment, Global and Iconic Events, The Shape of Rental Software and Benchmarking Equipment. To register visit www.hireconference.org.uk

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