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Latest industry news

April 16, 2018

Dromad expands truck fleet

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 4:59 pm

Dundalk-based Dromad Hire has invested in two more purpose-built trucks from local Scania dealer, Granco Ltd, to improve its nationwide distribution of plant and powered access equipment.

Granco provided Dromad with the Scania units and chassis, and worked closely with Sterling Plant Bodies in the UK to customise the vehicles.

According to Dromad Hire’s MD Seamus Byrne, who is pictured (left) with Pat Grant of Granco, said, “The new lorries are simply being added to help improve our delivery speed and service to our customers. They have been built to the exact spec that we require to transport such a diverse range of plant and equipment, both safely and economically.”

The truck bodies incorporate a Gridlock composite decking system that has a high-grip, self-cleaning surface, and the finish is fully galvanised throughout for corrosion resistance and lower maintenance costs.

April 11, 2018

Boels expands its Trime fleet

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 2:06 pm

Boels Rental’s UK division has purchased 75 X-Chain LED lighting sets from Trime UK. Up to four units can be connected together and then attached to a single power source, such as the ordinary mains or a portable generator.

The order follows on from a recent investment the hirer made in Trime’s X-Eco LED mobile lighting tower. Boels Rental believes it now has one of the largest fleets of Trime lighting sets in Europe, consisting of approximately 800 units that are available to hire in 11 countries.

Boels Rental’s National Operations Manager for the UK, Gary Darley, said, “The X-Chain LED has been a big success in the hire fleet of our Dutch colleagues and when of our UK contractor customers asked if we could provide substantial, silent lighting for one of their projects, we quickly decided that it would be the ideal unit. We currently have 36 sets on long-term hire, with more soon to follow.”

Boels Rental, whose acquisition of Supply UK Hire Shops last year marked its entry into the hire market in this country, also recently purchased Already Hire, which has five depots serving Greater London.

April 10, 2018

BooBoo invests in solar

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:00 am

BooBoo Plant Hire of Milton Keynes is expanding its demolition and construction equipment fleet with an order of ten ProLight solar lighting towers from Prolectric.

This will add a temporary lighting option with no emissions, noise or fumes, as an environmentally-responsible and low-maintenance alternative to conventional diesel-powered machines.

Chris Williams, MD of Prolectric said, “We are delighted that BooBoo Plant Hire has committed to providing sustainable and low-maintenance temporary lighting for its customers,” and added that he believes the ProLight is making a worthwhile contribution to reducing construction industry carbon emissions.

April 9, 2018

Boss Cabins launches aftercare

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 1:46 pm

Welfare cabin manufacturer, Boss Cabins, has invested £250,000 in establishing an aftercare department, to deliver a greater degree of customer service to hire companies across the UK.

The initiative follows nine months of development at its site in Bourne site in Lincolnshire. The centre is able to assist clients nationwide, and it includes a collection and delivery service.

Launched just over two months ago, five new staff members have been recruited to support the aftercare department, which includes three ramps for refurbishing units and an accident and repair bay. A dedicated parts store, from which customers can order items directly from Boss Cabins’ website, has also been introduced.

MD Matthew Wordsworth said, “It is our goal to provide a convenient, quick service when it’s required – whether that is planned maintenance or accidental damage. And we will provide companies with a courtesy cabin while theirs is out of action.”

The aftercare department has already repaired or refurbished over 100 mobile and static welfare units, and specialist hire company, LOC Hire, recently signed a contract to refurbish an additional 17 cabins of various makes.

April 6, 2018

Vp continues to progress

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 10:25 am

In a trading update announced today, Vp states that since its interim results announcement in November, the Group has continued to make good progress over the winter period.

The UK division has experienced consistent demand from infrastructure, construction and housebuilding markets, and following the clearance on 7 March by the Competition and Markets Authority of the acquisition of Brandon Hire, Vp says it has been working with the Brandon team on the integration of the business.

Vp reports that its International division has found the offshore oil and gas sector to remain challenging, whilst its Asia Pacific-based test and measurement business has continued to perform well.

The Board anticipates that the Group will report full year results for the year ended 31 March 2018 in line with current market expectations, and will announce these on 5 June.

April 5, 2018

NPH Group to expand Först fleet

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 4:20 pm

Wood chipper manufacturer, Först, reports that its business relationship with The NPH Group (Newmarket Plant Hire) continues to strengthen as the hirer continues to expand its fleet of machines in 2018.

The Suffolk-based company operates through a network of depots in Newmarket, Basildon, Harlow, Ipswich, Cambridge and King’s Lynn, and supplies a broad range of plant and equipment to the construction and landscaping industries.

Ashley Tarrant, Operational Director for The NPH Group, explained, “From our experience, not many plant hire firms offer wood chippers, so establishing a working relationship with Först not only allows us to diversify our equipment offering to better suit the needs of our customers, but it also enables us to stand out in a competitive hire industry.”

The hirer’s relationship with the manufacturer began in 2015, with the purchase of a fleet of ST6 wheeled machines, followed by a TR6 tracked model. “The ST6s are very popular as they are light, mobile and, for a highly mobile chipper, its productivity is great,” said Ashley Tarrant.

HSS reports £85m loss

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

In its results for the year ended 30 December 2017 announced today, HSS Hire Group reports a full-year pre-tax loss of £85.2m, compared with a £17.4m loss in 2016. Year-on-year revenue decreased 2% to £335.8m, impacted by operating model changes in 2016 and branch closures.

However, HSS says it has seen an improving trend in performance in the second half of the financial year, and that measures being implemented following its strategic review outlined in December will deliver further efficiencies.

The company reports revenue growth of 1.1% in H2 17 compared to H2 16, and an adjusted EBITA increase of £1.8m compared to the first half.

HSS says it delivered £13m of annualised cost savings through network efficiencies, reduced central head count and 55 depot closures, with Q4 overheads £3.3m lower than Q1. The strategic review identified a further £10m-£14m of annualised cost savings to be delivered in FY18 and FY19, and exceptional costs of £66.6m arose, primarily to realise savings implemented in the year and to enable changes to the supply chain model.

The company says the review involved the analysis of 20 million contract lines, more than 35,000 customers, 1,600 products and 250 locations, and focused on areas such as profitability, cost of operations, processes and market opportunities. It identified three priorities to ‘Delever’ by reducing costs and increasing efficiencies, to ‘Repair the Tool Hire Business’ by principally re-focusing on customer’s specific equipment needs and achieving consistent pricing, and to ‘Strengthen the Group’ commercial proposition by serving the requirements of key customer segments and developing sales channels.

Steve Ashmore, Chief Executive Officer of HSS Hire, said, “Overall 2017 was a difficult year for HSS, mainly due to the impact of operational changes made in 2016. We have addressed this by focusing on the core rental business and reducing our cost base and I am pleased with how the business responded in the second half of the year. When I arrived in June, I instigated a thorough strategic review process, the results of which have given us clear direction and an ambition to restore the business to historic levels of performance. Whilst we are only a few months into implementing the strategy, early signs are encouraging.”

April 4, 2018

Large Jewson order for JCB

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:32 pm

Jewson has placed an order for 500 JCB machines in a deal said to be worth more than £8m. They comprise the manufacturer’s new 15C-1 mini excavators and 8008 micro machines, along with the 1T-HT site dumpers, VMT160-80 compactors and HTD5 compact tracked dumpers.

Jewson is one of the first customers to invest in the 15C-1 mini excavator and 1T-HT site dumpers. The company’s MD Thierry Dufour, and Director of Tool Hire Richard Pedersen, visited JCB’s World Headquarters in Staffordshire to see the new fleet roll off the production lines.

Mr Pedersen said: “We selected JCB machines after extensive research into a number of suppliers. We have operated JCB mini and micro excavators, dumpers and compactors for many years and they have proved to be an invaluable part of our fleet.”

Pictured sealing the deal are, from left, Richard Pederson, Steve Smith, Sales Director of JCB UK and Ireland , Thierry Dufour and Paul Hartshorn, MD of dealer Gunn JCB.

April 2, 2018

MHM Award nomination

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:11 am

MHM has been nominated as a finalist in the Welding World Awards 2018 in the Best Welding Machine Supplier category.

MD Mat Llewellyn said: “This is fantastic news for everyone at MHM and a testament to all the hard work put in by the team. We have been supplying the welding markets and the hire industry for over eight years and to be nominated in these important Awards is indeed an honour.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday, 11 April in Birmingham, hosted by broadcaster, Eamonn Holmes. The Welding World Awards are open to any company operating in the welding industry.

April 1, 2018

Morris thinks ink and adds ‘tat’

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 7:24 am

Morris Site Machinery reports that it has waited until today to launch a special initiative for employees and customers to literally display their allegiance to its brand.

Growing interest in body art inking has, apparently, prompted the company to have its Built to Perform logo designed as a tattoo for loyal supporters to wear with pride. The manufacturer even goes so far as stating that it will add this ‘tat’ to its lighting towers, generators and other site equipment.

CEO Chris Morris was among the first group of colleagues to sport the tattoo ahead of today’s launch. With an uncharacteristic lack of modesty, he told EHN: “It’s my first tattoo and looks fantastic. It’s had an amazing reaction already from family, friends and business associates.

“The team at Morris is known for its commitment and going all out to spread the word about our brands and products. This is a great way to make that pride visible with a tattoo that will last a lifetime,” he enthused.

“It is not only for company colleagues, though,” he went on. “We expect many of our loyal customers to follow our lead and have the tattoos inked too.” Pictured at the inking session are, from left, the company’s Scott Rayne, Chris Morris, Gemma Minshell-Sutton and Stuart Evans.

While EHN would not normally comment on suppliers’ marketing ruses, let alone body modifications, we doubt this ploy will make its mark for long – especially after Morris revealed it had approached a ‘celebrated’ tattoo artist, April Jest, to provide the service at its Wolverhampton base.

March 29, 2018

HAE Awards countdown

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 2:02 pm

HAE and the Event Hire Association have announced the shortlisted finalists for their Awards of Excellence 2018, being held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Saturday, 28 April.

The categories include: Catalogue of the Year, Website of the Year, Best Use of New Media, Sustainability and CSR, Construction Industry Product of the Year, Events Industry Product of the Year, Supplier of the Year, Plant, Tool & Equipment Hire Company of the Year (separate awards for turnover up to £10m and over £10m), Event Equipment Hire Company of the Year, SafeHire Company of the Year, Best Recruitment Innovation, Apprentice of the Year, Workshop Manager of the Year and Hire Manager of the Year, as well as Hire Achiever of the Year, chosen on the night from the three winners of the last-mentioned individual categories.

The Awards will be hosted by BBC Breakfast sports journalist Chris Hollins, a previous winner of Strictly Come Dancing. The full list of finalists can be seen at www.hae.org.uk/awards, together with details of ticket availability.

March 28, 2018

Lincs Lifts rises with Niftylift

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:50 pm

Scunthorpe-based Lincs Lifts, which specialises in powered access hire, has continued to expand its fleet and reports that over the last nine months it has bought more than 25 machines from Niftylift.

The units, which have a quoted value of more than £1m, include trailer-mounts, track-mounted and self-propelled platforms, with working heights ranging from 12m to 28m. Several models incorporate Niftylift’s hybrid power systems.

Lincs Lifts’ MD Wayne Grainger commented, “The combination of performance and economy that we get from Niftylift platforms has resulted in more hires and better rates across the board. We’re looking to continue that growth and Niftylift products will be a key part of that.”

March 27, 2018

Snorkel platforms added to Banner portfolio

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

Banner Plant has invested in Snorkel low-level access platforms with an order of S3010P push-around mini scissor lifts and S3010E self-propelled models for the hirer’s Rotherham depot.

Depot Manager Phil James, who is pictured with Snorkel’s Linda Betts, said, “This is a new product category for our business. With a continued focus on safe working at all heights, including at low level, this is an area of the market where demand is increasing.”

Headquartered in Dronfield, Sheffield, and with depots across the Midlands, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, Banner Plant last year added two more locations in Leicestershire following its acquisition of Premier Plant and Tool Hire Ltd.

March 26, 2018

Speedy trading update

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:29 am

In an update on its trading performance for the year ending 31 March 2018, Speedy has stated that return on capital employed for the year is expected to be approximately 11%, up from 7.7% in the prior year.

Average asset utilisation for the 11 months to February 2018 was 55.4%, up 4.3% from the prior year. The Group says it fleet optimisation programme continued during the year and, excluding the effect of acquisitions, the hire fleet has further reduced.

Net debt at 31 March is expected to be approximately £80m after expenditure of £23m on acquisitions. Speedy says these acquisitions are performing in line with expectations.

The company states that its renewed focus on both SME customers and services revenues, and despite the recent liquidation of Carillion, full year revenues before disposals are expected to be approximately 6% ahead of the prior year. Adjusted profit before tax for the year is expected to be ahead of the Board’s previous expectations.

The Group’s full year results are scheduled to be announced on 16 May.

March 23, 2018

Hatz engines on stream

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:33 am

Following the launch of its liquid-cooled four-cylinder H-series engine four years ago, Hatz has started manufacture of three-cylinder models in the power category up to 62kW, with the start of production of the 3H50TIC model at its Bavaria factory being transmitted globally via live internet stream.

The 3H50TIC is the first of four different 3H50 variants that is available now. The engines are designed to be compact, economical, robust and lightweight, as well as for low emissions.

Variants include the 3H50TI or the TICD variant (with turbocharger, intercooler, catalytic converter and particulate filter) that will also enter series production in 2018. Series production of the 3H50T is then scheduled to start in the spring of 2019.

To reflect the versatility of the engines, Hatz is marketing the H-series as The Applicationizer, suitable for many applications and drive solutions in mobile and stationary compact machines.Various events to promote the products are planned throughout the year.

The live stream can be seen at www.hatz.com/3H50-SOP. Pictured are Hatz’s Martin Hain (left) and Matthias Hochleitner inspecting individual components of the new 3H50TIC.

March 19, 2018

CPA to hold training forum

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 5:01 pm

The CPA is hosting a Training on Plant in Construction (TOPIC) Forum on Wednesday, 25 April at Nuthurst Grange Hotel in Hockley Heath, Warwickshire, to formulate a strategy on the future direction of skills development for construction plant and equipment.

The event is open to CPA members, hire companies, contractors, training providers and other relevant organisations, and will discuss the recruitment, training, development and retention of a skilled workforce in the plant hire industry.

The Forum will be chaired by the current Chair of the TOPIC Group, Bob Harper, who is Head of Training at A-Plant. Speakers will discuss aspects of training such as skills mapping, inclusion, the economic climate, Government policy, migrant workers and attracting new employees. Places are limited and anyone interested in attending the event should contact Maria Reid of the CPA by emailing maria.reid@cpa.uk.net.

March 13, 2018

Hirebase increases Kubota fleet

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:08 am

Hirebase recently purchased 50 additional Kubota mini excavators to add to its fleet, as a result of high demand for the K008-3 micro machine.

The hirer reports that the 0.8-tonne model is one of the most popular machines amongst its customers, being suitable for tasks ranging from domestic building projects to roadside applications where space is restricted.

Hirebase MD Adrian Watts said, “The model is a massive favourite of our customer base. It is compact, excavates far above its weight and, in my opinion, the performance is head and shoulders above the competition.”

The company has also invested in more 1.5-tonne mini excavators from Kubota.

March 7, 2018

Vp’s Brandon acquisition cleared by CMA

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:08 pm

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has concluded its investigation and has cleared the completed acquisition by Vp of Brandon Hire Group Holdings.

Vp originally announced the deal on 8 November, as we reported in our November/December issue. We commented then that Vp believed this was an excellent acquisition, dovetailing with its Hire Station tool hire business. As Brandon operates from 143 locations and Hire Station has 58 outlets, this will significantly increase Vp’s presence in the market.

March 6, 2018

Sykes Pumps opens Doncaster depot

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:03 am

Sykes Pumps has opened a new 1.5-acre purpose-built depot in Doncaster, bringing the company’s UK network to over 25 locations.

The facility will cover provision across Yorkshire and into Lincolnshire and beyond, and is three miles outside the centre of Doncaster, with easy access to the M18 and M62 motorway network.

The depot is twice the size of Sykes Pumps’ previous sites in Leeds and Scunthorpe, and combines the capabilities of these two locations into a single site. It will handle all Andrew Sykes hire items from across the group, supplying air conditioning, chiller, heating, boiler, dehumidifier and ventilation equipment, alongside pumps.

Sykes Pumps’ UK Operations Director, David Himsworth, said, “We already have a strong presence in the north of England and the new depot in Doncaster will build on those capabilities, enabling us to serve more customers with an even larger fleet.”

March 5, 2018

A-Plant highlights apprenticeships

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 2:00 pm

A-Plant has devised a programme of events to mark National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 5 to 9 March.

The company A-Plant exhibited at What Career Live in Birmingham last weekend to talk to young people and their families about opportunities available. Later this week, the hirer’s training team will visit a school in Ipswich and invite pupils to a local service centre for a tour of the facilities and some work-based activities.

On social media, A-Plant’s apprentice ‘advocates’ will share their experiences in a series of ‘talking head’ interviews, offering insights into what they enjoy about their careers. The week finishes with some of the hirer’s apprentices being put to the test to build a bridge as part of a challenge set by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

A-Plant currently has 166 apprentices across five different training streams and invests more than £2m in this programme each year.

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