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Latest industry news

March 5, 2019

Ashtead results show confidence

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 11:09 am

In its results for the nine months and third quarter ended 31 January 2019, Ashtead Group has reported revenue up by 19%, rental revenue up 18% and pre-tax profit of £888m (2018: £742m).

A-Plant generated hire-only revenue of £274m, up 5% on the prior year (2018: £262m). This was driven by increased fleet on rent, with yield broadly flat. The company says the rate environment in the UK market remains competitive, and A-Plant’s total revenue increased 2% to £360m (2018: £354m).

Ashtead’s Chief Executive, Geoff Drabble, commented: “We continue to experience strong end markets in North America and are executing well on our strategy of organic growth supplemented by targeted bolt-on acquisitions. We invested £1,290m in capital and a further £491m on bolt-on acquisitions in the period which has added 112 locations and resulted in rental fleet growth of 18%.”

He added, “We expect capital expenditure for the year to be towards the upper end of our previous guidance (c. £1.6bn). Looking forward to 2019/20, we anticipate a similar level of capital expenditure to this year as we execute on our strategic plan through to 2021.

“Our business continues to perform well in supportive end markets. Accordingly, we expect full year results to be in line with our expectations and the Board continues to look to the medium term with confidence.”

February 28, 2019

Hire Standards appoints Business Development Manager

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 3:59 pm

Hire Standards recently appointed Rick Biddiscombe as its new Business Development Manager. He will be based at the company’s depot in Frome, which is coincidentally where he started his career.

Rick has been in the industry for more than 30 years, having previously been Manager at FHC Hire Centres, which was later sold to Sydenhams Hire Centres, when he became MD of its Hire Division. He most recently worked at YHC Hire Solutions.

Hire Standards, which has its head office in Westbury, was formed in 2007 by Matthew Rowe, who is pictured (right) with Rick Biddiscombe at the recent Executive Hire Show. He started the company after having worked with Rick at FHC Hire centres for 11 years. Hire Standards now has 14 staff, acquired a third depot in Shaftesbury last year, and has plans for further growth.

February 25, 2019

Drone Zone for Plantworx

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 4:35 pm

Recognising that the use of drones in construction has grown dramatically in recent years, the Plantworx exhibition will include a Drone Zone for demonstrations of how flying cameras or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) can store accurate measurement data, video and images for project monitoring.

At the event, which will take place from 11-13 June at the East of England Arena in Peterborough, visitors can expect to see a wide range of drones with many capabilities. The Topcon Falcon 8 Survey UAV (pictured) will be one of the models being demonstrated.

The Zone will occupy over 2,300 sq m of stand and flying space, situated in an indoor area at Plantworx.

The biannual exhibution focuses on plant, tools, equipment and services for the construction industry, with working demonstrations.

February 22, 2019

‘Strictly’ star to host HAE Awards

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 3:25 pm

HAE’s Hire Awards of Excellence 2019 will be hosted by BBC Strictly Come Dancing star, Anton Du Beke.

The event will take place once again at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Saturday, 13 April. Finalists in the different categories will be announced in early March.

To enquire about tickets, tables and sponsorship packages, contact the HAE Awards Team on 0121 380 4605.

February 18, 2019

New HQ for HSC

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:06 pm

The Hire Supply Company’s (HSC) head office in Nottinghamshire has relocated to significantly larger new premises, which officially opened today.

For the past 16 years HSC’s head office and main distribution centre was located in Long Eaton. MD Gary McWilliam told EHN that, in line with the company’s expansion plans, a move was necessary to achieve future goals.

“Whilst operating in Long Eaton, we leased another unit and had off-site pallet storage to hold the vast range of products we offer. The new premises, which are situated less than three miles away at Eldon Road Trading Estate in Attenborough, Nottingham, allows all of this to come under one roof, improving logistics and bringing efficiencies.

“All products, including non-seasonal items, will now be stored under one roof in the 31,000 sq ft building. Having the complete range in one place will help maintain our next working day delivery promise, and improve overall stock management,” he continued.

The renovation and refurbishment of the new building incorporates a modern sales office, trade counter, showroom and a boardroom which will be used for meetings and for training.

“A substantial investment has been made getting the building exactly as required, making sure that visiting customers and suppliers see that HSC is a sustainable business, forward-focused and a company that is determined to provide the best possible products and innovative solutions to our customers.”

HSC’s new head office address is 7-10 Eldon Road Trading Estate, Attenborough, Nottingham NG9 6DZ, with all contact details remaining the same, including the 0115 946 1988 telephone number.

February 15, 2019

JCB announces British motor racing deal

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:16 am

JCB has announced a partnership with a new British motor racing team, SportPesa Racing Point F1 (formerly Force India).

The deal will see JCB branding on the two cars driven by Lance Stroll, pictured left, and Sergio Perez from the first Formula One race in Melbourne next month.

In addition, JCB will provide machines to help in the construction of Racing Point’s planned new factory later this year. The manufacturer will also supply power tools and workwear for the team, as well as equipment such as access platforms and generators to help with preparations for races in Europe.

JCB began an association with Formula 1 in 2017 with a Williams Racing sponsorship, which has now concluded.

February 14, 2019

Trime enjoys “best ever” Show

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:59 am

Following a successful Executive Hire Show last week, the Trime UK team arrived back at their Cambridgeshire base with significant orders placed throughout the two days of the event.

MD Paul Hay said, “This year’s Executive Hire Show was the best ever for us. We took in excess of £750,000 worth of lighting tower orders. In addition, we had in-depth discussions with a major tool hire firm who are stepping up their replacement programme switching over to our X-Splash wash bays and adding them to their new outlets.”

One of the single biggest orders came from the event and industrial lighting tower hire specialist, Illumin8 Lights Ltd. Its MD, Neil Fenwick, placed an order for X-Eco LED sets valued at over £500,000. Another company, Energy Generator Hire, made two significant orders for these machines, one for imminent delivery and the other confirmed for later in the year.

In addition, Glendun Plant Sales, the Northern Ireland based plant sales company and dealership, has been promoting the machine, and Dermot Cunnie from the business placed a further four orders for distribution to clients.

Trime reports that Travis Perkins also called into its stand to discuss arrangements for the delivery and installation of X-Splash wash bays.

EHN’s March issue will include a comprehensive Show Review.

February 11, 2019

Mobile Mini appoints safety advisor

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:06 pm

Mobile Mini, which hires portable site accommodation and secure storage containers, has appointed a Health and Safety Advisor for its southern region.

Niki Benson has joined from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and has 16 years of industry experience, most recently in the construction sector.

“Having worked in both investigatory and advisory roles, and working on site, I’ve gained skills and experience not available in a classroom or office environment,” she said. “My focus is to build on Mobile Mini’s already excellent safety record, and proactively promote a great health and safety culture within the company.”

She adds that the Mobile Mini safety team will be undertaking various projects in the year ahead, including training focused on workplace transport, noise and vibration.

February 5, 2019

Speedy launches mobile app

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:33 am

Speedy Hire has launched a new mobile app for customers as an extension of its digital strategy. It is designed to enable users to complete a full end-to-end transaction from their mobile device.

The app allows customers to review which products are available for immediate collection from depots in their area, or alternatively order them to be delivered to their location. Users can also create shortlists of frequently hired or bought items.

Speedy’s Capital Commitment service, where same-day delivery is guaranteed on selected products if ordered by 3pm (or within four hours if within the M25) is also available on the app.

Russell Down, Chief Executive, “The new app is one of a range of channels through which our customers can interact with us. Of course, customers are still able to call and discuss options and order products and services over the phone, or visit a depot and interact with our staff face-to-face. However, the addition of a fully functioning mobile app allows customers choice over when and how they engage with Speedy, whilst still benefiting from our service promise”.

As part of the launch, Speedy is donating 1% of every digital transaction undertaken through the app for a limited period to its charity partners, WellChild and the Lighthouse Club.

February 4, 2019

AFI adds new Scania vehicles

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 1:03 pm

Powered access specialist, AFI group, has expanded its in-house transport delivery fleet by announcing a £1m investment in Scania vehicles.

The company has ordered nine G-series 26-tonne rigid trucks which have been customised to meet AFI’s requirements and include full forward ramps to help reduce emissions, fall protection handrails, winches and extendable walkways for side access.

February 1, 2019

Nixon Hire buys Elliott Loohire

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 12:54 pm

Elliott, the specialist supplier of modular solutions, has announced the sale of its Loohire business to Nixon Hire. It is Nixon’s largest acquisition to date.

MD Graham Nixon told EHN, “This expands our depot network to 22 stretching from Southampton to Inverness, and makes us the largest provider of toilets in the UK, with over 17,000 toilets for hire.

“The deal includes operations from ten depots, over 100 employees, 10,000 products and in excess of 100 vehicles. The depot locations, knowledgeable staff and well-established contracts were key factors in our decision to make an offer. The acquisition fits very well with the operation of our existing toilet division and we are extremely confident that the transition will be smooth for both staff and existing customers.”

The new depot locations, which include Wakefield, Manchester, Birmingham, Peterborough, Suffolk, Stevenage, Essex, Bristol and Southampton, fulfils Nixon Hire’s plans for expansion into the South of England.

Graham Nixon added that, while not all the new depots are able to accommodate items from Nixon’s plant fleet, the intention is to establish a presence at each location for its welfare vehicle operation, as well as products from its high-tech Innovation equipment range and from its newly established Renewables Division offering sustainable products.

“Our management team will be visiting each of our new locations to welcome our new employees to the team and induct them into the Nixon Hire business.” The transfer is due to complete on 28 February.

Lee Young, Chief Financial Officer at Elliott said, “Loohire has been a valued part of the Elliott offering for over 15 years and we’re pleased that we have been able to come to this agreement with Nixon Hire. We are confident that the business will thrive under its new ownership, giving greater opportunities to our employees as well as to our valued customer and supplier base.”

Graham Nixon added, “With all the talk in the media at the moment about Brexit, this is really positive news. Our view is that when opportunities arise, you have to grab them.”

January 30, 2019

Makita opens third Service Centre

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 3:26 pm

Makita UK has opened a third regional Factory Service Centre (FSC) in Hounslow. This joins the manufacturer’s head office facility in Milton Keynes, which serves the whole of the country, and Glasgow, which supports Scotland and northern England.

The Hounslow operation will primarily service the London and South East region. Makita says that, while these facilities provide technical repairs and maintenance for all mains and cordless construction machines, as well as grounds care tools and petrol engine products, training is also offered to ensure that distributors and operators can use them safely and maintain them effectively.

The Glasgow FSC was the first to be opened. It offers Makita product training, as well as accredited courses such as the City & Guilds Correct & Safe Use of Handheld Power Tools. Courses can also be designed to meet individual requirements.

Tony Coleman, Technical Manager for Makita UK, said, “We are already receiving a very warm welcome from all sectors of the power tool industry in this heavily populated area of west London. If demand becomes similar to that we’ve established in Glasgow and Milton Keynes, we will be looking for additional training personnel.”

January 29, 2019

GAP adds dual view dumpers

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:25 am

GAP recently took delivery of its first 6-tonne dual view dumper from Wacker Neuson. The machine is designed to allow the operator to quickly change the seat position through a 180° degree rotation of the entire operating console, giving a clear view of the direction of travel during transport, loading and tipping.

The hirer’s Head of Procurement, Ken Stewart, said, “The dual view dumper is an innovative product, offering enhanced safety and comfort for the operator, in addition to increased operating efficiencies and improved productivity.”

This delivery is part of a wider investment of almost £3m by GAP for a total of 60 such machines, equally spread between 6-tonne and 9-tonne swivel skip models.

January 28, 2019

Growth surge at John F Hunt Power

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 5:11 pm

John F Hunt Power recently acquired the freehold for a 3.5-acre site in Birtley to facilitate further growth in the North East. This follows on from the opening in 2017 of its Portbury depot near Bristol.

2019 has also seen the opening of a depot in Livingston this month, marking the company’s first presence in Scotland.

Part of the John F Hunt Group, the Power business states it is committed to spending £6m on new generators sourced from Italy and Japan, the emphasis being on super-silenced and ‘ultra-quiet’ (pictured) units, emitting less than 55 decibels @ 7m. The growing fleet of high-specification generators is expected to reach 2,000 units by the end of 2019.

The operation’s Grays and Halesowen depots also report growing demand, and more staff have been promoted and recruited as a result.

John F Hunt Power was formed in 1998 to serve the construction, event and utilities markets, offering nationwide coverage for the hire, sale and installation of diesel generators, hybrid generators and LED lighting towers.

January 24, 2019

Nixon Hire places major JCB order

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 11:15 am

With an order value of over £10m, Nixon Hire will take delivery of 230 JCB telescopic handlers throughout 2019. The order includes a range of machines from 7m to 17m.

MD Graham Nixon said: “Nixon Hire has committed to spend over £22m in 2019 as part of our capital expenditure schedule and the order we have placed with JCB is the largest purchase within this programme. At £10m, it is actually the largest single order for equipment we’ve ever placed.

Established in 1967, the company has 13 depots across England and Scotland with a central support office in Newcastle- upon-Tyne. It employees around 460 people and turnover in 2018 turnover was £65m.

“The purchase of these machines comes at a very exciting period of growth for Nixon Hire,” continued Graham Nixon.” Our depot network is expanding and the fleet is getting larger, all of which enhances our service offering to customers nationwide.

“Regularly purchasing kit and replacing older machines with new ensures our equipment offers the latest in safety features and engine emission technology.”

January 23, 2019

BigChange makes two acquisitions

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:45 am

BigChange, a specialist in mobile workforce technology has new software and consulting capabilities with the acquisition of two businesses.

The company has acquired Labyrinth Logistics Consulting, a supply chain and logistics consultancy that provides logistics strategy, compliance and procurement consultancy, alongside a self-audit software application called SilkThread, to clients including transport and logistics businesses.

Its directors, Ruth Waring and Jo Godsmark, will join BigChange’s leadership team and spearhead a new consulting arm called BigChange Advisory Plus

The second acquisition is Trace Systems which provides fleet, garage and workshop management software to customers including plant hire and haulage companies. BigChange says this will add enhanced asset and stock management capabilities that will be integrated into its JobWatch platform. Trace was founded by Bill Davies, who is pictured, right, with BigChange’s CEO Martin Port.

JobWatch, whose hire industry users include GAP and Nixon Hire, is designed to offer a paperless way to plan, manage, schedule and track mobile workforces. It can enable personnel to manage transactions from the initial quote through to invoicing, with other functions such as CRM and stock management, reporting for drivers and engineers, and vehicle tracking.

BigChange will be exhibiting at the Executive Hire Show on 6 and 7 February at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

January 22, 2019

Vanguard and Boels sponsor cycling team

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:48 am

Vanguard Engines, a Briggs & Stratton Corporation brand, has joined forces with Boels Rental and Dolmans Landscaping as a sponsor for the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team, for the 2019 racing season.

The sponsorship is built around the shared values and principles to improve performance. The two companies say that the modern era of cycling focuses on training with power, using power meters to scientifically measure athletes’ performance for greater training productivity and improved results. Vanguard says its engines are similarly about powering professionals to get a job done, improving efficiency on the job site and maximising equipment productivity.

Taking part at the official team launch in the Netherlands, Senior Manager Marketing for Briggs & Stratton, Paul Bramhall, stated: “Sponsoring the Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is important to us as it supports our strategic collaboration with Boels Rental. The team shares the same ethos and ambitions as Vanguard – to set new standards, continually striving to be the best, and deliver winning results.”

Armand Rooyakkers, Marketing Communications Officer at Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team claimed: “Having a global commercial brand like Vanguard on board will help the team gain greater exposure in markets outside of our core European market. As Vanguard is a US brand – and we have some American and Canadian riders in the team – it can help us gain greater brand exposure in North America as well.”

Pictured from left to right are: Erwin Janssen from Dolmans, Anna van der Breggen, winner road world championships 2018, Paul Bramhall, and Pierre Boels, CEO of Boels Rental.

January 18, 2019

Plantforce Rentals acquires Hawk Plant Hinkley assets

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 4:16 pm

South-west of England based construction machinery hire company Plantforce Rentals has agreed to acquire the assets and staff from Hawk Plant (UK) Ltd associated with the Hinkley Point C project in Somerset.

Hawk Plant (UK) recently fell into administration and Plantforce has taken over the affected 100-plus machines and associated workforce situated at the site.

Plantforce, which already has 186 items of plant on the site and has worked alongside Hawk for the last four years, has agreed to take on all site-based machinery, contracts and infrastructure, in turn securing the employment of over 100 full time plant operators based in the south-west.

Claire Trott, MD of Plantforce Rentals, said, “This is a sad outcome for a company which has dominated the plant hire world for many years and a company we have very much respected. This is a strategic decision with our main priority being to secure the continued employment of the workforce on site and minimise the impact on the Hinkley Point C project.

“It has taken the last four days to secure the contract, works and staff. Plantforce’s fast reaction and ability to adapt has been key in making this deal happen but it could not have been done without the input of Peter Carney and Alastair Lomax from [law firm] TLT and all the team members from administrators EY and venture capital group BGF who have worked tirelessly through the weekend and this week to achieve what is a good outcome for all parties.”

January 17, 2019

HAE to launch National Hire Week

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 1:35 pm

To attract new recruits into the industry, HAE is to run its first National Hire Week from February 4.

Timed to coincide with the Executive Hire Show being held on 6 and 7 February at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, it aims to raise public awareness of the vital role hire plays in the UK economy and to highlight job opportunities arising from factors like an aging workforce, a potential reduction of labour from the European Union after Brexit, and the perception of a middle-aged, male dominated industry.

HAE is introducing a Skills Pledge, offering tailored training and skills development. By rolling out apprenticeships, vocational training and academic options, HAE hopes to build a coalition from the smallest hire businesses to the largest employers to focus activity around recruitment and retention in cooperation with key partners such as CITB, the Department for Work and Pensions, and the BuildUK construction organisation.

The Association’s Commercial Manager, Paul Gaze, said, “Job satisfaction and continuity is vital to build up people’s skills and knowledge, that’s why we’ve introduced the Skills Pledge which multiple employers have already signed up to. Staff turnover for some hire companies is around 25% – causing business disruption and incurring training costs. We need to attract more people on the career ladder to secure the industry’s future.”

At the Show, HAE will also hold seminars in the Jaguar Suite on the Skills Pledge, career opportunities and crime fighting, as well as promoting its SafeHire Certification scheme. Careers advisors and students can pre-book guided tours to meet members and find out more about what career opportunities are available, at www.hae.org.uk

To register to attend the Show, go to www.executivehireshow.co.uk

January 15, 2019

JCB cab factory ahead of schedule

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 6:28 pm

Construction work on the new £50m JCB Cab Systems factory is reported to be forging ahead as the company targets a summer opening.

The shell of the 350,000 sq ft plant next to JCB Heavy Products and the World Parts Centre at Uttoxeter is on course to be completed slightly ahead of schedule, ready for production line facilities to be installed from March onwards.

The investment, one of the biggest in the company’s history, will create what is described as the most advanced and productive cab facility in the world with a computer controlled production line, fully-automated painting facility and robotic welding. The new site will accommodate 400 employees, who will relocate from Rugeley.

JCB Cab Systems’ General Manager David Carver said: “A weld automation facility destined for the new factory is currently being trialled at Rugeley. A phased programme of moving production to the new site will be implemented from July onwards.”

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