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Latest industry news

May 4, 2018

Mobile Mini opens largest branch yet

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:46 am

An £800,000 investment to create Mobile Mini’s largest depot yet has followed a merger of the hirer’s existing Gravesend branch with its former facility in South Ockendon.

Mobile Mini specialises in hiring secure storage containers and portable site accommodation, and the expanded five acre site in Gravesend has been equipped with extensive workshop facility upgrades.

The new depot accommodates a team of 47 run by Branch Manager, Lisa Jones, who said, “This consolidation into one larger, better equipped site will allow us to grow the business faster, work more efficiently and is great for employee morale.”

The company has also announced the appointment of Phil Hughes as Regional Director for the south. He is pictured with Lisa Jones at the new depot.

May 2, 2018

HAE Award winners celebrate

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 9:55 am

Smiths Equipment Hire was the Winner in the category for Plant, Tool and Equipment Company of the Year with a Turnover of less than £10m in the HAE Hire Awards of Excellence 2018, presented in London last weekend.

A-Plant came out on top in the Company of the Year category for businesses with a turnover of more than £10m, and its specialist temporary access division, Live, was named as Event Hire Company of the Year.

Other winners included Hilti as Supplier of the Year, while Didcot Plant was announced as SafeHire Company of the year. Jessica Bowen of Vp/Hire Station was named as Hire Manager of the Year as well as overall Hire Achiever of the Year, and A-Plant Chief Executive Officer, Sat Dhaiwal, who retires this July, received the HAE Chairman Andy Martin’s special award for his commitment to the industry.

Pictured celebrating Smiths’ achievement, and clutching their trophy, is Joint MD Thomas Smith with his wife Mandy, flanked by fellow Joint MD David Smith (to her left) and Marketing Director David Turner, and other colleagues. Shown extreme left is Karen Greenshields, Head of Business Development & Marketing at category sponsor, GAP. The Awards were compered by BBC personality Chris Hollins, extreme right.

May 1, 2018

Stars of the Future preparations underway

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:40 am

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) will soon be hosting its annual Stars of the Future awards scheme, which rewards new entrants into the construction plant industry.

This will be the CPA’s sixth such event and will be held at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre in Fillongley, near Coventry, on Thursday 14 June.

The Association says that this year’s event will be the first time that the awards have been hosted as a stand-alone event due to rapid growth. Over 700 plant mechanic apprentices will be eligible for the CITB-supported awards, which recognise and honour their work both at college and in the field.

One event sponsor, Snap-on, will provide tool kits as prizes for winners of both national and regional categories. Companies interested in sponsoring or getting more involved with the event can contact lisa@lisacollinscommunications.co.uk or call 07968 840390.

Pictured, from left, are last year’s national winners, Adam Counihan (Level 2 winner from Stafford College/Liebherr Great Britain) and Campbell Howie (Level 3 winner from National Construction College Scotland and Muirhead Plant).

April 30, 2018

Special fencing offers Live protection

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 4:01 pm

Live Barriers reports that it helped to protect 53 world Leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London earlier this month.

Working in partnership with CLD Fencing Systems, Live Barriers, which is part of A-Plant’s Live temporary access division, deployed the StormFence system ahead of the high-security meeting, which welcomed over 2,000 delegates from all six continents.

Almost 1,000m of the fencing was installed around Green Park and The Mall. Temporary vehicle and pedestrian gates, including turnstiles, were also supplied and semi-permeable screens were attached to the system to offer privacy inside the area and key security points.

Mark Fisher, General Manager at Live Barriers said that StormFence, which uses a rigid steel mesh system, is self-supporting, prevents penetrative vandalism and withstands wind speeds of over 100mph. It has also been used at the Glastonbury Festival and by HS2 contractors.

April 27, 2018

Mather & Stuart to open tenth depot

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 11:34 am

Mather & Stuart Power Solutions, the temporary power equipment division of A-Plant, is set to open a new service centre in Norwich next month.

Director Gary Orton said the business now has a presence in most regions around the UK. “Before A-Plant acquired Mather & Stuart in 2016, we had just one branch in Wigan. Over the past two years, we have been steadily growing our national network and currently have nine service centres, from Scotland to Southampton and Aberdeen to Avonmouth.

“Launching a tenth centre in Norwich means that we are well on our way to owning a site in every region around the country,” he added.

The hirer’s fleet has more than tripled in size, from 650 generators in January 2016 to over 2,000 sets in March 2018. During this period, almost £2m has also been invested in fuel tanks and there has been a further £1m investment in distribution.

April 26, 2018

Significant GAP fleet investment

Filed under: Latest News — EHN Team @ 8:54 am

GAP has invested £10m in new excavators, dumpers and tandem rollers, to meet its requirements for the first quarter of the company’s new trading year.

The equipment comprises 0.8-tonne to 8.0-tonne excavators, 1.0-tonne to 9.0-tonne dumpers, and 80cm to 138cm tandem rollers, from suppliers including Kubota, Wacker Neuson, Thwaites and Hamm.

Head of Procurement, Ken Stewart, said, “Demand remains strong and availability of new equipment is good, with purchase orders having been placed with our valued suppliers well in advance of our April start date. We expect similar levels of investment to continue as we plan for the remainder of the financial year.”

April 24, 2018

General Welding wins Award

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

General Welding Supplies (NW) of Widnes was announced as the winner in the Best Welding Distributor category at the 2018 Welding World Awards, which took place recently in Birmingham.

“We are delighted to have won the Award,” said Valerie Allen MBE, Commercial Director at General Welding, who is pictured with Business Development Executive, Paul Cliff (left) and TV personality Eamonn Holmes, who hosted the ceremony.

“We pride ourselves in providing an excellent service to industry. To be confirmed as the best is a great achievement and a testament to our commitment and professionalism,” she added.

The Awards are open to any company associated with, and working within, the welding industry. General Welding also operates a hire division supplying items ranging from engine-driven welding machines through to pipe and plating prepping machines, as well as fume extraction equipment and positioners for different welding tasks and locations.

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.

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