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Carl Garside reports that “business is steady and confidence is returning”.

The Wright way

Alan Guthrie visits Wright Hire, a busy independent in the north of England with plans for expansion.

Wright Hire currently has two depots, the head office being in Marple, near Stockport in Cheshire, and the other outlet ten miles away in Glossop, just over the border into Derbyshire. However, the business actually began trading from its founders’ house. Stella Wright and her husband, Tony, started the operation in 1978, based at their home in Marple village. Stella was able to run the company while also looking after their young son and daughter, with Tony working for an engineering firm, although he eventually joined the hire business full-time in 1979.

and includes equipment from power tools (particularly DeWalt and Makita, for which Wright Hire is a warranty repair agent) and fencing, to Youngman Boss aluminium towers, and Hanix and JCB mini excavators ranging from 1.5 to 3 tonne. There are plans to add 5 and 7 tonne machines in the near future. Powered access and lifting equipment is offered, including Genie material lifts and Power Towers compact push around scissor lifts. An extensive gardening and grounds care equipment selection is offered, such as Camon rotavators and lawn aerators, GreenMech road-tow chippers and Makita hand-held tools like brushcutters and long-reach hedge trimmers.

“Recent purchases include a petrol engined pressure washer from Midland Power, which we bought following our visit to the Executive Hire Show. It is a great machine and was out on hire the day after we received it. We saw a lot of impressive equipment at the Show, including Camon’s new C800013hp rotavator, Dustcontrol’s machines, and many low-level access products, like Lyte Ladders’ podium steps. Our visit to the Show gave us a lot of ideas, especially as we are now beginning to add to our fleet on a larger scale, after holding back last year.

The Marple head office has a large showroom displaying sales items.

Soon the growing operation moved to a shop in the high street, before re-locating to its present 10,500ft2

trading estate site in 1985,

initially as tenants and then buying the premises outright in 2000. The Wrights’ son, Terry, joined the company straight from school as an apprentice in 1988, and is now Managing Director, with Tony as Director. Stella sadly passed away three years ago.

Carl Garside joined as Marple Depot Manager in February 2009, having previously held a similar position at Speedy Hire’s branch at nearby New Mills, which was closed last year. “I knew, and had always been impressed by, the Wright Hire operation. There is a really positive, go-ahead atmosphere here,” said Carl. “The business has remained profitable during the recession, although turnover has been decimated over the last two years, with many account customers not having taken appropriate steps to adapt. However, business is steady and confidence is returning.”

The client base is diverse, including large and small building contractors, tradesmen and homeowners, with a good spread of cash and account customers. Consequently, the hire fleet is varied,


“We also carry a very wide range of consumables, particularly products from Toolpak, along with items for sale like foot pumps, bungee cords and paint brushes, so that customers can buy everything they need from one source. Someone might come in just wanting to hire a drill to make a hole in a wall, but we can provide them with all they need for an entire project, from start to finish. We take time to talk to customers and find out what work they are doing. No one walks out empty handed. We give advice and will make site visits to evaluate specific requirements. People appreciate it when you take an interest.”

The fleet includes a variety of powered access equipment.

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