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“Choosing the Transits was a no-brainer,” said Steve. “The vehicles are hugely successful and there is a Ford garage on virtually every street corner. Gordons are phenomenal, having refined the vehicle with the availability of various options specifically for the hire industry. The tail lift and safety rails address important Health & Safety issues. Regulations regarding working at height and manual handling apply to a hire company’s own staff, as well as its customers, and these additions mean we can ensure that we can load and unload equipment safely and efficiently.”

The new Wrightington headquarters will officially open next month.

PSL’s turnover was lost. Customers such as councils and larger contractors had to source kit quickly, and got it elsewhere.We were eventually able to retain or re-employ most of PSL’s staff, and it took us approximately four months to get business levels back to where they had been. This is a great tribute to the staff’s abilities and enthusiasm.”

Throughout 2010, One Stop Hire has been re-appraising its fleet. “A lot of the kit we inherited had seen better days.We have sold or disposed of 3,500 items and replaced most of them. Plant Director Ian Derbyshire (ex-SJS) and Operations Director Kieran Power (ex-PSL) have been busy assessing the fleet and adding to it accordingly.We visited the Executive Hire Show in February, which was a great opportunity to get re-acquainted with industry suppliers. At the exhibition we placed orders for Norton Clipper floor saws and MBW plate compactors from Seddons, and we made a lot of good contacts. Since the Show, we have bought more than 50 additional Husqvarna K760 cut-off saws, which are robust, reliable and well priced. Customer feedback about them is terrific.

“We have also added more Youngman Boss towers, which remain hugely popular.We must have about 150-200 towers sets out on hire at any given time. Essentially, we aim to offer everything needed by customers ranging from DIY users to larger contractors, being limited only by what we can tow on a trailer.We offer JCB and Ammann Yanmar mini excavators up to 1.5 tonne, and Thwaites 1 tonne high-tip dumpers.”

Enhanced transport fleet

One Stop Hire has recently enhanced its transport fleet with the addition of four new diesel Ford Transit Dropside vehicles, supplied by local dealer Gordons Ford of Bolton. They incorporate an aluminium dropside body which has been modified by PPS Commercials Ltd, and are fitted with a 500mm column tail lift, supplied by DEL Equipment (UK) Ltd. The vehicles also incorporate multiple ratchet strap points to secure loads safely, and they have built-in safety rails. Tow bars are also fitted.


One Stop Hire plans to open a second Manchester depot complementing its existing facility in Openshaw.

“Overall, there are exciting opportunities ahead,” said Steve Hitchen. “New projects are starting in our region for schools, hospital, railways and other contracts, and we have an excellent group of people in place at our depots who genuinely work for each other as a team.”

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One Stop Hire says it is continuing to expand its customer base, chiefly at the expense of national hirers, rather than other local or regional independents. “The nationals generally still seem to be reacting to the effects of the recession, closing depots and laying off staff. I know because of the number of CVs I receive from people looking for work. Many contractors are turning to us because we offer a more reliable service. They can build a rapport with our staff, from the sales team to back office personnel, whereas with a national call centre they invariably have to deal with a different person every time.We try to make it easy for people to do business with us, with the right equipment, properly serviced and readily available.”

The new Widnes depot is expected to enable One Stop Hire to target additional market segments, such as local petrochemical and engineering companies who need items such as specialist welding and power generation equipment. One Stop is keen to explore similar opportunities. There are also plans for a second Manchester depot, located to the west of the city in Trafford Park, complementing the existing Openshaw branch to the east.

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