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Mr Plant Hire founder David Elsdon continues to invest in new plant, platforms and support vehicles.

In the right places

Nick Johnson visits Mr Plant Hire and discovers a pro-active business whose two north London locations and specialist divisions have proved very beneficial.

Travel along the Hertford Road in Enfield, north London and it is difficult to miss the bright yellow and blue signage on the premises of the distinctively named Mr Plant Hire plc. This busy high street location is good for passing trade as well as the supply of general plant and tools into the capital and surrounding counties. However, the company also scores with what it offers from its other, less obvious base, in nearby Edmonton.

At the end of 2009, Mr Plant Hire moved into the sizeable Edmonton facility that was formerly used by SGB Powered Access. Having boldly signed a 23-year lease on the premises, founder and MD David Elsdon has used it as the base for his specialist powered access and M&E (mechanical and electrical) divisions.The move served to help streamline the business and make it more efficient by operating from two locations rather than three used previously.

General Manager Tony Crawford, who looks after the powered access and M&E divisions at Edmonton, states that a major strength of Mr Plant Hire has long been its ability to supply specialist tools and equipment to M&E contractors. Its extensive portfolio for this market includes pipe bending, threading, grooving and welding machines as well as breakers, cleaners, drills, cartridge guns, impact wrenches, cable cutters, wall chasers, generators, heaters, dehumidifiers, materials handling equipment, secure storage boxes, surveying products, welders and fuel extraction equipment.

Prominent M&E equipment supplier

As much of this M&E equipment is used on site by operatives working at height, Mr Plant Hire has built up extensive stocks of access equipment, including aluminium towers and powered access platforms. Being able to provide complete packages of specialised tools (and the means to use them safely at height) has enabled it to become a major supplier to prominent M&E contractors, particularly those in heating and ventilation, working in London.

Mr Plant Hire has clearly benefited greatly from its close proximity to the Olympic Park construction site near Stratford. David Elsdon says,


“We have been very lucky with the Olympic construction projects as we are supplying a lot of good clients on these prestigious sites.” Tony Crawford adds that the company has had equipment on the main stadium site and that it is currently serving clients working on such high-profile jobs as the Athletes’ Village, the Media Centre and the nearby Westfield Stratford City shopping centre development.

Mr Plant Hire has also been able to capitalise on the significant amount of work still going on in the City of London. Its equipment has been hired to companies working on important projects like the Heron Tower in Bishopsgate and the fast rising Shard (soon to be the highest tower in Europe) on the South Bank.

Powered access platforms were first added in the late 1990s, principally to serve the M&E client base. In 1999 Mr Plant Hire had only around 30 scissor lifts but then a conscious decision was made to really expand this side of the business.

Push-around scissor pioneer One of the company’s modern fleet of delivery vehicles at the Enfield head office.

Today the powered access platform fleet comprises 300 different powered platforms, including 100 push-around scissor lifts and 130 electric scissors. David Elsdon quickly saw the potential

of the former, and his company was one of the early pioneers of this concept in the London area, with the original Pop-Up machines.

The latest push-around, low-level scissor lift additions include Power Tower Nanos supplied by Red Band UK, and Youngman Boss X3s. The company saw the Power Tower Nano at the Executive Hire Show in 2009 and it was impressed with the unit’s build quality, innovative design, lift height and compact footprint. It subsequently purchased a sizeable number of the PTN38 and PTN45 models, which provide maximum working heights of 3.8m and 4.5m respectively, with a cage capacity of 200kg.

At the other end of its powered access fleet, Mr Plant Hire has just purchased four more Niftylift HR21 4WD self-propelled boom lifts. These bi-energy access platforms provide a useful working envelope embracing a maximum working height of 20.8m and an unrestricted maximum outreach of 12.5m, with a 225kg cage capability.

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