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PROFILE continued

“We have concentrated on conveying that message throughout the group. Key to the success of TP Hire is getting the ‘buy-in’ of the merchant branch manager. At many locations, the hire desk will be adjacent to the merchants’ counter so that the two can interact, responding to what customers might need for the tasks they are undertaking.

Richard Dey with JCB’s Yvette Henshall-Bell at the Executive Hire Show. TP Hire has ordered more than 500 JCB minis.

“As well as investing in appropriate kit for the hire fleet, we have also ensured that we have fully trained people within the hire operation

who have a passion for this business. Our Hire Managers are service-driven.We run specific training courses covering hire operations at our head office in Northampton to ensure high standards, and we are currently expanding our learning facilities, reflecting our growth.”

TP Hire’s locations provide national coverage within a triangle extending from Helston in Cornwall, to Dover in Kent and as far north as Inverurie in Aberdeenshire, although most are concentrated in the south west and south east of England and the Midlands.

Establishing a new outlet starts when a Travis Perkins merchant manager believes that demand exists for a hire activity in that branch. More recently, the main growth has been in satellite outlets, filling gaps in the network. However, Richard Dey adds that “the number of main hire locations have been growing too, and we have budgeted for at least 13 additional openings this year.”

Most TP Hire customers are builders, tradesmen and other professionals, and the equipment fleet reflects this. “Just as they will expect to find the essential items they need at their Travis Perkins and Keyline merchant branch, so they expect a core range of equipment to be available for hire, like breakers, compaction plates and access towers, and these are offered at all our locations.


Larger, or more specialised machines, such as mini excavators and dumpers, can be fed to ‘satellites’ from the main depots. If demand is high for an item that we do not currently offer, the branch manager can ask his regional hire manager to consider purchasing it, although generally we will add equipment that we could roll out throughout the business.We re-hire certain specialist products, like powered access, accommodation and portable toilets.”

Core equipment suppliers include Hilti for breakers and drills, Belle for compaction plates and mixers, Youngman access towers and Makita power tools. JCB minis are also very popular with customers, and TP Hire last month bought no fewer than 505 new machines through dealer Watling JCB. These comprise 371 8014s and 134 Micro machines, which will replace older models in the fleet, as well as being destined for new depots. TP Hire has also just bought 120 Terex 1 tonne dumpers and 57 Gehl RD6 compact tracked dumpers from BTE.

Overall, Richard Dey is brimming with optimism for 2011. “TP Hire continues to raise its profile within Travis Perkins and we are expanding our network. We offer the right equipment in the right locations, through

people who are fully engaged with the hire business. Our central call centre, Direct Hire, based in Northampton, is also growing, with turnover last year increasing 78%.We are appointing extra staff for this activity, which gives customers another means of contacting us.We have more capital expenditure planned to further increase our fleet, and this will help us reach our goal of ensuring that any group customer has the opportunity to hire tools and equipment from us.”

TP Hire plans to increase its fleet further this year. •

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