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“Quite simply, the Show was fantastic”

Hirers visited the Show to see new products and to place orders. EHN caught up with some of them as they toured the stands, to see what was firing their enthusiasm.

One of the stands on which The Hireman’s Neil Graham (centre) and Joe Clarke did business was Euro Towers.

We bought some more stairway towers and talked to Roger Verallo and his team about making some bespoke products for us. They are one of several suppliers who have really supported hirers like us over the last few years, always being able to supply products quickly, when others have scaled back operations. We get similar support from Obart Pumps, Red Band and Brendon

Powerwashers, and it was good to catch up with them also at the Show. It was pleasing to see more compact plant suppliers than in previous years. More independents are getting into this kind of equipment - we will be adding more when we open our third depot, at Dartford, in June, which will give us much more storage space. We talked to Leach Lewis about Kubota minis and Thwaites dumpers, and they were promoting some interesting finance packages. Our Quality Manager, David Porter, attended a worthwhile Higher Concept Software seminar held in a meeting room at the Ricoh. And we will be placing an order for Western’s new battery powered Purafuel diesel filter, which was really impressive.

We caught up with Mark Shepherd of Jackson Building Centres on the Red Band stand.

The Show was excellent this year. It was a positive environment and gave 2011 a great kick start. We cemented some very strong commercial relationships with key suppliers, like Husqvarna, Leach Lewis and Fairport. We ended 2010 in a strong trading position, having exceeded our budget and this has continued into the New Year. We have started the year very well, with January exceeding budget and February forecasted to do so. We are finding strong demand for equipment as customers reduce their capital expenditure and turn to hire to supply their needs. There will also be some exciting developments within the hire business of Grafton Merchanting GB in the coming months.

” “ “

Richard Connolly (right) and colleagues from Swan Plant Hire (Dublin) attended the Show to discover new potential revenue opportunities.

A lot of people

forget that Ireland is in its third year of recession. Traditional hire markets have suffered and we have been exploring products that will open new avenues to market. We looked at lighting towers from TowerLight, ArcGen Hilta and Youngman, a product category we don’t currently offer, and we were impressed by the scissor lifts from R2 Access, as we are looking to target the facilities management segment more. We did the Show in a day, flying out of Dublin at 6.30 and getting back at night. Next year I might stay over - there's so much to see. We also appreciate the fact that the Show’s Steve McKenzie, took the time to come over and see us, and other Irish hirers, last November to tell us all about the exhibition. He welcomed us when we arrived, made sure we had all the information we needed, and we felt very well looked after. We came back from the Show with a stack of brochures to go through and feeling more positive about the future.

Banson MD, Bob Davies, and his team, pictured on the Stihl stand...

...came to see what was new at the Show and to gauge how our industry was progressing and we came away with a good impression on both counts. We’re glad we went and we’ll be back next year. We have rationalised our business, controlled our overheads and are coming through the recession in good shape to go forward again. As a result, we are looking to spend wisely. Stihl is one of our main suppliers and we are selling lots of its chainsaws at the

moment. Our customers are buying quality

equipment because it will last them. Whilst the market is still fairly flat, we’re positive for 2011.

19 ”

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