Hire industry excellence rewarded at gala awards ceremony

THE winners of this year’s Hire Association Europe Event Hire Association (HAE EHA) Hire Awards of Excellence have been announced at a gala event in London.

The Grosvenor House was the location for the awards ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of hire and supply companies across the UK’s plant, tool, equipment and event hire industries.

HAE EHA CEO Paul Gaze said on the night, “People really are our greatest asset, and it is important that as a sector we work together to help promote careers and look for a much wider and broader range of candidates.”

This year’s host was former Royal Marine and elite sporting team coach, Scotty Mills.

The first accolade of the evening was for the Outstanding Contribution to Hire Award. Asif Latief, MD of Boels Rental, took the applause and the award for his work in championing improvements to the way the hire industry tackles mental health.

The Young Apprentice of the Year and Apprentice of the Year categories were won by Harry Watts of HSS Hire and David Smith of Vp Brandon Hire Station, respectively.

Chairman of HAE EHA, Neil Bravery, said, “Our industry, with the support from your association, is committed to reducing its carbon output as part of the overall government initiative towards net zero. We all know we have a very long way to go as the diesel engine for example is heavily utilised but, as an industry, we are slowly starting to see change within our fleets; with battery technology progressing at a fast pace making corded machines very much a thing of the past. Will battery technology really be the way forward for heavy plant or will hydrogen be the fuel of the future? Who knows, perhaps the answers are in this room.

“The transitional cost to hirers switching to a greener fleet can be an additional 40% so, without government support, being able to meet these targets as a hirer will be almost impossible. The good news, however, is the government has made a commitment in this year’s budget to talk to the construction industry which in real terms will affect the hire sector. It’s a start, we have a way to go. Let’s hope that the government recognises the support our sector so desperately needs.”

Paul Gaze explained what the association has done to make a difference on members’ behalf over the last year. “We have increased the support in Hire Certification Services and we continue to deliver a range of accreditations such as SafeHire, SSIP and HITS,” he said. “Through our public affairs work led by Mark Bradshaw we lobbied and worked with government agencies and bodies, getting hire and rental classified as essential retail using the various covid lockdown guides. Mark works with the Home Office and represents members’ interests on the various groups seeking to reduce fraud and theft in the sector, liaising with the Police and other agencies.

“As an association we have engaged with new partners to deliver valued services to members. This includes utilities, commercial finance, a legal support helpline, business sales and crucially insurance. The work we have undertaken in developing the HAE EHA Insurance Service offer through Towergate Insurance Brokers has been transformational. The breadth of support on offer is making a real difference, allowing our members to focus on what they do best to support their clients and customers.”

The full list of this year’s award winners is as follows:

Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by CITB: David Smith, Vp Brandon Hire Station

Best Use of New Media, sponsored by Executive Hire Show: HSE

Converted Hire Achiever of the Year: Oscar Norman, Sunbelt Rentals

Digital Catalogue of the Year, sponsored by Snorkel UK: HSS Hire

Diversity & Inclusion Initiative, sponsored by Stallard Kane: Boels Rental

Hire Achiever of the Year, sponsored by Point of Rental Software: Oscar Norman, Sunbelt Rentals

Hire Manager of the Year, sponsored by HireTrain: Boyd Crombie, Vp Brandon Hire Station

Hire Industry Product of the Year, sponsored by Worldpay from FIS: Niftylift, HeightRider 17 All-Electric

Hire Industry Supplier of the Year, sponsored by The Hire Exchange: Point of Rental Software

SafeHire Plant, Tool & Equipment Hire Company of the Year Turnover under £10m, sponsored by The Hire Exchange: PSM Plant & Tool Hire Centres

SafeHire Plant, Tool & Equipment Hire Company of the Year Turnover over £10m, sponsored by HAE Insurance Services: Carrier Rental Systems

SafeHire Event Hire Company of the Year, sponsored by Hire Certification Services: Sunbelt Rentals

Sustainability & CSR Initiative, sponsored by SRL Traffic Systems: Garic

Website of the Year, sponsored by JCB Sales: Vp Brandon Hire Station

Workshop Manager of the Year, sponsored by PSM Plant & Tool Hire Centres: Oscar Norman, Sunbelt Rentals

Young Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by SSIP: Harry Watts, HSS Hire