Co Antrim firms sign £13.5m deal for new trail­ers

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - BY RACHEL MARTIN

BELFAST truck and trailer rental firm Hireco has struck a deal worth £13.5m with an­other North­ern Ire­land firm.

Toome­bridge trailer man­u­fac­turer SDC Trail­ers will com­plete the or­der for 750 new trail­ers as part of Hireco’s plans to re­place al­most a sixth of its fleet.

The first of the trail­ers are sched­uled to come off the pro­duc­tion line at the end of the month.

SDC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mark Cuskeran said the two com­pa­nies have been work­ing along­side each other for al­most 20 years.

It comes around a year af­ter the Co Antrim man­u­fac­turer was bought over by Chi­nese com­pany CIMC Ve­hi­cles for an undis­closed sum.

Hireco was es­tab­lished in 1971. The firm was bought by Pat Car­son and Ge­orge Boyd in 1991 when they ac­quired the trailer rental busi­ness.

Back then, the fleet size was 65 units and its turnover £400,000.

But to­day the group has a fleet of more than 5,000 trail­ers and a turnover in ex­cess of £25m.

The firm has un­der­gone rapid growth in re­cent years, led by an am­bi­tious growth strat­egy cou­pled with sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment in its fleet and a hi-tech cus­tomer man­age­ment IT sys­tem. Its sis­ter com­pany Ser­viceco pro­vides ser­vice, re­pair and emer­gency as­sis­tance to a wide range of cus­tomers in the haulage and lo­gis­tics in­dus­tries through­out North­ern Ire­land and the UK.

Hireco di­rec­tor Ricky Gra­ham said the com­pany is go­ing from strength to strength.

“Th­ese are very pos­i­tive times for the man­age­ment and staff at Hireco, and our sis­ter com­pany Ser­viceco,” he said. “Over the past few years we have in­vested tens of mil­lions into our busi­ness to en­sure that our fleet of trucks and trail­ers is up-to-date and in im­mac­u­late con­di­tion.

“We have en­sured, through am­bi­tious and strate­gi­cally man­aged in­vest­ment in IT and our fleet, that we are far and away the best in our field, en­sur­ing that our grow­ing ret­inue of clients across the UK are well served.

“The key to our suc­cess is pro­vid­ing flex­i­bil­ity, of­fer­ing the high­est qual­ity ser­vice pos­si­ble, and en­sur­ing that a range of dif­fer­ent op­tions is avail­able to our cus­tomers, once they de­cide that con­tract hire is the best route for­ward for them.

“For ex­am­ple, we can buy a cus­tomer’s fleet and lease it back to them in­clu­sive of main­te­nance. That’s one so­lu­tion that has worked for a lot of com­pa­nies. Our cus­tomers find that it frees up fi­nance, it’s ex­tremely tax ef­fi­cient, and it takes away a lot of ev­ery­day wor­ries and con­cerns thus pro­vid­ing peace of mind.”

Ser­viceco re­cently in­vested an es­ti­mated £750,000 in in­stalling and adapt­ing IT sys­tems to help it pro­vide a speedy and cost ef­fi­cient re­sponse to in­quiries. Its sys­tem mon­i­tors break­down call­outs and jobs all over the Bri­tish Isles, with sup­pli­ers on the ground able to use scan bar­codes on trailer units to link into the live sys­tem.

Mark Cuskeran from SDC Trail­ers

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