Co Antrim firms sign £13.5m deal for new trailers
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.