Hire­pool Rental Ve­hi­cles

Hire­pool’s LCV fleet is di­verse and hard­work­ing, re­ports An­nie Gray.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Ve­hi­cle rental com­pany Hire­pool Ve­hi­cle Rentals has carved an im­por­tant and grow­ing niche for it­self in the light com­mer­cial rental ve­hi­cle mar­ket tak­ing care of recre­ational, busi­ness and com­mer­cial clients. And it has some pretty im­pres­sive di­ver­sity amongst its clien­tele. Hire­pool’s na­tional ve­hi­cles man­ager, Tony King, says about four and a half years ago the Hire­pool Group took over Hen­der­son Rentals in the North Is­land and Rhodes Rentals in the South Is­land re­brand­ing the merged group as Hire­pool Ve­hi­cle Rentals. It now has a fleet of al­most 900 rental ve­hi­cles in the light com­mer­cial mar­ket and is grow­ing. The Hire­pool Group also has its own in­house fleet of around 200 ve­hi­cles. The rental ve­hi­cles need to be ver­sa­tile for the many tasks they are used for. The rental fleet com­prises utes, cargo vans, mini buses, fur­ni­ture trucks, flat­deck trucks, tip­per trucks and cur­tain-side trucks. There are about 300 utes which are pri­mar­ily Toy­ota Hilux and in­clude sin­gle cab, ex­tra cab and dou­ble cab, flat­deck and canopy utes. In turn the 200 or so mini­vans and cargo vans for hire are pre­dom­i­nantly Toy­ota Hi­ace and Ford Tran­sit. The trucks, which are all Isuzu, range from two tonne to 10 tonne and in­clude mainly tippers with a mix of cur­tain­sided and flat­deck or boxed bod­ies for clients wish­ing to move fur­ni­ture. King says all the trucks have a door-lift for ease of shift­ing bulky items. As to its clien­tele, it is a di­verse cus­tomer base, says King. Through the orig­i­nal Hen­der­son Rentals busi­ness the com­pany has a strong re­la­tion­ship with the film in­dus­try and be­fore the merger the com­pany worked

on The­hob­bit films and at one stage had more than 100 ve­hi­cles rented to the film pro­duc­tion com­pany. Hire­pool also has a ma­jor gov­ern­ment ac­count with the NZ De­fence Force, and has been pro­vid­ing ve­hi­cles to the NZDF for more than seven years. King says the De­fence Force uses rental ve­hi­cles for mov­ing small num­bers of troops around and for ma­jor ex­er­cises. Hire­pool re­cently had more than 100 ve­hi­cles in­volved with South­ern Katipo 2017 which the force’s web­site says is New Zea­land’s largest mil­i­tary ex­er­cise, held ev­ery two years in dif­fer­ent re­gions of New Zea­land. The com­pany also has clients in the civil, con­struc­tion and trans­port in­dus­tries as well as a good num­ber of smaller clients. “We do cater for a mixed mar­ket, it might be peo­ple who want a 4x4 ute to go off the seal and tow with or mini­vans for groups, schools or sports teams.” There are also the fur­ni­ture re­moval trucks for week­end house moves. The wider Hire­pool Group has a 60-year his­tory in New Zea­land and has more than 70 branches na­tion­wide. Along with the ve­hi­cle rental divi­sion, it also has its ex­ten­sive gen­eral equip­ment hire divi­sion, a por­taloo and por­ta­ble hire divi­sion and an event hire divi­sion (Con­ti­nen­tal Event Hire). Re­place­ment of the rental fleet comes via a ve­hi­cle lease model and King says the fleet is get­ting younger and younger with an av­er­age age of four to five years and they are aim­ing for that to move to three to four years. Main­te­nance of the rental fleet is out­sourced to the man­u­fac­tur­ers al­though the com­pany has three in­house me­chan­ics within the rental busi­ness and the age of the fleet means they fall into the spot where the war­ranty holds un­til the three-year, or 100,000 kilo­me­tre, mark is reached. The fleet is op­er­ated by a rental ve­hi­cles pro­gramme de­signed for that mar­ket called mdrive which its man­u­fac­turer de­scribes as “a fully in­te­grated, func­tional man­age­ment sys­tem … suit­able for large or small oper­a­tions, cov­er­ing all rental ac­tiv­i­ties as well as fleet and fi­nan­cial man­age­ment func­tions”. King says the in­house ve­hi­cles run on Hire­pool’s own as­set sys­tem. A lot of the com­pany’s rentals are medium to long term or in the six-month to two-year bracket. So, is it a dif­fi­cult busi­ness to run? King had many years in the tourism rental mar­ket and says the com­pany does not have the sea­son­al­ity tourism rental ve­hi­cle busi­nesses must con­tend with. It’s very fo­cused on the do­mes­tic mar­ket and is busy 10 months of the year. Ac­ci­dents are man­aged in­ter­nally and a good per­cent­age of the large cus­tomers are self-in­sured al­though Hire­pool also helps man­age that. Health and safety is hugely im­por­tant in the wider Hire­pool group as a sec­tor of the con­struc­tion in­dus­try and with the hir­ing of tools, health and safety is al­ways para­mount. King says there are strict pro­ce­dures and pro­to­cols around all as­pects of the Hire­pool busi­nesses. All the rental utes in­clude ex­tra safety fea­tures such as fire ex­tin­guish­ers, first aid kits and bea­con points. As to elec­tric ve­hi­cles, King says they haven’t moved into the EV mar­ket as yet. The com­pany is open to look­ing at elec­tric ve­hi­cles but in the light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle mar­ket there are not many EV mod­els. How­ever, in the wider Hire­pool group elec­tric ex­ca­va­tors are start­ing to hit the mar­ket.

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