2021 European Rental Awards winners celebrate in Amsterdam

By Murray Pollok29 September 2021

Rental companies from the UK and Russia picked up the rental company accolades at the 2021 European Rental Awards dinner in Amsterdam on 29 September, while manufacturers JCB and Genie were also honoured.

At the first in-person rental awards ceremony since Madrid in 2019 - with more than 300 present - Sunbelt Rentals UK was named large rental company of the year while Vertex from Russia was small/medium rental company of the year; the first Russian company to win a European rental award.

Winners at the 2021 European Rental Awards in Amsterdam. (Photo: Maurice Vinken.)

Graham Arundell, the former CEO of Hire Association Europe, was presented with the lifetime achievement award, while Luis Angel Salas Manrique, CEO of LoxamHune, was the ERA/IRN Person of the Year.

Ardent Hire Solutions won two awards, for Best Digital Innovation and also the ERA Sustainability Committee’s Safety Innovation Award.

The Product of the year award was won by JCB for its electric Loadall telehandler, while Genie won the ERA Technical Committee Award for the work it has done to help rental companies through digitalisation.

The awards, jointly organised by International Rental News (IRN) and the European Rental Association (ERA), were held at the Postillion Hotel in Amsterdam on 29 September, with a live audience of 300 people.

Pierre Boels, ERA President, said; “It has been a great pleasure to be here with all of you in one room and feel the good atmosphere and your commitment to ERA. Thank you for this!

Delegates at the cocktail reception before the awards dinner. (Photo: Maurice Vinken.)

“I believe that we have succeeded tonight in showcasing some of the best and most professional and innovative companies and products in Europe and in giving recognition to leading figures of our industry.

“It is highly rewarding to realise how many dynamic and innovative companies we have in our industry.”

The full list of shortlisted companies and winners, together with judges’ citations, is as follows:

Small rental company of the year (<€15m revenues)

  • Vertex (Russia) - WINNER
  • Elavation Platforms (UK)
  • PSM Plant (UK)
  • Noleggio Lorini (Italy)

The judges said; “Vertex managed to grow through the pandemic in Russia and also responded to the health crisis by donating machines to help build health facilities.”

Large rental company of the year (>€15 m revenues)

  • Sunbelt Rentals (UK) - WINNER
  • Ardent Hire Solutions (UK)
  • LoxamHune (Spain)
  • WeRent (Italy)

The judges said: “In a remarkably challenging year, Sunbelt successfully managed a rebranding of its entire business and also won major contracts to provide equipment and services for 500 Covid testing facilities around the UK.”

Rental Person of the Year

Luis Angel Salas Manrique (left), CEO of LoxamHune, with Michel Petitjean, Secretary General of the ERA. (Photo: Maurice Vinken)
  • Luis Angel Salas Manrique, CEO of LoxamHune

The judges said; “His leadership has also seen the company take concrete actions on sustainability: it became the first rental business in Spain to be certified ‘climate neutral’ using climate offsetting measures approved by the UN and the Spanish government. And, not least, despite operating in a market under heavy pressure, his company performed well and was profitable.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Graham Arundell, former CEO of Hire association Europe

The judges said; “Graham’s impact since he joined HAE in 2007 has been remarkable. He strengthened the association, added services and launched a dedicated events association. He also remained committed to an open and international approach, embracing the Global Rental Alliance and supporting the ERA’s activities. We wish him well for the future.”

Rental product of the year

  • JCB – 525-60E Electric Loadall - WINNER
  • GenQuip Groundhog – Unisex solar hybrid toilet
  • Niftylift - HR15NE electric boom
  • Nixon Hire – Solar Pod
  • Trime – X-Solar Hybrid LED lighting tower

The judges: “JCB is responding to the demand from the rental market for clean, low-emissions equipment, and the new electric Loadall – as well as being an effective and productive machine - is also an important statement of intent”

Best digital innovation

  • Ardent Hire Solutions – Ardent digital platform - WINNER
  • Mollo Noleggio - Rental document digitalisation
  • Spartan Solutions – PROPHES predictive analytics
  • Sunbelt Rentals - Sunfest virtual festival
  • Trackunit – Trackunit Kin for non-powered assets
  • Zeppelin Rental - customer eProcurement interface

The judges said; “Ardent’s digital platform is a model example of a digital tool that makes life easier and more efficient for its customers.”

ERA Technical Committee Award
(Judged by ERA’s Technical Committee)

  • Genie - WINNER
  • JCB
  • Manitou
    (Note: this award is not based on submitted entries, but on committee choices.)

Sustainability Committee Award: Best Safety Innovation
(Judged by ERA’s Sustainability Committee)

  • Ardent Hire - WINNER
  • Kiloutou
  • Wacker Neuson

The ERA Sustainability Committee said: “Ardent saw the potential to use machine telematics data to promote safety, and designed an online platform to deliver the right information to the right people at the right time. An elegant system that helps everyone from machine operators to site managers.”

The judges were:

  • Pierre Boels, ERA President & CEO, Boels Rental
  • Peter Douglas, CEO, IPAF
  • Bernd Holz, Vice President Light Equipment, Ammann Group
  • Murray Pollok, Managing Editor, International Rental News
  • Dan Vorsholt, CEO, GSV Materieludlejning
  • Non-voting chair of judges: Michel Petitjean

The sponsors were:

  • Gold sponsors: Camso, Caterpillar and Perkins.
  • The cocktail reception sponsor was Hexagon Heavy Construction.
  • Silver sponsors: JLG, Ritchie Bros, Spartan Solutions, Trackunit and Volvo Construction Equipment.

More details of all the companies can be found at the awards website.

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