Executive Hire Show exhibitors report buoyant UK market

By Belinda Smart11 February 2022

The outlook for the UK construction equipment rental market is optimistic, according to exhibitors at the UK’s Executive Hire Show (EHS), which took place on 9 and 10 February 2022, at Coventry Building Society Arena (CBS Arena).

Exhibitors told IRN strong demand in the UK market was driven primarily by requirements for low carbon emissions equipment.

Sunbelt Rentals UK and Shindaiwa UK announcing a deal for Sunbelt’s purchase of 100 Shindawa hybrid welder generators. Pictured at left: Andy Munford, Managing Director, Shindaiwa UK. (Photo: IRN).

Underlying drivers also included a steady stream of projects, including housing and major infrastructure projects such as the HS2 high speed rail initiative.

Most exhibitors described supply chain delays as an ongoing challenge, but indicated these were being “managed” and would ease towards the end of 2022 and early 2023.

They also described the atmosphere at EHS as buoyant, driven by strong market sentiment and pent-up demand following the postponement of last year’s EHS.

Sunbelt Rentals UK and equipment supplier Shindaiwa UK used day one of last week’s show to announce a deal between the two companies.

Sunbelt has purchased 100 Shindaiwa Eco Hybrid 300 welder generator machines, which offer 60% reduced fuel consumption and 50% reduced CO2 emissions.

The machine is described as the first hybrid welder generator in the UK, and features “ultra-silent” operation.

The announcement was made from the Shindaiwa stand, which was part of the Part of the ‘Innovation Trail: Eco’ feature, a showcase for low emissions technology.

Andy Munford, Managing Director of Shindaiwa UK, told IRN the UK market was “very strong.”

“Last year was a record year by far for us, despite the pandemic, and that was largely due to Stage V and the push towards emissions reduction. We expect 2022 to be a bumper year, and 2023 too.”

JCB was also on the Innovation Trail, exhibiting its fully electric range, including the 525-60E Electric Loadall, 19C-1E Electric mini-excavator with Cab; and 1TE Electric Site Dumper.

“We’re seeing new customers visiting the stand who are very interested in the electric range,” Paul Williams, General Manager - National Accounts at JCB, told IRN.

“There’s been a significant bounce back in business since the first lockdown in the UK, when we had to close factories.”

Meanwhile, Walid Hussein, National Tool Hire Manager at Hilti GB, described the show as the “best to date” attributing this to pent-up demand following the postponement of the 2021 show.

JCB’s stand at EHS showcased its electric machinery range. (Photo: IRN).

Hilti was showcasing the Jaibot semi-autonomous drilling robot to the UK market and its recently launched Hilti Nuron battery technology for cordless handheld functionality and larger tools and equipment.

“Last year was our best to date in the UK in terms of sales to rental companies, and we expect this year to be equally strong,” he said. “Firms are very interested in tools that meet Stage V requirements.”

In aerial work platforms, Sinoboom UK’s stand was showcasing the fully electric range for the European market including the ML10EJ platform, and the 1932ME scissor lift.

Julie Houston Smyth, Sinoboom UK & Ireland manager, told IRN business in the UK was solid, although supply would remain a challenge for the medium-term.

Parts procurement was “a constantly moving target” she said, although the company’s stock of machinery held at its storage facilities in The Netherlands (Rotterdam) had helped mitigate supply issues.

EHS 2022 featured over 150 exhibitors, including over 40 first-time exhibitors.

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