Warren founder retires
14 December 2018
Warren Access has marked the end of its 25th year in business, as company founder Derek Warren steps down.
It was 1993 when Warren launched the UK-based company along with his son Graeme. The company now has 12 employees, an extensive hire fleet of van and truck mounts, tracked platforms, scissors and self-propelled booms, two depots and a range of training courses.
how it began
Warren left school at 15 and jumped straight into the world of work, taking up a role as cost clerk with the National Coal Board Group Offices in the town of Blyth. Ever ambitious and wanting more in terms of career progression, he swiftly moved into the construction industry to a plant hire company, initially as cost clerk before transferring to the hire department and becoming a hire representative.
From there, Warren was headhunted by Leslie Marshall, a director of an ambitious company called Marshall Branson, where he stayed for 28 years, ending up as general manager of the Plant and Access Division. It was all change in 1993, however, when he was made redundant along with other managers.
At the age of 53, this was a real blow, though it didn’t take long for Warren to find his feet again. With the backing and help of his family and taking inspiration from a business course that emphasised the importance of ‘sticking to what you know’, Derek turned his redundancy into an opportunity and founded Warren Access. With all his industry contacts, he got off to a strong start, acquiring two second-hand Acklift van mounted platforms, which went straight out on hire with the local government council. He then built the fleet up to 12 vehicles over the next few years.
Warren Access growth
In 2005, having been approached about a takeover and tempted with the idea of retirement, Warren opened discussions with his son and daughter-in-law, Graeme and Michelle, who, after a bit of juggling and house moving, joined the business full-time, at which point it became Warren Access Limited.
A rebrand wasn’t far behind, and neither was the website, which was launched in 2007. In 2008, the much-in-demand Multitel MX270 was added to the fleet, quickly followed with the 20m Mutlitel MX200 in 2009. It was also in this year that Warren Access became an accredited IPAF training centre.
The company and fleet continued to grow over the next few years, with the addition of more Multitels, a tracked platform and a 33m Ruthman. The first full-time member of staff joined the team in 2010 and, in 2013, the Huntingdon depot opened, though the company has recently said goodbye to that building and moved into bigger premises.
2018: An exciting year
Not only did 2018 mark 25 years in business, but Warren finally giving into the lure of retirement after 13 years of threatening it. The business is now in the capable hands of the younger generation of Warren’s. When asked what he made of the news, Derek’s son Graeme commented, “Our business has been built on looking after clients with honesty and integrity. That’s not going to change, even though Derek has now retired. We wish Derek a happy retirement; he really deserves it, he’s worked so hard to build this company with the right priorities. Our customers and their safety always come first, and we’ll continue to run the business with the same ethos. I’m sure Derek will still pop in now and again, just to check up on us.”