The Hire Awards of Excellence were held within the newly refurbished Ballroom of the luxurious Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s prestigious Park Lane on Saturday 22nd April. Organised by Hire Association Europe and Event Hire Association (HAE EHA), the awards represent the best in the industry for plant, tool, hire and event equipment. Both national and independent companies and individuals were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the hire industry.

The evening began with an opening speech from HAE EHA managing director Graham Arundell who announced that the association had recently received an award of its own – The Innovation Award for commitment to Skills and Training. Presented by Plantworx it recognised HAE EHA’s commitment to innovation, following the development of Virtual Reality for Health & Safety training. The state-of-the-art technology opens a host of opportunities for the hire industry and its client base. Richard Whiting, HAE EHA’s commercial manager who has been driving the project with partners UWE was welcomed to the stage and presented with the award.

Once the guests had enjoyed a sumptuous three course banquet and fine wines, HAE EHA chairman and managing director of Martin Plant Hire, Andy Martin delivered a rousing speech on the evening. Commenting on how delighted he was that HAE EHA, as an association, is a good news story even in uncertain times. Citing its recent award win, once again, and the highly successful roll-out of SafeHire as two items that had brought particular cheer. He then went on to mention that the HAE EHA Convention, as a key date on the calendar, was something else to look forward with its theme ‘Connect, Discover, Learn’. He also presented the HAE EHA Chairman’s Award to Rob Worrell, CEO of Jelf Insurance and the brains behind HireGuard, an insurance scheme that protects HAE EHA members and paid out over £6m since 2001.

Well-known broadcaster and journalist Steph McGovern, best known for her work as business presenter on BBC Breakfast then took to the stage to host the awards presentation. Winners on the night included many of the UK’s leading hire companies, along with several independents from the construction and event industry with 16 awards presented in total. With a record number of entries in most categories this year, the judges faced some difficult decisions when pulling the evidence together and selecting the winners.

The full list of the Hire Awards of Excellence 2017 winners are:

  • HAE EHA Chairman’s Award, Winner – Rob Worrell
  • Catalogue of the Year – Hard Copy – Hire Station
  • Catalogue of the Year – Electronic Version – Smiths Hire
  • Website of the Year – Smiths Hire
  • Best Use of New Media – Morris Site Machinery
  • Construction Industry Product of the Year – Datatag ID for MicroCESAR
  • Event Industry Product of the Year – Site Equip for Shabby Chic
  • Supplier of the Year – Seddon Plant & Engineers Ltd
  • Plant, Tool & Equipment Hire Company of the Year (up to £10m turnover) – Miles Hire
  • Plant, Tool & Equipment Hire Company of the Year (over £10m turnover) – A-Plant
  • Event Equipment Hire Company of the Year – Plato Catering Hire
  • SafeHire Company of the Year – PSM Plant & Tool Hire Centres
  • Apprentice of the Year – Kieran McCreery, GAP Hire Solutions
  • Workshop Manager of the Year – Chris Ball, GAP Hire Solutions
  • Hire Manager of the Year – Billy-Jo Davies, AFI Uplift
  • Hire Achiever of the Year – Chris Ball, GAP Hire Solutions


Taking home two awards on the evening for Catalogue of the Year – Electronic Version and Website of the Year was the North West’s leading independent hirer, Smiths Hire. David Turner, marketing director for Smiths Hire commented: “Thank you so much for a fabulous evening, the atmosphere was electric and the whole event was very well put together. The choice of Steph McGovern as guest speaker was insightful and she set the tone perfectly, very entertaining and a lovely person too. The team at Smiths Hire are very proud of these awards, particularly as it reflects the level of commitment we have made over the last twelve months to embrace our digital future and ensure our website supports our customers on the move, so they can make some better-informed judgments about fleet and services. We will proudly be telling the world about our win.”

Tim Tilbrook, operations manager of Miles Hire was delighted to take home the award for Plant, Tool & Equipment Hire Company of the Year (up to £10m turnover) he said: “I would like to thank you and your team for a great awards function this year. We have always been proud members of the HAE EHA and with our new SafeHire Certification and now a big win for us at the awards, we are more dedicated than ever to promote HAE within South Wales and hope we can assist HAE in having a greater presence in our region.”

Commenting on the success of the awards Graham Arundell, managing director of HAE EHA said: “Once again, the Hire Awards of Excellence proved to be a fantastic evening and gave us the opportunity to come together as an association and an industry to applaud our collective success. As always, we were delighted with the support we received from our membership. The return to the venue after 5 years was a great success, the newly refurbished Ballroom at the Grosvenor House Hotel, with its square proportions, gave us the perfect space. The awards were established to recognise best practice in the hire and event industry and it was particularly pleasing to see some of the industry’s independent hirers amongst the winners on the night.”

Category sponsors on the night included FT Solutions, Seaward Group, Stand Out Magazine, Plant & Civil Engineer, Arcotherm, MCS Rental Software, JCB Sales, HAE Insurance Services, The Showman’s Show, PASMA, CITB, HireTrain, STILL GB and Point of Rental Software. PSM Plant & Tool Hire sponsored the pre-dinner drinks reception and Rouse Services sponsored the stage. Whilst the impressive lighting and sound was sponsored and supplied by Vision Events. Allen’s Catering Hire provided an LED bar and furniture for the Ballroom Balcony and Ballroom Foyer.

Congratulations to all the Hire Awards Winners, High Commendations and Finalists. And, a big thank you to everyone who joined us on Saturday evening to celebrate the excellence throughout the hire industry and once again many thanks to all of our sponsors – we hope to see you all again in 2018!