Energy management specialist Hoppecke Industrial Batteries has won a major contract valued at £1million from leading forklift truck distributor Briggs Equipment to supply batteries and chargers for the company's short-term hire (STH) fleet.
Briggs Equipment is the exclusive UK distributor for the Hyster and Yale ranges of forklift trucks and a variety of other materials handling equipment. Hoppecke - the leader in industrial battery systems and the largest battery manufacturer in European ownership - has been awarded the status of approved supplier to deliver and service hundreds of trak \ air batteries and high-frequency trak \ power premium chargers.
In all, Briggs is taking 600 batteries and chargers from Hoppecke with the aim of renting units to cope with seasonal or emergency peaks in demand and changing work patterns.
Briggs Equipment has been expanding its STH fleet - around 5,000 machines are in operation at any one time - with a particular focus on next-day delivery so that where customers have an urgent requirement, such as a critical deadline or a truck unexpectedly being out of commission, they can be back up to their full quota within 24 hours.
Having previously invested around £70m in the development of its dedicated hire fleet, Briggs has this year injected a further £10.8m to address growing demand for the short-term rental of equipment. This trend has been most obvious at airports, in the construction industry and in event management, including small shows, exhibitions and concerts. Briggs also believes that uncertainty around Brexit is causing some companies to choose to rent equipment as and when they need it.
Another influential factor is more stringent safety laws, which leads to additional trucks being required as equipment is allocated to specific tasks. At the same time, Briggs attributes investment in its electric forklift fleet to the fact that businesses are becoming more environmentally conscious, particularly those involved in indoor operations and warehousing.
Jason Howlett, Hoppecke's Regional Managing Director - Northern Europe, says: "We've always had a really close and strong relationship with Briggs Equipment and this contract is the latest in a highly successful partnership. Short-term forklift truck rental is becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons and we are delighted to support Briggs' rapidly growing share of this vitally important market."