All the European Rental Award winners at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam.

All the European Rental Award winners at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam.

UK rental company HSS Hire won the Large Rental Company of the Year award at the European Rental Awards in Amsterdam, with Romanian company Industrial Access taking the award for the Small Rental Company of the Year.

Pierre Boels, president of Boels Verhuur, was named Rental Person of the Year and Gunnar Glifberg, the former Cramo CEO, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Other awards on the night - presented in front of an audience of over 450 people at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam - included GAP Plant (safety award), A-Plant (rental IT award for its Auto Tool Hire Unit), Ramirent (marketing award), Teletower (product of the year) and Volvo (manufacturer of the year).

The awards, jointly organised by International Rental News (IRN) magazine and the European Rental Association (ERA), took place at the Okura Hotel on Wednesday 8 June. The awards coincided with the International Rental Exhibition (IRE) and the European Rental Association's annual convention, both being held on 7-9 June in Amsterdam.

The full list of winners was as follows:

Large Rental Company of the year (turnover > €15 million)
HSS Hire (UK)

Small Rental Company of the year (turnover <€15 million)
Industrial Access (Romania)

Rental Person of the Year
Pierre Boels jr, Boels Verhuur

Lifetime Achievement Award
Gunnar Glifberg, formerly Cramo

Rental Product of the Year
Teletower Access Solutions (Teletower)

Manufacturer of the Year
Volvo CE

Rental IT Award
A-Plant (Auto Tool Hire Unit)

Rental Safety Award
GAP Group

Rental Marketing Award
Ramirent

"It was very difficult to make choices in all the categories", said Gérard Déprez, one of the five judges and president of the European Rental Association. "The European rental industry has gone through a period of crisis, and it may have looked as if companies were doing nothing, but the presentations we received demonstrate that they were working hard. They were being innovative, continuing to invest in areas such as IT, and were not sacrificing safety."

Murray Pollok, Editor of IRN magazine and also a member of the five-person judging team, said; "The judges would like to thank all the companies who took part. We had more that 80 award entries this year, which is testament to the creativity and hard work being done by European rental companies and suppliers."

The judges provided the following comments about the winners:

Small rental company of the year - Industrial Access
"Industrial Access is a pioneering, forward thinking, professional company that is highly motivated to provide a high standard of rental services."

Large rental company of the year - HSS Hire (winner)
"The renewal of an iconic tool hire company, and everything executed to a very high level in all areas - operations, safety, training, marketing."

Lifetime Achievement Award - Gunnar Glifberg
"Gunnar Glifberg deserves recognition not only for his formative role in helping to create, in Cramo, one of the most successful rental companies in Europe, but for his enormous influence in creating a professional rental service business in Europe."

Rental Person of the Year - Pierre Boels (Boels Verhuur)
"Pierre Boels richly deserves industry recognition for the continued, successful growth of the Boels Verhuur business."

Manufacturer of the Year - Volvo Construction Equipment
"Volvo takes into account the needs of rental companies in developing its products. Also, the standard of its after sales service was a major factor in awarding Volvo the manufacturer of the year accolade. 2010 was a record year for Volvo in the European rental sector."

Product of the Year - Teletower
"A truly innovative product, providing rental companies with a small access tower that is easy to rent, with very few components, little manpower required to erect it and very east to transport."

Judges said the product category was particularly well represented, with more than 30 entries, "which again demonstrates that manufacturers in Europe and elsewhere continue to pioneer the development of products for the rental market. Small companies are creating innovative new equipment and large suppliers continue to make significant improvements to established products."

IT Award - A-Plant (winner)
"A company with a track record in IT development, and still working to extend what it does."

Rental Safety Award - GAP Group
"GAP has a true and long-standing record in safety promotion, focused on products and people. It has a complete and consistent attitude towards safety, which extends to its interaction with its customers."

This category was dominated by UK companies and the judges said rental companies in the rest of Europe were not demonstrating their commitment to safety in the same way. The judges said they looked forward to more entries from continental European companies in future years. In the UK, companies have 360 degree campaigns on safety and are proud to explain what they are doing.

Marketing award - Ramirent
"A highly focused rebranding project - changing Bautas to Ramirent in Norway - that was extremely well executed, with results beyond expectations. The campaign succeeded in communicating a message but at the same time gave everyone working in the company a boost."

The Judges
The judges for the awards were as follows: Paul Burger (Board Director, Hitachi Construction Machinery Europe), Gérard Déprez (President, European Rental Association), Vesa Koivula (President/CEO, Cramo), Hendrik-Jan Molenaar (CEO, Workx), Murray Pollok (Editor, International Rental News).

The full awards shortlist was as follows:

Large Rental Company of the year (turnover > €15 million)
GAM (Spain)
GAP Group (UK)
HSS Hire (UK) - WINNER

Small Rental Company of the year (turnover <€15 million)
Industrial Access (Romania) - WINNER
Dromad Hire (Ireland)
Rentforce (Netherlands/Russia)

Rental IT Award
A-Plant - WINNER
HSS Hire
Kiloutou
Speedy Hire

Rental Marketing Award
HSS Hire
Ramirent - WINNER

Rental Safety Award
GAP Group - WINNER
Hewden
HSS Hire

Rental Product of the Year
HH-Intellitech (GlasLift 500-4)
JCB (3CX/4CX ECO backhoe loader)
MEC Aerial Platforms (Titan Boom 40-S)
Teletower Access Solutions (Teletower) - WINNER
Z-Safety Services (Z-Matic)

Manufacturer of the Year
El-Bjorn
Volvo CE - WINNER

Rental Person of the Year
Pierre Boels jr (Boels Verhuur)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Gunnar Glifberg (formerly Cramo)

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