European rental award winners announced in Paris

By Murray Pollok13 May 2013

Pierre Boels, on the left of the middle row, pictured at the European Rental Awards in 2013

Pierre Boels, on the left of the middle row, pictured at the European Rental Awards in 2013

Boels Rental won the Large Rental Company of the Year award and Irish company Dromad Hire won the Small Rental Company category at the 2013 European Rental Awards held in Paris on 15 May.

Other winners were VP plc group managing director Neil Stothard, who received the Rental Person of the Year award for 2012, and renowned US rental consultant Dan Kaplan, who won the coveted ERA/IRN Lifetime Achievement Award.

The rental product of the year award went to UK company Off Grid Energy for its Grid to Go hybrid generator.

The awards, organised by International Rental News (IRN) and the European Rental Association, were announced at a dinner at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Hotel in front of an audience of 300 rental managers and representatives from equipment manufacturers.

The judges said of Boels Rental that “2012 was a very successful year for one of Europe’s most innovative and entrepreneurial companies. Investing at a time when others are being cautious and grasping opportunities where it sees them – including acquisitions, greenfield openings, and development of its in-store DIY network."

In paying tribute to Dan Kaplan, the judges said he had helped rental companies all over the world, “small and large, in developed and developing markets, helping them with their strategies and performing operational reviews of more than 2000 rental locations.

"His book, Service Success, published in 1994, has become a bible for anyone interested in the rental business. His expertise has long been recognised in the industry.” In 2006 Mr Kaplan was inducted into the American Rental Association’s Hall of Fame.

Judges said Dromad Hire “was not a ‘wait and see’ kind of company. In an extremely difficult market they remained positive and looked for solutions. They found new markets outside of construction, including a departure into renting fitness equipment, and were successful in completely transforming the company.”

Meanwhile, Neil Stothard was chosen as rental person of the year, said the judges, “in recognition of his role in leading one of the best performing businesses in the UK - Europe’s most mature rental market - and for the company's strong performance in 2012.”

Off Grid Energy’s Grid to Go hybrid generator was described by the judges as “necessary product - we were impressed by a product that cleverly combines the benefits of lower energy use with reduced wear and tear on generators – a real double benefit for rental companies and their customers.

"We welcome the Grid to Go’s introduction to the European rental sector.”

The full list of winners and shortlisted companies is as follows:

Large Rental Company of the Year (turnover >€15m)

  • WINNER: BOELS RENTAL (Netherlands)
  • Riwal (Netherlands)
  • VP plc (UK)

Small Rental Company of the Year (turnover <€15m)

  • WINNER: DROMAD HIRE (Republic of Ireland)
  • GGR (UK)
  • Industrial Access (Romania)
  • Italnolo (Italy)
  • Storent (Latvia)

Rental Product of the Year 2012

  • WINNER: OFF GRID ENERGY - Grid to Go Generator (UK)
  • El Bjorn - TF 50 Fan Dryer (Sweden)
  • Haulotte - HT23 RTJ boom (France)
  • Himoinsa - Power Cube Generator (Spain)
  • Husqvarna - K760 Oil Guard (Sweden)

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • DAN KAPLAN, Daniel Kaplan Associates

Rental Person of the Year in 2012

  • NEIL STOTHARD, Group Managing Director, VP plc

The judges were: Gérard Déprez (president, European Rental Association), Jürgen Küspert (managing director of BBI), Jean-Marie Osdoit (president/CEO, Volvo Construction Equipment France), Kevin Parkes (CEO, Hewden) and Murray Pollok (Editor, International Rental News). The non-voting chairman of the judges was Michel Petitjean, ERA Secretary General.

See the June issue of IRN for a full report on the rental awards ceremony.

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