Our history Our history

Our History

HSS is the UK’s original tool and equipment hire company. We’ve come a long way since we were founded in 1957 – here are a few of the key milestones.

2016

  • HSS opens its National Distribution and Engineering Centre (‘NDEC’) in Cowley, Oxfordshire

2015

  • HSS Hire Group plc lists on the London Stock Exchange
  • HSS acquires UK heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (“HVAC”) hire company, All Seasons Hire

2014

  • HSS acquires Scottish generator hire company, Apex

2013

  • HSS acquires equipment maintenance providers, TecServ
  • HSS acquires powered access specialists, UK Platforms
  • New Training Academy opens

2012

  • HSS acquires generator specialists, Abird
  • Wins HAE Hire Company of the Year award
  • HSS was acquired by Exponent Private Equity

2011

  • New operating platform roll out completed
  • Wins ERA European Hire Company of the Year award

2010

  • HSS acquired rail safety training specialists, MTR Training
  • Achieves OHSAS18001
  • Wins awards from both the HAE and European Rental Association

2009

  • HSS LiveHire, the revolutionary online management system is launched
  • Achieves ISO14001
  • Wins Hire Company of the Year awards from both the HAE and Contract Journal

2007

  • 3i sells HSS Hire to Och-Ziff Capital Management and Aurigo
  • New business plan in place focused on network optimisation, operational efficiency, key account growth and customer-focused culture

2006

  • Chris Davies appointed CEO

2005

  • Awarded Safe-HIRE quality mark by the HAE
  • Acquisition of Laois Hire

2004

  • 3i venture capital backed management buy-in from Davis Service Group completed
  • Event Hire division and German operations sold
  • Purchase of A1 Hire & Sales in Bournemouth
  • Pioneers ‘one stop shop strategy’ to consolidate equipment

2000’s

  • Launch of specialist divisions including HSS Safe & Sure and HSS Hire Weld
  • New services launched: Training, One-Call and Work shops

1990’s

  • International expansion with franchise agreements in Greece, Spain, Holland, Norway, Italy & Middle East
  • First Irish Branch Opened (Belfast)
  • HSS Acquired by Davis Service Group plc
  • HSS Rental Stores opened in the USA
  • Growth drive sees 25 Hire Shops and 11 Lift and Shift depots opened in UK

1980’s

  • Specialist divisions established, including HSS Event Hire and HSS Lift & Shift

1970’s

  • Expansion continues outside of London, including branches in Birmingham, Southampton, Cardiff and Manchester

1960’s

  • The Hire Service Company & Hire Shops Ltd merge to become Hire Service Shops Ltd

1957

  • Bert Taylor opens Britain’s first dedicated tool & equipment hire shop which is soon named The Hire Services Company