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.


  • Hss.com replatformed on Brenda, extending the range of products available to online customers
  • New product verticals on Brenda platform extends our offering
  • Second year of double digit growth


  • Legal separation of ProService
  • HSS Pro platform rolled out to top 20 construction company
  • Cash live on HSS Pro POS
  • Double digit growth


  • Rollout of HSS Pro POS to colleagues
  • Move to AIM market
  • Divestment of Laois
  • Divestment of ASH
  • Refinancing completed


  • Resilience demonstrated during Covid-19
  • Network reorganisation, removing 130 locations and rolling out builders merchant format
  • Enhancements to digital offering, including rollout of click-and-collect service
  • Launch of HSS Pro POS and Vodafone Storm
  • Capital raise £53m


  • Disposal of UK Platforms completed
  • Launched HSS App
  • Launched new rehire platform in OneCall


  • Successful network reconfiguration and cost reduction programme
  • Refinancing completed. £245m new debt facilities
  • Extensive customer segmentation review complete
  • Record financial results (adjusted EBITDA = £71.3m)


  • Steve Ashmore appointed CEO
  • Comprehensive strategy review completed


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


  • HSS Hire Group plc lists on the London Stock Exchange
  • HSS acquires UK heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (“HVAC”) hire company, All Seasons Hire
  • HSS launches the hire industry’s first eCommerce website hss.com


  • HSS acquires Scottish generator hire company, Apex


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


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


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


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


  • 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


  • 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


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


  • 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


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


  • 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


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


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


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


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