Hather Plant Hire is one of the largest plant hire companies in the UK and the largest in South Yorkshire. The company was formed some 35-years ago by managing director, Gary Hather, with just one machine, a JCB 3C3, where Gary used to do small jobs for local builders. Today the company is still a family run business with Gary at the helm alongside his wife Karen, son Luke and daughter Carol , and now has a fleet of more than 400 machines and 160 staff.
Based in South Yorkshire, Hather Plant Hire operates from a 22 acre industrial estate in the Rotherham Sheffield area and boasts blue chip customers including Costain, Balfour Beatty, Buckingham Construction and local authorities.
Hather Plant Hire’s relationship with Northern Ireland based Quick Hitch manufacturer, Hill Engineering, began 15-years ago. Back then Hill was a much smaller operation that it is now and founder and managing director Ian Hill, used to deliver the hitches to Hather Plant himself on a van on a Sunday afternoon! Things have moved on considerably since then and Hill is now one of the leading Quick Hitch manufacturers in GB – boasting a dominant 50%+ market share. Managing director Ian Hill still heads up the team and has maintained his strong relationship with Gary at Hather Plant.
“Ian and his team are very good to work with, Mike Roby Hill’s sales director is a great bloke! 15-years ago I bought the very first hitch Ian designed – the design has come on leaps and bounds since then – and the TEFRA quick coupler is by far the very best on the market bar none. Each of my 400 machines is fitted with a Hill hitch. I have worked with other manufacturers – but they couldn’t touch Hill from both a product and a customer service point of view.”
Gary has recently purchased a further 25 TERFA hitches from Hill in a deal worth in excess of £44k. These new TEFRA’s will be fitted on the 25 new Hyundai machines, which Hather has also just bought.
Gary said, “In 2011 we invested £400,000 in Hill Engineering – we replaced all of our existing hitches with the new TEFRA. I firmly believe that the TEFRA is the best coupler currently on the market and offers the very best in safety which is a big issue – the TEFRA is definitely the way forward and is regarded as the single most significant progression in coupler safety over the last ten years.”
Gary concluded, “If I order parts from Hill – they arrive the next day – you don’t get much better service than that! Hill produces a good solid product – we will not be moving away from that anytime soon.”
Ian Hill managing director, Hill Engineering said, “Hather Plant Hire and Hill Engineering have one of the best relationships in the business. Gary has helped to support our continued growth as a business and has been instrumental in feeding back technical improvements for our products. Its customers such as Hather Plant Hire who have unrivalled knowledge of the marketplace and they’ve played a key role in our new product development initiatives. Gary has been a Hill customer since day one and we can’t thank him enough for the continued loyalty he has shown us throughout the years.”
Hyundai’s Hather Deal…
Hather Plant purchased its first Hyundai machines from Derbyshire based dealer, EP Industries, five-years ago and now has a fleet of 45 Hyundai’s ranging from 8tonne up to 32tonne. In a recent deal with EP Industries Hather purchased 25 new Hyundai’s in a deal worth in excess of £1.3million. The new machines comprise 10 x 8tonne R80CR-9A’s, 12 x 12.5tonne R145LCR-9A’s and three x 23.5tonne R235LCR-9A’s.
Hather managing director Gary Hather said, “We were particularly looking for zero radius machines and Hyundai machines could offer this function. The Hyundai machines also come with a two-year 3000hrs warranty other manufacturers offer just 12-months. The Hyundai machines have really come on in the last five-years and you would be hard pushed to find a better machine on the market. Another advantage with the Hyundai is that they are not as complicated as other brands. They are also good value for money.”
Gary added, “We purchased all of our Hyundai machines through EP Industries and we have since established a really good relationship. When we bought our latest fleet of 25 Hyundai machines – we were confident that the machines were good – our 2011 Hyundai’s are still running very well – so we were not stepping into unknown water! EP Industries also offers an excellent service and their response time for service is very good.”
Eddie Pilsworth, managing director, EP Industries said, “We are extremely pleased that Hather Plant, being a major user of Earthmoving Equipment, have purchased more Hyundai machines for their fleet.
The continued improvements and benefits in performance and operator comfort are making the Hyundai Brand the Number one choice for major companies in the Plant Hire and Earthmoving sector.
Our customers choose the manufacturer of Quick Hitch and Buckets we fit to the machines they purchase and more and more are choosing Hill Engineering’s Tefra hitch for their Quality and Reliability.”
The new Hyundai machines and Hill’s TEFRA’s will be put to work in the Hather hire fleet. Asked if Hather have any more plans to expand the business even further? Gary said, “Our business survived the recession and we continued to be busy – once the recession passed our business went through the roof and we just got busier. We have reached a peak now and I have no plans to grow the business further. I am keen to maintain the business we have and continue to offer our customers a first class service with top class machines.”