From the Frontline: James Smith, Hireco Group MD, talks about the impact COVID-19 is having on his vehicle rental business
“On the one hand we have seen an impact on the skeletal fleet, but on the flip side pharmaceutical, food and dry freight has literally gone mad,” explained Hireco Group MD James Smith. “Stuff is flying out, and we have Christmas levels of utilisation.”
Smith said last week’s temporary closure of the MoT stations had an impact on the business. “But they came to their senses and put that extension in place, which was good,” he said.
Smith has a huge amount of praise for all of his staff, operating in such difficult conditions, but is particularly impressed with the professionalism of the servicing team – both admin staff and those out on the road.
“I’m so proud of the team out on the road, keeping the kit moving,” he said, referring to the fleet of 30 service vans and 400 key vendors. “They could easily have said we aren’t working, but they have fantastic working practices. Without those trailers being serviced, they wouldn’t be able to go out and help to keep the supermarket fleets going.”
Hireco is also doing its bit to help with setting up the makeshift COVID-19 field hospital in the ExCeL Centre in East London. “Our truck parks are being used to store the scanning equipment,” Smith explained. “It’s all hands to the pump. We have to keep the UK moving, and Hireco plays a critical part in that process.”