Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 19 September 2018
DIY SOS family

Tonight (Wednesday 19th September), the BBC is showing a re-run of a DIY SOS episode from July 2017, where they built a new home for the Ratcliffe family on the Isle of Sheppey. The Hireman donated some equipment to this build to help with a life-changing transformation of their home. We went to the Big Reveal last year, and at the time wrote about the day and the emotion of the occasion. To go along with the episode re-run here’s the full post again:

If you saw last night’s DIY SOS, you will know that the Ratcliffes are an amazing family. Garry and Kyle have four adopted children, each with very complex and life-limiting medical conditions. Their existing house was a cramped three-bedroom bungalow with one bathroom. Initially when they adopted Hayden and Curtis this was manageable but they were then asked to temporarily foster Isobella and Phoebe. When Garry and Kyle learnt that the sisters were to be separated, with Phoebe likely to be adopted and Isobella left in care, they couldn’t bear the thought and decided to adopt both girls to keep them together.

DIY SOS family
The Ratcliffe family

The existing house was no longer suitable and desperately needed serious work, but four children with complex needs made this a difficult barrier to overcome. Not only could the family not afford the renovations but the time it would take would have a serious impact on the family. This is where the DIY SOS Big Build team came in.

The job in hand was no small task as the plan was to demolish the Ratcliffe’s existing house and then build a home from scratch in just nine days. On meeting with the DIY SOS team, we were immediately convinced this was something we would want to help with. We agreed a list of equipment that would be needed, coordinated our deliveries with their team and left the build in the hands of the committed tradesmen and ‘purple shirts’.

The Big Build Van!

However, things change quickly in TV land! The initial equipment list was soon out of the window and a much larger list of equipment was requested. With all due credit, our depots reacted swiftly sourcing the requirements and dispatched everything on time.

The day of the Big Reveal arrived and we travelled down to the Isle of Sheppey to be part of the ‘Big Reveal’. This was quite exciting as on our first visit the house had already been demolished, but now there stood an impressive modern home – and this had all happened in the space of just over a week! Along with 200+ other trades people, we waited in a ‘glamorous’ field up the road from the Ratcliffe’s new home while the DIY SOS team filmed the family’s reaction to first entering the house and being given a tour of their new home. Some of the ‘purple shirts’ were on hand to keep the crowd entertained while signing autographs and posing for photos. The final aspect of the filming is the part where the family meet the builders, and it’s true to say that the emotion you see on TV is genuine and there is a real sense of community spirit and a proud sense of achievement from the tradesmen and suppliers.

DIY SOS house
A new home in just nine days

Nick Knowles made a poignant comment to the gathered volunteers which wasn’t televised: TV often shows the worst of the building industry through programmes like Rogue Traders and Cowboy Builders, meaning a few bad apples shape the public perception of our industry. Programmes like DIY SOS show how amazing the building industry is, when companies come together from across the country to work 20 hours a day, provide equipment, supplies and materials, all for free, to benefit a family that really needs the support. It does make you proud to be part of an industry that is capable of such goodwill and camaraderie, and we are proud to have done our bit to help the Ratcliffes.

We also donated equipment to a second, very emotional, DIY SOS episode which aired earlier in 2018. This time it was rebuilding the home of PC Kris Aves, who was seriously injured in the Westminster Bridge terror attack. Read more about that episode.

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

The Hireman goes south

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 6 June 2018
The Hireman Croydon South London

We’re delighted to announce the opening of our new south London depot in Croydon. This is our fourth depot in London and is well placed to improve the speed, regularity and range of our deliveries, while also allowing us to hold even more stock. It’s going to help us boost our service out to towns like Maidstone and Guildford, and even as far as coastal towns like Brighton.

As well as expanding our service, the south London depot means our central London depot will be free to focus on the highly congested central London area. In turn the new south depot will be able to service sites in the south faster and twice a day if required. Our west and east depots will be able to better service areas outside of London. These depots already go out as far as Reading, Milton Keynes, Cambridge and Colchester, and they’ll be able to do it more regularly now. There’s also another accredited training centre which gives you more options to choose from when signing up for PASMA training. There’s even space inside to erect towers on rainy days.

the hireman tool hire coverage
The Hireman’s coverage area

There is a real push on development in Croydon, as part of a £5.2bn regeneration programme. We think it’s a great place to be based as the area undergoes big changes, and we know many of you will be involved in building projects across south London in the months and years ahead. Having a depot in the area means we’ll be able to support you along the way.

Some familiar faces will be running the depot, most notably Nick Goodwin who has been with The Hireman since 2014 and will be the depot manager. Many of you will know Nick, who started his Hireman life as a driver but quickly moved up the ranks to hire controller at our central depot, and we’re delighted he’ll be running things out of south London.

Nick knows all the ins and outs of The Hireman having experienced all aspects of the business. His drive matches up well with our mentality, “I’ve been supported throughout my career here, and we’re all pushed to achieve our ambitions. We’re not just a number at The Hireman, as Bruce and Neil make sure to get to know all members of staff. This creates a really good working environment”.

The Hireman Croydon South London
The Hireman south team (L-R): Ben, Sam, Nick, Tim, Mick, Andy and Matt

That personal touch is a crucial part of our service and we look forward to bringing it to even more sites than ever before.

Find Us

If you want to pop in, the new depot is based at:

Unit 4, 681 Mitcham Road,



Or you can contact Nick and the team:

Telephone: 020 3848 4140

Email: [email protected]

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

GDPR update

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 30 May 2018

We would like to inform our customers that The Hireman is compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that come in to effect on 25th May 2018.

When you created an account with us you would have given us aspects of your personal data which we hold on our systems. We use the data you provided to process orders, respond to enquiries as well as for marketing purposes.

You can read our full privacy policy here –

Your Rights

You have the right to:

  • Request access to the personal data we hold about you (there may be a £10 administration fee per request)
  • Request the correction of your personal data when incorrect, out of date or incomplete
  • Request that we stop using your personal data for direct marketing
  • Change your mind and withdraw consent for us to use your personal data

In the event that The Hireman refuses your request under rights of access, we will provide you with a reason as to why, which you have the right to legally challenge.

In cases where we are processing your individual data on the basis of our legitimate interest, you can request that we stop for reasons connected to your individual situation. We must then do so unless we have a legitimate overriding reason to continue processing your personal data.

Accessing Data

To access what personal data is held, identification will be required. The Hireman will accept the following forms of ID for access to your personal data: a copy of your driving licence, passport, birth certificate and a utility bill not older than three months. A minimum of one piece of photographic ID listed above and a supporting document is required. If The Hireman is dissatisfied with the quality, further information may be sought before personal data can be released.

All requests should be made to [email protected].

Or write to:

Data Protection Officer

The Hireman (London) Ltd, 156 Abbey Street, London, SE1 3NR

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

Teaching tech

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 18 December 2017

Picture the scene – you are back in school, it’s Friday afternoon, the last Friday before the Christmas holiday, and you have guest speaker coming to talk to you about something to do with computers…

This is the situation I found myself in as I stood at the front of a classroom starting to fill with students shuffling in from the cold. “Hello, Paul”, shouted one cheeky student, as I remembered that my name was emblazoned on the first page of my PowerPoint behind me. “Over to you, sir”, smiled a teacher as she ushered the last of the restless students in to their seats – gulp!

I was at Coopers School in Chislehurst after agreeing to talk to Year 13 students (upper 6th in old money) about how IT is used in business. The Year 13s were also joined by Year 11 students (5th year) looking to take ICT or Computer Science as an A-level option. My plan was to provide the students with an overview of how we employ various aspects of IT in our business as a means to inspire them in their future choices.


After introducing myself and giving a brief overview of what The Hireman does, I set about breaking the students’ syllabus down into real world applications. The first part of my talk was about networks.

Within moments I realised that I had pitched my Multi-Protocol Label Switching analogy a bit too high for the students’ current level of understanding. So with some on-the-fly rejigging I engaged them with a Packet-tracing exercise to demonstrate how business networks operate compared to their home broadband network.

From here on the students settled in to the pace of the presentation and were spurred on by the odd reward of a “The Hireman” pen for well-answered questions. I demonstrated how we track our vehicles, and manage our stock database, as well as covering areas such as social media, software, websites and emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Automation. All key factors which will impact them when they join the workforce in a few years’ time.

As I moved from slide to slide I was impressed with the students’ enthusiasm for the digital world. For what can be quite a dry subject, I was pleasantly surprised by their innate understanding of what can be abstract theories when it comes to websites and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and the relationships we may have with Artificial Intelligence in the future. It’s easy to forget that this is a generation that has grown up with smart devices and high-speed internet and they are truly switched on to the fast changing world around them.

I was also pleased (and relieved!) at how friendly and polite all of the students were. It isn’t easy coming in as an outsider to talk to 30+ students (and staff) but they made me feel very welcome. I hope that the students got something out of my presentation and that they will see IT as a vital element to any role they will have in the future. Who knows, I may have been talking to the next Mark Zuckerberg.

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

ToolTrak: Driver tracking service

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 28 November 2017

ToolTrak is The Hireman’s new driver tracking service. We began rolling ToolTrak out in September and over the past month it has been in use across all our depots.

Feedback on this service has been universally positive from our customers, as well as from our hire controllers and depot managers. The service allows our customers to leave anonymous feedback and we are pleased to see an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 since the service was launched.

How does it work?

Once the driver is en-route you’ll receive a text from us giving you an ETA and a link to track the driver’s progress.

Clicking on the link opens a map on your mobile device with the driver’s location and his ETA. From here you can follow the driver’s progress as well as having access to information about the driver and vehicle.

ToolTrak benefits

ToolTrak benefits our customers and hire controllers. Just a few of the benefits include:

  • Quick turnaround – Knowing when our drivers will be there means you can get the kit ready for collection or be there for it as soon as it arrives
  • Poor mobile reception – We know that a mobile signal can be difficult to get on site. Even if you don’t have a strong enough signal to track the delivery, you should still receive the text ETA notification
  • Site contacts – It’s important that the right person gets the ToolTrak notification, that’s why you can specify a site contact rather than the notification going to buyers, project managers, directors etc
  • Efficiency and planningToolTrak allows us to plan out routes much more effectively, reducing journey times and making sure we can complete more jobs every day
  • Free & easy – There is no need to download an app and no sign-up required. We will automatically send a notification text to whoever is nominated as a site contact

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!

The all new Ecolift

Author Greg.Reygate Calendar 3 August 2017

Introducing the Ecolift, new to our fleet this summer. The Ecolift is a sister to our popular Pecolift manual access tower. Offering a working height of up to 4.2m, the Ecolift operates without the need for a battery or any power source.

For the full specification you can visit, or alternatively see our full range of access equipment at

Just step onto the platform and lift yourself up with the handle. There are no steps or podiums, significantly reducing the risk of slips, trips or falls. The platform is enclosed, meaning the user is always safe and secure, fully guarded from the ground up. An additional safety feature is an ‘auto-lok’ brake during elevation.

ecolift manual access platform

It takes just 15 seconds for the tower to extend to its full height and it can be used 24/7 with unlimited lift cycles. Combined with its robust design, these features make the Ecolift a cheap, low-maintenance option that can provide years of trouble free service with minimal operational costs.

Not only is it simple to use, but the Ecolift is compact and easy to move around, with a footprint small enough to fit through standard doorways.

Key features of the Ecolift include:

  • Safe Working Load – 150kg
  • Closed dimensions (mm): 128 x 70 x 194
  • Basket dimensions (mm): 850 x 644

If you're interested in setting up an account, all you need to do is pop an email over to [email protected] and we'll do the rest!