Speedy Hire and Ast Transport Branding innovate for a greener future

Speedy Hire is the UK’s leading hire provider of tool, plant and specialist equipment. Having recently undergone major expansion with the acquisition of three new businesses, we sat down with Mark Woodworth to find out more about how Ast Transport Branding has helped the innovative company keep their fleet up to speed.



Established in 1977, Speedy is a one-stop shop for all contracting needs. Offering just about every kind of building equipment known to man, Mark Woodworth, Head of Transport at Speedy, summarises the company as “Tool and equipment hire, backed up with first-class services and customer support.”


Over 40 years on and Speedy continues to grow and innovate. As well as the recent acquisition of three new business’ Lloyds British, Platform Sales and Hire and Prolift Access, the company is investing in technology for a more eco-friendly future. Meeting ever-changing customer demands means providing them with what Mark describes as “greener, meaner, leaner kit.”


Mark explains, “The building world has gone against engines overall, regardless of fuel; we are all moving more towards battery operated equipment. As our product mix has changed to reflect this, our vehicles have followed suit and that’s what we try and do with everything; we try to ensure everything we do is as green as possible.”




As part of this drive for greener technology, Speedy has been testing an all-new prototype Ford Transit plug-in electric hybrid vehicle (PHEV). “Ast Transport Branding has just done some great work for us on a pre-production vehicle that won’t be rolled out until 2019 at the earliest,” tells Mark. “There are only a small number of these vehicles that have been hand-built and we’re lucky to have one of them to test out for 12 months, with the view of putting these into our fleet longer term.”


Speedy has also devised a unique way to reduce the number of delivery vehicles on the roads: the e-Pod. The e-Pod is an unmanned, self-service hire cabin; a store of tools and equipment that allows customers access to Speedy’s hire services 24/7, without the need for a delivery service.




This forward-thinking and innovative ethos makes for a good match with Ast Transport Branding: Mark has experienced first-hand Ast’s creative approach to problem-solving. “Speedy has an annual expo and last year we were supposed to be exhibiting a truck at the transport division’s stand. We had quite a large space available last minute, leaving me with a big empty space that was going to be quite embarrassing.


“I was chatting to Mark [Aston, Managing Director of Ast] on the phone about something unrelated and happened to mention my concern. I didn’t even ask him for a solution, but a day later he rang me up and told me he had one.”


That solution was a race track for remote-controlled cars, produced by Ast specifically to fit the space on the stand. “It went down a treat, it was one of the best Speedy shows there’s been! For the full two days, I didn’t even move from the stand to look around the rest of the show, we were that busy,” exclaims Mark.




Just this year, Ast Transport Branding have wrapped 117 new vehicles for Speedy, as well as the e-Pods. Mark concludes, “I know that if I have a problem Ast can help and I know that what they do is good. They’re a great team, and they’ve never let me down.”


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