WITH THE COLLAPSE OF THE HEWDEN STUART GROUP, LEEDS-BASED RYDAM UNIVERSAL, TACKLED THE COLOSSAL LOGISTICS CHALLENGE OF GETTING THE GROUP’S ENORMOUS CRANE FLEET, ALONG WITH A MASS OF OTHER EQUIPMENT, TO THE SITE OF THE AUCTION. IN DOING SO RYDAM SCOOPED PROJECT OF THE YEAR AT THE HEAVIES. THE SHEER SCALE AND COMPLEXITY OF THE TASK, COMBINED WITH THE UNIQUE NATURE OF THE PROJECT MADE IT A WORTHY WINNER. BOB BEECH REPORTS.
PHOTOGRAPHY: CRAIG PUSEY
DRONE IMAGERY: WILL SELBY PROJECT
One of the major events in the construction plant and crane hire sector in 2016, was the financial collapse and subsequent closure of the Hewden Stuart Group, a major player with a huge fleet of equipment operating from a nationwide network of depots. The company had grown over the previous decades, by both organic expansion and the acquisition of other companies, for a period of time the group had been owned by the Finning Group, one of the world’s major franchised Caterpillar equipment dealers. The group was sold to Sun Capital Partners, an investment company based offshore and had been struggling under a mountain of debt, owing in the region of £190 million to various banks.