Ardent Hire Solutions shares its commitment to transforming rental practices industry-wide 

As a leader in the equipment rental industry, Ardent Hire Solutions Ltd (Ardent) is a multi-category specialist. With a fleet boasting an impressive 5000 machines, the company offers a comprehensive range of equipment for hire. Operating from ten strategically located rental depots, Ardent provides extensive coverage across the UK. By embracing digital solutions, the company streamlines the rental process and ensures a seamless experience for its customers. Placing a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction, Ardent goes above and beyond to meet the diverse needs of its clientele. Jeremy Fish, CEO, provides a brief account of the company’s history.

Data driven
“Ardent’s journey began in 2015 through the merger of two esteemed family-owned businesses that were acquired by Searchlight Capital and Duke Street Private Equity. Whilst continuing to operate under the original company names, Ardent underwent a consolidation phase. Since then, our trajectory has been one of transformation, propelling us to become a leading multi-category equipment hire specialist. Our distinguishing factors include a strong emphasis on digitalisation, sustainability, and delivering exceptional customer service. Informed by analytics and data, every decision we make is grounded in our commitment to being a data-driven company,” he begins.

Cutting-edge technology
Ardent caters to diverse industry needs, from housebuilding, construction and infrastructure projects to industrial applications. “Our portfolio includes a wide selection of telehandlers ranging from four-to-20 metres, excavators spanning 1.5-to-21 tons, dumpers covering three-to-nine tons, and rollers ranging from 80 centimetres to 19 tons. To keep up with the latest advancements, we have recently expanded our fleet to include electric and hybrid Niftylift booms, offering heights of 12-to-28 metres. In addition, we have invested in cutting-edge technology such as solar-hybrid generators and our latest product innovation, Fuel-IT; a solution that enhances fuel management and efficiency for equipment and machinery. By integrating advanced technology, Fuel-IT allows for real-time monitoring of fuel consumption, enabling better control and optimisation of fuel usage,” he adds.

Jeremy explains the functionalities of Ardent’s Fuel-IT in further detail. “Fuel-IT is an innovative smart fuel tank management system we developed with our partners. This technology-driven solution revolutionises the accountability and transparency of fuel dispersals at job sites. By enabling users to allocate fuel dispersals to specific assets, Fuel-IT ensures full liability, significantly reducing fuel losses and discouraging pilfering. The system incorporates advanced tamper alerts to enhance security and prevent unauthorised fuel dispersals, bolstering overall control. Moreover, Fuel-IT features an advanced analytics tool that identifies and rectifies fuel usage anomalies, contributing to optimal efficiency. The system also offers comprehensive carbon reporting at both the group and asset levels, facilitating environmental sustainability efforts.

Cost-saving innovation
“The development of Fuel-IT was prompted by changes in red diesel taxation, which raised concerns among our customers regarding escalating costs and unaccounted-for fuel. Since its implementation, we have witnessed Fuel-IT’s impressive benefits. For instance, a job site in Greater Manchester experienced a remarkable 50 per cent reduction in fuel usage. In the West Midlands, a site managed to curtail weekend fuel losses amounting to £3000 through enhanced control and accountability. Another one of our customers was erroneously invoiced for 500 litres of fuel, despite only receiving a delivery of 460 litres. Thanks to the accurate monitoring and allocation capabilities of Fuel-IT, this discrepancy was identified and rectified. Furthermore, another customer effectively utilises our system to refill their company vehicles by allocating fuel dispersals based on specific registration plates. This practice is saving the client £0.20 per litre compared to pump prices. Additionally, the system’s low fuel level alerts empower a customer to source the best fuel prices, saving £0.05 per litre by avoiding last-minute premium purchases when tanks run dry. These tangible benefits highlight the efficiency and cost-saving advantages of implementing Fuel-IT in fuel management operations,” he enlightens.

Sustainable practices
Fuel-IT exemplifies Ardent’s commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction. To address the environmental impact of its own operations, Ardent has developed a comprehensive carbon strategy to minimise its carbon footprint. “We recognise the urgent need to combat climate change and have implemented various initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainability. One key aspect of our carbon strategy is the integration of eco-friendly equipment into our rental fleet. As part of our fleet renewal programme, we have invested £100 million in the latest construction equipment which is around 30 per cent more fuel efficient than the older models they replace. This not only delivers real sustainability for our clients, thanks to improved fuel economy, but also cuts our own carbon footprint by reducing the number of maintenance visits required. We also guarantee that all machines in our fleet are Tier 4i rated, to comply with the very latest environmental regulations. By providing customers with access to greener alternatives, we encourage the adoption of sustainable practices in the construction and industrial sectors. Likewise, we have heavily invested in a new transport fleet that meets the latest European emission standards. This includes six new tri-axle step-frame trailers, featuring innovative fold-forward ramps that reduce drag, which have cut fuel consumption for our delivery vehicles by over 15 per cent.

“Part of our investment goes towards working with several suppliers who share our vision of reducing our carbon footprint in every area of our organisation. One such supplier is JCB, with whom we are working directly in the development of new fuel-efficient products. As their largest customer in Europe, we are using our buying power to encourage this major manufacturer to focus on sustainability, so that we can deliver this to the national hire market. On the side of that collaboration, we also ask all our suppliers to minimise single use plastics in their packaging, and our intention is to eliminate these completely from our supply chain by 2025,” Jeremy informs.

Looking to the future, Jeremy shares his outlook for the business as we head into 2024. “My vision for the company involves embracing digital solutions, placing a greater emphasis on sustainable products, and expanding the Fuel-IT business. These strategic directions are driven by the belief that our solutions are helping customers to improve productivity, lower operating costs, and mitigate risks. Central to our approach is the utilisation of data. In the current environment, where many customers are facing financial challenges, we assist them in saving money not by simply reducing the hire price by a few pounds, but by optimising their equipment usage,” he concludes.

Ardent is well-positioned to transform equipment rental practices industry-wide through its commitment to innovation, sustainability leadership, and empowering customers with data-driven solutions. By continuously improving efficiencies, reducing environmental impacts, and providing an unparalleled customer experience, Ardent is poised to maintain its position at the forefront of the sector for years to come.