Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,386 pages of information and 233,852 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1954 Vibratory Roller and Plant Hire (Northern) Limited was set up to exploit the vibratory roller

1960 The company changed its name to Vibroplant and adopted the “V” logo

1973 The company was floated on the stock market, and became Vibroplant plc.

1975 Created the Airpac division, supplying high capacity air compressors for rock drilling and industrial applications, soon expanding into the oil and gas sector in the North Sea

1980 Created Shorpak, the specialist shoring division, supplying hydraulic support for trenches and other excavations.

1982 Acquired US Florida Hi-Lift Corporation, a young aerial platform rental company based in Tampa, Florida.

1991 Acquired Groundforce, Vibroplant’s biggest acquisition in the UK from SGB Group

1996 Left the American rental market, selling American Hi-Lift to Primeco for £44.6m. Acquired Cannon Tool Hire, a long-established company in the UK

1997 Following privatisation of the rail industry in the UK, Vibroplant entered the sector by the acquisition of Torrent Trackside, which specialised in the rental of rail specific portable plant and associated trackside services, in support of the UK railway infrastructure.

2000 Formed UK Forks, providing rough terrain fork lift trucks to housebuilders and construction companies throughout the UK.

2001 Renamed as Vp plc to signify the move away from general plant hire to specialist equipment rental. Established Hire Station, a national tool hire business supporting industry, construction and DIY by merging 5 regional tool hire businesses.

2004 Acquired Mechplant, Trenchshore, Eve Shorco, and Stopper Specialists. Established Piletec

2005 Acquired TPA, specialists in temporary access solutions for roadways, pedestrian walkways, bridges and pitch cover requirements. Acquired ESS Safety Services and the Dudley Vale piling equipment rental activity.

2006 Formed Airpac Bukom after the acquisition of Bukom Oilfield Services.

2007-9 Acquired MEP (press fitting) and UMole (trenchless technology).

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