RRS acquires, expands and recruits

6 June 2019

Portsmouth, UK-based lifting, transport and storage specialist Rapid Response Solutions (RRS) has acquired Aberdeen-based lifting and moving business Plant Shifters, a trading division of Surelift. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed.

The business will trade as RRS Plantshifters and a recruitment campaign is already underway to add to seven existing staff. The company currently operates out of two buildings on the Kirkhill Industrial Estate in Dyce, but will relocate to a larger, more modern site also in close proximity to Aberdeen Airport.

Apart from the acquisition, RRS is opening a new depot in Newcastle, bringing the total number of RRS sites to four, including an existing Midlands facility in Teddington.

Paul Barber, managing director at RRS, said the new depot will help the company to better position itself to fulfill a growing number of UK-wide contracts. RRS will locate a range of vehicles and products at the two new sites, including Hydra-Slide hydraulic skidding systems, as it continues to represent the Canadian manufacturer in the UK and Europe as international partner.

Barber said: “The new depots are all part of the strategic growth of the business. Having had a great deal of exposure through our hydraulic skidding and climbing jacks projects, along with our association with Hydra-Slide, we have been receiving bigger and more involved contracts, and needed to bring more skilled labour to the business. Finding the right labour in one location isn’t easy, so we have had to branch out to key locations to source the right staff and efficiently service our customers and future demand.”

To that end, the company’s senior leadership team has recently been expanded with the additional of a new financial controller, assistant managing director, and operations manager. Industry veteran Wayne Cryer, senior technical sales manager, has also joined to generate new business. Further aggrandisement has been achieved by creating separate business units for mechanical/electrical and storage/distribution services.

Barber said: “The two sites immediately give us far better coverage of the UK. Personnel will move between the [four] locations in line with project demands but each will continue to expand and develop a greater regional footprint in their own rights. Plant Shifters has been established for over 40 years in Aberdeen and that is history we respect and plan to leverage. The timing of the acquisition was right for all parties versus us necessarily looking to be acquisitive.”

Plant Shifters already carries a large inventory of lifting and moving equipment but RRS will be adding to that with Valla mini-cranes in addition to Hydra-Slide jacking and skidding equipment. Barber referenced the Aberdeen hotbeds of the oil, gas and wind power markets as areas of particular interest, while vehicles from the existing transport fleet can fulfill haulage and crane contracts in the region.