ASHBROOK was formed back in 1998 when James Ashbrook, Managing Director, started the company.
The name Ashbrook has had a long association with pioneering Cheshire businesses. The furthest back the family have been able to trace their history is to Mr Joseph Ashbrook, a dairy farmer, located in North Cheshire in 1752. What’s more every generation since then has farmed Cheshire land.
Let’s fast forward a few hundred years to the company we know today. ASHBROOK grew from the loan of a tractor from James’ father and a lot of determination.
In the late 90’s James starting farm contracting and groundworks jobs for local business in Cheshire. In 2001, as a result of steadily building his customer base he was able to purchase the first tractor for the business; a New Holland TM135.
This new purchase was the catalyst to employing a few members of staff and starting to expand the business to take on a wider range of farm contracting and groundworks jobs.
James added his first excavator to the fleet in 2002.
From a small start with a small team, the critical factors for a good business were established; enthused staff, excellent customer service, and balanced cash flow.
The arrival of the CPA Accreditation in 2006 cemented ASHBROOKs place as a reputable plant hire company. Thus enabling us to start to compete on a wider scale with larger businesses.
The following years saw the company expand as ASHBROOK purchased a few small local plant hire competitors.
Between the years 2010 and 2013 the business took on its most high-profile groundworks jobs to date; the A5 Vicarage Road and the Wrexham Industrial Estate access road.
ASHBROOK still has a very active Groundworks division today, but now we specialise in smaller projects and agricultural work.
By 2015 the business had now reached such a size that it was possible to diversify further and establish an external specialist transport division.
Today, we are the chosen UK transport provider to many of the World’s top machinery manufacturers.
The Warrington and Bangor depots joined the business in 2016, by purchasing 2 ex-Hewden sites. All the staff were transferred, to the one ASHBROOK we now recognise.
Over the years we have expanded the hire fleet.
Today, it stands at over 3,000 machines, trailers, attachments, and site essentials to hire; quite a growth from the one loaned tractor in the late 90s.
2019 was a big year for us as we moved to purpose-built offices at our Somerford site. This was on land adjacent to the existing yard. The new offices give our staff based here a proper workspace.
The result of which allows all the divisions optimal space to work efficiently. This is both in departmental teams and also as ‘one ASHBROOK’ across the whole business.
To ensure that customer satisfaction remains high it is important that our fleet continues to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Through continual investment, we are able to guarantee this. 2019 saw us invest £10 million in new JCB machinery, allowing our customers to benefit from LiveLink technology and JCB SiTESAFE cabs.
In addition, the year also saw us take delivery of our 1,000th Caterpillar machine in August; a CAT 308 Compact Radius (CR) Next Generation Excavator. The arrival at the Congleton depot was attended by staff from Caterpillar and Finning. Whilst work at ASHBROOK was briefly suspended to surprise James with the specially liveried Next Gen machine.
The speed at which the business has accelerated from its 100th CAT in 2014 to its 1,000th in 2019 and rolled out our multi-million pound JCB fleet renewal is a testament to the hard work of Directors James and Mike Ashbrook and all the dedicated team. Consequently, ASHBROOK is an agile and ever-evolving business with our loyal customers at the centre stage.
2020 and 2021 have seen the business rise to the challenges presented by COVID-19. Similar to most companies, overnight, business practices were turned on their heads. Quick thinking and agile working were provided in abundance by the team. Through a mixture of home-working for those who could be off-site, and distance working for those who couldn’t, the team negotiated the challenges well. This has enabled the business to come through the pandemic in as strong a position as possible.
2021 also saw the sale of the Bangor depot. This strategic move has seen the business continue to grow and thrive from our Congleton and Warrington depots. From here we serve our nationwide customers with the excellent level of customer service that they expect from ASHBROOK.
Despite COVID’s best efforts to throw supply off track, in April 2021, ASHBROOK took delivery of the first CAT 315 GC Next Generation excavators to arrive in the UK. Another exciting milestone for the business. Thus, further cementing ASHBROOK’s reputation as one of the leading plant hire companies in the county.