Rollins announce New National Appointment

Rollins Group are pleased to announce that former Area Sales Manager Mick Taylor has been appointed as National Sales Manager. 

Effective from 4 January 2016 Mick will be responsible for managing the team of seven Area Sales Managers and overseeing the UK and Irish wholesale and retail markets, reporting directly to Rollins Group Sales Director, Martin Tompsett. This appointment will also see Neil Kennedy joining Rollins Group as Area Sales Manager for the North Midlands, Yorkshire and the North East. Neil comes to Rollins from TFC Engineering Services in Keighley and has extensive knowledge and experience of both the hand and power tool trades.

Rollins Group are UK distributors for a range of professional hand tool brands manufactured in America and Europe including Arrow, Bulldog,Channellock, Eklind, Estwing, Fisher, Irega, Johnson, Marshalltown, MechanixWear, Midwest, RST Tools, Wilpu, Witte and Zircon.

For more information,please contact Rollins Group on 01279 401570 or email [email protected]

A New Amtech Has Arrived

The company is seeing a change in consumer behaviour and expectations towards DIY, which is being fuelled by the new, connected world where consumers have a wealth of information at their fingertips online. This change coupled with the generational shift in DIY skills and know how, has created a new opportunity for Amtech to connect with consumers and enhance the value the brand can offer. 

The new Amtech brand and visual identity is more friendly, approachable and supportive to consumers, offering a greater level of support, advice and guidance before, during and after a purchase.

The modern packaging engages the consumer from the second they see the Amtech products at point of sale. With its ‘jump off the shelf’ standout design, engaging speech bubbles and easy to understand product benefits, the packaging helps give consumers the confidence to choose the right product for their DIY task.

After-sale, Amtech continues to engage consumers through a friendly, approachable and expert advice service – providing them with all the DIY support and know how they need throughout the life of their DIY projects. The dedicated support service is available online through Amtech’s website or consumers can choose to speak to Amtech’s DIY experts over the phone.

“Amtech continues to offer great products at great prices, now with an even more friendly and approachable support service. We’re providing Amtech retailers with the tools to engage and nurture their customers, enhancing their DIY shopping experience and building great relationships that will result in returning customers and more sales,” says Deepak Kalra, Managing Director, DK Tools.

DK Tools will be showcasing the new Amtech brand at Totally DIY in February 2016 on stand F21. Retailers can experience for themselves this new approach to DIY from Amtech, and find out more about the products and support available for them and their customers

THS Show 2015 – 40 Years to Celebrate and a New Venue

Report by Peter Brett

With 40 years of trading to celebrate, 2015 is an important year for THS. The Directors spoke of addressing the range of challenges facing the tool market with confidence. Perhaps one of the less challenging decisions was to organize the annual show at the new venue at Donington Park. The decision was, in the opinions of everyone I spoke to, a great success because it got the thumbs up for a wide range of reasons. For visitors, the warm space was welcoming and well lit and organised, with facilities like tea, coffee and snack food available on tap. There were a number of informal sitting areas where the free Wi-Fi could be accessed as well as a huge demo area for the people who just need to see the “hands-on” stuff. People like me for example!

The exhibitors also liked the venue because of its easy motorway and airport access and free and generous parking close by. But their biggest thumbs-up was for the ease and speed of access to the hall for setting up stands. A big plus, especially for those who need to get going quickly at the end of a day – October being a very busy month for shows and exhibitions.

A theme for some of the exhibitors I spoke to was how to make the best use of show days. Many had new stand designs, publicity, video demos, mini-competitions and the staples of free pens and chocolate. Successful marketing often means being able to stand out from the crowd, so they are looking at increasingly ingenious methods to do just that. However, it still seems that a really slick demo is a crowd puller and sales generator. I await the results of the post mortems with interest…

The power tool market continues to grow in double digits each year, and there were many power tool companies who had new models on display. Flex Power Tools had a range of new 18v drivers to show. Very compact and up to date, I look forward to giving them a review in ToolBUSINESS +HIRE soon.

Key news at Hitachi centred on the new site radio (see this November’s issue) and the 12v cordless driver duo.

Metabo’s big draw was its excellent range of well-priced and very capable mitre saws – all bases covered from mains to cordless. The new Lithium HD battery technology has been a phenomenal success too.

Fein had newish mains Multi-Master with reduced noise and vibration, but with the 18v cordless version now in stock, my fingers are twitching to get a test done soon. Also new, were the 12v cordless drivers (It seems to me that 12v is the new 14.4v as so many manufacturers seem to be launching new models in that segment.) 

Over at Panasonic, the new “carbon fibre” look drivers have a number of key advantages like dual battery platforms and weather sealing. In an era where choosing the best battery platform for you is key, since it will very likely ensure continued loyalty to a brand, battery flexibility makes a lot of sense.

Draper had a prominent stand as ever and with new products aplenty promised in the New Year, I am keen to get down to Draper’s demo and sales area at Chandlers Ford to get my hands dirty.

Wera always has a steady stream of new concepts to market, most of which add directly to the Wera “System” and make it easy for users to continue to buy Wera kit.

Rollins had a generous display of some very good “standard” products like Estwing Hammers and Channellock pliers that no trade can afford to ignore. But when you have used a quality hammer for example, it is very hard to ignore the shortcomings of a cheap hammer, especially if you are using it every day.

DART Tools have a similar philosophy, picking from a range of manufacturers to provide best value and quality for many users.

The brightest stand by far was Schneider’s – lit by its range of very well designed and flexible work lights. In a market driven by price it was good to see such clever functionality and bright but diffused lights.

As a dealer, one can’t afford to ignore work clothing these days, and the competition is very fierce. Brands like Dickies and JCB are well established, but the new boy on the block, Dassy from Belgium, displayed a good range of standard workwear for men, as well as a range designed to fit women perfectly - a trend that acknowledges the growing number of women in the trades.

Adhesives, paints, lubricants were also well represented. I need to find a good use for the sample cartridge of Siroflex adhesive, but since I use wipes all the time now, the Ambersil ones look like they will go straight into my site bag ready for use. Delta adhesives and silicon tapes are also high on my agenda since I always seem to have a few minor emergencies that need dealing with. And to throw a light on it all, a good torch from Coast or LED Lenser is now an absolute necessity as the clocks go back on Sunday.

Although gambling wasn’t on the menu this year, the Radisson Hotel was a spacious and gracious venue for the annual members’ and suppliers’ dinner. A relaxed event, and judging from the babble of conversation, a very friendly and chatty one too. Well done THS organisers!

For more photos of the day visit

Voice of the Industry- The moron’s guide to choosing a tradesman - Lessons learnt

Chris Barling of Powered Now fesses up.

I am a moron. I showed it the first time that I got some work done on my house. We found three random tradesmen. We got three quotes for new guttering and downpipes. We chose the cheapest (by far).

He did the work and announced that he had finished. “What about the downpipes, you haven’t done them” we queried. “That couldn’t possibly be included in the price, did anyone else quote to do them for a price near mine” was the answer. We reluctantly agreed to pay more for the downpipes and the tradesman finished the work. Three weeks later one of the gutters fell off. After weeks of chasing he returned and fixed it back up. A few weeks later it fell off again. Chalk this up to lesson one in the school of hard knocks.

This experience illustrates perfectly why 72% of homeowners use tradesmen based on personal recommendation or previous experience with them, according to the recent Powered Now survey of more than 1,000 tradesmen. The whole field is fraught with tank-traps, so we all want to find a way to navigate through safely.

My daughter and her husband recently had their house renovated. My daughter is an architect so she is in the trade, and used tradesmen that all had been recommended. Unfortunately one was a plumber who had a particular trait. That was, you could always tell where he had been as there would be at least one pool of water slowly accumulating where he had been working. Yes really. After a few such occurrences, he was sacked and someone else used to clear up the mess. So even using recommendation isn’t entirely safe.

What about the new methods of finding people online? You can simply search in Google which has all of the old problems of Yellow Pages. The alternative is to use one of the market places that are now regularly advertising on TV, like Rated People, Checkatrade or My Builder.

In fact, Powered Now’s survey of over a thousand homeowners found that 12% had used one of these market places in the last year to find a trade company, more than had used Yellow Pages, Thomson Local and local papers combined. Of those that used these services, 41% were satisfied or very satisfied, but 14% were still either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, which is around 1 in 7.

So there you have it. Use personal recommendation where you can, but still beware. If finding a tradesman by other means, be particularly careful, and maybe test them out with a small initial job. Once you have a good tradesmen, try to never lose them.

Am I still a moron? Probably, but certainly an older and a slightly wiser one.

For more information on Powered Now's invoicing mobile app,  please visit


Watco helps Shooting Star Chase at Christmas

Watco provides 180 Christmas presents for children and siblings at hospice

Godalming-based Watco, the UK’s leading manufacturer of industrial strength flooring products, is providing 180 presents this Christmas for children at Shooting Star Chase’s Guildford children’s hospice, Christopher’s. Shooting Star Chase is a leading children’s hospice charity caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families.

Watco is spending £2,500 to support this initiative. Watco marketing director Jeremy Neaves caused quite a stir when he walked into a local toy store with his company credit card and filled several trollies with presents for children of all ages up to 21 years old. The presents range from baby toys, board games to DVDs and gift cards for the older children. They are for children and siblings supported by Shooting Star Chase at its Guildford-based hospice. The Watco team spent a donut-fuelled morning wrapping the presents and colour coding the bags according to gender and age groups.

This is the launch of the Watco community scheme and the firm will have more projects to announce shortly. Other companies are invited to join this initiative by providing presents to the children at a special time of year. Anyone interested should contact [email protected]

Jeremy Neaves, Watco Marketing Director said “Shooting Star Chase does such wonderful work and we are delighted to be able to assist by providing these presents. This is the first in a series of initiatives that we will be undertaking in aid of the hospice. I have done several runs to raise money for Shooting Star Chase before and know how the incredible team there helps the children and families. ”

Geraldine Sheedy, Head of Care at Shooting Star Chase, said: “We are hugely grateful for the generosity of Watco and can’t wait to see the children’s faces when we deliver these fantastic presents this Christmas. We always aim to make Christmas extra special for the families we support and it is thanks to lovely people like Watco, we are able to give families Christmas memories they can treasure forever.”

Leading independent hirer takes over as hire association chairman


Andy Martin, Managing Director of Martin Plant Hire, is the new Chairman of HAE EHA, taking over from Adrian Watts from Hirebase. Andy leads a long established independent plant and tool hire business with 12 depots in Scotland.

Speaking about his new role, Andy said; "It is a great privilege to take on the Chairmanship of HAE EHA, working with fellow board members; the wider membership and Graham and his staff team. I want to thank Adrian for his work on behalf of the hire sector and his commitment to help drive change."

He added; "I've been impressed at how HAE EHA is directly supporting members to navigate the future for the hire sector, particularly with the Hire Convention 2015 held in Loughborough this week. I am determined to see a stronger voice for independent hirers within the association and, also HAE EHA to have better information about the sector and what we are contributing as this will strengthen our influencing and awareness activities. All in all, an exciting and full agenda ahead."

Adrian Watts, the immediate past-Chairman, who succeeds Kevin McGuinness as Honorary President, said; "I wish Andy all the best in chairing the HAE EHA Board and working with Graham in speaking up for the hire sector. I am very grateful for the support of members and the association team during my time in office and to Kevin for taking on the role as President over the past four years."


Triton Hits The Bullseye With New Darts Sponsorship

Triton Tools will be throwing its name into the eyes of millions of sports fans across the world, after unveiling a high profile sponsorship with one of darts’ most successful players ever.

Triton has stepped up to the oche by agreeing to sponsor five-times world champion Raymond van Barneveld for the whole of 2018 as the Dutchman looks to add more silverware to his bulging cabinet.

With packed arenas, huge global television audiences and darts being amongst the fastest-growing sports, representatives at Triton believe that the time has never been better to target the tungsten for a sustained period.

Claire Sweet, Global Brand Manager at Yeovil-based Triton, said: “The potential of our darts sponsorship is absolutely huge and we are thrilled to be involved with the sport.

“Triton Tools is an established and growing brand which thousands of tradesmen trust every day in their working lives. This sponsorship with Raymond van Barneveld gives us an exciting new way to connect with the people who use our precision power tools, while also giving us access to potential new customers.

“Aside from football, darts drew the biggest number of viewers on Sky Sports last year, which underlines how powerful the sport is.

“Raymond van Barneveld is a huge character within the sport and is a real favourite. He was the perfect choice for us and we’re delighted to be part of the Barney Army.”

van Barneveld took time out of his busy schedule to visit Triton’s Yeovil headquarters, where he met the company’s directors and took on staff in a fun darts challenge. Staff were given nine darts to better van Barneveld’s total with six.

With a career spanning 34 years, current world number 11 van Barneveld is five-times World Darts champion, a two-time UK Open Champion and a former winner of the Las Vegas Desert Classic, the Grand Slam of Darts and the Premier League.

van Barneveld’s 2007 World Championship final success, which saw him battle back from three sets down to beat Phil Taylor 7-6 in the sudden-death leg, was one of the greatest darts matches of all time.

van Barneveld, known as Barney, said: “I am delighted to receive the support from Triton Tools.

“It was a pleasure to visit their headquarters and to learn more about their range of precision power tools.

“I’ll be doing all I can to gain maximum exposure for Triton by winning as many tournaments as possible!”

Company that featured in last month's magazine got fast results

Greater Manchester-based company Ostia Tools featured in July/August’s edition of ToolBusiness + Hire Magazine in a profile showing how the company recycled, revamped and resold old tool equipment – alleviating waste going to landfill.

Afterwards Ostia director Antony Cox, contacted us to tell us about the hugely positive response he received from the company feature within the magazine.

He said: “The article gives a good representation of our business. I am very grateful for the opportunity you have given us by including Ostia Tools in the magazine.

“I’ve received calls from people who even saw the article a few days before we had received our copy, so it was a pleasant surprise. People were really impressed with our business idea, especially that we try to get the equipment back into the schools.

“I was even contacted by the leading suppliers of Design Technology equipment, tools & materials to schools, colleges and education.

“This enquiry was a direct result of being impressed with our company, and we have now been asked to work alongside this industry leader to remove old equipment when new equipment is installed.

"We've had a fantastic result from the article - so thanks again.”

It just shows the power of featuring or advertising in the sector's number one magazine. So if you want to make a splash via advertising or through editorial content, call us now on:
0800 690 6808.


Attracting the younger generation to careers in the tool, plant and equipment hire sector is the biggest challenge to businesses in the short to medium term says Hire Association Europe (HAE).

By raising the industry’s profile through its career programme, HAE hire leaders are aiming to counter balance an aging workforce (average age 50+) and potential skills crisis by encouraging young people to step up to the plate and equipping them with the skills needed for a sector supplying the operational resources and equipment to fulfil vital infrastructure contracts.

HAE has over 900 members across the world, including major British companies such as JCB and A-Plant, and yet hire is an industry that tends to get overlooked by young people leaving education and seeking a career path, despite the potential for a relatively quick route to the top for someone talented.

Managing Director of HAE, Graham Arundell, said: “When I’m talking to members I’m hearing that the biggest challenge facing the hire sector is recruiting and retaining young people. The education system is not turning out people with the right skill sets even for such a diverse marketplace as ours. Some members look to recruit 50-60 apprentices a year but it can be a struggle to find the right quality of individual.”

Job opportunities are wide ranging from depot managers, engineers and mechanics to customer service, IT, financial and logistics. As part of HAE’s commitment to attracting and then supporting new people in the tool, plant and equipment hire sector, the association is driving ahead with initiatives such as the Future Hirers programme - working with educational establishments - and the ILM Level 5 Graduate scheme, both aimed at 18-30-year-olds. HAE is also adapting gaming technology into award-winning (Commitment to Skills category of the Plantworx Innovation Awards 2017) virtual reality training modules.

It is hoped these initiatives will fast-track individuals on a career to reach the very top of the hire sector profession.

The hire sector is a vital component in enabling the delivery of economic activity, commercial and public, in the UK and globally. HAE members provide the resources and capability behind much public and commercial investment: in land and buildings, infrastructure, national and international events and corporate hospitality.

Mr Arundell concluded: “We are doing a lot of work on virtual reality, the spin off from this initiative is at career fairs where we have lots of young kids queuing up to have a go at it. It gives us the opportunity to engage with them and make them aware of the industry and the different career paths on offer. We have to act now to ensure that a potential skills gap will not come to fruition.”


TIMco, one of the UK’s largest independent wholesale suppliers of screws, fixings and power tools accessories, has extended their customer facing teams by welcoming five new employees including a new position for an existing member of staff; The new appointments will help TIMco serve its growing customer base and increased product ranges.

These new appointments include Alex Jones as Regional Support Manager, Rachel Edwards, Jade Seabridge & Vicky Sweeney as the Internal Sales Contacts as well as Vicky Bartlett and Amy Scott as the new Customer Services Advisors. In addition to better servicing of customers the new appointments provide opportunities for existing staff to grow, develop and progress as well as to increase the employment rate in the local area.

Alex has been promoted within the growing merchandising team and is now the Regional Sales Support Manager in charge of managing the merchandising team and providing support to the business consultants. His main role and responsibilities is coordinating TIMco’s merchandisers and ensuring all merchants are fully stocked and stores are well maintained at all times. 

Simon Rance, Sales Director of TIMco, comments: “Investing in people who are passionate about our products is essential to TIMco and intrinsic to our values. We take pride in training our staff to the highest standard so that we can pass that knowledge onto our customers and to ensure the best possible service to all of our customers across the UK.”

Rachel, Jade & Vicky have been appointed to the internal sales team where they will become dedicated internal contacts for customers in their allocated region. Having a dedicated region to support customers to a single point of contact for all their needs in order to maintain consistency and continuity for sales queries.

The customer services department has also seen growth in the department with the addition of Vicky and Amy to the team who will be responsible for handling customer queries quickly and effectively.

Simon Midwood, Managing Director of TIMco, comments: “We’re delighted to welcome our latest team members to the TIMco family and to grow our business further. These team expansions show our desire to continually build on our close working relationships with our customers by meeting their needs regarding product ranges, merchandising, customer services and sales processes as well as our commitment to employment in Cheshire.”

TIMco’s recent growth demonstrates their determination to continually provide the best possible experience for their customers no matter which touch point the customer has with TIMco. 

TIMco is head quartered in Nantwich, Cheshire, imports and supplies more than 6,000 product lines from around the world to distributors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.  The company was established in 1970 and now employs 115 members of staff from it offices in the UK, Ireland and Taiwan.  For more information, visit


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