Mike Street, chairman of SHB, became the latest inductee to the Fleet News Hall of Fame at the FN50 dinner on Tuesday night (November 6).
Street started working in the family building business, after school and during the holidays, helping to maintain records of plant movements and sourcing hire opportunities for any equipment not being utilised.
After leaving school, he studied for an OND in Building before joining the family business full time in 1967.
A year later, he saw an opportunity to hire a Land Rover to pipeline contractors installing the Gas Pipeline network.
He had spotted a gap in the market, which led to the family business extending its interests into plant and vehicle hire.
Fifty years later, the company has gone from hiring one Land Rover to having a portfolio of 17,500 diverse assets and 830 employees at 16 depots across the UK.
It is also a major contributor to employment, with more than 60 apprentices on the books.
Customers and staff were full of praise for Street, with one colleague describing him as “reliable and genuine, with a sharp eye for an opportunity while having a memory like an elephant”. Others said he has “a can-do attitude” and is “a fount of knowledge, with outstanding experience in the engineering side of fleet”.