Truckrent contracts out
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• The Hartwell group is seeking a buyer for Truckrent's contract-hire business which operates 850 vehicles. It will wind down the operation if a buyer does not come forward.
Peter Durrant, Hartwell's commercial vehicle division managing director, says the decision has been taken to dispose of contract-hire "because we don't judge contract hire to be our core business". He says the company will concentrate on selling and servicing trucks: it holds a number of franchises which include Iveco Ford, MercedesBenz and Leyland Dd.
"We'd like to sell to safeguard jobs," says Durrant, "but if we can't, we will run it down over four or five years, for the period the vehicles are under contract." Truckrent employs a total of 28, including staff at its four remaining spotrental sites at Peterborough, Lincoln, Ipswich and Leicester. Staff at the sites are uncertain about their future: "We're being kept in the dark," one employee told Commerical Motor. Seven spot-hire depots were axed in August, making at least 20 staff redundant.
Durrant says contract hire customers "will not be let down — their contracts will be fulfilled to the letter". A sale is not expected for a while.