15 October 2020
Generators with the distinctive yellow livery of Aberdeen-based Genny Hire have remained highly visible at locations across Scotland as the company has continued to supply customers during the pandemic.
As Director Lorna Clark tells me, the business serves a very broad customer base and this enables it to any adapt to any downturns there may be in particular markets, such as there are currently surrounding events.
“Not having all our eggs in one basket was part of our ethos when Genny Hire was established in 2008,” says Lorna. She co-founded the operation with her late partner and co-director, Peter Emslie, who sadly passed away last year. “And we’ve always maintained a policy of never saying no.”
Customers range from oil and gas contractors and related services based in Aberdeen, marine businesses, fish processors, renewable energy installers and farmers. This takes Genny Hire’s delivery drivers as far afield as Glasgow, Dundee and Orkney.
The hire fleet is correspondingly comprehensive, ranging from 15kVA to 1250kVA generators. The smallest machines are Shindaiwa PowerCenter 15 units, which Lorna describes as “fantastic workhorses” and are frequently hired out to North Sea supply vessels in Aberdeen and Peterhead to power dockside security cabins.
Machines of 100kVA and greater are typically sourced from Himoinsa.
The fleet also includes X-Eco LED lighting towers from Trime UK, as well as ancillary equipment like fuel tanks and bowsers, distribution boards and cabling. More specialised items are also offered, such as power supplies for ROV underwater survey robots, high-voltage 690V transformers for oil rig applications, and motor generator sets for the clean power supplies required by sensitive equipment.
Genny Hire’s service was interrupted only briefly by the lockdown back in March. “Initially, I was working from home at the kitchen table and just waiting for the phone to ring or an email to arrive,” says Lorna. “But soon more and more sites started to re-open.
“We kept some staff on standby throughout to support boats and rigs in the North Sea which never stopped working, and then more customers began asking to hire generators, so we were soon all back in the office.
New premises during lockdown
Remarkably, the business also moved to new premises on a business park close to Aberdeen’s major western bypass. “Everything just aligned at the right moment. “We had been in negotiations for a new yard at the end of last year but that fell through. One Sunday during the lockdown, I noticed a small announcement on Facebook about other premises for sale. I drove over to look at them, phoned the landlord on Monday and did a ‘virtual handshake’ on the deal on Tuesday.”
Genny Hire’s former location had originally been a blacksmith’s yard – called The Old Smiddy – and the company had outgrown it. The new facility offers considerably more space, has excellent transport links and is close to many existing and potential clients.
“Many of our customers take the equipment to various sites they are working at throughout Scotland,” says Lorna, “and it really pleases me when I see a picture on social media of a project taken by a contractor, with our distinctive machines on their lorry, at a dockside or on an oil rig.”
So next time you see a bright yellow generator at a site north of the border, you’ll know whose it probably is.