05.10.2022

Maxim Lifting in administration

UK based contract lift company Maxim Lifting Services has gone into administration.

Based in Redditch near Birmingham, the company appointed an administrator on September 22nd and has struggled to pay its bills and is facing insolvency. We have requested information or a comment from the company but have so far not heard back.
The company has negligible total assets and a £123,000 negative working capital as of its February accounts.

Update: we have heard that at least some employees were not informed of the developments, and are still owed a week or two pay. We have also heard that Mark Bowen of MB Insolvency of Droitwich is the administrator.

Maxim was owned by Claire and Benjamin Holliday and started operations in 2009, registering the current company the following year. As far as we understand the company did not own its own cranes but rented cranes and equipment in from other companies to carry out its contract lifts or fulfil crane rental contracts. It offered customers a wide range of services and according to its websites counts a good number of blue chip clients, several of them providing positive references. It also uses three further trading names - Crane Hire Midlands*, Crane Hire South and Crane Hire North.

Ben Holliday set up four new companies last year, Fortis Contract Lifting, Fortis Crane and Lifting , Fortis Heavy Lift Group and Vallens Crane and Lifting, all of them are currently dormant.

If we do hear from the Hollidays or the administrator, we will of course update this item and include any comment.

*In spite of the Maxim having the name 'Crane Hire Midlands' on its website, it is owned by Dewsbury and Proud Ltd which has no connection with Maxim or the Hollidays whatsoever.

Comments

Jacko999
@Dannyyy I wholeheartedly agree, just because we differ in opinions, doesn't mean i don't like you, That's what separates constructive debate from outright Trolling.

Again 100% correct on the enjoyable debate, I like to take something from each discussion, even if I disagree with the opinion, there is always something to be learnt, Which is why I do join forums to broaden my knowledge base, It's a dangerous man that says he knows everything and doesn't listen or take things from others opinions, ESPECIALLY in the lifting industry.

Have a good day and catch you on the next debate

Oct 18, 2022

dannyyy
It looks like this comment section has veered to far from the original topic of conversation so I am not going to comment further on it.

Just want to add here that @Jacko999 I still don't agree with your opinions but I do welcome discussion and it is nice to have constructive conversations like this.

However, @Anonymous-one, even though you seem to agree with me I have to say that you really need to sort your attitude out. You seem to be treating this too much as a "who is right and who is wrong" situation which is childish. This isn't some sort of competition where there is a winner and a loser. We should all be open to hearing what others say and then we might be able to learn something new. After all, nobody knows everything and nobody is ever right about everything. If you are confident that you are right and somebody else is wrong, you should try to educate and further the discussion instead of trying to prove your point and put the other person down.

Oct 18, 2022

Jacko999
@ anonymous-one.... worst come back ever...the fish thing indicates that you have made yourself look limited on purpose..... I don't think Denzel Washington is that good an actor. Not even a half intelligent recovery.

Keep dreaming nice dreams and stop having those Ainscough Nightmares.... It gets easier as you get older and mature I promise

Oct 18, 2022

BD69
@Anonymous-one, YOU TOSSER

Oct 18, 2022

Anonymous-one
@jacko

🎣

Oct 18, 2022

Jacko999
sorry I've just Google searched "How do I listen with my keyboard" and nothing actually comes up? is that a real thing or do I add it to the rest of the nonsense you've typed

Oct 18, 2022

Jacko999
oh, and no luck needed by the way, I'm doing great.

you'd been quiet yesterday so i assume you had nipped to comet to get a new keyboard? all this keyboard warrior work must have worn the old one out.

Oct 18, 2022

Jacko999
well, there your letting your idiocy escape, I never have, nor will I ever work for Ainscough. I have listened, but as you've just proven by debasing to insults, your limited intelligence doesn't put a constructive point of view forward and stops you from understanding anything remotely constructive

Why mock someone who is actually trying to get a better understanding from people with far more experience than I have to better my knowledge? anyone can join these forums and join in and partake in educated discussions, but I'm afraid with your last child like outburst, that may not suit someone who resorts to insults because you can't bully someone's opinion round to your way of Neanderthal thinking and debating.

You really have embarrassed yourself twice with your Ainscough obsession..... is it jealousy? I for one don't think Ainscough are all that to be fair, but you seem to be threatened by them, to the point where you accuse anyone who puts points across that you can't refute, nor prove any evidence to back your own crackpot theories as "Ainscough".

Perhaps you would be better on a peppa pig forum where the mental challenge would be on a much more attainable level for you.

Oct 18, 2022

Anonymous-one
Jacko you are like a broken record old chap.

Next time you’re in a meeting with all the other “industry leaders” at Ainscough (😎) maybe you should listen with your ears and not your keyboard because your comments are embarrassing and actually highlight why people are placing orders elsewhere as the people they are dealing with haven’t got a clue what they are talking about and just spout “we are industry leaders”

Good luck old boy x

Oct 18, 2022

Jacko999
And to say they can't be compared???? The example used was an asset owning company with a Brokering company quoting much lower rates, it's a factual example so I don't get where you're struggling with the comparison..... and i've been discussing the role of the broker in all of my comments, maybe because you jumped in late on a conversation without reading all the comments?

I'll finish it here as it's like being stuck on a roundabout with no exits. same comments keep coming back with no substance.

have a great week

Oct 18, 2022

Jacko999
Thant's actually not true, it's the biggest part of the cost, which hi9ghlights that you're not talking from experience. The crane is actually the largest part of the cost from a provider point of view and that is a fact.

Oct 18, 2022

Anonymous-one
@jacko, but is the problem actually with the suppliers who are agreeing to give the broker the cranes at these rock bottom rates that they can shave 30% off??

There’s two arguments here, one, plant/crane hire brokers who do no more than handle the transaction and out the plant put on hire at a mark up

2, contract lifting companies, who plan the whole lifting operation, provide the mats, insurance, all personnel involved with the lift (sometimes up to 5 people), lifting tackle, and if fully turnkey, offer storage and transport of goods to and from the crane lift. Actually in this service (depending on the crane size) the cost/price of the crane is a relative small cost in relation to the rest of the cost of the contract lift

The conversation started about Maxim Lifting, now we are talking about brokering a 30 telehandler deal, the two are completely different and cannot be compared.

Oct 17, 2022

Jacko999
So first off, because someone actually presents a valid argument you think it doesn't make sense....very intelligent comment, was enjoying the debate till you debased your comments with a rather childish comeback because you couldnt back what you were regurgitating repeatedly.

On the comment by Dannyyy, easy to say.... but the proof is in the ever decreasing rates being seen from across the whole industry, plant, tools, cranes. I'm part of a group of industry leaders (not that i consider myself to be that, I just educate myself with the broader sector and to what is happening there) and have discussed this in length and it seems to be broadly accepted that the rise of the broker is affecting the whole industry. Whilst asset holding companies who have competed against each other for years have done so profitably, there's a massive imbalance when you are in the mix with little or nothing to lose.

If a company was hiring say telehandlers and have a long standing agreement of a rate of £450.00 a week (again, speaking from experience) and someone then offers the same kit, who is a broker, for £150.00 less per week, then the head is turned, that company then comes back and goes into a renegotiation of your existing rate to either match or beat it.... and so the cycle starts. the above example is factual and was against a portfolio of kit. If you think that you can turn to your biggest customers and say "No, we're sticking to our rate, so we'll happily wave goodbye to 40 plus machines on long term hire" then you're sadly deluded

Oct 17, 2022

Anonymous-one
@dannyyyy do you want a job pal???

😂

Oct 17, 2022

dannyyy
Jacko999 In your example, the problem still stems from asset owning firms competing against each other. The only difference here is that they are doing it indirectly because there is a broker in the middle acting as a catalyst.

It is up to the asset owning firms to put their foot down and set a rate structure that is both competitive and sustainable. If they can't do this because they are being priced out of the market by other asset owning firms then that is either because those other firms are able to be more competitive or because those other firms are pricing unsustainably (in which case they will not stay around for long).

Oct 17, 2022

Jacko999
You have every right to disagree, but your point is not strictly true, I'm talking from current experience. We have stuck to pricing with customers and quoted accordingly only for the customer to come back and inform us they have gone elsewhere then had a phone call to quote for kit for the exact same job by a broker, which we haven't supplied any cheaper than originally quoted, and all they do is ring around and play one off against the other. Also, from the horses mouth perspective, I have a friend who works as a hire manager for a broker, this is common practice and there is always someone struggling enough to put the kit on hire when told " I can get it for £££ from somewhere else".



Oct 17, 2022

Anonymous-one
@Dannyyyyyy finally someone talking some sense. Well said my man.

Oct 17, 2022

dannyyy
At the end of the day, the fact remains that there are crane hire firms out there who are making a good profit and there are those that are struggling. Why is this? As with any sector, it boils down to both internal factors and external factors. It is up to company owners to adapt and survive. Some will and some won't. This is normal in every sector and has been for all of time.

These factors can include: global pandemics, changes to taxation, competition from other 'laptop' crane hire companies and competition from other asset owning crane hire companies, and the list goes on and on.

It is too simple to argue that these asset owning crane hire companies are failing because of competition from 'laptop' crane hire companies. Relative to the size of the UK crane hire market, these 'laptop' crane hire companies have probably captured a relatively small market share and so their impact is likely inconsequential when looking at the issues faced by asset owning crane hire companies.

I think we can all agree that the root issue is with stagnant low rates. However, I would disagree that these are the result of a "race to the bottom from companies without assets or overheads". On the flipside, it is more likely a race to the bottom caused by companies WITH assets and overheads.

Many asset owning crane hire companies are competing against each other for ridiculous contracts. I have seen some quote £450/day for a 40t crane (even in this market). Then to make things worse, they send 50t and 60t cranes to site because they don't have enough 40t cranes in their fleet. It could be predatory pricing (which I doubt) or it could be desperation (most likely). The reason they are having to do this is probably simply due to a mismatch between supply and demand in the UK market. Eventually, demand might increase or enough of these firms will go bust or downsize their fleet and, assuming these cranes leave the UK, the market should return to a better state of equilibrium.

In reality though, a return to equilibrium won't be this simple. There are too many other variables involved and too many unknowns that lie around the corner. The UK crane hire market will continue to adapt and evolve. Some firms will succeed and flourish. Others will fail.

One thing I think we can all agree on is that firms like Maxim and the various Shawcross firms have all been run poorly. It is most likely the low barriers to entry (not having to purchase their own cranes) that provide these ambitious (and I use that term loosely) people with the ability to start their own business when they don't actually have the business acumen required to make it work in the long run.

However, is it fair to then state that these 'laptop' crane hire firms are all poorly run? That is definitely a sweeping generalisation. Is it also correct to say that these firms are really causing asset owning firms to fail? I think we are crediting them with too much influence over the market.

Oct 17, 2022

Anonymous-one
@jacko, sorry but I disagree. The owners of the kit have the right and ability to say yes or no any job, and dictate the price.

You have mentioned steel erectors demanding low prices, in my opinion, it is these clients driving the rates down more than the “Brokers”.

I would say by volume of cranes and £ turnover, low paying steel erectors use Many more cranes than all of the “brokers” combined.

Oct 17, 2022

Jacko999
apologies, that should read

as an example, you have a piece of kit which has a fixed cost of 20k to run, maintain and finance. so, keeping it simple, 4 week month so 5k per week if out every day, which is unlikely.
You're quoting for work for that piece of equipment and lets assume you have 80% utilisation. so your kit will be idle for just less than a week

Oct 17, 2022

Jacko999
Simple really, With a race to the bottom from companies without assets or overheads, companies can't simply walk away (although some actually have quite recently) or compete, which affects turnover and profit.

as an example, you have a piece of kit which has a fixed cost of 20k to run, maintain and finance. so, keeping it simple, 10 per week. You're quoting for work for that piece of equipment and lets assume you have 80% utilisation. so your kit will be idle for just less than a week.
this gives you a minimum target of £6250 per week to aim for.... Just to break even on the kit, that's not including man hours, unexpected breakdowns, office overheads.... So £1250.00 per day is allotted as a cost, so when you price for the job, you would need £1250.00 plus fuel, plus 8 hours minimum for your operator, Insurance etc and to add a minimum of 15% profit, which isn't a lot to expect as a business (based on tool and plant hire rates), so if we said £2000.00 to do the job.

As a broker, whom i have dealt with many, they have the ability to strip most of those costs out and tout the job around to the lowest bidder as they don't have the initial £1250.00 to cost in to the job. so for you to win that job, you either supply to the broker to maybe just cover the cost of the unit or compete with them on overall price, either way, its you with the asset that is being driven down price wise.

A simplistic but true breakdown of where the market is going, so that's just one asset, the companies that have gone recently have had a lot of kit, and it's sad to see longstanding companies from any industry being forced to close, and that's why I argue it's not through "Being Rubbish" or providing sub standard services. Although there maybe a small element to what you say regarding service, but there are factors in that, also related to costs

Oct 17, 2022

Anonymous-one
@jacko, my point was more…being in business for 20 years+ doesn’t make you more of a specialist if you haven’t moved with the times, many haven’t, lots have.

I agree with you on the prices steel erectors (and others )demand to pay on a CPA hire, they are very very low, but not sure how this is relevant to asset-less companies?



Oct 16, 2022

Jacko999
Not necessarily true, Steel erectors still EXPECT to pay rates for 40t cranes at the same prices, which are from a decade ago. Equally, there has been little or no understanding or acceptance of the cost increases across the board for service providers, Crane hire has been hit massively with the cross over to white diesel from red, In Tool hire and plant hire, there are customers who are putting out to tender for BETTER rates (cheaper) even in a climate of huge increases in tge cost of production, purchase and delivery costs., so its either compete or sink.

The statement the services delivered were worse 20 years ago than what they are today is a sweeping generalisation. to dismiss the fact that there are a lot of Brokers driving prices down to maximise THEIR margin and just claim every Crane company that has ceased trading was a rubbish company is naive at best., they have no asset costs and very low overheads and price to win. its a trend right across construction that has been growing for years and driven by the likes of Carillion, who interestingly hit the wall through doing a lot of jobs for cost, who also took a lot of other companies with them through being owed fortunes by the likes of Carillion that doesn't make them rubbish companies.

The evidence is there if it's looked for, and all of the above is also food for thought, and across a broader, more holistic overview of construction in general. there are people who still trade on the exceptional services they have provided for over 30 years, in my opinion, that kind of dismisses the "better now than then" analogy used previously, coupled with the fact that choice has always been there, so if they were bad 20 years ago, they would have gone 20 years ago surely?

I understand fully what BD69 was saying, and I agree wholeheartedly with his assessment. if I want a specialist service I would go to a specialist.

Oct 16, 2022

Anonymous-one
I think what BD69 is trying to say is, the numerous companies set up by Jamie Shawcross and his wife, are an embarrassment to the lifting industry, they cannot even do the basics correctly, that’s before we talk about them paying their bills. You can sell/buy at any price if you don’t pay ?!!!

My point is, there are really bad Contract Lifting/Laptop crane hire companies, However there are/has been equally bad/worse crane hire (equipment owners). Like all industries, the best companies (regardless of their model) will survive, the worst will fail (and probably start again)

Oct 16, 2022

Anonymous-one
@Jacko999, food for thought, a company may have been trading for a long time, however I think we would all agree that what was acceptable as a good a good service 20 years ago, may not now be considered as good

In my experience, clients are prepared to pay good money for a good service, likewise, they will only pay poor money for a poor service, you say its a race to the bottom with rates, maybe if the quality improved so would the rates?

Oct 14, 2022

Jacko999
to be fair, the recent companies had been trading for a very long time, which they wouldn't have done if they were giving bad service. What the red thumbs aren't taking into account is the move from red diesel to white diesel costs that have hit these companies as well as the rising costs of running a large yard and other support vehicles being hit by rapidly increasing diesel prices also. all things that haven't affected asset less companies who are still in a race to the bottom with price. we are in a culture of "Cheapest is best" where in my experience as an end user, definitely isn't the case

Oct 14, 2022

Anonymous-one
Having worked for both crane hire companies and contract lifting companies and having been a customer and supplier to/from both, in my opinion, the reason companies go out of business is because they simply are not good enough, ie their service is not good enough for repeat customers to keep coming back paying a fair price. Like any industry, there are good and bad players, and I guarantee some companies offer better Contract Lift service than others, regardless of whether they own the equipment or not.

Oct 13, 2022

BD69
Jacko999 - The root causes are probably hiding behind those red thumbs

Oct 13, 2022

Jacko999
I've just tried to look on here for the names mentioned below and can't find anything on here about these going to the wall...... Is it just the Crane Hire Companies that are being Headlined for hitting hard times? Seems wrong to be naming and shaming Companies that have been driving the industry and employing long term and for stuff like this is going under the radar.

Perhaps its all about the headlines rather than root causes

Oct 13, 2022

Jacko999
And I wonder how many of them listed have resurfaced again and trading under different names? it's a dangerous trend that could have serious long standing effects on this industry. The only recourse is for the end users to bypass these "LAP TOP CRANE HIRE" Services and use the suppliers. It will take something serious to happen for this to change and a drive to the bottom culture by clients, the price is low for a reason

Oct 13, 2022

BD69
I can name a few more "Laptop Crane Hires" that have entered Administration/Liquidation in the last 12 months alone ..............

EDWARDS LIFTING SERVICES LIMITED
MOBILE CRANE SERVICES LTD
ELITE CONTRACT LIFTING AND PLANT MOVEMENT LTD
CONTRACT LIFTING SOLUTIONS LIMITED

Oct 13, 2022

Jacko999
There are plenty more like it, I don't understand the ethos of using someone with no specialism for a specialist service, who has no kit to supply yet try to front to the customer they are supplying an all in one service. Would you buy a car from someone with an empty forecourt but had lots of pictures of the stuff they can get for you off someone else? I know i wouldn't. go direct to the people with the kit and the know how.

All it's doing is driving the price down with the crane companies. they will kill the industry if theres nothing done

Oct 13, 2022

HolyGrale
Why am I getting so many thumgs down, these so called crane companies are not good. They say, I've got 3 days for 50t, you swap things around and guess what, its not required after day 1.

Oct 11, 2022

DenimB
Terrible - employees were not made aware and were simply just told to leave on 6th September. Sever clients paid upfront and the services were refused. Offer to call around and make those clients aware was refused. Handled very badly and employees still waiting for pay. Took on new employees during the weeks leading up to this and one employee due to start the week after the 6th! Absolutely disgraceful way for one person to treat others.

Oct 11, 2022

Sherm
Holliday must have set up the four new companies with a lick, a spit and a promise he had money.

Oct 8, 2022

HolyGrale
Here we go, Laptop Crane Hire. Money up front or no crane.

Oct 7, 2022
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