The retired gentlemen turned poets

In the past couple of weeks four veteran UK based aerial lift entrepreneurs, that have sold their business and sort of retired, met up for lunch and having chewed over the problems and issues facing the powered access rental industry in the UK, decided to put their thoughts and a plea for common sense into rhyme.

The four – are calling themselves the Retired Gentlemen being Jim Longstaff - Clements, Keith Williams - Mainline, Tim Kendall - Media Access Solutions and Tim Ward - Upward Powered Access.
From bottom left moving clockwise: Keith Williams, Tim Kendall, Jim Longstaff and Tim Ward

And here is their first poem.

The Old Boy’s Retirement Poem.

In all our years of rental, we’ve seen too much to tell
Some actions seem quite mental, as we wonder “what the hell!”
The asylum and its loony’s have come to run the show
Where logic, sense and reason, you no-longer need to know.
With equipment prices soaring, but rental rates the same
We’ve all become quite boring, as we highlight it’s inane
To try to make a living, on diminishing returns

And all you end up getting, is kicked and cut and burned.
“A life in hire” we hear you say, “you must be very proud”?
In truth we’re not, no not at all, as we scream and shout aloud
We all began young men, all fresh and keen and bright
But didn’t know what lay in store, of our industry delights
To truly miss the old days, where the rental game was fun

And we could still enjoy a laugh, once all the work was done
But now it seems quite draining, and a daily bitter fight
Us dinosaurs remaining, who will slowly fade from sight
We’re out of touch and out of time, as the young bucks move ahead
we no longer wish to fall in line, or fill our days with dread
Of rental rates dissolving, to a lousy, paltry figure
with national players resolving, to destroy the game with vigour
Gobby spiv’s who’re full of bluff, but have no business brain
can’t understand to win the race, that margins must remain
So please heed what we’re preaching, as we’re shunted to a siding
It’s profit we’re beseeching, and turnover we’re deriding

To realise that at the end, it’s down to this small slice
a molten pearl of wisdom, so please heed this great advice:

Or you could end up like us four, all bitter, cynical Grumpy Gents
A fiver here a tenner there, you’ll be amazed at what this can do
What you’re asking is quite fair, for a service great where credit’s due
There will be parts of this we’ll miss, as we depart and blow a kiss
Think old Chums and be quite bold, please heed this poem and what we’ve told
Us four Old Friends will enjoy the view and raise a glass as there’s nothing new
In the rental game, (where we’ll soon be forgotten) which has seemingly become a race to the bottom.

Tim, Keith, Tim & Jim.


Harry Sharp
Probably a very good summary of the current state of the MEWP rental industry and plant hire in general. The reason must be the market is saturated - basic economics of supply and demand at work. But this problem is not unique to plant hire only. Think of how budget airlines have turned the more established airlines on their heads. Ditto hotels. Demand for anything these days is no longer based on loyalty, goodwill, customer service etc. It is based on price.

May 18, 2024