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Briggs Equipment UK Ltd, the leading national independent service provider and materials handling equipment specialist, is to take over Yale UK’s assets and become the exclusive distributor of Yale Materials Handling’s trucks in mainland UK excluding Northern Ireland from 1 August. Briggs UK will look after Yale’s new and used truck sales in mainland UK, plus rental, contract hire, service and parts.

Richard Close, CEO of Briggs Equipment UK has been leading the negotiations over the last few months, and says the move is the start of Briggs taking the Yale brand to a new level in the UK.

Briggs Equipment UK will continue to look after CAT trucks in the UK until the end of September, when that distributorship will terminate. “We believe in looking after one brand and doing it well,” says Richard.

“Yale’s UK distribution operation was owned by the manufacturer,” Richard points out. “Briggs don’t make trucks: we are truck retail experts, first and foremost.”

The move means Briggs will become the biggest Yale dealer worldwide. Briggs has been distributing Yale in the US since 1956 and in Mexico since 1996, “but the time had to be right for us to work together in the UK,” says Richard Close. “The decision to enter into this relationship with Yale at this time was made here by the Briggs UK team. Our parent company allows us a lot of autonomy to focus on the customer.

“We officially acquire the assets of Yale UK on 1 August. From then on, we’ll be consulting staff and contacting Yale UK’s previous customers.”

All staff from the Yale UK distribution operation will transfer to Briggs Equipment UK on that date. Yale’s UK properties will remain part of Yale, including their UK factory.

Yale is a full-line industrial truck supplier, with a range covering warehouse and counter balance trucks through to 16 tonne capacity models. In a market dominated by foreign-made trucks, the vast majority of Yale trucks sold in the UK are made here.

Briggs will continue to have no involvement in the UK with Yale owner Nacco’s other materials handling brand Hyster, despite being Hyster’s national dealer in Mexico.

Briggs Equipment will run its UK Yale distribution from Briggs’ existing UK base at Cannock. The BE Fleet operation will carry on, and will offer the same service package to Yale customers.

Yale UK has two or three thousand truck contracts, from maintenance through to supply. Richard Close will be leading the changeover, supported by Mr Chris Meinecke, Briggs Equipment UK’s Chief Operating Officer, who will head up the sales and training aspects.

“It’s going to be an exciting time all round, but we’re particularly looking forward to getting our salesmen trained on the Yale trucks,” says Richard. “We’ve had an initial product presentation and saw their eyes light up.”

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