While Chippindale’s annual turnover of £22m makes it a lot smaller than the £200m player that GAP has grown to become, any business that can keep going through thick and thin into a third generation of family ownership is worth appreciating.
Today Chippindale, with Wilfred’s grandsons Nigel and Peter Chippindale at the helm as joint managing directors, employs more than 120 people and has nine depots across the north of England and beyond. It provides a complete hire & sales service for plant, tools, attachments and site accommodation, representing such brands as Volvo, Bomag, Epiroc, Mecalac, Atlas Copco and Stihl.
The company attributes its longevity to three factors: customer service, family values and a pioneering attitude, not afraid to try new things. In 1972 it was one of the first UK companies to equip its entire truck fleet with radio phones, and a decade later the company went electronic, installing computers throughout – almost unheard of in 1982. Today it continues to have a close relationship with its software partners, which allows it to trial and test new functionality.
“We are delighted to celebrate our 70th anniversary,” says Nigel Chippindale. “Our main focus is always service. We are a family company, and those family values form the way we do business. Our shared goals, teamwork and our enjoyment of the challenges of running a business are what I believe has allowed us to expand successfully from a local to a regional hire & sales company. We are now looking forward to what the next 70 years will bring.”