H.E. SERVICES From Man & Machine To Plant Empire – Hugh Edeleanu, A History.

2012 is the 40th Anniversary of H.E. Services which started when Hugh Edeleanu purchased a second hand JCB 3C whilst completing an engineering degree at Cambridge University in 1972. Driving the digger earned Hugh extra cash. However Hugh soon realised the potential for self drive excavators and expanded his fleet, initially with wheeled excavators allowed by tracked machines. Whilst H.E. Services was growing year by year, Hugh’s innovative mind started to explore different ways in which the Company could complement the plant hire business.

In 1989 Hugh realised that he could offer great value to his customers, in the form of time saving, by fitting a quick-hitch system on excavators for changing buckets and other attachments. Hugh put his engineering skills to use and designed a quick-hitch system, which was far superior to others that were on the market. The hitch was fabricated in H.E. Services’ workshops and a company called Masterhitch was formed to build and market the hitch. Masterhitch soon diversified by building new buckets and designing new attachments and is also renowned for designing and building what is arguably the strongest ram guard on the market. In 1994 Masterhitch Europe was founded to market its products and develop innovations for the construction industry. Following the success of H.E. Services open days, Hugh was aware that children have a fascination with excavators and was keen to open an adventure park where children (and adults) can drive diggers and dumpers for fun. In the spring of 2000 the first Diggerland opened in Kent at the Strood site. Visitor numbers topped 50,000 in the first year of opening and in 2001 two more Diggerland sites opened, one in Durham and the other in Devon. Diggerland Yorkshire opened in the year of 2007. When Hugh purchased the second hand JCB 3C forty years ago not only was it was the beginning of H.E. Services (Plant Hire) Ltd, which is now the UK’s largest specialist excavator hire company, offering the very best of service from a dedicated workforce, it was also the start of many other business ventures.

Hugh Edeleanu