05th August 2021
Meet Steve Jackson
Branch Manager HYDRAQUIP Hose & Hydraulics Portsmouth
It all started with a phone call to Duncan MacBain at Hydraquip Hose & Hydraulics in early 2011. I had moved away from hydraulics after completing an apprenticeship with a local firm based in Redhill, Surrey and I was eager to find a role with a progressive company which offered a career path. I reached out to Duncan after seeing a role available in their newly acquired repair centre in Redhill, the same centre in which I had served my apprenticeship.
In my early twenties with a young family in tow, I had a desire to forge a long term career. As I spoke to Duncan, I hoped this would be the opportunity that I was looking for. In September 2011 I was hired as the Branch Manager for the Hydraquip Repair centre in Redhill, tasked with looking after the influx of work generated by the current customer base, as well as our network of hydraulic depots across the South East of England. During my time in Redhill, I got the opportunity to work on some interesting projects across a plethora of industry, from logistics, plant hire, waste management to airport handling equipment. Although there was a lot of regular work, we would often see something for the first time and as anyone in the engineering industry can confirm, this is the challenge that keeps us coming back for more.
I had spent 6 years managing the Hydraquip repair centre when I was offered the Branch Manager role at Hydraquip Crawley, a fully operational hydraulic trade counter along with several hydraulic engineers operating from the branch. I’ll admit I was apprehensive as it was a different aspect of the business where the primary focus was on the hose breakdown service and supporting works. Although we had the facility in Redhill, hydraulic hoses had never really been my specialty. However after speaking with Jay and Duncan, I put my head down and spent the next 4 years building on the foundations that were already in place, culminating in our highest annual turnover for the Crawley depot in 2019, built on the backbone of an incredible team of mobile engineers & knowledgeable, time served counter staff. Thanks to this, Crawley was well placed to deal with the challenges that 2020 would bring.
After successfully running the hose & hydraulics service from Hydraquip Crawley branch for 4 years, Jay asked if I would like a new challenge. A cold start, building up a depot from scratch in Portsmouth. I didn’t even pause for breath and instantly accepted. It only then dawned on me that I hadn’t spoken with my wife when I was on my way home and then called to let her know I was due to start in a new depot. I had been blind-sided by the potential of the new hose & hydraulics depot, as I was aware the area was perfect for a Hydraquip Branch and whilst I was proud of the work I had achieved in Crawley, it was grown off the back of the hard work of the staff before me. Portsmouth would be all me and I would have an input at every stage, from depot location to layout, advertising and hiring the staff. We have come a long way in a short space of time but we are now fully open and ready for business, with a stocked trade counter supplying all the standard items people have come to expect from Hydraquip, in addition to a range of tooling, lubricants and spill products. We are now ready to bring Hydraquip’s national service to customers on a local level.
That’s my Hydraquip story, all 10 years of it and still counting. My story started with just that one call, if anyone out there is at a crossroads in their Hydraulic career, I would recommend making that contact!
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