The company was established in 1976 by Brian Stone and Dick Hardy, initially operating out of Enfield and concentrating on tail lift and repairs. It then developed into roller shutter door and curtain fitting and repairs, as well as minor body repairs on commercial vehicles.
By 1995 the company had expanded greatly, operating from 6 locations – Enfield, Bristol, Manchester, Northampton, Birmingham and Bathgate in Scotland .
The business was sold in a management buy-out in 1997, and then acquired in 1998 by the Ratcliff Group, but continued to trade as Stone Hardy. Since then, we have continually invested in new equipment, vans, computer systems, in our people and our facilities.
In 2003, a National Parts Centre was opened in Northampton, purchasing all tail lift and shutter components for the company. We also took over control of the Ratcliff branded 24-365 Contract business and the operation of their Service Line helpline, this has recently returned to the in house operation.
In 2016, we upgraded our facilities in Bathgate by moving to a new site. More than £1 million has been invested in a new fleet of fully-equipped service vans, and 6 new rapid response vehicles, providing genuine national coverage ability for our 76 engineers.
Recently we have made a substantial investment in a new operating system which gives us greater real time visibility of jobs as well as being able to provide our customers with in depth and bespoke management information. In addition we have now replaced the digital pens with state of the art tablets that allow documentation to flow quickly and effortlessly to our customers.
Stone Hardy is the UK market leader in the service and repair of tail lifts, shutters and curtains on commercial and passenger vehicles, offering a service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, managed by our teams throughout our 6 regional locations, including the Head Office in Northampton.
We are agents for all the major tail lift manufacturers, and we have many blue-chip companies as our customers. We have a turnover of approx. £10m a year, and a skilled and knowledgeable workforce with a wide range of experience in all aspects of the industry.
Along with the rest of the world, the two years of COVID presented many challenges. Stone Hardy remained open for business during this entire period supporting key industries and the welfare sector. We expanded our service portfolio and became involved with the maintenance of mobile generators operating out of testing centres. We also became actively involved in the maintenance of ancillary equipment on welfare vehicles including fire extinguisher inspections etc. The list of equipment we now work on is extensive and is so much more than just lifting equipment.
We have certainly come a long way since Mr Stone and Mr Hardy started the ball rolling more than 45 years ago.