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New Cumbrian app startup set to bring sharing economy to the construction industry

Mark Watters

New Cumbrian-based app startup Shareplant has launched, set to disrupt the construction equipment and tool hire industry by allowing users to rent a wide range of idle construction equipment and tools – directly from owners.

The startup allows equipment owners to earn extra money and offset equipment running costs during downtime and gaps between jobs, while offering renters a seamless way to browse a wide range of available self-drive or operated specialist equipment on a single app, with up-to-the-minute information about availability and without having to contact or search multiple providers.

The first company in the UK to bring the sharing economy to construction plant and tool hire, Shareplant already hosts hundreds of pieces of equipment for hire on its online Rental Marketplace, covering locations including Birmingham, London, Newcastle, Manchester – and Shareplant’s home county of Cumbria. The service is available online as well as via an app, available for iPhone and Android devices. Plant owners can list their equipment for free on Shareplant, receive a free one-on-one consultation to learn how to get the most out of the service, and use Shareplant’s Rental Calculator to estimate the rental fees their idle equipment could fetch.

On average, construction equipment is used for only 50% – 80% of its potential working time, meaning it remains idle for 30-60 hours every week (assuming 24/7 availability.) With equipment expected to lose up to 60% of its value to depreciation in just three years, this idle time is a wasted opportunity to offset depreciation and running costs and to add another revenue stream to construction businesses. Shareplant’s Software-as-a-Service offering grasps this opportunity and makes utilising idle equipment a seamless and easy experience.

Alongside its rental marketplace, Shareplant has also launched Shareplant Toolbox, providing construction companies with a paperless suite of software tools to help easily manage multiple aspects of their construction business from desktop computer, tablet and smartphone. Shareplant Toolbox includes paperless tools to help manage timebooking, site safety, equipment inspections, maintenance and defects and  workforce training and administration. Provided as a monthly subscription, Shareplant Toolbox allows easier management of plant hire as well as management of construction sites and projects, customer feedback and work package management – and can save users time and cost by streamlining their day-to-day operation.

Mark Watters, founder of Shareplant, said: “There are incredible gains to be made in bringing innovation and the sharing economy to the construction and plant hire industry. We’re proud to be launching an easy-to-use service allowing our users to make productive and profitable use of equipment that would otherwise be sitting idle while losing value through depreciation –  and providing a single, easy to use place for everything users need when hiring equipment. Between our Rental Marketplace and our Shareplant Toolbox, users will find renting out, hiring in and maintaining construction equipment and general construction administration a much easier experience.”

For more information please visit shareplant.com

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