A-Plant celebrates life of Brian

A-Plant celebrates life of Brian

A-Plant is celebrating the career of fitter, Brian Symcox after he notched up 50 years with the company supporting customers and colleagues.

Brian, aged 72, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award after working as a fitter for the last five decades based at A-Plant’s depot in Derby.

Brian’s celebrations coincide with another major milestone, as A-Plant transitions to officially become Sunbelt Rentals from June 1st 2020.

When Brian started working as an apprentice in 1970 there was no electric machinery and he was paid ‘Five Bob’ a week – the equivalent of 25 pence.

He progressed from being a depot-based fitter to becoming a mobile, on-site fitter responsible for managing the maintenance of equipment including main plant such as dumpers, excavators and rollers.

In the last few years, he returned to the main depot and supports the training of young apprentices, teaching them the basics of maintenance and repairs.

Brian explained: “In the 1970’s there was no electric machinery, it was all wind-up machinery.

“This progressed to battery and now it’s key-coded start-up. Machinery is now a lot easier to use, as technology has advanced there is more flexibility.”

Well-liked and known to his colleagues as Tommy-Brian, he originally began working for a company called Keyplant, which was acquired by the Ashtead Group in 1987.

Most of his colleagues from that time have already retired and in September 2019, Brian reduced his hours to three days a week.

Brian, who has had six managers during the last 50 years, added: “I am really pleased to be celebrating 50 years and I will just carry on and keep going while I’m fit and well.

“I have no plans for retirement just yet and am not sure what I might do when I have to retire.

“It’s great to see A-Plant striving to be better. I’m looking forward to getting my new uniform when we become Sunbelt Rentals.”

Chris Hanley, Service Centre Manager, explains: “We are delighted to join Brian in celebrating his 50 years with A-Plant, it is a truly commendable achievement.

“Brian has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share and he’s a good teacher. The apprentices really appreciate and value his skills and experience and over the years he must have mentored quite a few apprentices.”

Brian lives locally and is married with one daughter and three grandchildren.

Outside of work, he has a keen interest in birds and spends his free time enjoying his hobby and taking holidays to Skegness.


A-Plant celebrates life of Brian