History of A.P. Webb Plant Hire Ltd.

The business is founded


In 1971, Andy Webb started the business with £1000 loan from his father and with his unstinting support, became the proud owner and semi skilled driver of a second hand JCB 3C.

Using some of the skills gleaned from Harper Adams Agricultural College, his earlier work included land drain, having to both dig the trench then tidy it up with a spade before laying the pipe.

After six months, he was able to buy a second JCB and Malc Wellings joined the company as the first employee. Our service to the local authority was established in these formative years including work on the M6 Motorway and eventually in 1978 an opportunity with the then NCB undertaking land drainage and reclamation work following mining subsidence.

A.P. Webb get accepted by British Rail


The big break though came in 1981 with our acceptance to British Rail. This was quite a different market. It was specialised, it even had its own language and required new skills and understanding. And of course the whole pattern of work was different predominantly at weekend always at night and all over the country. These requirements placed different demands on our machine reliability and performance and the timely arrival of the all new JCB 3CX seemed tailor made.

We built up an excellent relationship with the engineers and on most Saturdays, our fleet of new JCB 3CX's could be seen travelling the County to a Rail site for an overnight task and that marked our real entry point into the extremely specialised sector of railway renewals and maintenance.

Expanding into newer, bigger premises


Our continual growth created the requirement to move premises from our humble beginnings based in a local farm building to our first dedicated premises at Tilcon Avenue, Stafford.

The arrival of Road Rail excavators to the UK in 1985 heralded a significant milestone for A.P. Webb. Flying into Europe to source these unique vehicles was the first move in growing the Road Rail plant fleet. Road rail equipment has become an integral element in railway maintenance; economical, flexible, versatile and responsive. And our company has changed as it has developed so that today, we are, highly specialised and dedicated to the railway sector – in fact 80% of our work lies there. We have grown to the point where we operate one of the largest fleets of road rail equipment in the country.

Built up a comprehensive range of HGV's


To ensure the timely dispatch of this plant we have built up a comprehensive range of specialist HGV's to guarantee control and flexibility offering national cover and rapid response. We are involved in both machinery and material delivery.

With an ever expanding plant fleet and space at our Tilcon Avenue site becoming tight, the decision was made in 2002 to move premises to our current site at Common Road, Stafford. We moved in on 26th November 2003.

Since our move, we have continued to develop. Investing in new equipment, and improving our working practices. We have the ability to change with the prevailing conditions and grow with a flexible approach to customer demands. It is our sincere wish that we will be of continued service to the Industry and contribute to the local community in a professional and productive manner.

Aston Marina


In 2009 we built, and now run, a 200 berth canal-side marina in Stone, Staffordshire.

Amenities include a Farm Shop, Bistro and Boat Workshop. The "Boat House", a function room providing a unique venue for weddings and events, opened in October 2015.




Within the Webb Plant Group is the engineering business Rail-Ability, which moved into a new factory premises on Tollgate Industrial Estate in 2014.

Rail-Ability is a manufacturer and converter of specialist Rail Plant and equipment including our excavators, MEWPs and attachments.


P.O.S. Provider


During 2014 A.P.Webb became Plant Operators Scheme holders and fully qualified to provide the P.O.S. service in conjunction with our Plant hire.

Southern Depot


To help satisfy our expanding southern work bank we have opened a depot in Buckinghamshire.

This operates as a satellite with all operations still controlled from Stafford.

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