M O’Brien Plant Hire led by Dan O’Brien have been a driving force in the creation and launch of the UK Plant Operators, Operator of the year competition for 2021.

MO’Brien Plant Hire operate out of a network of depots across the UK with the beating heart of the operation being located at their St Albans HQ. The company owns and operates an expansive range of plant from tracked, wheeled, telescopic and long reach excavators through to ADT’s, tracked and forward tipping dumpers to loading shovels, dozers, trenching equipment, crushers and screeners.

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Founded with a sole JCB 3CX in 1990, the company has seen rapid growth and expansion to a business that today has in excess of 600 pieces of equipment in its fleet and a fantastic operational team that facilitate the highest level of service, day in, day out. The company employs over 400 plant operators, on major and regional contracts for the likes of Balfour Beatty, Skanska and Costain to name but a few.

The final of the 2021 UK Plant Operator, Operator of the year, will in fact, take place in October at the O’Brien 125-acre quarry site in Hertfordshire. A site that will offer a safe and grandiose setting for the finale of the event.

O’Brien director Dan O’Brien said, “For us it is important we are able to utilise the platform UK Plant Operators provide via both this competition and the magazine, as we look to attract, recruit and retain operators for the industry”.

“I have been pleased with the mentor schemes we have launched, the passing of knowledge from our experienced operators to the next generation is starting to pay dividends. The policy is appreciated by both the new recruits and pleasingly, our experienced and established operators”.

O’Brien Plant Hire have worked hard and intelligently with their recruitment of plant operators. The company has recognised that the more the industry is seen to change, becoming safer and cleaner, the more confidence there is in the long-term outlook for growth, the more people from industries such as retail and hospitality will be attracted to becoming a Plant Operator.

The business has also noted that people from academic backgrounds who cannot always find a job in the field they studied, are recognising the industry as a busy, thriving place to work. Graduates also recognise the period the industry is in is a period of technological evolution that plays well with their training and educational background.

The same can also be said for non-academics, the mechanically and practically minded find the courses fit well with their training and background, with job satisfaction and longevity very attractive in the recruitment and early retention period of employment.

Dan concluded, “The timing of this competition in a post COVID world will be great, whilst operators have been at work during lockdown this opportunity will really allow operators to show what they can do with their skills and create a spectacle around the art of operating plant and heavy equipment. We look forward to welcoming the industry to the UK Plant Operators, Operator of the year in the M O’Brien group Quarry on finals day”.