Bristol-based Plantforce, the highly successful plant hire company, has announced changes to its Executive Leadership Team: former COO Sam Mercer will be stepping up as the new CEO, as founder Claire Trott moves into a new role as Founder Executive Director.

The changes are significant as the company enters another phase of planned growth. Claire founded Plantforce 25 years ago with a yard in Yatton, three machines and two staff, serving local contractors in the Southwest and has taken it to a Tier 1 national plant provider, winning some of the UK’s largest major projects. Claire will continue in an important ambassadorial role, focusing on relationships with clients, mentoring the Plantforce team, and continuing to share her many years of experience. “The time is right for me to hand over the reins. I have achieved what I set out to achieve, and there is no better person than Sam to take over my life’s work. I look forward to being part of what comes next!” Claire said.

Sam Mercer has worked at Plantforce for over twelve years, working his way up through the business, from the workshop to the C-suite. He is excited to take the business to the next level, aiming to consolidate Plantforce’s position as a trusted Tier 1 and ‘major projects’ supplier, whilst retaining the family feel of the company. “We have ambitious plans for Plantforce, continuing the path set out by Claire. I feel lucky to be taking over when the business is already in such a strong position. We have an excellent reputation for being innovative, solutions-focused partner to our customers, delivering what we say, when we say, with integrity. 

Bill Caplan, chair of the board at Plantforce commented that “the timing is right for Sam to succeed Claire at the helm. Sam is extremely capable, and highly respected in the industry and within business. I have every confidence he’s going to achieve great things for Plantforce in this new phase of growth. And he will have Claire at his side, supporting the business, spending more time with key customers, and mentoring team members. The next chapter of Plantforce’s journey will be an exciting one. Watch this space.” 

Plantforce is a national supplier of technologically advanced plant hire machinery to the construction, rail, major project and energy industries. Established as a regional plant hire company in 1999, Plantforce has grown year on year and now provides one of the largest and most diverse ranges of machinery and skilled operators in the UK. Through its divisions, which include Plantforce Compact, Attachments, Digital, Heavy Haulage and Crushing and Screening, Plantforce can supply customers with industryspecific equipment. Plantforce is the only plant hire provider to be awarded Tier 1 status on the two largest civil engineering projects, Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Station and High Speed Rail 2.