Our History

How it all began…

A B Equipment commenced in January 1993 as a brainstorming idea between two young men; Doug Aitken and Simon Broadhead, who were looking to start a forklift service-based company that would be able to deliver personalised service to customers, rather than working for other companies that didn’t adopt this approach. The name “A B Equipment” evolved from Doug and Simon’s surnames “Aitken and Broadhead”.

In the beginning, their fledgling business was a couple of mobile phones and a fully equipped service van. Soon after a second service vehicle was added to their fleet with a geographic footprint between the Blue Mountains and Sydney in NSW. After six months in business Doug and Simon found that living some 64km apart meant that they did not get much face-to-face time so they decided to concentrate on new business closer to where they lived; Doug being the Eastern Suburbs and Simon the Western Suburbs. To resolve this disjoint, they split the business into two; Doug created “A B Equipment Repairs” and Simon kept with “A B Equipment”.

As their journey continued Doug suddenly had some health issues to resolve which meant the end of A B Equipment Repairs. Simon purchased most of the stock and equipment from Doug and reverted back to one business of “A B Equipment”. To this day, the two are still great friends and consult, with Doug now living and working in Spain.

As time passed and the work load increased, Simon employed a couple of great mates and his father, Alan Broadhead. Over the years, some of his mates went onto bigger and better things but their early involvement in A B Equipment’s development has never been forgotten.

Whilst A B Equipment initially was a forklift service and repair company, they experienced a huge shift in the forklift industry where larger forklift companies went into battle for market share. This resulted in some of the larger companies that used A B Equipment to service and repair their fleet of forklifts, to sell their fleet and have new Hire / Lease forklifts, meaning A B Equipment had no further involvement with them.

It was at this point that Alan Broadhead looked for other business opportunities. Alan was successful in landing a service and repair agreement with a major retail outlet, servicing their “back of house” equipment that included Dock Levellers, Scissor Lifts, Compactors, Conveyors and of course their Forklifts, EPJ’s and Hand Pallet Jacks. At this time A B Equipment moved their operation from being a mobile service to offer a fully equipped workshop in Sydney’s West, based at Arndell Park. They were successful with a major retail outlet’s NSW stores which meant the need to open a second A B Equipment based in Newcastle with the Arndell Park moving to Minchinbury.

A B Equipment’s staffing level grew to 20 and during this time, through their “can do” attitude were very successful in introducing to the customer an hydraulic conversion to their mechanical dock levellers.

Over a period of time another major retailer openly invited A B Equipment to tender for their work having a national footprint, to which they were successful in winning, based on a nationwide program which meant further expansion of A B Equipment opening more shopfronts in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Perth. Not unlike other expanding companies, A B Equipment experienced some growing pains but it has remained very successful with their new team’s adaption of a “Can Do” attitude.

A B Equipment are still under contract to most of these major retail outlets today and subcontract to Simon and Doug’s previous employees, as they are well respected in the industry for their knowledge and skill set working on all types of forklifts, including large 48 tonne container trucks to 1.5 tonne electric trucks. A B Equipment has enjoyed many changes that have taken place over the years with their workforce currently over 50 employees Australia wide.

A B Equipment have over the years, designed and manufactured many items as a remedy for our customers and these include but not limited to: Reconditioned Compactors, Scissor Lifts, Special Dock Levellers, Hydraulic Dock Levellers, Hoist Lifts, Goods Lifts, Electronic Boom Gates, Modifications of Scissor Lifts to include 900mm hydraulically operated flap and a man-up station putting ourselves way above our competitors as all can be considered cost and time savings to the customer.