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About Us

Our story


John Coates founded the company in 1885 to support Victoria’s growing gold-rush cities – and we’ve been supporting Australian industry ever since.


From our early days importing and manufacturing machinery, we evolved into an equipment hire firm and helped pioneer the rental business in Australia.


As we continued to expand our fleet to service the booming mining, infrastructure and construction industries, Coates Hire became the nation’s largest equipment hire company.


But we don’t just provide the tools and machinery. We provide an end-to-end solution – equipment rental and specialist engineering, industrial and training services, all under one roof. 


So today, our name has changed to Coates. 


Because we’re not just the country’s leading equipment hire company.


We’re also a company of problem-solvers. A well-oiled machine of engineers, installation experts, shutdown managers and trainers, equipped to take on any challenge.


From equipment hire and temporary works engineering to industrial shutdowns and training, you can trust Coates to provide equipment and expertise, whenever and wherever you need it.


Coates. Equipped for anything. 


Our culture


Our values shape the culture of Coates and help us build a better future for all our stakeholders.


Care deeply

We care deeply about the safety and wellbeing of our people, our customers and our communities.


Be our best

We strive for high performance through accountability, learning and the determination to be better.



We are focused on helping our customers succeed by delivering above expectations.


One team

We work as one collaborative, passionate and inclusive team to deliver customer solutions.


Learn more about our commitment to safety and our progress towards reconciliation.


Our journey



John Coates & Co Ltd is founded in Melbourne.

John Coates establishes a small engineering company to supply heavy machinery to the Victorian goldfields. The firm soon wins contracts to build gasworks in the surrounding townships.



The company starts manufacturing equipment.

We make compasses and other essentials for the war effort at a new factory in Springvale. Over the next few decades, Coates manufactures some equipment locally.



An innovative roller inspires a new business model.

To encourage customers to order a new vibrating compaction roller, the company introduces a “hire before you buy” policy. It proves hugely popular and plants the seed for our rental business.



Coates Hire is born.

Coates Hire is publicly listed on the ASX. The company focuses on expanding its hire fleet to service the nation’s booming mining, infrastructure and construction industries. 



Our tool stores improve efficiencies during shutdowns.

The company helps halve shutdown times at major industrial plants by operating fully equipped tool stores on site. Today, Coates Industrial Solutions manages hundreds of shutdowns each year.



Coates Hire is acquired by Australian National Industries.

Now Australia’s largest equipment hire company, Coates Hire expands our fleet and invests in state-of-the-art equipment such as ‘silent’ air compressors and self-propelled rollers.



The company celebrates 100 years.

As we mark our centenary, Coates Hire employs around 600 people and operates 60 branches across the country. Today, we’ve grown to around 1,900 employees and more than 150 branches.



We become a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Coates Hire begins offering bespoke and contextualised training courses for plant, equipment and specialist situations. Since then, we’ve trained and certified more than 80,000 Aussie workers.



Seven Group Holdings buys almost half of Coates Hire.

SGH acquires 46.7% of Coates Hire, adding to the group’s portfolio of industrial services, energy and media investments.



Coates Hire creates an in-house engineering department.

We return to our engineering roots to offer temporary works design, certification and project management. Coates Engineering Solutions has grown from two engineers to 35 engineers today.



Seven Group Holdings acquires full ownership of the business.

SGH buys the remaining 53.3% of Coates Hire from the Carlyle Group. The move supports SGH's vision of becoming the leading operator of industrial services firms in Australia.



Coates Hire signs an R&D partnership with Monash University. 

Working with Monash’s Civil Engineering department, our engineers are developing new lightweight, high-strength temporary works solutions such as props and shoring shields.



We develop new digital platforms for our customers.

As part of our digital transformation strategy, we launch the Hire Now e-commerce platform and our IoT-enabled customer portal, now called Coates Connect.



We begin our journey towards reconciliation.

Our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) outlines clear targets, such as increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander apprenticeship participation rates to 10% by 2025.



Coates Hire becomes Coates.

We’re still Australia’s number one equipment hire company, but our engineering, industrial services and training capabilities mean we can also provide complete solutions for our customers.