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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.

 

Customer-focused

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

 

1885

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.

 

1939

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.

 

1946 

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.

 

1955 

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. 

 

1960s

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.

 

1972 

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.

 

1985

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.

 

1996

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.

 

2008 

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.

 

2015

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.

 

2017 

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.

 

2018 

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.

 

2019

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.

 

2020

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.

 

2021

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.