Company History

1961 - PRESENT

Founded in 1961, H&E Equipment Services is Baton Rouge-born and Baton Rouge-proud. More than 50 years later, it operates as one of the largest equipment companies in the nation with locations across the US.


Head & Engquist is established when manufacturer's sales representative Tom Engquist and Houston equipment distributor Frank Head recognize a growth trend along the Mississippi River and opportunities developing in the earthmoving and construction equipment business.


The company's reputation for offering quality equipment and personalized customer service draws the attention of Southwest Growth Pool, who purchases the company and retains the services of Tom Engquist to manage the business.


Southwest Growth Pool liquidates and sells to Tom Engquist and minority partner Bob Kennedy.


Head & Engquist expands into the growing New Orleans market with a new branch in Kenner, LA.


Head & Engquist merges with and later purchases Grove crane distributor South Texas Equipment. New branches open in Shreveport, LA; Lake Charles, LA; and Beaumont, TX.


In 1995, Tom Engquist’s son, John, purchases the company from his father and takes on the role of CEO and Director. Head & Engquist then experiences a large growth period, opening branches in Alexandria, LA; Little Rock, Springdale, and Fort Smith, AR; San Antonio, TX; Jackson, MS; and Memphis, TN, as well as expansion with the addition of an aerial lift division in Southern Texas and Gonzales, LA.


Head & Engquist acquires Dallas-based distributor Martin Equipment, and gains access to the Manitowoc Crane line. This strategic move also grants expansion into north, east and west Texas. That same year, it also acquires Houston-based Coastal Crane, a leading Manitowoc dealer, opening up new markets in southern Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Tennessee.


Head & Engquist adds heavy focus to the aerial lift and telescopic forklift business, establishing an aerial lift division with branches in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, and North Carolina — securing dealership rights with many top-name manufacturers in the industry.


Head & Engquist merges with ICM Equipment Company, creating H&E Equipment Services LLC. The many common manufacturers and contiguous geographic markets of the two companies make for an ideal merger. The newly combined company operates 47 facilities throughout the Southwest, Intermountain, Gulf Coast, and Southeast regions, with a combined equipment rental fleet of over 15,000 units.


On January 31, 2006, H&E Equipment Services LLC announces its Initial Public Offering (IPO), becoming H&E Equipment Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: HEES). Using a portion of the proceeds generated by the IPO, H&E acquires Eagle High Reach, an aerial-lift company operating in California, and replicates the H&E full-service business model with these four new locations.

H&E employees group photo team members

H&E acquires the assets J.W. Burress, Inc., headquartered in Roanoke, VA, with 12 locations in the mid-Atlantic region, bringing the total number of H&E nationwide branches to 69.


H&E takes advantage of changing market conditions, investing in new branch openings and relocations, marking the beginning of an extensive and continuous growth period for the company.


H&E opens the doors to its newly constructed corporate headquarters in Baton Rouge, LA. Executive Vice President Brad Barber is appointed to President and Chief Operating Officer.


Largest growth year in company history: new branches open in Charleston, SC; Freeport, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Katy, TX; San Jose, CA and New Orleans, LA. Two existing branches, including Oklahoma City, OK, and San Antonio, TX, relocate to newly constructed facilities. Other renovation and improvement projects are completed in branches throughout the nation.


H&E opens four new locations in Beaumont, TX; Durham, NC; Fort Collins, CO; and Lynnwood, WA, and relocates two branches, Tampa, FL, and Sacramento, CA. As part of the accelerated growth plan, H&E restructures its leadership and promotes John Engquist from Senior Regional Vice President to Executive Vice President to oversee operations companywide.


Growing to serve Colorado, H&E acquires Contractors Equipment Center (CEC), significantly expanding presence in the Colorado market. Soon after, H&E acquires Rental Inc, gaining five new locations to fill the gap and provide solid coverage in the Florida Panhandle, south Alabama and west Georgia.

In addition to two acquisitions, H&E opens a new location in Aledo, TX, and relocates four facilities to larger and more convenient locations.


With over 20 years of leadership and contribution to the company, Brad Barber is appointed to Chief Executive Officer, President, and Director. Mr. Barber succeeds previous Chief Executive Officer John M. Engquist, who is appointed to Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors to lead strategic planning and oversee mergers and acquisitions.

H&E completes the acquisition of We-Rent-It (WRI), a non-residential construction-focused equipment rental company in Texas, expanding its presence and increasing service to the central portion of the state.

Two branches relocate to expanded facilities, and new locations open in North Phoenix, AZ, and Prineville, OR, bringing the total number of states that H&E operates into 23.


A realignment of crane operations takes place with the reorganization of the business into crane hubs. New crane branches begin operation in Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Norfolk, VA; Phoenix, AZ, and Winston-Salem, NC.

New full-service, general equipment branches are constructed in Birmingham, AL; North Raleigh, NC; Los Angeles, CA; and McKinney, TX. The branch in Arden, NC, relocates to a new facility, and the Georgetown branch occupies a new facility in Temple, TX.

Executive Officers for H&E Equipment Services, Inc. are as follows:

  • John M. Engquist, Executive Chairman and Director
  • Bradley W. Barber, Chief Executive Officer and Director
  • John Engquist, President and Chief Operating Officer
  • Leslie S. Magee, Chief Financial Officer and Secretary
H&E Corporate building