Company History

1961 - PRESENT

Founded in 1961, H&E Equipment Services is Baton Rouge-born. More than 60 years later, it still maintains its corporate headquarters in Louisiana’s capital city and now operates as one of the largest equipment companies in the nation with locations across the U.S.


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, Louisiana, Mississippi, 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, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina and 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 of J.W. Burress Inc., headquartered in Roanoke, VA, with 12 locations in the mid-Atlantic region, bringing the total number of H&E branches nationwide 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.


New branches open in Charleston, SC; Freeport, TX; Jacksonville, FL; Katy, TX; San Jose, CA; and New Orleans, LA, marking the largest growth year in company history to date. 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 its Tampa, FL, and Sacramento, CA, branches. 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 its presence in the Colorado market. Soon after, H&E also 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 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 nonresidential 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 in to 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, TX, branch occupies a new facility in Temple and is renamed.

H&E enters the specialty rental business by adding a trench safety product line, providing hi-tensile steel boxes for trenching and shoring.


After leading operations in various capacities for over 15 years and in a move to prepare for strategic growth, John Engquist succeeds Brad Barber as President and also takes on the title of Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Barber continues in his role as Chief Executive Officer.

H&E enters the Midwest territory and operates in 24 states with 10 new branch openings: Lodi and Fresno, CA; Macon and Marietta, GA; Kansas City, MO; North Charlotte, NC; Murfreesboro and Knoxville, TN; Longview, TX; and Ogden, UT. The Norfolk branch moves to a dedicated rental facility nearby and is renamed Chesapeake, while the Little Rock branch relocates to a renovated facility in Mabelvale, AR.

H&E transforms its business model to a pure-play equipment rental company and sells its Crane division to Manitowoc and its Komatsu dealership rights in Arkansas.

The company celebrates its 60th anniversary on December 18.

60-year Anniversary

The company increases its footprint in existing states by opening new facilities in Fairburn, GA; El Dorado, AR; West San Antonio, TX; Indio, CA; and Hollywood, Lakeland, Ocala, and Palm Bay, FL, with the largest growth for the year in the state of Florida. Branch openings in New Castle, DE, and Philadelphia, PA, begin business operations in two new states.

H&E Equipment Services becomes the fourth largest publicly traded equipment rental company in the U.S. Stability is at an all-time high, supported by quarterly stock dividends being paid without interruption since 2006 when H&E announced its Initial Public Offering.

Despite supply chain disruptions, the largest fleet investment ever is made, with capital expenditures totaling over $507 million in original equipment cost, concluding the year with a record fleet OEC of $2.4 billion. The investment provides the equipment needed to support an aggressive growth initiative.

The acquisition of One Source Equipment Rentals on October 1 adds 10 branches in the Midwest and Southeast, placing operations in three additional new states—Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky—and into eight new markets. Branches now number 120 across 29 states.

In December, the sale of the Komatsu earthmoving distributorship in the state of Louisiana to Waukesha Pearce Industries (WPI) effectively completes the transformation of the company to a pure-play rental business.

Between warm starts, greenfields, and acquisitions, the company experiences a nearly 25% growth in the total number of facilities over two years, and 2022 becomes the largest growth year in the company’s 60-year history.

Executive Officers for H&E Equipment Services Inc.:

  • 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 Headquarters