About Us

The South’s leading material handling & storage system company

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LOCATORS CAN GIVE YOUR BUSINESS A COMPETITIVE EDGE

Today at Locators

Locators are the South’s leading fully integrated material handling and storage system company. Staffed by 75 dedicated team members, including more than 20 mobile field engineers, we work with some of the largest companies in our area as well as many small ones too. Thanks to strong succession planning, Locators will be around for many years to come. So, if you would like a partner with the resources and capability to help your business grow or become more efficient, please contact us today. You can be assured of expert impartial advice and high-quality service.

LOCATORS HISTORY

Founded in 1985 by Brian Cowles, Locators secured an exclusive distributorship with Toyota. It first settled in premises near Bournemouth. Locators’ first large order came soon after with Bacardi Martini in Southampton. The company quickly grew in partnership with Toyota, a relationship that would last decades. Locators took a bold step in becoming one of the first-ever suppliers of articulated forklift trucks and also Combilifts in the UK.  Shortly after this Locators Storage Systems was formed to work alongside our materials handling team.  In 2000 Locators moved into purpose-built facilities in Ferndown Industrial Estate. The final key step was becoming an exclusive Distributor with Manitou construction equipment.

MEET THE TEAM

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Brian Cowles

FOUNDER & CHAIRMAN

Founded Locators in 1985 and secured an exclusive distributorship with Toyota Materials Handling Equipment, Salesman and Managing Director until becoming group chairman in 2014.

Keith Stewart

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Started as an Area Sales Manager in 1990 before becoming Sales Director and then taking the helm as Managing Director in 2013.

Tony Stevens

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR

Started as Financial Controller in 1989 before becoming Finance Director in 1993 and then Commercial Director in 1999.

Nick Hitchcock

SALES DIRECTOR

Started as an Area Sales Manager in 1998 working from the Reading office before becoming Sales Manager in 2010 and then Sales Director in 2016.

Allen Sturt

GROUP ENGINEERING MANAGER

Joined as Group Engineering Manager in 2019 with a wealth of experience in the British Army, having served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

Caroline Atherton

CUSTOMER SERVICES MANAGER

Started as Credit Controller in 1997, before managing order processing and hire and then becoming Customer Support Manager in 2007.

Allan Whitehead

FINANCE MANAGER & GROUP SECRETARY

Joined as Assistant Accountant in 1996, becoming Group Accountant in 2000 and Company Secretary in 2003.

The locators Green initiative

So far we have generated over 350,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy.

THE LOCATORS TIMELINE

View all our important milestones

1985

Founded and became Toyota distributor

Founded in 1985 by Brian Cowles, Locators secured an exclusive Distributorship with Toyota. It first settled in premises near Bournemouth.

1986

First major Toyota Sale

Locators’ principal order came soon after with Bacardi Martini in Southampton. The company quickly grew in partnership with Toyota, and their partnership would last decades.

1995

Sold first articulated truck

On the back of this partnership, Locators took a bold step in becoming one of the first-ever suppliers of articulated forklift trucks in the UK – an accolade that defined the company.

1996

Opened Reading branch

Locators secured additional territory with Toyota in 1996 and opened our Reading branch covering the M4 corridor and West London.

1996

Launched Storage department

In the same year, we launched a Locators Storage and racking division, to provide customers with a single source turnkey solution.

2000

Moved into Ferndown premises

Following continued growth and in 2000 we moved into our purpose-built facility in Ferndown Industrial Estate.

2001

Sold first Combilift

In 2001 we joined up with Combilift and sold our first 4 way machines for handling long loads.

2004

CFTS Accreditation

Locators became accredited and started offering independent CFTS inspections for our customers.

2007

Became Still distributor

In 2007 Toyota changed their route to market in the UK and Locators became a Still distributor.

2008

Became Manitou distributor

In 2008 we became an exclusive Distributor of Construction Equipment for Manitou UK.

2010

Sold first Aisle-Master

In 2010 we started to supply the Aisle-Master articulating forklift, another Combilift manufactured product.

2010

Started “SafePower” battery care

We launched our battery topping service which now supports over 1000 batteries for our customers.

2015

ISO 9001, 14001, 18001

In our quest for continuous improvement, Locators became accredited ISO holders.

2018

Re-joined the Toyota Network

Most recently, in 2018 Locators “returned home” and re-joined the Toyota Materials Handling UK distributor network covering central Southern England.

Watch the locators intro video

Founded in 1985 by Brian Cowles, Locators secured a distribution deal with Toyota. Soon after, we claimed our first major deal with Bacardi Martini in Southampton. Since then, the company has bloomed in partnership with Toyota. Due to significant growth, we widened our reach and in 1996, established a branch in Reading. This gave us greater coverage of the M4 corridor and West London.  Our storage systems division works to support our existing materials handling customers across the South alongside seeking new projects.