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H&E Equipment Services celebrates 50th year

This year marks H&E Equipment Services’ 50th year in business, which has been marked by growth and expansion. From its humble beginnings in 1961 with one store in Baton Rouge, La., H&E has grown to become one of the largest construction equipment rental and sales companies in the nation.

Founded by Tom Engquist and Frank Head as Head & Engquist Equipment, Inc., the company operated from its single Baton Rouge location from 1961 to 1978. Tom Engquist became sole owner in 1974 and the following year his son, John Engquist, joined the firm. Soon after, the Company's expansion began, first to other Louisiana cities and then to Arkansas, Texas and the Gulf Coast.

In 2002, the Company merged with ICM, a large western-states distributor, and became H&E Equipment Services, expanding into the West Coast and Intermountain regions. In 2006, after acquiring the assets of Eagle High Reach and opening full-service branches in southern California, the company went public. The next year, it acquired J.W. Burress with locations in the mid-Atlantic states.