Skip to main content


Arbil: Leaders in Lifting, Rail, and 4x4 Solutions

Company Overview

Since being founded in 1963, Arbil has grown to become a trusted industry leader in the sales, hire, and service of lifting equipment, specialist rail tools, and 4x4 aftermarket accessories. With 60 years of experience, Arbil has built it's reputation on providing high-quality, brand-leading products, bespoke solutions, and exceptional customer service.

Our History

Established by the company’s founder, Raymond R. Bills in July 1963, Arbil Ltd began trading under the name Raymond R. Bills (Cradley) Ltd, from a small site in Fordhouses, Wolverhampton. 

The first few weeks of trading saw the supply of mooring chain and marine fittings to chandlers in the South-West of England, along with the servicing of lifting gear and specialist jacking equipment for local industries in the West Midlands including one that would become a major customer – British Rail (now Network Rail).

Raymond R. Bills (Cradley) Ltd developed the first hydraulic synchronised lifting system - capable of lifting 6000 tons. The Arbil Synchronised Pump was subsequently patented and in turn led to the establishment of the Arbil name (derived from the shortening of 'Raymond R. Bills') . This was just one of many patents and regstered designs/trademarks developed over the ensuing decades.

The company soon outgrew its premises as it added a new source of revenue to sales and service – Hire.  Amongst the first in the industry to venture into the hiring out of lifting equipment. New premises quickly had to be found which, in 1966, took the business back to its roots by relocating to Providence Street, Lye. This is just a few miles from Cradley Heath where Raymond Bills had grown up as the son of a chain maker in Plant Street.

Despite the power shortages, industrial action and three-day working weeks, the decade saw considerable expansion with the opening of the Bristol and Coventry branches.  The latter amalgamated with WV Booker (a company purchased in the late 70’s) which boasted several blacksmiths and profile cutting machines. Their rich heritage of bespoke fabrication work formed the foundations for the engineering facility in Cradley Heath which still prospers today.  Added to the group at this time was an overhead crane sales and installation business and a precision engineering company – Airfast Ltd (now absorbed within Arbil Engineering).

Arbil also took a considerable step forward with a move to its current, significantly larger, premises just a few hundred yards along Providence Street. This  became a tailored facilities for sales, service and a newly established wire rope rigging shop.

The rapidly growing Hire division took on its own factory in Bromley Street, Lye.

In 1983, our present chairman, Tim Bills, joined the business and immersed himself in the intricacies of the trade by spending two invaluable years on the shop floor. This hands-on experience laid the foundation for the remarkable growth of our rigging shop.

Fast forward to 1988, when Arbil celebrated the launch of its trade counter, a milestone that marked 25 years of dedicated service to industry. As the demand for orders through the chain shop and service bay surged, the need for expansion was recognised, setting the stage for the continuous growth and development we see today.

The company was incorporated as Arbil Limited in 1996, and continued to diversify and innovate, launching its 4x4 Automotive division to cater to a growing market. Committed to quality and reliability, Arbil also secured AQAP 4 defence accreditation, reinforcing its position as a trusted partner in the industry.

2000 - 2020
Driven by the company's passion for innovation, the exclusive brand, Zwicky was developed, - a range of bespoke rail jacks which further elevated Arbil's offering. Arbil also celebrated its 50th anniversary, reflecting on its journey and many achievements and successes.

2020 - Present
As Arbil celebrates their 60th anniversary in 2023, the future is proudly embraced by introducing an e-commerce platform. Arbil has also seen major improvements in its quality management and backend systems and processes. This commitment to continuous improvement is a firm foundation for success in the next 60 years and beyond.

By investing in these advancements, Arbil demonstrates their commitment to evolving alongside customers' needs. Arbil's unwavering focus on delivering quality products and fostering long-lasting relationships as a trusted partner in the industry remains steadfast.

Our Team

Our experienced and dedicated team of professionals are passionate about providing unparalleled service and support to our customers. With a strong focus on innovation, safety, and efficiency, our team works tirelessly to deliver the best solutions for your unique needs.


Tim Bills 

Kevin French 
Finance Director

Mel Perks
HSEQ Manager


Marcus Taylor

Dave Nicholls

​​​​​​Simon Picken

Our Commitment to Quality

At Arbil, we are committed to delivering the highest quality products and services. Our five extensive UK sites are supported by substantial in-house manufacturing and high-tonnage test and calibration facilities, ensuring the highest quality and performance standards across all of our divisions.

Arbil is accredited to ISO 9001: 2015.

Get in Touch

To learn more about our products, and services, or to discuss your specific requirements, please contact us. We look forward to helping you find the perfect solution for your lifting, rail, and 4x4 needs.


history 2