In 1958, Kenneth Rudolph Oakes became involved with lift trucks whilst working within the motor vehicle industry. He recognised the tremendous potential for a lift truck hire business which led to the formation of Power Equipment - one of the very first lift truck rental companies in the UK.
The success of Power Equipment continued at such a pace that by 1970 it had become the target of Harvey Plant, a national plant hire company later to become Lex Harvey.
In 1974 William James Oakes established Waveney Lift Trucks, later to be supported by his father Kenneth. Together they grew the business to become the largest independent lift truck company in the UK, helped by the establishment of Lift Truck Rentals in 1985.
A joint venture was formed with an Asian manufacturer to produce Nexen forklifts under license but it was soon realised that this was not a viable option due to lack of quality and high prices in finished products.
In 2007 Nexen therefore completed the purchase of the second largest lift truck manufacturer in Taiwan, creating the Nexen Motor Corporation. Initially the existing models were improved whilst a European based design team was established to develop a completely new range of trucks from the ground up to meet Nexen's standards.