Haulotte chairman Pierre Saubot said the access industry had the potential to reach annual sales levels of 700,000 machines with a population of 7 million platforms in less than 20 years, although only if certain condition were met.

Giving the keynote speech at the Europlatform conference in Warsaw on 14 September, Mr Saubot said the global potential for the industry remained very high, but that success would follow only if there was a strong rental sector, an extensive network for servicing and operator training, and a focus on good quality machines.

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Pierre Saubot speaking at Europlatform 2017 in Warsaw.

“Never think it is possible to accelerate the story by launching old machines, cheap and in bad condition, allowing low rental rates”, said Mr Saubot.

He said manufacturers had their own part to play in introducing machines that are “more clever, easier to drive by users who are not access operators but just workers needing to use access machines…[Operator controls] must be standardised, only for safety functions, for all manufacturers.”

Mr Saubot said that manufacturers and rental companies were selling safety, comfort, and the possibility to improve the way that work is done at height; “It takes time, and the low cost method is the wrong one. When a machine is no good anymore, it must be destroyed and removed from the market, not resold on a fourth or fifth-hand market.”

Concluding that he was neither a “guru or a dreamer”, Mr Saubot said; “We have no idea of the quantity of imagination, creativity and effort it will require. And we will need a lot of good people to do it. One thing is sure: the future of our world will be better, thanks to all of us, as more and more access machines allow safer, quicker and easier working in the air.”

More than 130 delegates attended the conference in Warsaw, which was organised by IPAF and its media partner Access International. More reports on the conference to follow.

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