Lift Systems talks to IC about the gantry market

By Euan Youdale15 September 2010

Lift Systems telescopic hydraulic gantry lifting system in application

Lift Systems telescopic hydraulic gantry lifting system in application

The last two or three years has seen a strengthening market for used hydraulic lifting gantries. Ben Forster, general manager at Rigging Gear Sales in the USA, talks to IC about the company's experience

Rigging Gear Sales, Inc (RGS) in the USA is the largest independent representative and stockist dealer for Lift Systems, manufacturer of telescopic hydraulic gantry lifting systems and mobile pick and carry lifting machines. RGS also offers a rental and used equipment service and is North American representative for specialized transport equipment manufacturer Nicolas.

What type of used equipment does Rigging Gear Sales specialize in?

We specialize in everything related to Lift Systems' hydraulic gantry systems and mobile line. Items include: hydraulic gantry systems from 20 to over 1,000 US ton capacity, runway track, track stands, lifting beams, side shift systems, rotators, specialty lifting links, and uncommon accessories. On the mobile side, we carry multiple Mobilifts and TwinLifts up to 75 US ton capacity, as well as a TF45/60 forklift. We will be ordering a 110 US ton Mobilift in the near future.

How does your used equipment service work?

It is a direct result of our rental business. We sell used equipment from our rental fleet and generally replace it with new equipment from Lift Systems, Inc. We have been a Lift Systems independent representative since 1988 when hydraulic gantries and mobile pick and carry machines were still relatively new products in the marketplace. Rental of these items was the best way for potential customers to have a paid demonstration of what was a new method of performing jobs for their company at the time.

Why did the company decide to set up the used equipment operation?

Once interest in the hydraulic gantries and our mobile pick and carry machines was generated, the next logical question was, "Do you have a good used one?" Sales of used equipment fits well with our rental business and it has always allowed us to keep a relatively new fleet of machines.

What are the most popular used equipment and capacities?

Rental-wise our most popular equipment right now has to be Mobilifts and Twinlifts. On the sales side of things, higher capacity gantry systems of 400 to 1,000 US ton capacity seem to be what is moving. I think the popularity of the mobile equipment can be attributed to three factors; competitiveness of the work available, fast turnaround, and the ability to rent equipment and send it back, rather than committing more employees to their payrolls. The sale of used gantry equipment is being driven by emerging markets all over the world rather than domestic demand.

How has the trend for used equipment changed over the last two to three years?

I think the trend has drifted toward basic machines that will get the job done versus machines with all of the available options. Optional equipment demand has decreased as frugality has become the new norm. In the past, machines were ordered new from the factory with all of the options. Now a good used one, for a lesser price, will do just fine for most people.

How have prices of used equipment changed over the past two to three years?

Prices have definitely decreased in the past two to three years. During the boom times, used equipment was selling at almost new prices due to availability. Now price seems to be the leading determination in equipment acquisitions today.

What applications are driving the used equipment market?

Domestically, applications seem to be in-plant re-tooling and maintenance and power generation. New construction and power generation seem to be driving emerging market sales.

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