Access platforms in short supply at SED

By Murray Pollok13 May 2009

Niftylift's stand at this year's SED show in the UK.

Niftylift's stand at this year's SED show in the UK.

Access exhibitors were in short supply at SED this year as the recession hit the exhibition hard. The number of exhibitors overall was down over a half to around 210 and access suppliers almost entirely deserted the show, with Skyking, Niftylift, Hinowa and mast climbing/hoist supplier and rental company BFT among the small number of access suppliers attending.

Occupying around half the area of previous SED shows, the aisles were at least reasonably busy on the first day of the show on 12 May, and while the general business climate remains gloomy, there were success stories.

Mark Carrington, managing director of Skyking , told AI that the King Group group had the same order book now as this time last year, although the mix of sales had changed to engineered products away from standard, volume items.

Jason Harris, contracts director at BFT Mastclimbing, told AI that its 220-unit mast climbing work platform fleet was still busy and that it had major new projects starting in June. The company has just installed 36 units on for the renovation of three tower blocks in Glasgow and has another big job in London.

"We're very busy at the moment", said Mr Harris, "I think it's because we give good service. Near enough all [the units] are out - we have 30 or 40 in the yard, and we have quite a bit of work starting in June."

BFT also represents Spanish mast climber and hoist manufacturer Alher in the UK, and was using SED to show a new 2 t capacity transport platform and the PM 60 lightweight single mast climbing platform using the same light mast as used on Alher's small goods hoists. BFT will add four Alher hoists and a transport platform to its mast climbing work platform fleet this year.

A returning manufacturer to SED this year was Niftylift, which traditionally holds its own parallel show, Access days, in Milton Keynes, during SED. However, Access days has been rescheduled this year and will now probably take place in August. Tim Ward, Niftylift's sales manager, told AI that the company had taken up a last minute option on space to exhibit, partly because the cost was lower than on previous years and because the Access Days event had been rescheduled.

Instead of exhibiting at SED, the UK's access suppliers seemed to have switched their allegiance to the Vertikal Days show, which takes place at Haydock Park Racecourse in June.

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