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10 April 2008

Clements' trailer fleet includes Niftylift's largest towable unit, the Nifty 210 pictured here.

Clements' trailer fleet includes Niftylift's largest towable unit, the Nifty 210 pictured here.

“I thought the market for trailers was dead,” says James Longstaff, managing director of Clements Plant & Tool Hire in Coventry, UK, who moved into rental from vehicle-mount manufacturing several years ago. “I came to the rental business thinking that small truck-mounts had taken over, but experience has proven me wrong. There is still a market for trailer-mounts.”

One reason for the change-of-mind, he says, is a particular attribute of the nine Niftylift trailers in Clements' fleet: the “flat edge of the work envelope”. It is “ideal” for its customers such as painters and window cleaners, who work against vertical surfaces. The edge allows them to take full advantage of the machines' out reach, a characteristic that can be more important than working height, he says.

Mr Longstaff says that a 20 m working height trailer is about half the price of a vehicle-mount with the same capability. That allows his company to keep trailer rental rates below £100 (€150) a week, a threshold in the market he says.

Clements now owns Niftylift trailers exclusively, having recently disposed of an 18 m working height machine manufactured outside the UK. Mr Longstaff likes trailer-mounts that are ... “simple, reliable, easy to maintain. We want functionality, not looks.” Clements recently added a Nifty 210 to its fleet. Trailers comprise about 10% of Clements' total access fleet that generates about 50% of the company's revenue.

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