The Access, Lift & Handlers Conference & Awards (ALH C&A) was spared by Hurricane Matthew and therefore the industry was able to honor the year’s best during a lavish dinner and sensational awards ceremony.
Held Oct. 11 at the Marriott Biscayne Bay, the second ALH C&A saw more than 200 attendees and honored people, projects, safety, equipment and more during the evening’s celebrations.
Organized by Access, Lift & Handlers magazine and its publisher KHL Group, the awards dinner was hosted by roaster extraordinaire, Kevin O’Shea, director of safety and training at Hydro Mobile.
“I would like to personally congratulate every company, person and project that took home a trophy tonight,” said Lindsey Anderson, ALH editor and fellow judge of the awards submissions. “It was a very difficult process ranking the entries, but after hours of deliberation, the judges and I were happy with the outcome. Thank you to my fellow panel for all of your hard work.”
Access Industry Employer of the Year
TVH Parts Company
The judges said of the winner: “They go beyond the ‘normal’. They are innovative and the employee program is well-rounded. From the leadership academy, mentoring and reimbursed tuition - they ticked all the boxes.”
Access Project of the Year – Aerial Work Platforms
ReachMaster for the The Old Patent Office Building
The judges said of the winner: “It was an enormous challenge to get the platform into this jobsite, and if Reachmaster hadn’t managed it, the alternative solution of scaffolding would have been extremely costly and time consuming. This is truly innovative when you compare it to the ‘old’ way of doing things, and highlights the positive impact that aerials can have.”
Access Project of the Year – Mast Climbing Work Platforms
Hydro Mobile for the Ohio River Crossing project
The judges said of the winner: “This is a very cool jobsite. Any time you have a work platform and you don’t have a plumb line that you’re going to be setting up on, you have an engineering issue. When you look at how high they were going and it not being a vertical load, we thought this was a great engineering solution.”
Access Rental Innovation
United Rentals, who developed a fully automated online rental ordering system
The judges said of the winner: “United’s new online rental system is a key step in the rental industry’s engagement with the digital world. The customer can select the rental dates, delivery and payment options, and if desired, can call or live-chat for assistance at any time. Integration the platform throughout its systems was the clincher. It’s a digital milestone for the rental business.”
Safety Innovation Award
MEC for its Proactive Platform Safety System
The judges said of the winner: “We haven’t seen anything else like it in the market, with sensors creating an alarm before a collision incident happens: it’s proactive instead of reactive. We also liked the use of enable trigger bar switches on each control handle, instead of a traditional footswitch. This also highlights that smaller companies can be innovative and make positive contributions in the area of safety.”
Product Innovation – Telehandlers
Magni Telescopic Handlers for its new range
This was a very tightly contested category with the judges praising all three as “top notch” entries.
For that reason, the judges presented a Highly Commended certificate to Manitou for the MRT 3255.
The judges said of the winner: “This is a great product. The technology inside the cab makes it high-tech, but Magni has successfully harnessed that technology to make the machine very user-friendly. The judges have been in the cab and learned its operations very quickly. It is a great example of innovation in the service of the user.”
Rising Star Award for Small Rental Company (Less than 10 Locations)
The judges said of the winner: “We were wowed by UP Equip’s remarkable revenue growth and its ranking among the top 50 fastest growing companies in Canada. We liked that the company has on-site training, video training, technical training and more. From the company’s clearly set out principles to its new website, it has shown itself to be a growing in stature in all areas and will be fun to watch in the coming years.”
Product Innovation – Vehicle-Mounted AWP
Socage for its forSte 120DJ
The judges said of the winner: “We liked the machine very much. It does not require a Commercial Driver’s License, yet is a 120-foot unit with a maximum working outreach of 75 feet. The basket load is 800 pounds. The configuration of the boom was also impressive.”
Product Innovation – Self-propelled/push-around AWPs under 20-feet of Platform Height
JLG for its EcoLift
The judges said of the winner: “There’s a lot of interest for this type of product because people are moving away from ladder use. The EcoLift is power-free, with no oil, batteries or hydraulics, which means it will be long-lasting and eco-friendly. There are a lot of attributes to this machine that make it innovative: it’s totally manual, the wheels lock, it’s safe and a pretty cool little device.”
Product Innovation – Self-Propelled AWPs over 20-feet of Platform Height
ReachMaster for its Falcon FS170
The judges said of the winner: “Compact lifts are changing the way work is done. This is a 170-foot boom that can fit between double doors, offering a powerful combination of height and reach on a small base. The engineering is outstanding, and the potential impact on the market is huge.”
ALH Person of the Year
Vincent Dequoy, owner of Hydro-Mobile
The winner this year successfully weathered the economic storms and in 2015 brought his company back to record profit levels.
As the leader of a manufacturer, he introduced his businesses first rental store, which blossomed into a multi-million dollar division.
He encouraged staff to play important roles in industry and national standards bodies, helping lead the way in design, use and safety regulations for mast climbing work platforms.
His company trains OSHA staff, they train Union Trainers, they run webinars on safety and liability management and they contribute important safety articles to the trade press.
The Person of the Year was as concerned for the welfare of his employees as he was about the business. His belief was that you don’t find the person to fit the job, you find the right person for the team and then build around that person’s strengths.
He set the example for the team, and his response to every challenge is thoughtful, positive and collaborative. He is a pioneer in the mast climbing business, and one of the true entrepreneurs of the North American access industry.