Atlanta, GA

15 April 2008

Niftylift's SP34 4x4 is a new rough terrain, 4WD version of the SP34N. Maximum platform height is 33

Niftylift's SP34 4x4 is a new rough terrain, 4WD version of the SP34N. Maximum platform height is 33 ft 8 in (10,3 m).

Tou won't see dozens of new aerial platforms in Atlanta this year – that hasn't happened at the ARA's Rental Show since the mid–90s – but there will enough significant goings–on to make it a worthwhile trip. These include the introduction of Italian–built Hinowa platforms in the US, the official re–launch of Aichi in North America, Haulotte showing a range of Finnish–built Dino–Lift trailer mounted platforms, and the presence of UK–owned UpRight Powered Access just weeks after its announcement that it will start manufacturing big machines in the US. Niftylift also shows some new self–propelled booms

If that makes it seem as if it will be non–Stateside manufacturers making the running, then we can correct that quickly by pointing out that most visitors will still be making a bee–line for the new launches planned by the home–grown talent, including Skyjack, JLG, Genie, Snorkel and MEC

Vertical mast

JLG, for example, has its new 1230ES vertical mast platform on show for the first time anywhere. As previously reported in AI, this machine will go head to head with UpRight's well–regarded TM12, with JLG claiming several important advantages over its rival, including significantly longer duty cycles. It will also, of course, be JLG's first big show under Oshkosh ownership

Genie Industries – with new president Tim Ford possibly in attendance – will have the first sighting of the Z–40N, a narrow articulating boom offering 46 ft 5 in (14.1 m) working height and 22 ft 8 in (6.9 m) outreach. It will be under 1.5 m wide and will weigh in at 15230 lb (6900 kg)

Those expecting to see more versions of Skyjack's new telescopic boom line will be disappointed. The 40T and 45T models are now in production, but the larger 60/65 models will not be ready for the Rental Show, Skyjack told AI in mid–December.

The company recently confirmed that manufacture of telehandlers is now on its agenda. Dave Stewart, the company's vice president of sales and marketing, said telehandlers would be the next project after the new booms

Other North American exhibitors include MEC Aerial Platforms, Custom Equipment and Snorkel. MEC is launching its new 91 Series of RT scissors, and will show the 4191RT, with 2591RT and 3391RT models to follow in the first quarter of 2007. The 4191 will have 47 ft (14.3 m) working height and is 91 in (2.3 m) wide. At the other end of scissor spectrum is Custom Equipment, manufacturer of the lightweight Hy–Brid 1030 scissor. This 16 ft working height model is to be joined by a sister machine in Atlanta, possibly a 20 ft model

Bil–Jax, meanwhile, uses the show to introduce another new trailer in its Summit range, the telescopic 2262T model

But what about the Europeans? Haulotte Group continues with its programme of investment in North America. Some of that will be evident at the show, with the first showings in the US of its new big boom machines, the HB 135 JRT telescopic boom and the HA 130 JRT articulating model. Also interesting is the fact that Haulotte will introduce into the US for the first time Dino–Lift trailers. Haulotte already sells Dino trailers in its home French market, and will show three models in Atlanta, the DI 46 A, DI 53A and DI 63 A, with platform heights of 46, 53 and 63 ft (14 m – 19.2 m)

Not evident at Atlanta, but just as important, is Haulotte's investment in its North American sales and service operation. The company already has facilities in Baltimore, Atlanta and Los Angeles, and plans to open two more in Chicago and Houston before April this year

The UK's Niftylift, meanwhile, which has also been investing in its North American facilities as it gears up to supply more of its self–propelled products, uses the show to introduce two articulating booms new to the US: the SP34 4x4, a four wheel drive version of the small SP34N, and the SP53 4x4, a heavy–duty four wheel drive model with a 52 ft 6 in platform height and weighing under 14350 lb (under 6.5 t). Niftylift says the machine's “compact physical dimensions mean that transportation to site is economical and maneuverability once on site is excellent.”

The Rental Show will also see Aichi formally re–launch itself in the US: the company will be importing both truck mounted platforms and the heavy duty crawler mounted telescopic booms that have an enviable reputation for reliability and durability

Also interesting will be to see UpRight Powered Access at the Rental Show for the first time since it was acquired by Tanfield Group. Tanfield says it will soon open a new manufacturing facility in the US – there is speculation that it could be one of UpRight's former homes in California – and will be keen to show US visitors that it is serious about the US market

Also making a debut at the Rental Show will be two Hinowa ‘spider’ type platforms. The Italian manufacturer is now being represented in North America by Reachmaster Inc, the dealer for the Worldlift Industries products that include the former E Falck Schmidt and Denka Lift brands. Two Hinowa machines will be shown, the LL46 and LL63, where the two digits represent working heights in feet

Another Italian manufacturer, Braviisol, return to the Rental Show for the second year in a row. It will again show its vertical mast Leonardo platform that has met with success in Europe

This year's event – switched from New Orleans to Atlanta when it became clear that the Hurricane Katrina–ravaged city would not have recovered sufficiently – takes place at a still–buoyant time for the US rental and construction sectors, with spending on aerial platforms expected to be high throughout 2007

This has helped give a boost to the Rental Show, with over 700 companies exhibiting – including Access International (see box story). In fact, the demand for space has led to a change in the way that the show floor is organised, with the heavy and light construction and general tool exhibits – where you will find the access equipment – in Hall B at the Georgia World Congress Center, connected via a skywalk to party and event exhibits in Hall C. Enjoy the show.

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