20 March 2008

The UK is a bit like the European market in microcosm at the moment: utilisation levels good, prices stable and an enormous influx of new equipment entering the market –up to 7000 scissors this year alone and possibly as many as 3000 self–propelled booms.

Despite having the largest access rental fleet of any country in Europe –estimated to be 39000– 40000 self–propelled units –UK rental companies continue to invest extensively in new machines, with companies including Wizard Workspace, Nationwide, The Platform Company and AFI–Uplift among those recently adding fleet.

This upbeat atmosphere is reflected in the number and variety of access manufacturers and dealers attending this year's SED, and also the much smaller ‘offshoot’ event, Access Days.

This year will see several first–time exhibitors at SED. These include Bil–Jax, the US trailer mounted platform manufacturer who will use SED as its official launch into the UK (following the showing of one of its trailers at the Bauma show in April).

Allan Access, Phil Allan's company, continues to expand its product line and will have several imported machines on its stand, including –for the first time in the UK –the Bluelift crawler mounted machines from Italy. The company will show a very small 12.5 m unit together with a compact 16 m model. In addition an innovative 17 m Socage crawler unit on show will be able to be used as a mini crane.

Allan Access also now represents Terex Utilities in the UK –and with a wider role in Europe to find dealers –and SED may well see one of the Terex utility lifts for the first time in many years.

Innovative UK acess rental company Facelift is back at SED this year with new machines, including one ‘Top Secret’ product. What we can say, however, is that on the stand will be the new British made 17 m Ascendant model mounted on a 3.5 t GVW carrier. The key feature of this machine is a 12 m outreach on a unit with a maximum working height of 17 m. It is a concept that is drawing admiring glances from Ascendant's competitors.

Facelift will also show a new 52 m Bronto Skylift. The notable thing here is a new ‘attachment’, described as a “true first within the industry and the only one in the country”.

The increase in demand for crawler type machines will also be reflected at SED this year. In addition to the previously mentioned Bluelift and Socage units, there will be crawler machines from Italmec, Oil & Steel, Basket and Teupen.

Teupen is represented by Ranger Equipment, which will show two models, including the massive Leo50GTX – the world's largest tracked platform and the first to be available for hire in the UK. The first one in the UK was sold in June of last year to Gladedale Capital for use on an un–named office, retail and residential development in the UK. The unit was due for delivery in February this year.

One definite theme of the show will be the presence of small truck mounts –the 3.5 t GVW ‘self–drive’ rental market is ensuring a steady demand for this type of platform. Access Industries, dealer for Italy's OP Pagliero, will show the Multitel MT222, a new 22 m on a Nissan Cabstar, and also the new MT185, an 18 m unit.

Gardner Denver, meanwhile, launches a van mounted platform manufactured for and approved by Land Rover for its 110 vehicle, and Skyking will officially launch the E200PX and the E290PX double articulated platforms. The E200PX offers 19.65m working height and 8.6m of outreach mounted on a 3.5t GVW truck and the E290PX offers 28.7m working height.

Genie and JLG both make an appearance, while Haulotte decides to opt out this year. UpRight Powered Access meanwhile, will show a wide range of equipment, including the MX19, TM12, AB38 and the SL30 Speed Level machines. Also on display will be the TL trailer range, including two new models, and the all terrain platform AB438 HSRT.

See our full list on these pages. Finally, visitors to the show last year –the first time the SED show had been held at the Rockingham Motor Speedway venue –will have been impressed by the purpose built open–air facilities. However, some will also recall the terrible problems in driving into the site, with long queues during the busy morning period. SED has reacted quickly to this and says that new traffic management procedures, as well as free parking, will greatly improve access to the site.

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