Positive vibe at UK's Vertikal Days
24 June 2011
There was a positive feeling at this year's access and cranes exhibition, Vertikal Days, held 22 and 23 June at Haydock Park in the North of England. Visitor numbers were up and exhibitors were expressing far more positive views than in the recent past.
Tony Hobbs UK areas sales manager and product specialist at Manitou said that the company had enjoyed a record year in sales into agriculture with construction slowing improving, with the biggest issue for the future being the supply of components from Japanese manufacturers.
Gabriele Valli sales manager of Italian truck mount specialist, Isoli was attending Vertical Days having just returned from Pakistan where in cooperation with local company Pakistan Vertical Engineering he has sold 500 truck mounted crane units.
Mr Valli is currently investigating a number of markets, which he believes are largely over looked and told Access International that Isoli had sold seven truck mounted units in Vietnam where they have been active for just three months.
On the UK market Mr Valli believes in its potential, "It is the number one market in Europe for Isoli with a large number of rental companies, it is still sleeping at the moment but I trust it will return."
Isoli's UK dealer, Promax Access also represents Italian spider manufacturer Platform Basket. Eynon Shawe responsible for marketing sales at Promax said that the company has had a lot of success this year with the rail road access platforms, having sold 20 to Hydrex and 4 to VolkerRail primarily for work on overhead lines.
At Powerlift Malcolm Kitt reported that the Faraone vertical mast machines that the company took on in February are generating a lot of interest with several machines already sold.
Also on the stand were examples from the Easylift spider range and the new ET210 truck mount from GSR, a 21m working height platform, which is compact - 2.5m high and 6.25m long when the boom is retracted - more information on this machine to follow.
PB Lifttechnik was exhibiting with its new UK and Ireland dealer Bravi UK, which also represents, Bravi Platforms and Bluelift in the UK. Arne Dirckinck-Holmfeld said that PB Lifttechnik relinquished its arrangement with previous UK dealer Ranger as the companies have different focus, "Both parties are happy with the arrangement," he said.
Mr Dirckinck-Holmfeld also reported that business was picking up particularly as, "Rental companies are looking for products which can provide a good rate of rental return, which means unusual and niche products."
Also talking about specialist scissors was Alan Russon managing director of Russon Access and the UK dealer for Holland Lift. He said that he had noticed an improvement in business year on year but in contrast to last year when demand was for big diesel scissors and no electrics, this year, the tall narrow electric scissors from Holland Lift had been more sought after with 90% of orders for 2012 also being in this category.
"Mostly the machines are required for ware housing and high bay maintenance applications," said Mr Russon, "We have good contracts with a couple of major supermarket chains for which the Holland Lift scissors - mostly the 16.5m platform height 165-12N is approved Europewide. I expect at least 50% of customers to be end users next year."
Mr Russon is anticipating a contract very soon for the 19.5m 195-12N Holland Lift model, which like its 16.5m counterpart is just 1.2m wide.
"A lot of our end user customers come through our agents said Mr Russon, "they have access to the various niche markets, we work very closely with Planet Platforms on end user sales, they have had some very positive results with the Holland Lift range."
Shown on the Russon stand was the 118-12 14m working height scissor from Holland Lift only recently available and said Mr Russon already generating significant orders with rental customers.
Ranger Equipment was able to announce that its contract to represent Teupen in the UK and Ireland had been renewed for a further five years. Steve Hadfield, Ranger's managing director said the company had already sold this year as many machines as it sold all of 2010.
"There is lots of activity and interest," said Mr Hadfield, "but it's still hard to get people to part with their money. Customers assume finance will be difficult to get but we have an arrangement with JCB Finance who are very helpful in helping customers fund new machines.
"We have had the arrangement with JCB Finance for a year," said Mr Hadfield. "They are happy to back our machines because of the high residual values."