Positive vibe at Vertikal Days
By Maria Hadlow02 July 2009
If it is true that the sun shines upon the righteous, then the UK access industry must have been positively virtuous to deserve the beautiful weather at the Vertikal Days exhibition held at Haydock Park at the end of June.
Virtuous or not there was a positive vibe with new machine launches, equipment sales, tentative optimism and goodwill.
In typical laid back style Niftylift unveiled five new developments see Nifty's new developments. Ascendant Access showed its new 15 m van-mount as featured in Access International's June issue.
Many machines had their first UK outing including the Aichi tracked SR14CJ boom shown by Ranger. Ranger was also demonstrating the German manufactured PBB scissor range - a new dealership - in particular the narrow 4ft wide 22m scissor which is wind rated for outdoor use. Managing director, Steve Hadfield said that the Ranger product range, which also includes Teupen and Dinolift have a synergy of quality, advanced technology, high value and reliability. Ranger is planning road-show later in the year - taking the machines around the country to demonstrate their attributes.
Of the market, Mr Hadfield said, "Enquiry levels are strong, in fact it has never let up, but a lot of people are not yet in a position to buy. I have noticed an improvement since March."
Mr Hadfield was not the only one talking about positive indicators, John Ball president of IPAF and managing director of Easi UpLifts, tentatively expressed a slight change in the market, marking the merest glimmer of an improvement.
Brian King was positive about the new Nano from Leicester manufacturer, Power Tower. The Nano vertical mast lift comes in two sizes: 3.8 m and 4.55 m working heights with 1000 mm by 700mm platform dimensions. Mr King said they had received some good orders for it, "Compared with similar machines has a bigger platform and no high step to get in," he said. "Nano is suitable for second fix in buildings when ceilings and floors reduce the amount of loading and space available and the foot print is everything."
R2 director Russell Rowley feels he has "all his bases covered," having recently taken delivery of his first Hybrid Lifts from US manufacturer Custom Equipment and also being the dealer for the the Eazzi-Lift mini and midi push around scissors manufactured in the UK by Eazzi-Access. "I am very happy with the quality of the Hybrids," he said "and we have sold eleven [Eazzi] machines in the last two weeks." Mr Rowley's company is also a dealer for Manitou.
R2 and Eazzi Access generously auctioned a pink Eazzi-Lift mini for the joint charities of Women for Women and the Lighthouse Club. At the evening event, which followed the first day of the show, Dave Williams of Platform Hire made the winning bid of £2800, however, a late bid of £3000 came from Tony Crawford of Mr Plant and R2 and Eazzi-Lift agreed to sell a second unit in aid of the charity.
Also offered for auction were two crane models from Liebherr and two PPE kits from Kingfisher Access. The Auctioneer, Martin Davies of MEC Europe, Thermoil Europe and EPW, did a splendid job to cajole and bully his friends, colleagues, customers and competition into parting with a total of around £7000.
Mr Davies had a busy show with three stands to monitor. Have recently won the rights to sell and distribute the Thermoil product in Europe, South Africa and Australia, Mr Davis wasted no time in confirming individual distribution agreements with both Nifty Pty Ltd of Australia and Nifty S.A. (South Africa) to sell Thermoil De-Sulfater and Thermoil De-Mister products on an exclusive basis in each country. The Thermoil product is designed to extend battery life and reduce maintenance times, see Thermoil
Wearing his MEC hat Mr Davies said, "MEC will have two new models by October/November we are currently cutting steel for the prototypes. They will be completely different from anything on the market: there is nothing else out there like it today."
If Martin Davies was the busiest man at the show, Malcolm Bowers director of Lifterz came a close second. Having presided over an important Access Link meeting, in which the rental organisation finalised a partnership agreement with German organisation PartnerLift see Access Link and PartnerLift , Mr Bowers set about buying some new equipment. Lifterz bought four Iteco 12122 scissors from Russon Access Platforms and two Bluelift Spider Platforms, C18 and C21, from Bravi UK.
Bravi only announced the Bluelift dealership in June and this was the company's first opportunity to show the machines. Ben Bowers of Lifterz said, "After detailed considerations of all the spider lift makes and models currently on the market we decided to go with Stuart [Honeywood] and Andrew [Fishburn] and the Bluelift product because of the superior build quality, ease of set up and the experience of the support already provided by Bravi UK"
The sun generally brings out the best in people, but there was a feeling of optimism at Vertikal Days that wasn't just due to the excellent free food and drink.