Access Link at TVH

Access Link, the UK association of independent regional powered access rental companies held its quarterly meeting at TVH headquarters in Waregem, Belgium.

Link members visited the company’s extensive replacement parts operations, including the brand new 13,000 square metre ‘Hub’ office building, parts distribution centre, and technical training facilities.

Access Link members visit Belgian parts and used equipment supplier TVH
This meeting was originally scheduled for the end of March 2020 but had to be postponed due to Covid lockdowns. TVH is preferred parts supplier for Access Link members.

Whilst in Waregem the group also visited the Belgian rental operation TVH Equipment which is now owned by the Mateco group, following ownership changes at TVH last year. See: TVH ownership changes.

Access Link chairman John Ball said: “I last visited TVH in January 2020, along with Andy Davis, to finalise arrangements for the original meeting. When you consider that in the intervening period we have been blocked to a considerable extent, you can’t help but be impressed by the amount of development that has taken place since then, with a new parts distribution centre, the Experience Centre and the state of the art construction project of the TVH Equipment rental centre. It is easy to see why TVH is a world leader in its sector. On behalf of our members, I would like to thank everyone at TVH for the two very enjoyable and informative days.”

Next Access Link Meeting will take place on Wednesday 15th January 2020

The Next Access Link Meeting will be hosted by Haulotte on the 15th January.


1 Gravelly Way,
Four Ashes,
WV10 7BW
The meeting is being hosted by Haulotte
Commencement Time: To be confirmed

Access Link discuss IPAF Rental+

The Access Link, the UK/Ireland association of independent regional access companies, held its quarterly meeting at the Lion Quays Hotel and Spa in Oswestry, Shropshire last week.

IPAF auditor Stephanie Nolan Byrne outlined the IPAF Rental Plus standard, which was followed by a Question & Answers session, during which a number of members expressed discontent with aspects of how IPAF has handled the scheme to date and a suggested a number of proposed improvements to improve it.

Access Link meeting hosted by Skyjack UK

Chris Womack – representing Womack Access – was warmly welcomed to the company’s first meeting, having been recently elected as a member. Two more members were also elected during the meeting, KDM in Northern Ireland and Blulift in Limerick, Ireland. Both companies will attend the next meeting, which will be hosted by Haulotte on the 15th January.

John Ball of Velocity Rental Solutions/The Access Link (L) and Chris Womack of Womack Access

The meeting was hosted by Skyjack UK, which brought along a range of aerial lifts for demonstration at the venue. During the meeting, Skyjack product and business development manager David Hall also presented the company’s latest products and developments, particularly in the areas of electronics and tracking information.

Next Access Link Meeting will take place on Wednesday 11th September 2019

The Next Access Link Meeting will take place on Wednesday 11th September 2019.


Lion Quays Hotel and Spa
Weston Ryn
The meeting is being hosted by Skyjack
Commencement Time: 10.30am

New Dynamic Access Link Website

Check out the new Access Link website we created for 2019. With over 40 depots nationwide, Access Link are No.1 for powered access in the UK and Ireland.

Next Access Link Meeting

The Next Access Link Meeting will take place at Nifty Lift Milton Keynes on Tuesday 30th April 2019.Full details later.

Check out the new website for the Access Link, created by The Design Bank for 2019. We’d like to reach out to all Access Link members to share on this collaborative forum. Any news-worthy items which might benefit the Link.

September 11th to 13th – Member Visit to Genie facility in Perugia Italy.

September 11th to 13th

Members meeting on  Wednesday September 12th at 1.30pm

September 25th – Quarterly Access Link Members Meeting

September 25th, Time 9.30am
This meeting is held in conjunction with the IPAF 2018 Elevation Event
Double Tree by Hilton Coventry
Paradise Way
Walsgrave Triangle

Snorkel Hosts Access Link

The Access Link, the UK/Ireland association of independent regional access companies, held its spring meeting at the Hilton Hotel on the Gateshead Quays, north east England, hosted by Snorkel UK.

Over 30 Access Link members attended the meeting, with presentations from Glenn Pearson of Rent It and Leanne May of Big Change Apps on how digitisation of the rental process can improve efficiency and the customer experience in the industry.

Rupert Douglas-Jones, in his new role as general manager of the Hire Association of Europe (HAE), gave an update on the association’s activities and future plans. This was followed by an update on the Snorkel product line and member offers from Snorkel UK sales director Linda Betts. Gordon Leicester also raised the issue of how the members, as a group, could raise support for sending used safety clothing and equipment that is still in good working order to construction workers in developing economies.

Following the meeting, the members were transported to Snorkel’s manufacturing facility and European headquarters in Washington, Tyne & Wear for a facility tour led by Linda Betts and Snorkel UK president John Gill.

Access Link chairman John Ball said: “On behalf of our members, I would like to thank Snorkel UK for their hospitality. In particular, the members really appreciated the detailed tour of the Snorkel manufacturing plant and were impressed with the quality of the assembly, paint and testing processes being utilised here in the UK.”

Link Membership Hits 31

The Access Link, the UK/Ireland association of independent regional access companies, held its quarterly meeting at the Hilton at St Georges Park, Burton on Trent, the home training grounds for the English soccer team.

The well attended meeting began with a welcome from the chairman to two newly elected members, both from Ireland who were attending their first meeting, Height Platforms of Dublin and Power Plant Hire from Wexford.

The meeting broke with tradition in that there was no supporting sponsor as it was decided that on this occasion, it would allow more time for discussions on Link related issues. A presentation was given by Richard Whiting and Giles Council from IPAF on Rental Plus and various other IPAF issues.

A wide range of issues were discussed at the meeting including problems with new equipment, service back up and how communication and marketing can be improved on cross renting equipment.

Recently audited applicant Winner Plant was unanimously accepted as a new member at the meeting bringing the membership total to 31 companies.

Access Link Next Quarterly Meeting

The next Access Link members meeting will be on the 7th Feb 2018, held at a venue in close proximity to the Executive Hire Show in Coventry. Further details to be announce in due course.

New Members For The Link

The Access Link, the UK/Ireland association of independent regional access rental companies held its quarterly meeting at JCB Rochester on Wednesday.

The meeting was well attended and kicked off in the JCB theatre with a welcome from Link chairman John Ball, followed by presentations from Richard Butler of JCBs Access and Andrew Crownshaw of JCB Finance.

Access Link members at JCB

Link members then held their own meeting with a welcome to two newly elected members attending their first meeting, Essex based Cannon Access and Sheffield based Elev8.

A wide range of issues were then covered, including the effects of recent emission regulations on rental activities in the greater London area.

New members (L-R) Phil Blackburn and Jason Machin of Elev8, Link chairman John Ball and Tom Cannon of Cannon Access

Presentations and industry updates were also provided by Kevin Minton of the CPA and Sterling Trailer which demonstrated the new Kargo King 12 tonne roll on roll off truck body.

The election of three new link members – LAS Plant of Inverness, Scotland, and two Irish based rental companies, Power Plant of Enniscorthy Wexford and Height Platforms Dublin – were also approved. The new additions take the number of member companies to 30.

The day continued with lunch at the JCB facilities, followed by a factory tour and a visit to the company museum.

Checking the machines out at the JCB theatre

Two New Members For Access Link

The Access Link the association of independent regional access rental companies in the UK and Ireland held its quarterly meeting last week at in Oswestry, Shropshire.

The meeting was sponsored by Skyjack UK which brought a range of aerial lifts to the venue, including its recently launched 85ft SJ85AJ and the 30ft SJ30ARJE electric industrial boom lift.

During the meeting David Hall of Skyjack presented the delegates with latest developments and products and how the company has developed both product line and market share over the past few years.

Giles Council of IPAF discussed the new criteria and audit process for UK membership which was just announced, which prompted lively debate and discussion. Delegates felt that IPAF needed to do more to market IPAF Rental plus to organisations and large contractors in the UK as it was now becoming a condition of membership.

The Access Link meeting approved two new members

Facelift chairman Gordon Leicester discussed the danges of Suspension Trauma experienced using harnesses and demonstrated the benefits of his ZT Harness. A presentation was also given by group supplier Platinum Batteries on its latest products. This was followed by hands on demonstrations of Skyjack scissor lifts and booms.

During the meeting applications from two new rental companies were voted on and unanimously accepted. They are Sheffield basedElev8 which specialises in truck mount lifts up to 90 metres and Cannon Access a general access rental company based in Tiptree Essex.

Both companies will attend the next quarterly meeting which will be hosted at JCB headquarters on September 27th.
The day concluded with a reception and dinner hosted by Skyjack.

Access Link Next Members Meeting – 14th June 2017

Access Link members meeting on the 14th of June 2017 will be hosted by Skyjack at:

Lions Quays Hotel and Spa

Weston Rhyn



SY11 3EN.

Full Details will be circulated to members in early June.

Four New Members for Access Link

The Access Link the association of independent regional companies in the UK and Ireland held its quarterly meeting on Thursday at Haulotte UK in Telford Shropshire.

The Haulotte sponsored meeting saw a record attendance of 40 delegates. Mick Evans general manager of Haulotte UK welcomed the members before the meeting got underway.

Link chairman John Ball welcomed four new members to their first meeting namely Access Platforms Aberdeen, One Stop Access Glasgow, Ashbrook Plant and Access Warrington and Bangor and SWAT Access from Preston. Between them the four new companies add an extra 1,000 platforms to the combines Access Link fleet, while improving geographic coverage.

During the day Haulotte UK also made a number presentations and demonstrations of its product range and finance offerings , giving members and opportunity to take a closer look at the new Star 6 AC mast type machine and the latest generation RTJ booms .

Other presentations were given by Henderson Insurance and Trackunit. Before the end of the formal part of the meeting Allan Hemmings of The Lighthouse Club gave a brief outline of the charities latest activities before being presented with a 1,000 cheque, representing funds raised by The Access Link members.

The day concluded with a reception and dinner.

Access Link Members Meeting – 30th March

Access Link members meeting on the 30th of March at the Haulotte UK HG in Telford.

Full Details to follow shortly.

Link Meets at JLG

The UK’s Access Link, the association of independent regional access rental companies held its quarterly meeting at JLG UK yesterday.

The well attended meeting was chaired by the Link’s recently appointed independent chairman John Ball. It covered a wide range of issues with members upbeat on utilisation and rental rate improvements this year. During the meeting JLG and Power Towers gave presentations and demonstrations of their product ranges, while IPAF presented the latest developments with Rental+ the independent quality mark for access rental companies.

Following the meeting members attended a drinks reception and dinner hosted by JLG.

Access Associations at The Belfry

Genie hosted the Access Alliance and Access Link organisations at The Belfry Golf Resort in Birmingham last week for their third quarter meetings.

The two organisations both had their own meeting rooms and agendas but came together for both lunch and dinner. Genie also had its 60ft Hybrid Z60/37 and 33ft Z33/18 boom lifts on display, as well as a 26ft GS-2669RT scissor lift.

2 Cousins Access managing director and departing Access Link chairman Keith John said: “The Access Alliance and Access Link make up over 25 percent of the market share in the UK with 15,000 machines between both organisations allowing them to compete nationally on all levels.”

Tony Crawford of Mr Plant Hire and Access Alliance chairman added: “The event was a big success. Both organisations get on very well and it was a great opportunity for members of both organisations to cement trading relationships and build new ones with previously unknown members. It gives great confidence in the market that three of our members announced new depots, GT Access in Bridge End, PG Platforms in Thetford and Extreme in Coventry. I would like to congratulate Keith John of the Access Link for everything he has done to take the Link where it is today as he hands over the chairmanship to John Ball.”

The Access Link and Access Alliance were hosted by Genie

Jacco De Kluijver of Genie said: “For Genie it was a great pleasure to host both organisations for their quarterly meetings. Both of them represent a significant part of the UK powered access market, and hosting an event like this gives us a great opportunity to learn what is happening in the market, and at the same time be able to celebrate Genie’s 50th anniversary. We would like to echo the congratulations addressed to Keith John for all the work he has done for the Access Link, and on the same note want to wish John Ball all the best in chairing the Access Link going forward.”

“It was great to see how well members of both groups get along when we mingled them for a round of golf at the wonderful PGA course at the Belfry. No one got hurt, so the clubs were used appropriately!”

Permanent Chairman for Access Link

The UK association of independent rental companies, the Access Link has appointed John Ball as independent chairman.

The appointment was confirmed at yesterday’s Access Link meeting held at the Belfry Golf and Hotel Facility at Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands. Genie UK provided the facilities for both the Access Link and the Access Alliance to hold their separate meetings, whilst benefiting from a combined Genie Product show and presentation.

The Access Link was established in 1998 and since its formation has used membership volunteers to fill the role of chairman, with Keith John of Two Cousins the most recent. Ball founded his consulting business Velocity Rental Solutions in 2014, after more than 20 years as part owner managing director of Irish international rental company Height for Hire/Easi Uplifts, and played a major role in its international expansion.

John Ball

Three years ago he sold his shares in the company to the McArdle family – the majority shareholder and left the company. He is a past president of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) where he is still a director. He is expected to make a significant contribution to the association particularly as it embarks on an accelerated course of group buying arrangements. See Ball forms new business 

Outgoing chairman Keith John’s said: “We are pleased to introduce John Ball to members as the new permanent chairman. John is a perfect fit for the Link. Since he became an independent advisor and consultant he has the capacity to bring his extensive industry experience to the Link. He chaired this first meeting and quickly displayed to the members his value to the organisation and its individual members.”

Two Lifterz Apprentices Win Regional Awards

Two Lifterz apprentices won regional awards at “Stars of the Future” Awards held at the Vertikal Days exhibition at Haydock Park. Elliott Waite (left) won the ‘year three’ regional award and Angus Strowbridge (right) won the ‘year two’ award.

Austin Byrne, Lifterz’ Service Manager proudly watched his two apprentices accept their award from guest speaker Nic Hamilton, the brother of Lewis Hamilton, three times world F1 champion.

Access Link Visit Snorkel

The Access Link held it’s latest meeting at Snorkel’s Washington manufacturing facility in Tyne & Wear.

It was well attended by all members and provided a great day which was enjoyed by all.

Many thanks to all concerned!

Exciting New Website!

Our new Access Link website, by The Design Bank.

Advanced Access Opens in Eastbourne

The new Eastbourne branch of UK rental company Advanced Access has been appointed as the Access Link supplier for East Sussex and Kent.

The decision was taken at the recent Link meeting in France, and has now been made official. Advanced also passed an annual audit for the IPAF Rental plus in December – all Access Link members are required to have the Rental Plus certification.

The new location which opened in September is managed by Danny Bond, its fleet – both delivered or on order – totals 91 units following a number of recent orders placed with Manitou, Niftylift, Skyjack and Custom Equipment. Advanced placed a further order today for 57 further machines from the same suppliers.


Access Link To Join With Partnerlift

Members of the Access Link, the UK and Ireland group of independent rental companies have voted unanimously to formally unite with Germany’s Partnerlift.

The decision follows the Link’s winter meeting held yesterday at the Manitou facility in Nantes, France.

The main topic on the agenda was a presentation by Kai Schliephake, managing director of Partnerlift, one of two similar rental franchise organisations in Germany. The plan is for the Access Link to unite with Partnerlift, building on the two organisations long standing informal agreement.

(L-R) Kai Schliephake of Partnerlift, Tony Hobbs of Manitou and Keith Johns representing the Access Link agree closer ties.

Keith Johns of Oxford based 2 Cousins Access, who planned and chaired the meeting said: “The members of the Link voted unanimously to strengthen and formalise this relationship by all Link members joining Partnerlift. The Link brand will not disappear but we will bring the identities closer together. Having greater financial and management resources than us Partnerlift has been able to develop a much better IT foundation and we look forward to using these benefits, which include a smart phone application which allows users to find the nearest depot to their work site.”

The Link meeting was well attended, with each member including a member of their technical/service teams. Manitou hosted the event which included a full factory tour, presentation and demonstrations.

The technical staff then attended a product service course, while the Link held its formal winter meeting, during which Dunstable based Neon Hire Services was elected as a new member. Manitou took orders for 35 platforms on the day along with a number of further enquiries.

Lifterz Opens in Plymouth

UK access rental and training company Lifterz has opened a powered access rental operation in Plymouth.

The Yorkshire based company is treating the operation as a satellite depot based at the premises of sister company Lifterz Cranes.

Lifterz says that the decision was taken as soon as it was revealed that the Access Link member for the south west, Light Hire, had been acquired by AFI Uplift.

The new depot has been unanimously accepted as the Access Link representative for the South West region and the first aerial lifts are already in place. The location will also offer IPAF training.

Laura Indans has been recruited to develop the region for Lifterz and will work within the team controlled by Benjamin Bowers who said: “The depot will benefit from sharing with Cranes, it has low overheads and is expected to become profitable quite quickly”.

Lifterz is part of LSG Industrials, which rebranded an existing crane business as Lifterz Cranes early this year.

Brightcast Invests

UK rental company BrightCast Group Services has invested in a number of new Skyjack lifts, along with an additional delivery truck.

The Enfield based company became a member of the Access link around 18 months ago, covering the London region and has since gained IPAF Rental + certification.

The latest Skyjack additions include: Skyjack 3226, 4632 26 and 32ft slab electric scissor lifts and some of the first 16ft SJ16 mast type lifts in the UK. The additions take the company?s fleet to 130 units. The additional truck is a 26 tonne Iveco Stralis with Shawhire access specification body. John Young, of Brightcast said: “We are very happy with new additions to our fleet and I am always happy with the service back up we get from Skyjack.”

Advanced Access Joins the Link

We are very pleased to welcome Advanced Access as our latest partner in the Link. John Corcoran and his team bring with them a wealth of experience to the network. Based in Sutton, Surrey, they offer a key strategic base for the south of London. With over 30 years in the business they have an extensive fleet of machines to meet every need. With a proven track record, working with high level developers, working on such projects as the Millennium Dome, O2 Arena, New Heathrow Terminal 4 Arrivals and Terminal 5, New North Terminal Gatwick /Terminal 3 Baggage Hall, Tate Gallery, News International, Asda, Sainsbury?s and Tesco distribution depots, Westfield Shopping Centre, White City, Nike Store Oxford Street, Royal Ascot clean down, Epsom Race Derby Day, New Wembley Stadium, Stamford Bridge (Chelsea. F.C), The Emirates, Fulham Football Club Training Ground, Olympics Media Centre /New Olympic Stadium Stratford and their credentials list goes on and on.

Industry veteran, John Corcoran, said that he has been very encouraged and even surprised by the volume of business already coming through from Link members, adding to its existing business within the London area. In conclusion, John said “last week, we ordered 46 new units to meet this demand, with the first 20 mostly SKYJACK Scissor Lifts, arriving today”

Access Link Holds Their Spring Meeting in Coventry

The UK’s Access link, the association of independent rental companies held its Spring meeting on Wednesday

The Link, now in its 12th year held its spring meeting in Coventry on Wednesday March 23rd with a record attendance of 28 reporting a good start to 2011.

The meeting was hosted by Independent Parts and Service (IPS) which took the opportunity to present an update on its growing facilities and services.

The recent takeover of Dorset based High Level Platforms by the Kimberly group caused a need for a new member for that area and Facelift’s Southampton depot was selected from two candidates.

The Access Link has a track record of seeking ways to raise standards and has been a champion of IPAF Rental + since it was announced. The meeting concluded with an award for the winner of an internal satisfaction survey. This is aimed to help raise member standards to new levels. Each member scored each of their fellow members on such matters as fleet quality, availability, hire staff, service, administration detail etc…- in all 18 subjects.

It was a close call but Peter Hird & Sons of Hull were the overall winners. Chairman Malcolm Bowers of Lifterz said: “this was a great opportunity for us all to get an objective view of ourselves and make improvements where needed.”

Access Link Meets Genie

The UK’s Access Link, the association of independently owned regional aerial lift rental companies that work together to offer a national coverage. held its autumn meeting at the Terex/Genie assembly plant in Coventry earlier this week.

In addition to the Link meetings Genie and its recently appointed UK parts distributor IPS, made a joint presentation to members and a new member was approved.

Link member Barry Brady of Milton Keynes based Elavation said: “I suppose most of us didn’t really understand the arrangement (between Genie IPS and Genie customers) so it was good to be given the chance to have our questions answered. Our biggest concern was that this new tie-up did not add extra cost to our members.”

The Access Link at Genie’s Coventry plant

The meeting was very upbeat with all members reporting increased levels of fleet utilisation and rising hire rates in most segments of their fleets. It was announced that the Link member in Scotland had recently gained the IPAF Rental + accreditation meaning most of the country is now covered by accredited Link members.

During the meeting Brightcast Platforms was approved as a new member to cover the central London region. The company has a fleet of around 80 lifts and is said to be committed to the Link’s standards and will be working towards the IPAF Rental+ accreditation during the next six months. The appointment takes the number of Access Link locations to 29, with a combined fleet of 5,082 machines.

AJ Access Helps With The British Antarctic Survey

A J Access Platforms Ltd are proud to have supplied the British Antarctic Survey with two specially adapted Genie Z60/34 articulating booms at their Halley VI project located at the Brunt Ice Shelf in Antarctica . The machines were purchased by Morrison Construction who have the contract to build the new accommodation pods and workstations at Halley. The booms are fitted with snow tracks, have hostile environment kits fitted and have specialist grade oils.

They arrived mid December on the RSS Ernest Shackleton from Cape Town. It was here in 1985 that scientists first found evidence of O-Zone depletion in the stratosphere above Antarctica and whilst atmospheric research is the primary focus, work in geology and glaciology is carried out as well. There are 70 personnel living and working over the summer months and around 16 over winter. These include chefs, doctors, scientists and engineers. The machines are being put to use for up to 10 hours per day and are checked twice daily by the engineers. You can find out more about the British Antarctic Survey and their research at

The Show Must Go On

Last night at 9:15pm Lifterz had a phone call from Wolverton Council where the manager was desperate for IPAF training the next day. He was desperately searching on Google and ours was the only number answered. Through the LINK we were able to contact Barry Brady of Elevation, we got back to the man within 5 minutes and the course with 4 men started promptly at 8.00 this morning, Wolverton, on their doorstep at Elavation’s depot! The Wolverton Council Manager couldn’t believe it and said that it was uncanny how all the pieces came together so easily, Barry said “we’ve been trying to get in there for ages.” Apparently they had noticed that no-one had an IPAF PAL card and the XMAS decorations were being installed on Saturday.

Two New Members For Access Link

The UK’s Access Link has appointed two new members. Anglia Access of Norwich and Altitude Access of Mansfield. Anglia’s fleet is predominantly Haulotte based, while Altitude access is more JLG orientated.

Anglia, a relative newcomer to the access rental market fills a gap in the Link’s geographic coverage while Altitude, which was founded in 1996, takes over part of the territory vacated by Central Access.

The two new members will officially become part of the Access Link at the next general meeting to be held in April at JLG’s Maasmechelen production facility in Belgium.

Malcolm Bowers, the 2008 Access Link chairman said: “These two new members are ideally placed to help with our national depot network. Anglia is a relatively new company, with a good fleet mix and is ideally placed to fill an important location on our map.

Altitude has invested heavily in plant and premises lately and their setup is first class. They cover part of the territory previously covered by Central Access before they were acquired”

We recently formed a committee to deal with new applications and both companies met our membership criteria very well indeed. These two depots raises the Link Fleet to 4,400 modern well maintained platforms spread throughout the UK and Ireland.”

“With this kind of coverage Link members have a real advantage when selling their service to national contractors. Our new strap line ‘Local service countrywide’ says what we are about.”

Access Link Meets Bravi

The Access Link, the UK association of independent aerial lift rental companies that work together to offer a national rental service, held its quarterly meeting yesterday at the headquarters of Bravi UK.

Some 18 companies were represented including the two latest members Huntley Access and Facelift. In addition to discussing the groups regular business, Bravi UK made a presentation on the benefits and business potential of its Leonardo self propelled lifts.

Access Link and Partnerlift Get Off To A Good Start

The relationship between the UK’s Access Link and Partnerlift has got off to a good start with quite a few enquires being already handled.  However, another avenue opened up when Jason Seddon of Manchester based Aerial Platforms came across a German M and E contractor’s name on a contractor’s list for a site in his area. He passed the lead to Partner Lift  in Germany  and between them they secured the 8 week hire. That’s teamwork.

Paul & Kerry Standing’s Big Day

The wedding ceremony was held at St Peter Church in Upper Beeding, West Sussex at 2pm
Reception was at the Hickstead Show Ground
There were ten bridesmaids which included their daughters Macy and Madison
Page boy their son Jaden

It was a lovely day was had by all.

Three More Reach The Standard

April sees the IPAF Rental Plus accreditation being awarded to three more Access Link companies. Elevation based in Milton Keynes, Horizon at Horbury and Aerial Platforms at Manchester have all reached the standard guaranteeing customers the very best service levels in the industry.

The Link Meets

The Access Link, the UK/Ireland association of independently owned access rental companies recently held its quarterly meeting in Telford as guests of Haulotte.

The meeting included an exhibition of products from the company’s range, including the self propelled X-Boom from Bil -Jax and the Star 10 mast boom.

Haulotte UK general manager Philip James also welcomed the members with an introductory presentation on the latest developments at the company.

In spite of poor weather the meeting had a near 100 percent turnout chairman Malcolm Bowers said: “The Link meeting was very dynamic with most members in a positive mood and agreeing to hold firm on the inter-Link hire rates.”

He also confirmed that a number of new membership applications were currently being vetted with an announcement due shortly.

The Answer To The Low Level Working at Height

Achieving compliance to the Working at Height Regulations 2005 for work at a low level has just got a lot easier and quicker for those based in South-West England thanks to the Power Tower and trailer solution offered by Exeter and Barnstaple based Light Hire.

The Power Tower – a powered answer to towers – can be quickly and easily loaded onto a custom-designed pivoting neck drawbar system making it portable, highly efficient and totally within the relevant legal requirements. A simple, one-button operation then lifts you into the air and straight into action!

Suitable for working use up to 5.1m in height, weighing in at only 300 kg and small enough to pass through a standard doorway, this device is ideal for use in all manner of factory, office, school and similar environments.

An added advantage of the system is that the trailer can be towed on a standard car driving licence, being only 500 kg fully loaded thus eliminating the costs and inconvenience of additional training and vehicle source/hire.

Brian Light, Managing Director of Light Hire commented ‘as an independent company based in South-West England we are mindful of having a wide variety of customer sizes and types. We aim to provide the best possible levels of support and service to these people whilst ensuring we are at the leading edge of developments in our sector and meeting the latest legal requirements. Being able to offer the Power Tower and trailer either as separate entities or a complete package for hiring to allow multi-location work with the minimum of fuss is high on our agenda and it is gratifying to see the number of applications this can lend itself to’.

The Prestigious IPAF Rental + Quality Mark

Light Hire Ltd, the Exeter based hirer of powered access products for South-West England have recently become the sixth UK-based company to qualify for the IPAF Rental+ quality standard.

The IPAF (International Powered Access Federation) Rental+ programme sets a series of minimum quality standards for customer service, safety, staff training, contract terms and machine inspection for powered access hirers and has an annual audit plan in place

Access Link Held Their Quarterly Meeting in Oswestry Shropshire Courtesy of MEC UK.

The venue was the Lions Quay Hotel and MEC put on a private exhibition of some of their range of electric and diesel scissor lifts. Martin Davies the UK Director and Jim Tolle, President of World
Sales hosted a great meeting and presentation.

The MEC ranges’ benefits include basic simple engineering designed specifically to stand the rigours of the rental world. Many of the parts can be sourced locally. Computers are kept to a minimum and machines across the range share common parts. The powder coated paint finish
thickness exceeds their competitors and gives machines almost a plastic coated look.

The Link meeting got through a wide agenda of subjects including discussions of new membership applications which will be announced once the fine detail is sorted.”

JLG Hosted Meeting at Maasmechelen

JLG have justed hosted the quarterly meeting at their Belgium Production Plant in Maasmechelen on April 30th. The members were given a tour of the impressive service and parts support facility which assures their customers of a prompt backup to their needs. They also enjoyed a tour of the assembly plant, 5 minutes away from the Parts and storage facility, which produces many of the JLG products, including  telehandlers, for the european markets. 

The Link meeting was held following a most professional presentation by the JLG sales and management team. The agenda was geared towards improving the Link service to national accounts which included looking at geographic areas of weakness and keeping transport costs to a minimum.

IPAF Award Lifterz The Rental+ Quality Standard!

Lifterz Ltd the Yorkshire LINK member has been awarded this prestigious quality standard.

Lifterz the No1 provider for hire, sales and training in the region, said ‘we are over the moon with this new accreditation and proud to be able to offer our customers assured quality of product and service.’

The IPAF Rental+ programme guarantees customers the highest service levels in the industry and peace of mind when it comes to meeting their own business needs.

New Website – New Marketing Strategy

You may have noticed our new site, which has been created by marketing specialists
The Design Bank

In an industry where time is of the essence, the immediate benefit is the speed of communication with your local Access Link depot.

This benchmarks a complete marketing strategy to take Access Link (now the largest body of independent hire company’s) to a whole new level of customer support and service.

Light Hire Reach New Heights of Customer Service

Light Hire Ltd, an approved IPAF and PASMA training centre in Exeter and Barnstaple which trains people in the safe use of mobile elevating platforms and erection of aluminium towers are investing in training for internal staff in addition to instructing their wide range of clients.

Paul Roddis, Light Hire’s Training Manager is ensuring that both current and new staff have the skills and knowledge to remain at the cutting edge of the access platform industry.  Clive Wotton, the Barnstaple Depot Manager and Graham Sandford, a Technician in Exeter both recently achieved success at a mechanical and electrical course for powered scissor lifts and hand held analysers at JLG UK in Manchester whilst Graham has also studied hydraulic and electrical schematics for boom lifts at the Genie European Headquarters in Lincolnshire.

As Paul comments ‘it is vital to ensure that our staff receive training in order to keep them fully aware of latest developments in our fast moving industry.  Light Hire is determined to continue to invest in the personal development of all our staff in order to ensure that the equipment we supply is maintained and delivered to the highest possible standards.’

The top quality of equipment, training and service at Light Hire was also realised with the recent IPAF Rental + accreditation and the ongoing development of the company has been demonstrated through the rapid expansion of the fleet, the growth of the training programme – now covering powered access, aluminium scaffold erection and inspection, manual handling and the fitting of abrasive wheels plus the recent addition of new offices in the region.

Access Link Appears to Have Re-established Itself

The second biggest player in the UK powered access market is not a company but an association of independents that support each other under the banner Access Link. Now in its 10th year, Access Link is in recovery mode after a few difficult years that saw several members, including two of its driving forces, leave the association. Access Link is intended to enable small-to-medium sized powered access hire companies with at least 50 machines to offer their customers a countrywide service – nationwide is not a word that Access Link likes to use – by rerenting machines from other members.

The first blow came in 2004 when AFI left. Having opened its fifth depot it was itself growing into a national player and becoming too big for the association, with depots starting to compete with fellow association members.

Key losses AFI’s departure meant it also lost Malcolm Bowers, who had been one of the key people in setting the up the Link and driving it forward. Two years later, in 2006, came a further blow when another leading member, Panther, was acquired by Lavendon, the market leader. Not only did this mean the loss of 1,300 platforms to the link, but also two more key individuals in Richard Miller and Brian Fleckney.

The same year saw more losses as Uplift was acquired by AFI and AMP was acquired by Lavendon. In 2007, North East Access was bought by what had become AFI Uplift. As each of these departed, however, new members were steadily recruited to complete the network and maintain countrywide coverage.

One of these was Lifterz, based in Ossett, West Yorkshire, set up in 2007 by Malcolm Bowers (with his son Ben) who had left AFI a couple of years previously and been working for Lavendon on a consultancy basis. Today, Mr Bowers is once again chairman of Access Link for 2008. It is a position he held previously when AFI was a member.

“The more successful companies outgrow it or get bought and are replaced by smaller companies” MALCOLM BOWERS

Healing the hurt
Mr Bowers acknowledges the harm the departures did to the network. “The Link went into the doldrums for the past year or two with the loss of certain members,” he says. “Panther was a very big mover and pulled in a lot of the HSS/Speedy-type of rehire work on behalf of the Link.

When a company like that leaves it can be devastating. “It seems that as long as the Link exists, the more successful companies will either outgrow it or be bought, and be replaced by smaller companies.”

Today, Access Link has re-established itself with sufficient members to have an aggregate fleet of around 5,000 platforms – roughly half the size of Nationwide Platforms, but clearly bigger than either Panther or AFI Uplift – and 25 depots across the UK.

There are 18 UK member companies, plus Skylift, with its three locations in the Republic of Ireland.

“This year is all about reinvigorating it,” Mr Bowers says, and offers up the new website ( as an example of that.

The Access Link brand will be used more strongly in certain markets, he says. M r Bowers describes Access Link as less construction oriented than Nationwide or AFI Uplift. Smaller companies like the Link members tend to target work such as local authority contracts, facilities management projects and retail work. Customers have the benefit of a local service, a single point of contact and a single source of invoicing, according to Mr Bowers. “Our strapline is ‘Local servservice, countrywide’,” he says.Some members are more aggressive at marketing and bringing in revenue for the Link, but that’s fine, Mr Bowers says, since everyone wins.

“I think the 80/20 rule applies – 80 per cent of the business comes from 20 per cent of the players,” he says. He puts his own company, Lifterz, into this category. Unlike many members, though, Lifterz is “proactively looking for national account work” as a core strategy.

It generated £210,000 of work for the Link over the eight months to August 2008 and received £70,000 of this for itself, he says.
“We had 81 machines on hire yesterday from other Link members.”

His typical customer is less likely to be a major contractor than an M&E outfit or refrigeration engineer who works in Aldi or Netto stores all over the country, he says. To ensure that all member companies can be assured that their fellow members maintain a certain level of customer service and look after their machines professionally, Access Link agreed six months ago that by mid-2009 all members would have achieved IPAF Rental+ accreditation, a kite mark scheme run by the International Powered Access Federation. The IPAF Rental+ mark is designed to demonstrate that holders have passed a rigorous third party audit of all their procedures, from hire desk management to machine maintenance and staff training.

The ability to offer IPAF operator training is also a requirement of Link membership.
“We are pretty near full coverage now,” says Mr Bowers. “There are still parts of the country where we could do with another two or three dots on the map. But we currently have three applications for membership to discuss at out next quarterly meeting in December.”Looking further ahead there are tentative plans to take the Link to mainland Europe.

European expansion
“We want to grow across Europe,”Mr Bowers says. Discussions have been held with Partnerlift, a similar association of independent hire companies in Germany. “We are hoping we can find the basis of an arrangement with them,” he adds. Partnerlift has already gone beyond the scope of Access Link, employing a full-time, paid managing director and using its purchasing powers to place a bulk order with JLG for platforms on behalf of individual member companies. Access Link, it seems, is roaring back to life.

“We want to grow across Europe. We are hoping we can find the basis of an
arrangement with Partnerlift”