Smart Platform Rental Ltd, the UK’s largest provider of light truck mount self drive rental platforms, has recently announced the launch of an entirely new offering; narrow access cherry pickers as part of a self drive truck package. ‘We’ve wanted to offer the accessibility of a tracked boom combined with the mobility of a truck mount for quite some time.’ stated Guy Willett, Smart’s Commercial Director. ‘Much of our clientele, from tree surgeons to facilities management contractors, had expressed an interest in being able to use platforms where our truck mounts couldn’t access. This ranged from interior work in atriums to the backs of properties or other sites that had narrow access or point loading issues.’
The first challenge for Smart was in sourcing a package that could also be used on a self drive and self operated package like their truck mounts. ‘It was vital that we offer the most capable narrow access platform available whilst the overall package kept to the 3.5 tonne limit; thus meaning anyone could drive the away the platform on it’s carrier vehicle using just a standard driving licence,’ emphasised Willett. The company’s extensive research led them to the Italian specialist tracked machine manufacturer Hinowa. ‘Their 14.72 Light Lift really impressed us with a maximum working height of 13.9m and outreach of 6.7m and yet weighs in at under 1.4 tonnes. However, the features that really won us over were the one touch auto stabilisation for setting up and down which makes operating very simple along with the platform being able to fit through openings of only 85cm wide.’
The next issue was to locate a carrier vehicle that would make loading and unloading easy whilst not adversely affecting the truck’s driving characteristics. After an exhaustive search of the specialist vehicle market Smart approached a UK custom vehicle builder and had a flatbed Citroen Relay bespoke to fit the exact dimensions of the cherry picker. ‘The vehicle has been custom built with a very low flatbed height, an integrated skid system, purpose built stops and integrated ratchet straps that all contribute to both simple operation and secure loading/unloading and transit.’
The next step for Smart will be in the adoption of this new access package within the sectors they serve and since its launch last month at the Saltex exhibition in Windsor it has generated a great deal of interest. ‘From just £124 per day for hire of the platform we’re highly competitive in the tracked access market and with the addition of a carrier unit we believe a lot more people will be drawn to using this form of powered access. However, as with all innovations people will want to see the platform in action which is why we’re offering no obligation free site demos. From this many customers can visualise the potential of being able to conduct several challenging jobs at height all under the one hire; much like our truck mounts.’
Early indications from the first hires of the tracked self drive package are very favourable. ‘We found the simplicity of controls, self levelling capability and removable basket all contributed to a very convenient and easy access solution for a task we couldn’t have undertaken with Smart’s truck mounts that we regularly hire’ stated Alan Britchford of Moore Security Services, the NT14’s first hirer. ‘We’ve already been recommending it to others to address their narrow access requirements and foresee that we’ll have a regular need for it on certain jobs,’ said Britchford. It’s a great addition to Smart’s fleet and being available on a self drive basis maintains all the advantages of reducing overheads whilst maximising convenience and control’, added Britchford.
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