POWERED access giant Nationwide Access has bucked the current trend towards small platforms with a major expansion of its f leet of large machines.
The hirer believes the trend towards taller industrial buildings and stadiums warrants a much larger f leet of booms and scissors over 15 m and has bought 150 Genie and Skyjack platforms in a £5.5 million investment.
At the same time Nationwide has commissioned a £1 million fleet of 3.5-tonne truck-mounts to meet growing demand from customers complying with new work at height responsibilities and spent £4.2 million on expanding its delivery f leet.
Marketing manager Scott McCall said: 'Over the past three years industrial buildings and warehouses have got bigger and a lot of larger machines have had to be hired in from Holland to work on them.' The machines have all been specified with on-board generators to meet contractors' demand for avoiding trailing leads, together with foam-filled tyres and four-wheel drive.
Mr McCall said: 'Foam-fills are not used much in the UK, but we want to stop customers having issues with punctures.
'There are a lot of new customers who are not happy about the rocking effect caused when a puncture happens and this saves them having to wait for someone to fix it.' He said the truck-mounts from Italian manufacturer CTE have been specified to provide machines that are easy to set up and can be driven on a basic driving licence.
'These are aimed at customers such as housing associations, which used to use a ladder or a tower for refurbishment work. The CTE can be driven from site to site, set up in a parking space and provide 20 m of boom. It weighs 3.5 tonnes, whereas a selfpropelled for the same height would weigh 10 tonnes.' He added: 'We are seeing a lot of new customers who until now have used towers ? they have been prompted by the work at height regulations or the threat of HSE inspectors visiting smaller sites.'