POWERED access specialist The Platform Company has diversified into the telehandler sector after buying JCB telehandlers worth £3 million.
Lee Perry, managing director of the Slough-based hirer, said: 'This move suits our customer base. We found that we were rehiring a lot of telehandlers, so it made sense to buy our own.
'These are going to traditional construction, not house building, as self-drive hires.
'We had a look at a number of different companies but JCB was the manufacturer that took us most seriously and provided us with the best product.' According to Mr Perry, the platforms and telehandlers combination does not signal a move into more general plant.
He said: 'We are definitely not going into general plant and we are not going into operated plant either. Telehandlers and platforms are a good fit as our engineers are used to dealing with hydraulic systems.' The firm plans to expand the telehandler fleet to 100, spread throughout its eight-branch network to serve its existing customer base, and then use it to move into new areas.
He said: 'We have around 2,000 platforms, so the telehandlers will never be as big as that business, but we think they will be useful in opening up new areas for the powered access business.' The Loadalls comprise 7 m, 9.5 m, 12.5 m and 17 m machines, with the middle two expected to be the core business, Mr Perry said.