Leader makes rapid strides in market

Rapid Access expands to become the largest supplier of powered access equipment in the Qatar.

Rapid Access – said to be the largest and fastest-growing supplier of powered access in the Middle East – has been gearing up its Qatari operations with a view to expanding its interests in the region.

Working closely with its local sponsor in Qatar, Doha Petroleum Construction Company (Dopet), Rapid Access – the Middle East operation of the UK-based Lavendon Group – has expanded to become the largest supplier of powered access equipment in the country with a fleet of 35 machines.

Rapid Access Qatar – which opened its depot in May 2001 with 10 machines – is well placed to supply anywhere in Qatar. Its main depot is located in the industrial area and sub depots are in Dukhan and Ras Laffan, says resident manager for Rapid Access Qatar, Ian Shaw.

Shaw, who is enthused by the prospects for growth in the region adds: “This year should be excellent for Rapid Access Qatar, with major construction projects getting under way. With projects coming up in the oil and gas sector and with the infrastructure projects for the Asian Games in 2006 starting up, the scope for access systems has grown.

“Companies have begun to recognise the safety, time and cost benefits, powered access has to offer. There has been a positive change in attitudes towards implementing safe working practices and completing projects in a timely, efficient manner. These changing attitudes of the Qatari construction community, coupled with the fantastic drive and ambition of the Qatari people are crucial to keep Qatar on track to become the commercial and construction hub of the Middle East.

“With the support of our existing client base and from those whose projects are in the planning stages, we expect to at least double our fleet in the coming 12 months, bringing Rapid Access Qatar’s strength to 70 to 80 machines.

“We at Rapid Access hope to contribute to the successes of the country and lead the way in the field of temporary aerial access,” says Shaw.

Rapid Access’ regional head office was established in 1996 in Dubai and since then the company has been setting the standard in the field of powered access rental.

At present, the company holds a fleet of approximately 500 machines across seven depots located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Dhahran and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. As health and safety standards have improved in the region, especially in the construction and oil and gas sectors, Rapid Access has expanded to meet the growing demand for powered access – providing a safe and efficient method to work at height.

“Since we set up base in the region we have expanded our fleet 10 times with an investment of over $20 million in equipment.” says Chris Light, managing director of Rapid Access Middle East.

As Rapid Access’ coverage extends throughout GCC countries, we are able to maintain a high level of unit availability and respond rapidly and efficiently with both equipment and technical support,” says Light.

Rapid Access’ fleet includes:
• Self-propelled scissor lifts - 7 to 17 m reach;
• Self-propelled boom lifts - 11 to 35 m; and
• Truck-mounted boom lifts - 17 to 72 m.

UK based Lavendon Group is Europe’s largest powered access rental company and fifth largest globally. The group is a specialist provider of access equipment throughout Europe and Middle East with over 14,000 pieces of equipment and 106 depots in various European countries, trading as Nationwide Access (UK) and Zooom in France, Germany, Spain and Austria.

The group’s annual turnover is in excess of $184.9 million and continues to grow from strength to strength in Europe and the Middle East, he says.

With the support and backup of the largest specialist powered access provider in Europe, Rapid Access continues to set the standard for other powered access suppliers in the Middle East market, and is therefore able to set itself apart from any competition it may have.

Rapid Access is the only company outside Europe certified by IPAF (International Power Access Federation). The IPAF certificate authorises Rapid Access to provide training to IPAF standards for both operators and users of powered access. This, coupled with its rigorous maintenance programme and 24-hour callout service, sets Rapid Access as the leader in the market ensuring its customers get the most reliable machines – when they want them – with the highest standard of training available for their operators, Light concludes.

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