Rapid Access on an expansion drive

Rapid Access, Middle East’s largest provider of powered access equipment, is rapidly growing its fleet and operations in the region.

Rapid Access, considered to be the Middle East’s largest provider of powered access equipment, is rapidly growing its fleet and operations in the region, following an increase in demand for rental and sales of powered access.

The company’s existing fleet of 750 machines throughout the GCC, built up over the past decade, has been increased by 250 machines last year with plans to add another 170 machines before March this year.

“This will allow us to make available more than 1,000 machines for access rental or sales. We are willing to put in substantial investment in our fleet due to the support we have from our clients who reaffirm the increased safety and efficiency of our powered access machines. These clients are keen to complete their quality projects safely and on time,” says a company spokesperson.

The company has also added a new range of telehandlers for the rental and sales market that was introduced in the last quarter of 2006. Telehandlers and aerial platforms are the perfect partners to work with in altitude as both provide access to heights for people, material and tools. These machines are considered a “first in last out” tool in every construction site because of its versatility. They can not only lift weights up to four tonnes and reach heights of 17 m but can also adapt a bucket to the main boom by removing the lifting forks in a very simple and quick operation,” says the spokesman. “These machines have proved to be extremely popular in steel erecting, oil and gas projects, warehouse construction, and other construction sites.”

The company will further expand its stock of telehandlers when it increases its fleet over this year.

Rapid Access is a part of the UK-based Lavendon Group, which with over 13,000 machines in Europe, claims to be the largest powered access specialist there with a strong presence in Germany, France, Spain and the UK. It is one of the fastest growing companies in the UK, its turnover having topped the $106 million mark in 2005.

Rapid Access, which started operations in Dubai in 1996, has quickly become a clear market leader in the powered access market, having attained a good understanding of customers needs in the region. Over the past decade, the company has opened branches all around the Gulf, going from one depot and 40 machines in 1996 to six depots and 750 machines in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Bahrain.

The company offers a comprehensive and internationally accepted service throughout its depots in the GCC and is the sales agent for top global brands such as Genie and Worldlift Industries in the region.

In order to further strengthen its presence in the region, the company is now opening a new depot in Abu Dhabi and another one in Oman to maintain a high level of unit availability and respond quickly with both equipment and technical support to customer demands.

“Due to the in-depth knowledge of the regional market acquired over the last 10 years, Rapid Access has been able to offer the right range of equipment to work in the Middle East environment, with specifications that suit the hot climate and the high levels of dust and humidity,” says the spokesman. “The company’s extensive product portfolio includes man lifts, electric and diesel scissors, electric and diesel booms (telescopic or articulated), and truck-mounted platforms. This range of products gives our customers a choice of working height from 6 m up to 72 m. We are the only company in the Middle East that can offer a 72 m working height truck mount.”

Rapid Access has supplied powered access equipment and services to a wide range of organisations and projects in the Middle East. These include developments at Ras Laffan and the Asian Games facilities in Qatar; Aramco refinery in Riyadh, Yanpet in Yanbu and the Qatif gas plant, all in Saudi Arabia; Dubai Airport, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, all in Dubai, UAE; and Alba and the Formula One TV broadcasting station in Bahrain.

Elaborating on the reasons for its success in the region, the spokesman says: “The construction industry today is moving towards automated hydraulic access systems rather than other conventional access methods, such as scaffolding, as they want instant, efficient and safe access. In addition, our equipment is especially popular for hard-to-reach areas. Another benefit offered by our hydraulic access is enhanced safety as workers are secured to the equipment by a safety harness – workers using other access methods, like scaffolding or ladders, face an increased risk of falling from heights.”

Rapid Access focuses on safety and all equipment available on hire undergoes a strict inspection programme, where any machine that fails the inspection is removed from the hire register until it has been repaired and passes a repeat inspection.

“Each machine also undergoes a thorough examination by an independent external assessment company at least once every year,” the spokesman says.

The company is now focused on increasing awareness that it offers a “one-stop shop” for access equipment in the Middle East.

“The future of our business is bright as has been proved by our phenomenal growth in the past decade. The confidence we have in it is shown in our investment in the region,” he concludes.

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