Why is the GCC’s access equipment sector a renter’s market?

The GCC region is a renter’s market as far as access equipment is concerned.


There’s no two ways about it: the GCC region is a renter’s market, as far as access equipment is concerned. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, it could be read as a sign of a maturing market, according to equipment suppliers.

Sharbel Kordahi, managing director of Terex Equipment Middle East, says that the last 18 months have witnessed rental companies enjoying high utilisation rates. These high rates, he adds, mean that the number of contractors and end-users who are opting to rent rather than buy is increasing.

Offering the same observation, Alexis Potter, sales and marketing director of Rapid Access, stress the appeal of the rental model in terms of cost. Potter explains: “At a time when capital efficiency is a key driver in every business, it makes sense for customers to focus their finances on their core businesses.”
Rapid Access has reportedly been benefitting from the popularity of the rental model, with Potter noting: “Most contractors look to rent powered access equipment due to the specialist nature of the equipment and the wide range of tasks to be carried out at height.”

He adds: “2016 was an exceptional year for Rapid Access, with record levels of utilisation and machines on hire.

“Powered access equipment is increasingly being recognised as the safest and most efficient way of carrying out a range of tasks at height.”

This year, Potter continues, started on a similarly positive note for the company, with the first half delivering regional utilisations that were 3% to 4% higher compared to the same period of 2016.

He further reveals that Rapid Access is seeing opportunities in transportation infrastructure, commercial projects, and oil and gas, among other sectors.

Noting that Rapid Access has observed the same trend in the market, Potter says: “This year has seen record demand for our range of secondary guarding devices, which are accessories that work together with our equipment to help reduce the risk of serious injury in the event of an operator entrapment incident.

“The system combines a pressure-sensitive strip that stops the machine in the event of an incident, with a loud alarm and flashing beacon to warn the surrounding operatives and staff.”

He goes on to clarify, however, that while equipment quality is important, the competence of equipment operators should also be highlighted by the industry.

“We saw great steps in the UAE in 2015, when the requirement for internationally accredited operator training was included in the Abu Dhabi Occupational Safety and Health Centre (OSHAD) Codes of Practice for the first time, but we are keen to see similar developments across the region,” he notes.

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