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Editorial archive

Happy New Year

January 1, 2017

As we kick off 2017, a brief look back at the past year indicates what a challenging and mixed year it was, tougher than expected in some areas but better than anticipated in others. READ MORE »

Is the CAT age coming to an end?

December 7, 2016

One thing that struck me during Bauma China is the way local manufacturers seem to think that they must produce their own versions of every type of machine as though the only road to success is to be all things to all people. But is that changing? READ MORE »

How wrong can you be

November 9, 2016

Well we now know that Donald Trump will be the 45th president of the United States, going completely against the brief poll of Vertikal.Net readers. They voted 61 to 39 percent in favour of Clinton – how wrong can we be? READ MORE »

Trump or Clinton

November 4, 2016

With just a few days left now before the big election we thought it might be interesting to poll our readers, both in the USA and overseas on who they might or will vote for. READ MORE »

Activist investors a force for good or?

October 9, 2016

This week has seen another ‘activist investor’ taking a ‘run’ at a company in the lifting equipment sector. READ MORE »

Stopping theft

August 1, 2016

The theft of cars, mobile phones, laptops and other such possessions - once exceptionally commonplace - has dropped dramatically in recent years, and yet thefts of aerial lifts and telehandlers are on the rise. READ MORE »

Be careful of what you wish for

June 24, 2016

Well the decision has been made, with England and Wales voting to leave the European Union, while Scotland and Northern Ireland have voted to remain. READ MORE »

Times of uncertainty

May 7, 2016

We are currently going through a period of considerable uncertainty even though things are not bad economically. The EU referendum in the UK is not only adding more uncertainty, but also putting business at risk. READ MORE »

Finding a new leader

February 21, 2016

The crane and access industries are both highly specialised, and somewhat incestuous, which can make the job of choosing a new leader for a large company in the sector challenging. READ MORE »

How will we fare in 2016

January 3, 2016

First of all I would like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous year in 2016, but what sort of year will it be for our industry? READ MORE »

The morality of cheating

September 26, 2015

Volkswagen has been in the news for all the wrong reasons with a crisis that could cripple it. Our industry is not immune to this sort of thing, but is it excusable? READ MORE »

Regulation a force for good?

June 28, 2015

Most of us have mixed feelings about regulations, but could the constantly changing rules covering engine emissions be having a positive effect on crane, aerial lift and telehandler design? READ MORE »

Obey the rules or lose business?

February 14, 2015

A UK crane rental company has highlighted a conflict in the UK crane hire market, concerning best practice guidance requiring a separate lift supervisor and crane operator for even relatively simple lifts READ MORE »

What will 2015 bring?

January 2, 2015

2015 is now upon us and the big question is what sort of year will it be? A good deal of uncertainty and change promises to keep us guessing. READ MORE »

What’s in a name?

October 25, 2014

We live in an age of jargon and initialisms and our industry is not immune to this scourge. The collective name for aerial lifts is currently being debated, the question is: Will a word selected by a committee stick? READ MORE »

What training do you need?

July 19, 2014

The other day I was asked “what training do you need to drive a crane?". While this might seem a simple question with a simple answer, it is actually a good deal more challenging. READ MORE »

Changing the way it works

April 27, 2014

We have often been critical of the excessive time it takes to investigate, report on and prosecute crane and aerial lift accidents. The industry needs a global standard. READ MORE »

Changing the way it works

April 27, 2014

We have often been critical of the excessive time it takes to investigate, report on and prosecute crane and aerial lift accidents. The industry needs a global standard. READ MORE »

Time we sang from the same hymn sheet

February 9, 2014

A recent incident, in which a man was dragged to his death by his harness and lanyard, highlights significant policy variations within the crane and access industries on the issue of when and when not to use a harness READ MORE »

What will the New Year bring?

January 3, 2014

With 2013 behind us the consensus of opinion within the market sectors we cover is that it was more stable or better than 2012. But what of this year? READ MORE »

More gongs?

October 20, 2013

It seems that over the past five years or so the number of industry awards, and gala awards dinners has mushroomed are there now too many? READ MORE »

Suspended risk

July 12, 2013

The subject of lifting people with cranes, whether at work or for fun has been a slow burning hot topic for several years, and yet it is a subject which still deeply divides the industry. READ MORE »

Time for global standards

May 5, 2013

Grey imports are an irritant to many manufacturers, but are they not a by-product of non-tariff barriers and the absence of global standards? READ MORE »

When to say No

February 23, 2013

We hate to say no and love to say yes, but there are times when saying No is the right answer. If we all knew when to say No the industry might be a better, safer place? READ MORE »

What’s fair in love and war

January 27, 2013

Competition is the life-blood of the capitalist system, driving improvements to products and services. Unfair and malicious competition however is not only illegal but can also damage the perpetrator. READ MORE »

What can we expect for 2013?

January 5, 2013

The New Year is here and most people will shortly be back at work and kicking off the 2013 business year, so how will it compare to 2012? READ MORE »

Prescriptive solutions

November 7, 2012

Several UK contractors are demanding the fitting of specific anti-entrapment devices to boom lifts is this the best way to develop safety solutions? READ MORE »

Three strikes and out

September 2, 2012

There should be a rule that those responsible for more than two bankruptcies in which creditors are left unpaid, are banned from being a director, controlling shareholder or senior manager for 10 years. READ MORE »

Reporting accidents

June 16, 2012

The reporting of accidents and open sharing of lessons learnt, has been a hot topic at several association meetings this year, many believe that it should be a condition of membership. It could do more to improve safety than any other initiative. READ MORE »

Anti crush essential or not?

April 9, 2012

The major manufacturers are now not only approving the fitting of anti-crush devices to boom lifts, but also endorsing them, as they introduce their own devices - but should they be standard or optional? READ MORE »

Is bigger better?

January 28, 2012

As the New Year gathers pace it looks as though 2012 will be a significant year for the crane, access and telehandler markets, in terms of mergers, and acquisitions. Will they be good or bad for the industry? READ MORE »

Poor credit control bad for all

November 20, 2011

The crane and access industries have never excelled at credit control and cash collection, to the point that it has caused the demise of many an otherwise good company. READ MORE »

Is European rental consolidation inevitable?

October 9, 2011

At the recent Europlatform conference a question was asked about the possible arrival of US rental giants in Europe and the possibliity of a new round of market consolidation in Europe. READ MORE »

Familiarisation is not training

July 25, 2011

Just over two weeks ago the University of Notre Dame reached a final settlement with The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration following the fatal scissor lift accident last October which killed 20 year old Declan Sullivan. READ MORE »

10 years and no older

May 1, 2011

Over the years there has been much discussion regarding when a crane, or perhaps more critically, an aerial lift becomes too old for everyday use. READ MORE »

Reporting the lucky escapes

February 6, 2011

Who would have thought over a century ago that commercial flying would become the safest form of travel by a wide margin? Aviation’s impressive safety record has not come about by accident or by manufacturers making their aircraft idiot proof. READ MORE »

Inspections certified or not?

December 1, 2010

In most parts of the world regulations require lifting equipment to be properly inspected at least once a year and often in more depth after longer intervals. Who though is competent to carry out such tests and inspections? READ MORE »

Belting up

October 1, 2010

As many of you are well aware the Vertikal Press has been a passionate advocate of the wearing of harnesses with short lanyards in boom lifts. In fact, we have even stated that we believe their use should be mandatory. READ MORE »

Regulation help or hindrance?

August 1, 2010

The USA has finally published its new standards/rules for cranes used in construction. It’s the first update in 40 years and has been welcomed by many as an important move that will save lives. There are though plenty of others who are of the opinion that they will make little difference, apart from increasing costs. – do more rules and regulations make us safer? READ MORE »

Extravagant and inappropriate… or a strong statement

July 1, 2010

At this year’s Bauma the one subject on everyone’s lips, no matter what their product interest, was the size and cost of the massive new Liebherr stand. Opinions ranged from ‘excessive and as inappropriate as a banker’s bonus’ to those who thought it was ‘a fantastic expression of confidence in the industry and an indication of the group’s strength and long-term business view’. READ MORE »

CE safety code or trade barrier?

May 1, 2010

The single market in Europe and CE marking has provided major benefits for manufacturers and users of aerial lifts and cranes, but has it now become something of a Non Tariff trade barrier? READ MORE »

Adapt or die – the opportunities are there

March 1, 2010

Most agree that we are now at the bottom of the business cycle, there are though still plenty of opportunities and the notion that our markets are saturated does not stand up. READ MORE »


January 1, 2010

Many of us will be glad to see the back of 2009, one of the hardest years for some time. In spite of substantial falls in revenues the majority of crane, access and telehandler companies – whether rental or manufacturers have come through bruised but alive. READ MORE »


November 1, 2009

At one time it was common practice to carry out ab overload test as part of a crane or aerial lifts routine thorough inspections. Current thinking is increasingly ruling out such tests, although some safety inspectors and contractors still insist on such them being carried out. READ MORE »


October 1, 2009

So having non selectively cut rates and caused an even great problem, those rental companies that feel the greatest pressure of lower returns - those with massive debt, a hostile lender or tough shareholders – often start to panic. READ MORE »


Happy New Year

Leigh W Sparrow, Publisher

As we kick off 2017, a brief look back at the past year indicates what a challenging and mixed year it was, tougher than expected in some areas but better than anticipated in others.






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