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Brian Wiggins R.I.P

12. July 2017 | Comments (4)

We have received the very sad news that Access industry veteran Brian Wiggins died yesterday following a long illness.

At this point we only have a little information about his passing and his long and varied career, but understand that he was been in hospital for much of this year, but was still in communication with ex colleagues in recent weeks, trying to close a last deal or two.

We understand that he started off working in the construction industry in parts of Africa and the Middle East before joining the emerging powered access industry. He worked at Wyse Plant which sold Genie booms and Fabtek/Hyster sigma type scissor lifts, he then moved to John Rusling shortly before it became Instant Zip Up - later to become UpRight UK - in the major accounts team and also at UK manufacturer Go Industries in Thetford, later joining SEV/Aerial access where he looked after export sales. That business became part of Tanfield which then acquired UpRight and later on Snorkel. He remained on board after both acquisitions and restructuring and covered most of the less developed territories including the Middle East, Africa, Russia, the Baltics and China. During this time he laid the foundations for some of Snorkel’s most successful international dealer relationships, many of which still endure.

Brian Wiggins
Brian Wiggins

He rarely had a bad word to say about anyone, loved doing a deal and was known and loved around the world he never really retired, even after deteriorating health forced him to reduce his travelling, bringing an end to permanent employment. He continued as a very successful freelance salesman working with a number of companies selling new and used equipment.

In the words of someone who worked alongside him: “He was a friendly, funny, very loyal and occasionally frustrating - he didn’t believe there was any such word as ‘no’ - person, and great company with a vast store of war stories. He was a good man and I rarely heard anybody with a bad word to say about him. He belonged to a different era when the access industry consisted of a handful of machines outside the USA but remained relevant and busy to the end. He will be sadly missed by many people in the business worldwide.”
We will update this report over the next few days as we gather more information. In the meantime we would be happy to receive any further information and career details from those who worked with Brian over the years.

The access industry has lost another of its ‘characters’.

The funeral will take place on Friday 28th July at 14:00 at the Spalding/South Lincolnshire Crematorium,
Gosberton Road,
PE11 4AA
Point of Rental Software


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Emailed Comment
16. July 2017 14:41

I bring my humble respects to Brian for being my coach into access world almost 20 years ago! Fare well!

Stefanita Ponea
CEO & Founder Industrial Access

13. July 2017 10:00

I also had the honour to work with Brian during my days with Tanfield and took over the Russia and Eastblock countries from him. He was a very fine person to work with and we had lots of talks about the ``old days`` in the access industry.
Now we lost another veteran again.
RIP Brain, we will miss you.
Wim Jansink

Srini K
13. July 2017 00:57

Deeply saddened to hear the passing away of the legend, Brian Wiggins.

As someone who tutored me and countless others in the Middle East and beyond, the industry has lost a true and incredible legend. I would go as far as saying that it was Mr. Wiggins who introduced MEWPs in the Middle East.

It was a true honour and privilege to have been under his tutelage. I remember an incident from some 28 years ago; when he was helping us to give a demonstration of a trailer mount to a large audience from the oil giant, Saudi Aramco. Brian in his imitable style was up in the basket at height from which he could be heard and he slewed around by about 60 degrees. The slewing suddenly stopped and we thought that there was a malfunction in the machine. Brian at that point asked me to go to the opposite end and give a half turn to the screw jack, as though this was a well-rehearsed move. He then continued to go through the paces of the rest of the demonstration.

After completing the physical demonstration of the machine, he made his concluding remarks to the audience on the do?s and don?ts of operating trailer mounted access platforms. He explained as to why all the four outrigger jacks need to be screwed down sufficiently to lift the chassis up to ensure the stability of the machine, adding as to what can go wrong if not done, as he had just demonstrated.

When I asked him later, if he really had intended to demonstrate this, he explained with a smile of how to keep a cool mind when giving a professional demonstration. I must point out that the machine was setup in our yard by one of our technicians, who had done this for several earlier successful demonstrations but obviously had not screwed down one of the jacks correctly in this instance. Brian had walked down with the guests from our conference room and believing, as he had done on several occasions earlier in that week, that the machine was set up correctly, proceeded to give the demonstration.

What Brian taught us all that day, was never blaming anyone individually for a team task and converting a problem to an opportunity, got ingrained in all of us.

I am sure Brian is giving an ?uplifting? talk where he is right now.

R.I.P my guru Brian

Srini Kadaba

Glyn Goodwin
12. July 2017 19:41

Brian was a both a gentleman and a gentle man. I first meet him 35+ years ago when he worked for Wyseplant, dealers for both Genie and Hyster, in M&J's yard at Hitchin. Four to five years later J Ruslings purchased 3 x V36 Fabtek scissors and Brian, along with Brian Izzard, came up to Newport to carry out training. In later years I worked with Brian at Instant Zip-Up (formerly J Ruslings) where the ladies always enjoyed it when he visited the offices, always suited and booted. Brian will be a big miss to our industry. He was always a true friend, my deepest condolences to his family, R.I.P. Brian.




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