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Editorial archive

Happy New Year

1. January 2019

2018 was a mixed and challenging year, but for the most part pretty good for business, will 2019 be a better or worse? READáMORE »

Product related failure

24. September 2018

Most accidents are caused by operator error, while product failures make up less than five percent, and yet we have had at least two cases in two weeks. What lessons can be learnt READáMORE »

Will we ever learn

9. April 2018

Once again we are on the verge of a major trade war as a tariffs and protectionism are promoted as a simple solution a range of complex issues. Will they work? Are they misguided? Or just a simplistic reaction the challenges of change? READáMORE »

Welcome to a new year

1. January 2018

2017 is behind us and we begin a fresh year with 2018. How do you think the next 12 months will pan out? Will be better or worse than the last year? READáMORE »

We must do it – for the service

23. September 2017

Ever since I became involved with the rental business I have been aware of the argument that one has to offer some unprofitable products “for the service”. But is this so? READáMORE »

Truth, facts and openness

22. February 2017

We appear to be sliding into an era where truth and facts are seen as disruptive irritations, not only by outspoken ‘populist’ politicians, but increasingly of large companies and industry associations. READáMORE »

Happy New Year

1. January 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. READáMORE »

Is the CAT age coming to an end?

7. December 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? READáMORE »

How wrong can you be

9. November 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? READáMORE »

Trump or Clinton

4. November 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. READáMORE »

Activist investors a force for good or?

9. October 2016

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

Stopping theft

1. August 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. READáMORE »

Be careful of what you wish for

24. June 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. READáMORE »

Times of uncertainty

7. May 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. READáMORE »

Finding a new leader

21. February 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. READáMORE »

How will we fare in 2016

3. January 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? READáMORE »

The morality of cheating

26. September 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? READáMORE »

Regulation a force for good?

28. June 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? READáMORE »

Obey the rules or lose business?

14. February 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 READáMORE »

What will 2015 bring?

2. January 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. READáMORE »

What’s in a name?

25. October 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? READáMORE »

What training do you need?

19. July 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. READáMORE »

Changing the way it works

27. April 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. READáMORE »

Changing the way it works

27. April 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. READáMORE »

Time we sang from the same hymn sheet

9. February 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 READáMORE »

What will the New Year bring?

3. January 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? READáMORE »

More gongs?

20. October 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? READáMORE »

Suspended risk

12. July 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. READáMORE »

Time for global standards

5. May 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? READáMORE »

When to say No

23. February 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? READáMORE »

What’s fair in love and war

27. January 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. READáMORE »

What can we expect for 2013?

5. January 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? READáMORE »

Prescriptive solutions

7. November 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? READáMORE »

Three strikes and out

2. September 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. READáMORE »

Reporting accidents

16. June 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. READáMORE »

Anti crush essential or not?

9. April 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? READáMORE »

Is bigger better?

28. January 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? READáMORE »

Poor credit control bad for all

20. November 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. READáMORE »

Is European rental consolidation inevitable?

9. October 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. READáMORE »

Familiarisation is not training

25. July 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. READáMORE »

10 years and no older

1. May 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. READáMORE »

Reporting the lucky escapes

6. February 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. READáMORE »

Inspections certified or not?

1. December 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? READáMORE »

Belting up

1. October 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. READáMORE »

Regulation help or hindrance?

1. August 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? READáMORE »

Extravagant and inappropriate… or a strong statement

1. July 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’. READáMORE »

CE safety code or trade barrier?

1. May 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? READáMORE »

Adapt or die – the opportunities are there

1. March 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. READáMORE »


1. January 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. READáMORE »


1. November 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. READáMORE »


1. October 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. READáMORE »


Happy New Year

Leigh W Sparrow, Publisher

2018 was a mixed and challenging year, but for the most part pretty good for business, will 2019 be a better or worse?






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