Executive Hire News › Archives › June 2019 › Executive Report : "Even abseilers drop in"
Executive Report : "Even abseilers drop in"
Alan Guthrie visits Safety Lifting Gear’s recently opened Glasgow depot, which has got off to a flying start.
Having experienced increasing demand north of the border for its lifting and manual handling products, Safety Lifting Gear opened its first depot in Scotland in January. Located on a busy trading estate near the centre of Glasgow, the facility is reporting brisk business from a diverse and growing customer base.
In charge of the depot is Area Manager Stuart Copping, who joined Safety Lifting Gear last year. He has extensive knowledge of this hire market, having previously worked for several lifting equipment hire companies since the mid-1980s, including Lifting Gear Hire, HSS Lift & Shift and Fairview Lifting Gear (FLG), which was acquired by A-Plant in 2013.
“Safety Lifting Gear’s MD, Mike Hughes, had been looking to open a depot in Scotland for some time and we looked at several possible sites,” Stuart Copping told EHN. “The location we have on the Kington Bridge Industrial Estate is excellent because it is close to the centre of Glasgow, has good access to the motorway network and is easily visible to passers-by.”
The unit was previously simply being used for storage, and after some refurbishment work that included renovating the roof, installing the trade counter and partitioning an area as a retail display, it has been turned into a bright and appealing outlet. There is potential to add a mezzanine floor and upstairs offices.
Like Safety Lifting Gear’s eight other depots throughout the country, the Glasgow facility stocks a very comprehensive range which can be delivered or collected. An increasing number of orders are placed via the company’s well-designed website. Core items include webbing slings, shackles, chain blocks and pallet trucks, as well as chain slings that can be made to order and ready for same-day collection.
Many products are made to the company’s own specification. Items include G-Force safety at height equipment such as fall restraint harnesses and rescue tripods, LiftinGear hoists and winches, StrapOn load restraints and lashings, LoadSurfer pallet tracks and tube trolleys, ActionRam hydraulic cylinders and jacks, Easy-Rig aluminium gantries, LifeGear PPE, and RoadCrew event lifting and rigging products. The company also imports specialist ranges such as Elephant chain blocks and lever hoists, and Boscaro site equipment like crane forks and tipping buckets. The range also includes Easy-Rig gantries and tool lanyards, and more sites are using products like these to meet Health & Safety requirements.
Other Glasgow team members include Branch Manager Alan Donald, who previously worked for Speedy, Charles ‘Chick’ Johnston who has 20 years’ lifting industry experience, and driver/warehouse manager Michael McLaughlin. Alan Donald is successfully using LinkedIn and other social media platforms to make customers aware of new products and special promotions.
“We get an incredible amount of passing trade,” said Stuart Copping. “There are several tool and equipment hirers on the estate, power tools suppliers, a hardware retailer, kitchen and bathroom installers and other trades. And the customer profile is extremely varied, including construction professionals, steeplejacks, tree surgeons, theatre and film production crews, and curtain wall specialists. Even abseilers drop in, and in the past we have actually sold webbing slings and wires to pole dancers to anchor the poles.”
As at Safety Lifting Gear’s other depots, the Glasgow operation offers a maintenance and calibration service so that customers can bring in their own equipment to be checked to meet LOLER, PUWER and other regulations. “Overall, there is still considerable potential in the market,” said Stuart Copping, “and we have an eye for growth.” •
0808 123 6969