Rental will be a key component to the development of the use of aerial work platforms in Asia, Skyjack president Brad Boehler told the International Powered Access Federation’s Asia conference in Hong Kong last week.
“The market in Asia offers huge potential for the powered access industry,” Boehler told delegates. “If you look at AWP use per capita in this region, versus that in the more developed markets of North America and Europe, then it’s easy to see the potential there is here. However, it’s also clear that growth will be driven by a combination of several factors and will not be linked solely to economic growth. Nor should we expect growth to happen overnight.”
Boehler said Skyjack has identified seven key areas that will affect the growth of the access industry in Asia. “Those are the development of the rental concept and an associated acceptance of the aerial work platform as a prime rental product; addressing the imbalance of aerial work platforms used in construction; the advance of health and safety legislation and its policing; the role of OEMs in developing the market; the role of global rental companies; the continued role of internationally recognized projects with the involvement of global construction companies and associated construction techniques; the development of regionally specific rental business models – supported by product specific modifications.”
Boehler said each of those areas has the potential to positively, or negatively, impact the growth of the access industry in Asia.
Boeher added that Asian markets tend to use aerial work platforms in industrial and maintenance applications, but not so much in construction. He said rough-terrain scissorlifts are mostly absent from Asian jobsites.
“As I walked around Shanghai last October, I was struck by the lack of slab scissors on construction sites,” he said. “Back home, a high-rise building would have a number of machines on each floor and a large quantity on the site as a whole. Of course I am wary of imposing our techniques in this market, but the difference is striking and I cannot help but wonder what the rental industry would look like if this changed.”
Boehler said he would encourage international rental companies to be more active in promoting the use of aerials, not so OEMs could sell more product, but to grow the acceptance of their use and the rental concept. He added that OEMs need to support international and domestic rental companies through education and by providing products suitable to nuances in applications and techniques.
High-profile international projects are a growth driver that will naturally shift attention to more reliable equipment and reputable working practices, he noted.