Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) is raising the capacity and diversity of its rigging stock, whilst equipping itself to respond to increasing demand for complex below-the-hook solutions, to more efficiently serve the heavy-lift sector.
RSS attends to a myriad of industries from six UK locations but its most recently opened site is in Warrington, close to the heavy-lift depot of Ainscough Crane Hire, which named RSS a preferred supplier of lifting and rigging equipment at the end of 2016. And the partnership, combined with market conditions, is yielding demand for heavier and often specialised rigging gear.
Steve Hutin, managing director at RSS, said: “Our heavy-lift initiative is two-pronged in that we want to ensure we have the product and expertise to respond to demand, but we must also continue to raise our profile in the sector so more industry professionals view us as a company capable of delivering below-the-hook solutions at the higher end of the marketplace.”
He continued: “In the first instance, we are looking at our stock levels and manufacturing capabilities, but we are also repositioning the image of the company in certain areas to capitalise on the growth we detect where heavy lifting equipment is concerned; we recently signed off on promotional materials that focused on our capability to supply heavy lifting and crane accessories. There is also a good tie-in with our inspection, repair, and other divisions of the company.”
Hutin was reluctant to state a capacity at which he feels the heavy-lift market begins. He said: “Some might say anything over 250t is a heavy lift but we have equipment suppliers with the engineering capability to go into the thousands of tonnes. Taking into account the super- or mega-heavy end of the market, the lines are blurred further. That’s why we look at the sector not only in terms of capacity but also in the context of complexity, where a spreader beam, slings, and other rigging gear might be required beneath the hook of a single crane.”
Hutin was actually keen not to highlight Warrington as the fulcrum for this renewed heavy-lift focus. “Demand [for heavy lifting equipment] is nationwide,” he said. “In fact, at the forefront of our marketing endeavours is the message that we can provide rigging products and services across the UK. Further, we’re not limiting our growth strategy to supply of product—hire, sales, and inspection services are collectively important.”
RSS does not want to enter the contract crane market, whereby it would source a crane and deliver a complete lifting package to clients. This exclusive focus on rigging equipment has swelled the potential of the Ainscough partnership, but has also opened doors with other major and regional crane rental firms. Sarens recently sourced a significant order for a project within the heavy-lift sector, Hutin confirmed.