Portsmouth, UK-based Rapid Response Solutions (RRS) has doubled its exhibition stand at the upcoming LiftEx trade show—and will utilise the extra floorspace to showcase Hydra-Slide AS500 alignment shoes, used for final positioning of loads. RRS is the first company to take delivery of the shoes, offering 450t capacity, in the UK.
Hydra-Slide equipment was already the centrepiece of the RRS exhibit, but expanding into neighbouring space—it now has stands 87 and 88—represents an opportunity to show more of the portfolio at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) in Scotland, on 23-24 November.
Paul Barber, managing director at RRS, said: “Final positioning of heavy loads can be really difficult. Traditionally this would have been done by jacking the unit up, putting wheels underneath, winching into position then jacking back down—hoping the load wouldn’t move as you did so. I recall bobbing back and forth for ages using the traditional method, but with the alignment shoes one can accurately move a load while keeping it close to the ground.”
RRS, which was recently named the only international sales partner of the Canadian manufacturer of hydraulic skidding systems, will look to engage visitors from the oil and gas marketplace, with the show taking place in the Energy Capital of Europe for the first time. However, Barber explained that the alignment shoes in particular will appeal to the diverse demographic that LiftEx, now 12 years old, historically attracts.
He said: “All engineering markets have a requirement for alignment. Our project teams, for example, will be using the shoes primarily for final positioning of factory machinery, as well as final alignment of new transformers. They will be used with light and heavy loads equally. There is no other product similar to the alignment shoe available and I envisage its application with large injection moulding machines, engines, transformers, mills, presses, modular plant rooms and more.”
The exhibit will further raise the profile of jacking equipment; heavy track and low profile skidding systems, including the new LP350 unit; and offer demonstrations with two scale working models. LiftEx visitors will learn how the skidding systems can move a load into an approximate position before final adjustments are made using the alignment shoes.
Barber said: “The market for the alignment shoes will actually be bigger than the full skidding systems so investing in the extra exhibition space to accommodate them should pay dividends. The shoes can make an awkward task quick, easy and safe, while the purchase price is not restrictive and with the manpower saved, any investment is easily justifiable.”
He added: “The UK is still very much behind many other countries in embracing new ideas and techniques. The products offered through the Hydra-Slide range have been commonplace in America and Canada for many years and have been designed based on years of experience to make the world of heavy moving safer, removing the risks associated with traditional methods and manual handling. RRS has proved through its own tasks that using the equipment is cost effective and reduces time and labour. We intend to keep building our fleet around the Hydra-Slide range to offer hire and sale options.”
Janine Smith, vice president at Hydra-Slide Ltd, will join Barber and RRS colleagues, including Stuart Trinder, sales and distribution manager; and Roger Wheeler, sales manager, at the AECC.
Smith said: “I am thrilled that I’ll be at LiftEx later this month and so pleased with the positive response to our new alignment shoes. The crew at RRS are extremely forward-thinking; they immediately saw the potential for the equipment, not only as an addition to a slide system but as a stand-alone investment for rigging crews.”
She added: “The design is purely based on industry demand so I’m honoured to be able to unveil this new product to industry leaders in person and, like Paul, I believe it will be very successful. It’s great that we’ll have the actual kit at the show so we can demonstrate the high quality of our fabrication as well as the shoes’ compact size and portability. Photos are great but seeing the actual system and being able to handle it is just fantastic.”