Riwal aim high and order 1,000 new JLG lifts
A few weeks ago the owners and key managers of Riwal, the largest crane and access rental company in Holland with one of the largest aerial lift fleets in Europe (fifth or sixth).made a special visit to the JLG North American production plants in McConnelsburg and Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.
Riwal is JLG's largest customer outside of North America and has been the JLG distributor in Holland for more than eight years.
Having been Clearly inspired by a presentation of JLG’S’s five year strategic plan which included a review of options to enhance JLG’s product range, quality standards and distribution in Europe; by chief executive Bill Lasky, the joint owners Dick Schalekamp (junior) and Doron Livnat singed a deal to purchase a 1,000 new JLG booms and scissor lifts for delivery by the end of August 2005.
“The meeting was very impressive. We are now even more confident that JLG will continue to deliver the best quality and innovations in the access industry for a long time to come”. Said Livnat
The two partners presented JLG with their views on the continental European rental markets and their ideas on introducing, distributing and financing JLG products in the EU and creating more brand awareness and customer loyalty in existing and emerging markets.
Livnat said that it is his “aim to enter the World’s Top 10 of access rental companies within a couple of years” Currently only one European company, Lavendon, falls into that category, which is measured by fleet size, with a fleet of over 11,000 units. Most of the world’s largest aerial fleets are American, with several companies operating fleets of over 20,000 units. In Europe, apart from Lavendon, the top five fleets are in the hands of large general rental companies such as Loxam, Killoutou, Cramo and Rami rent.
A significant part of this 1,000 unit order is for large boom lifts (80ft/26 metres and over). Several hundred units will be divided between the Riwal rental fleets in The Netherlands, Denmark and the Middle East while the majority are destined to go to new ventures with local partners in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Riwal has been successful with its re-rent programme which combines a long term re-rent contract with stage purchase options. The company is known for its flexibility in this area and has a reputation of being easy to deal with. The company also teamed up with JLG to form RiRent offering such facilities to all JLG existing and potential customers.
According to Dick Schalekamp a further increase of the number of JLG machines ordered cannot be ruled out. “As soon as more positive feedback will come from these new ventures we will certainly invest more. This will also be the case when the signs of improvement we see in the Dutch and Danish economy, are true and structural.”
Riwal traces its routes back to a British company, Richards and Wallington, once the UKs largest crane hire company. In 1968 R&W establsihed a crane hire outpost in Holland and Dick Schalekamp senior ran the business before staging a management buy out in 1980.
In 1987 the business expanded into aerial lifts and two years later ownership and management control passed from Dick Senior to his two sons, Dick and Jaap.
In in July 2000, Doron Livnat bought a third of the business, in order to help fund the expansion of the business at a more rapid pace.
In addition to this order with JLG Riwal recently added JLG 1250AJP 40 metre articulating booms and Holland Lifts massive MegaStar G-300, 33.5 metre scissor lifts to the Dutch fleet.
Expanding in Cranes Too
The company still operates a sizeable crane hire fleet to which it has recently added Liebherr’s MK 100 mobile folding tower crane, Aichi’s FR300 mini crawler cranes and as of December 3rd. Grove’s brand new model 130 tonne GMK5130 mobile telescopic crane for which Riwal is the launch customer.