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New spider crane entrant

German vacuum lifter company and ex Maeda crane distributor Uplifter has been appointed as an SPT spider crane distributor and confirmed that it will enter the UK market setting up a new venture with spider and mini crawler crane sales veteran Alan Peck, who joins the company as UK sales manager.
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Alan Peck

The company, which saw the end of its German distribution relationship with Kranlyft last month (See: Kranlyft opens in Germany) says that the move will also signal the launch of Uplifter UPC spider cranes in the UK. The cranes are to be branded versions of the Chinese built SPT spider cranes. SPT manufacturers a full range of spider cranes up to 10 tonnes. The appointment of Uplifter as an SPT distributor was unveiled at the Nordbau exhibition in Germany which opened this morning and confirmed by the manufacturer.
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The Uplifter stand at Nordbau

Overseas expansion is not new for UpLifter, it has already opened subsidiaries in Poland and the Czech Republic, and works with partners in several other countries including Portugal, Spain, France and Australia, through which it sells its range of vacuum/glass handling equipment including robots, which were for a time handled by Kranlyft in the UK .

Peck’s previous role in the lifting industry involved opening and managing a new depot for crane access and glass handling rental sales and rental company Hird in Halesowen in the English West Midlands. (See: New depot launch for Hird). He parted company with Hird last year, while the West Midlands depot closed this summer.

Peck began his crane career in 2005 when he joined Kranlyft UK as general manager from Speedy Lifting, initially to set up a new re-rental division, ‘Hire Maeda’, an idea that the company quickly dropped freeing Peck to become involved in selling the Maeda cranes rather than renting them. He played an important role in expanding the customer base and building brand awareness for Maeda.

He left the company in 2010 to join Hi-Reach as a regional manager, only to re-join Kranlyft as sales manager in 2013. He then played a very significant role in establishing Böcker cranes in the UK and was promoted to sales director in 2015. However, he left the company in 2017 in order to set up a direct sales operation for Böcker in the UK, which remains in place today. After a couple of years building the business, he departed to work with Foster Cranes and Equipment to help set up its Hoeflon spider crane distribution business, but after a short period took up the opportunity with Hird.
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SPT’s largest spider crane the 10t 1009

Uplifter’s head of international sales Matthias Minich said: "We are very pleased that Alan Peck, who is known not only in England but far beyond for his know how and expertise in lifting technology, is joining Uplifter. He will have a very large key function for our customers in England and will continue to drive sales, rental, service and development there."

“There will also be a premiere for England, preparations for the official launch of the Uplifter UPC mini cranes are already in full swing. There are also numerous new developments and updates for the machines, which Alan Peck was able to see for himself a few days ago during his visit to Germany at the Uplifter headquarters."

Vertikal Comment

This is a bold move on the part of Uplifter, and one cannot but draw the conclusion that the recent break with Kranlyft is somehow connected. SPT - or Henan SPT as it is officially known - has been expanding its sales efforts outside of its domestic and regional markets into the west. Two years ago it moved into Australia with the [](appointment of Jones Equipment Sales). More recently it has been talking about European and Middle East coverage, and was keen to include major markets such as Germany and the UK, having already gained some experience in Poland with its dealer Lift24.

Whether this is a good time to invest in a new sales effort in the UK is anyone's guess. One thing is for sure it will not be easy without a legal entity in the country, given the border challenges following Brexit. It will also face stiff competition from Kranlyft and GGR Unic, not to mention Foster Cranes and JT Cranes.

Watch this space.