The access equipment market consists of a range of products designed to enable personnel to work safely and productively at height. Powered access and non-powered access products compete for similar work and within each separate sector, products also compete directly, for example, access towers, scaffolding and ladders.
The rental sector is a key purchaser of access equipment, particularly for MEWPs. This has been particularly relevant in recent years as hire companies have sought to expand and renew their fleets in response to a buoyant construction industry.
The market for powered access equipment has grown more strongly than that for non-powered access, partly because of the exceptional expansion of MEWP rental fleets referred to above but also because of a shift from non-powered to powered equipment, particularly for low-level applications, triggered by safety considerations and the increasing range of powered products available in the low level access sector.
The market has been supported by relatively buoyant construction output over the last two years, most notably in residential construction as the market has responded to Government measures to increase housing stock and encourage housing demand, as well as to general improvements in consumer confidence and economic performance. Non-residential construction output has also performed well over the last two years, particularly in sectors such as infrastructure, offices and entertainment and leisure.
Aside from construction, the events industry is also an important end-user sector for access equipment and the UK has become a key location for events, particularly sporting and musical events, enjoying significant growth in the last decade and developing an established infrastructure of destinations and venues.