Housing provider slashes costs and boosts maintenance with high-rise Hinowas

A leading housing association expects to save hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and boost its maintenance service for tenants after investing in two Hinowa spider lifts.

Access Platform Sales (APS) has supplied Bromford with the Hinowa Lightlift 15.70 Performance IIIS articulating spider cherry pickers to carry out a wide range of high level maintenance tasks.

The housing association manages 46,500 homes across central and south west England, providing places to live for 110,000 customers, making it one of the largest social housing groups in the UK.

Until now, Bromford has used external contractors to carry out around 1,300 high level maintenance tasks a year, often using hired-in spider lifts. Now, most of those tasks will be carried out in-house.

Better service

Bromford Maintenance Manager Steve Brookes, pictured above left, said: “High level maintenance has been proving very costly. We estimate having our own Hinowa spider lifts will save Bromford £350,000 a year.

“On top of that, we expect to be able to provide a better maintenance service for tenants, responding more quickly to requests for assistance and carrying out repairs and inspections with less disruption.”

Bromford will locate one spider boom in the West Midlands and the other in Gloucestershire. Access Platform Sales, the UK and Ireland distributor for Hinowa, has also provided IPAF training for Bromford staff.

Reduced costs

APS Sales Manager Jonathan Wiseman said: “We’re delighted to be able to provide Bromford with such a positive working at height solution. Being able to substantially reduce costs and improve the quality of service delivered is a very impressive win-win outcome.”

Steve Brookes said they had considered all makes of spider lifts and came to realise the Hinowa as the best solution.

“It is very easy to operate, very reliable and has market-leading performance,” he added. “I was particularly impressed with the safety features, including the ability to monitor their use remotely in real time.”

Tony Allingham, pictured above right, is one of the maintenance operatives who will be using Bromford’s new Hinowa Lightlift 15.70s. He said: “I’m very impressed with them.

“The controls are very smooth and very easy to use. Tenants are also going to be impressed. A repair that may have taken weeks to complete before could now be completed in days. It’s a great feeling to be able to deliver service like that.”

Ladder systems

Bromford’s social and affordable housing estate includes houses and flats. It also owns and manages specialist housing schemes, for people with higher care needs.

It has fitted safe ladder systems to many properties to access certain high level areas. But, away from these points, working at height often requires the use of scaffolding, scaffold towers or access platforms.

High level repairs can be a particular challenge where there are obstacles in the way, such as conservatories, sheds, planted areas and the odd hot tub.

Carrying out tasks such as roof, gutter and downpipe repairs are a priority due to the damage caused by water ingress and the health risks from associated damp and mould.

Stock quality

Steve Brookes said: “Having our own spider cherry pickers will not just improve our maintenance service. We should also be able to raise the overall quality of our stock through more regular inspections and earlier intervention where problems are found.

“We will also be using the platforms to maintain street lighting on our estates. Other Bromford teams are also keen to use them, for example for tree management and gas flue installation and inspection. There’s no doubt these Hinowa spider lifts will be kept busy.”

Bromford has also bought two 3.5t trailers from APS, which allow the spider lifts to be towed to work sites behind a van or 4x4 vehicle using a standard driving licence.

APS is also providing a full ongoing LOLER inspection and maintenance service, backed by a fleet of mobile engineers, so Bromford’s platforms are kept in the best possible condition.

Garden path

The Hinowa Lightlift 15.70 spider lift has a maximum working height of 15.4m and a maximum working outreach of 6.6m. Weighing just 1,950kg, it has a maximum unrestricted basket capacity of 230kg.

With a travel width of 780mm, the spider lift is narrow enough to be tracked through side gates and down garden paths, so it can be set up at the rear of Bromford’s tenant homes.

Bromford has selected the bi-energy diesel and 110v mains electric powered version of the Hinowa 15.40.

This means it can be operated on electric power in areas where low-noise and zero-emission working is needed, for example, indoors or close to sensitive sites, such as hospitals and schools.

APS can also supply the platform with a petrol engine or with lithium batteries to provider all-electric power.

The Hinowa LL 15.70 has twin speed tracking for fast set up and auto-speed control for safe unloading and loading.

One touch controls for levelling the platform and returning to the stowed position after use, plus tilt, soft ground and overload alarms are among its standard safety features.

Find out more

Talk to APS today about the advantages of Hinowa spider lifts – to find out how they could reduce costs and improve service quality in your organisation. Call 01480 891251. Email sales@accessplatforms.co.uk