Australia, EWP

Going green not just a choice of colour for Niftylift

The bright green of the Niftylift elevated work platforms is a common site across Australia, after having become a dominant force in the lifting sector. The company continues to develop environmentally-conscious products and push the industry forward.

Seeing a gap in the market, Roger Bowden designed the first Nifty in his garden shed in 1985. Since then, Niftylift has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of mobile elevated work platforms (EWPs) in Europe. Today, Niftylift sells throughout the world and the brand has a strong presence in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

 John King began with Niftylift in the United Kingdom but moved to Australia in 2000 to help get the Niftylift product off the ground in the region. He explains how Niftylift EWPs were received by industry and why the brand is so popular today.

 “Niftylift’s founder, Roger Bowden, was operating his own hire fleet of EWPs, and he could see the need for a model with a 12 metre reach, which was trailer mounted, but he couldn’t find what he wanted, so he built his own,” he said.

“In the first year he built 30 machines and, in the following year, he built 200 and the brand has grown from there.

 “The Niftylift brand is certainly recognised for innovation and environmentally-friendly products, even with our small trailer mounted EWPs we are looking to be as environmentally conscious as possible,” King explained.

 King went on to explain how Niftylift’s range is powered and what makes them a standout in the industry.

 “With our trailer mounts and smaller machines, they are bi-energy, so two separate power sources – diesel and battery electric, but with the bigger booms we can supply hybrids and electrics as well as diesel-powered products to ensure we have a product for any site.

 “We were the first company to provide a parallel hybrid system. We have been manufacturing hybrids for 15 years and we are now onto our Gen 2 system, which provides our customers with supreme confidence in the products we are suppling.

The HR17 has an impressive outreach to get to even the most difficult areas.

“All of our diesel engines are Euro stage five systems so they very clean, with diesel emissions kept to a minimum,” he said.

 King goes on to explain how customers are often put off by the concept of electric or hybrid machines when they are unsure how much work can be completed by a fully charged machine. He explains how Niftylift quantify the capabilities of its machines.

 “To give our customers the clearest idea of how long an electric system will run, we do not work off estimates like a ‘days work’, instead we utilise the Standard Duty Cycle [SDC] system.

 “For example, on our hybrid machine with the safe working load [SWL] in the cage, you can drive it 30m forward, 30m backwards, take it all the way up, slew it through 90 degrees and then bring it back down. We count this as one cycle.

 “An average day’s work is 16 cycles. With our HR21 hybrid, if we ran it on purely electric, you would have an SDC rating of 24. If we then fill the diesel tank, you can continue operating and, as you operate the machine on diesel, any remaining energy is stored in the battery.

 “We then carry on operating the machine with the diesel engine whilst the battery is recharging. Effectively, if you have a full tank of diesel and fully charged battery you would have an SDC rating of 188 for our hybrid machine, which comes in at close to 11 days’ work without having to recharge the batteries,” King said.

 Whilst the Niftylift products benefit the work environment, the savings the products provide are outstanding, as King explains.

 “These hybrid and electric systems make a lot of sense, especially when you consider the absurd price of diesel currently, the cost savings are impressive,” he said.

“As a company, we have been in the hybrid space for a long time and Australia is beginning to recognise the importance of hybrid and battery electric technology. In Europe, the shift is toward fully electric and battery electric technology, and this provides us with a strong insight into how we should prepare the local market.

 “With the new HR17, which is fully electric, you have an SDC rating of 66, which effectively provides four days of work. We are firm believers in the product, so we drove it until it ran out of battery charge and we covered 26 kilometres before it went flat.

 “In Europe, we are now seeing a lot of low or zero-emission zones in cities, so diesel powered machines have to be Euro Stage five, hybrid or electric. We can assume this will be happening in Australian cities in the near future.

The HR21 E has an impressive range for an electric machine.

 “I can see a time when large job sites will be examining the amount of emissions each machine is producing. The hybrid or electric models are truly versatile when compared to a diesel model. Once you have completed the work outside the building, you can clean the wheels, take the machine inside, and continue work utilising the electric motors. This lowers downtime as well as costs.

 “The machines are also lighter in weight, which means transportation costs are lower and smaller trucks can be utilised in the transportation which means you are reducing your carbon footprint. All of this is important in today’s business environment,” King said.

He goes on to explain how the company continues to develop its energy conscious machines and remain a leader in the industry.

 “We are working really hard to be clean – it’s not just a catch phrase for us, it’s something we truly believe in and dominates our day-to-day activities.

“Once a machine has run its life, we attempt to recycle as much as we can or repair it and get it back into the workforce to lower wastage.

 “Our clients are now looking at what has been done previously and what is coming. They are saying: ‘We want to be on the right side of history,’ and they are purchasing environmentally-friendly machines,” said King.

 King believes that Niftylift has the right machine for any challenge thrown its way and works closely with clients to understand their needs.

 “We will sit down with anyone to understand what they need. We are always confident we will have a product for them, and it is a very exciting time for this new technology.

 “When we first moved to hybrid technology, customers questioned why we were going down this path. Now it is the norm.

 “Scissor lifts have been electric for a long time and all industries are getting used to hybrid, electric, and battery electric powered equipment. The shift away from diesel is not that challenging and something I am excited to be involved in,” King said.

Send this to a friend