Don Mahnke, president and Janine Smith, vice president at Hydra-Slide, with a new LP350 being shipped to Rapid Response Solutions this week (photo RRS)
Portsmouth-based Rapid Response Solutions (RRS) has become the first distributor of Hydra-Slide’s hydraulically powered skidding systems and other related products in the UK, and the manufacturer’s only international sales partner.
The lifting, transport and storage specialist recently took delivery of a 300-tonne capacity HT300 system from the Ontario, Canada-based manufacturer for its own hire purposes, but the distribution agreement covers the entire range and will further enhance the company’s already extensive portfolio of products and services.
RRS is a multifaceted business, structured with different departments to allow sales and rental to be kept separate. Hydra-Slide sales enquiries will be dealt with by a distribution division, along with enquiries for equipment only hires. A project department, meanwhile, will look after customers that need the equipment as part of a serviced package.
Paul Barber, managing director at RRS, says, “Since having the Hydra-Slide I have been amazed how simple tasks have become. The risks associated with certain applications and the time spent onsite have been significantly reduced.”
RRS initially put the HT300 to use for installation of transformers at electrical substations, but the diverse range, including the larger HT500 and HT1000 Tri-Rail, provide cost-effective and accurate solutions for moving, loading or unloading all types of heavy loads. Turntables and climbing jacks are among other Hydra-Slide products RRS will promote.
Barber has been in on-going dialogue with Don Mahnke, president and Janine Smith, vice president at Hydra-Slide Ltd since prior to delivery of the HT300 system. He says, “From my first conversations with Janine, I knew Hydra-Slide were a partner we wanted to join forces with. I could immediately tell that their knowledge and commitment to their products was something that would benefit our customer base.”
He adds, “The key to successful implementation of our business model is always working with the right suppliers. I am certain Hydra-Slide has the same ethos and customer commitment. Don’s experience is vast and his intrinsic knowledge of his systems has been garnered over many years. He is involved at all stages of the design and build process, ensuring the kit not only works correctly but meets its intended purpose.”
Smith says, “We are growing a strong international reputation for not only top-notch equipment but also unparalleled customer service and technical support after the sale. We maintain a direct relationship with our clients and many of them become friends. We are not prepared to use many distributors or re-sell our equipment through dealers. We need to know that the people representing our brand are like-minded—qualified, experienced in the heavy rigging and transport industry, and relationship-driven. We know that RRS will provide a fantastic insight into the UK market and a great resource for our clients, based on their stellar reputation and willingness to be innovative and forward-thinking.”
She adds, “We have always seen rentals and sales as complementary because we are often approached by end users who would benefit from rentals as well as many contractors who see a permanent addition to their fleet as the best way to go.”
Barber concludes, “The potential [for Hydra-Slide products] in the UK and Europe is vast. With health and safety being at the forefront of everyone’s mind, these products tick all the boxes. They are easy to use, allow operatives to work at a safe distance and the loads are moved in a controlled manner. Like many new innovations, it takes time to develop a marketplace, but there are many applications in industry where Hydra-Slide would enhance safety and efficiency.”