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Sat April 13 2024

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Sutch campaigns against crane embargoes

2 Apr John Sutch Cranes has called for nationwide consistency and uniformity regarding the movement of cranes.

Paul Parry, sales director at John Sutch Cranes
Paul Parry, sales director at John Sutch Cranes

With different police forces around the country deciding to bring in their own regional bans on mobile cranes on the roads for up to eight hours a day, the mobile crane hire model no longer makes economic sense. The concept of moving cranes from site to site has been cancelled. By the police.

John Sutch Cranes Ltd, which has a fleet of 34 cranes operating out of depots in Liverpool and Manchester, is calling for “collaboration to navigate the operational hurdles exacerbated by current travel restrictions of its fleet across the UK”.

Company owner John Sutch said: “While we understand the importance of regulations concerning heavy abnormal loads, it's crucial to highlight that our operations primarily involve plant hire, which falls outside the scope of the current legislation. Moreover, we take great care to ensure compliance with axle weights and other relevant dimensions outlined in the application process.”

He said: “One of the major challenges we are encountering is the inconsistency between councils and police forces regarding the interpretation and enforcement of these regulations. This lack of uniformity not only adds to our operational burden but also leads to financial losses. Additionally, the fact that applications are often handled by individual personnel within the organisation exposes us to subjective decision-making processes, which can further exacerbate the situation.”

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Paul Parry, sales director at John Sutch Cranes, said that it is an industry-wide issue. “While we have depots in Bootle and Dukinfield, it’s a nationwide problem,” he said. “Other companies will be feeling the same pinch points. It cannot continue.

“In a time where we need construction to stimulate the economy we are being constrained to make the positive impact we know we can make on construction sites. This is happening, frustratingly in some cases, by individuals who hold the power to say ‘no’ for reasons we cannot understand nor agree with.”

John Sutch and Paul Parry have enlisted the support of the Construction Plant Hire Association (CPA) and are also in talks with their local MPs. They have also written to the regional mayors for Liverpool and Greater Manchester.

John Sutch added: “We are confident that through dialogue and collaboration, we can work towards resolving the current situation and ensure the sustainable growth of our business while maintaining compliance with relevant regulations – but people have to come to the table.”

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