The Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers (ALLMI) has announced that applications for membership have soared since the turn of its current financial year, with levels increasing eightfold compared to the same period in 2020.
“For obvious reasons, 2020 was slower than usual in terms of membership expansion and whilst we expected to see an improvement in this financial year, growth in quarters one and two has exceeded our expectations,” said ALLMI CEO, Tom Wakefield.
“We’ve had a surge of new members joining in recent months and if sign-ups continue at the present rate, it could turn out to be our best ever year on this front.”
One new member is Hallett Silbermann, a leading provider of logistics solutions and specialist heavy haulage services. Operations director Charlie Threapleton commented: “We’ve been using ALLMI’s training courses for many years and so becoming part of the Association’s membership was a natural step for us to take.
“The joining process was incredibly thorough and included a full review of our lorry loader activities, mapping them against legislative requirements and industry good practice.”
He continued: “We are proud to have met the standard and attain a membership status that carries significant weight within the lorry loader industry. We now look forward to receiving an excellent level of ongoing advice and guidance, which will help us to achieve continual advancement and compliance.”
ALLMI has also reported a training boom, having experienced a 70 per cent year-to-date increase in demand compared to 2020; and for many courses, levels of training are exceeding those of 2019.
ALLMI technical manager Keith Silvester said: “Whilst training levels obviously dropped for a period in 2020, we made a strong recovery in the second half of the year and that progress has carried forward into 2021. If the current rate of demand continues, it could well result in a record year.”
He added: “To maintain and further strengthen this position, engagement with our numerous committees and working groups is essential, as it helps to ensure that training remains relevant, up-to-date, and the benchmark for safety and good practice.
“With developments to certain courses well underway, we have a significant amount of consultation planned for the second half of this year and we look forward to keeping the industry informed.”
Meanwhile, the association has been working on further improving safety standards in the sector. Following a recent fatality involving overhead powerlines, as well as subsequent discussions with its Technical Standards Committee and the Health & Safety Executive, ALLMI is in the process of developing guidance covering tipper grab operations.
Said Keith Silvester: “There is a need for further clarity and guidance in this area. Comprehensive instructions exist for the tipper, loader crane and grab as individual elements of the build, but users would benefit from direction on the installation as a whole, which is likely to cover issues such as the sequence of operations, crane positioning when tipping, and stability issues, etc.
“A specialist working group will be formed consisting of representatives from bodybuilders, crane manufacturers and installers, and we look forward to producing a document that will add another layer of safety to tipper grab operations.”
In addition, ALLMI is partnering with the Energy Networks Association (ENA) to promote the organisation’s ‘Look Out, Look Up!’ campaign, which concerns the dangers of working near overhead power lines.
The ENA has made a range of campaign tools available, such as a cab warning sticker, which also contains important information in the event of contact with an overhead power line; a safety leaflet containing ‘top tips’ on the subject; and a hard-hitting video, bringing home the consequences and impact of accidents of this nature.
ALLMI has also recently launched a new website, with new features and benefits including optimisation for viewing on tablets and mobile phones, a new ‘Verify a Card’ tool designed to allow employers and site personnel to verify ALLMI qualifications, and a new Lift Planning Calculator feature.
Developed for use by trained and competent appointed persons, the calculator tool facilitates a range of calculations to assist with the lift planning process, covering issues such as stabiliser loadings, mat sizes, rated capacity utilisation, permissible wind speeds and sling selection.
Keith Silvester said: “Whilst we’ve had various tools available for many years, both within the ALLMI App and in the form of spreadsheets, this new tool not only combines them into a single user-friendly document, but also provides additional features and calculations, as well as populating the results into a text template that can be copied directly to a lift plan set out in the ALLMI recommended format.”
A careers page and improved password-protected areas have also been implemented on the website.
Tom Wakefield said of the revamped site: “As with everything that we do, we are keen to receive feedback from industry stakeholders and so would welcome comments regarding the site’s content and structure, as well as suggestions for any future developments.”