New premises, new cranes

8 October 2018

GGR Group has been serving the glazing sector for more than two decades, being an exclusive distributor—among other products—for glass vaccum lifters, glazing robots and spider cranes manufacturers.

A few weeks ago, the company held an open day at its new facility in Haddenham, in the south east of England, showcasing a number of new machines.

The new premises have 22,000 sq ft of office, training and conference facilities; and the warehouse facilities span over 80,000 sq ft.

Minoru Nalatagowa, CEO of Unic Furukawa, cut the ribbon, marking the official opening of the facility. Graeme Riley, CEO of GGR Group, and Gill Riley, managing director, welcomed guests from many different countries.

Inside the facility, a range of products were on display, among them were a number of glazing robots. GGR has recently significantly enhanced its offering with the introduction of six new robots: Geko 425, Cobra 550, Oscar 350 Offroad, Oscar 800 Offroad, the Oscar 1000 Plus and Oscar 1400.

GGR has also expanded its portfolio of glass-vacuum lifters with a number of new products. The most impressive is the Hydralica 6000, which is the largest capacity glass vacuum lifter in the UK to date. With a maximum capacity of 6,000kg, this vacuum sucker features 360° and 90° hydraulic tilt to assist in the maneuvering of large, heavy loads.

Another new product is the Glass Jack, a versatile vacuum lifter with a capacity of 600kg. “With multiple configurations the Glass Jack is ideal for lifting long and narrow fin glass at various lengths, but also suitable to lift wider loads using the cross configuration,” said GGR. This dual circuit vacuum lifter features 360° manual rotation and 90° manual tilt.

GGR has also introduced machines for handling long format glazing fins which have become a growing agricultural trend, according to the company. The Fin Lifter 1800 has an 8.8m length body and a fully adjustable frame to suit shorter pieces of glass, offering customers the choice of 3,000mm (600kg), 5900mm (1,200kg) or 8,800mm (1,800kg) configuration.

A higher capacity 1,890kg Fin Lifter 1890 is also available. They both have a quad circuit vacuum system with four pumps, four reserve tanks, non-return valves and vacuum gauges for each circuit.

At the outdoor area, there were ten different models of Unic spider cranes. Spider cranes can be used for various applications, and they are often used in glass panel installations.

The new 10t Unic URW-1006+ mini spider crane, which boasts up to 30.7m of lifting height and a 24.3m working radius, was definitely stealing the crowd’s attention. GGR says it is the world’s largest capacity mini spider crane.

Also on display was the Unic URW-295, which is the most popular spider crane in GGR’s hire fleet.

The Unic battery powered Eco- 095 and Eco-295 models, in their characteristic light green colour, were set up opposite each other.

Daniel Ezzatvar, marketing manager at GGR Group, said at the beginning these two models were delivered with non-marking tyres, as they were destined for industrial applications. However they have found a place in many different job sites.

“The Eco-295 on display here has normal rubber tracks. It reflects the change in demand for this type of kit: this is for outdoor applications.

“These products may be slightly more expensive but the reality is—because of the way they operate—there are savings to be made over the period of use,” he added.

Ezzetvar expects the demand for these machines to increase in the future as the construction sector is becoming more environmentally-conscious, and as legislation regarding emissions becomes stricter.

Next to the spider cranes were also mini crawler cranes. One of them was from Chinese manufacturer Sunward, for whom GGR has recently become a distributor.

“They are on the same body as a digger. We are using it for our own operations from a contract lift perspective, or for hire,” said Ezzetvar.

The company also enhanced its mini crawler offering with the MCC1005 mini crawler, which has 10t maximum capacity. It has a maximum lifting height of 21.5m, which increases to 25m when the optional 3.8m fly jib is used.

The MCC500D is also a new addition in GGR’s offering, with a 5t static lifting capacity and 2t pick and carry capacity.

The pick and carry cranes were on display inside the facility, with the newest models the 3t capacity GF30 and 10t GF100.

Apart from this depot, the company has one in Manchester and another in Glasgow. GGR currently employs 140 people and has a turnover of more than £27m in 2017.

The new facility will help the company to fulfil its growth plans.

Unic cranes on display at GGR’s Haddenham facility
A trailer crane on show
Left to Right, Graeme Riley, CEO of GGR Group; Scott Ainsworth, GGR technical support director; Minoru Nalatagowa, CEO of Unic Furukawa; and Gill Riley, MD of GGR Group.
Sunward mini crawler