An Angus firm which is the UK’s only vehicle tail lift manufacturer has hailed a major order as a “significant vote of confidence”.
Access XL — a division of the XL Group who bought the assets of Ross and Bonnyman after the Forfar manufacturer went bust in 2012 — has secured a “high six-figure contract” with multi-national industrial gas firm BOC.
The deal follows similar contracts with a major distribution company and a multinational dairy producer.
The contract has bolstered the firm’s expansion plans for its Forfar factory, which could see the workforce double from 30 to 60 in the next six to nine months, along with an investment programme in new plant and machinery.
The award is the Scottish manufacturer’s largest contract win since re-entering the commercial vehicle tail lift market in 2018.
XL Group chief executive Colin Laird said: “We took over Ross and Bonnyman in 2012 and have adapted technologies primarily used for the process industry to create a state-of-the-art system.
“The new system provides auto-tilting, load monitoring and smart lift operations which allows the lift functions to be modified without the need for control board re-engineering or rewiring.
“Up until last year, our focus had been on ambulance tail lifts and around 90% of ambulances in the UK are fitted with our products.
“However, our aim was to get back into the commercial vehicle tail lift market, and this order is for 33 units, priced at between £5,000 and £6,000 each.
“The future is looking promising, and we are very excited about winning a contract at this level and we are confident that other orders will follow.
“We have taken a collaborative approach with BOC and delivered a product that suits their needs, rather than simply offering a standard off-the-shelf product.”
The firm also outlined ambitious plans to reach a turnover of £10 million in the next few years, from a current level of around £4m.
Aberdeen-based XL Group is a global multi-discipline engineering and technology group, which hopes to achieve sales of around £22m this year.