Baumann, the world’s largest sideloader manufacturer, has appointed Hessle Fork Trucks as an official distributor for Yorkshire and the North East of England. The appointment provides Baumann with greater access to large parts of the sideloader market and is the first since the establishment of the UK subsidiary in August 2015.

A strong presence in heavy industries marked out Castleford-based Hessle as a potential partner for the Italian producer. Cavaion Baumann UK managing director, Jason Reynolds, welcomed the company to the new dealer network and highlighted the stability and professionalism that the 47 year old business will bring.

Said Jason: “Baumann has had an informal relationship with Hessle for some time and it may have been possible for that to continue. However, at Baumann we value long-term partnerships and believe our customers are best served by committed distributors that understand the products and mechanics well. Many customers come back to us time and again, so it is important that we offer a professional, reliable and high quality support partner, and in Hessle they certainly have that.”

Hessle has been the largest Manitou forklift truck dealer in the country for several years with a short term hire fleet of well over 500 Manitou machines. Further depots in Durham and Northants have helped extend Hessle’s geographical reach, whilst the acquisition in 2011 by investors, Corpacq, made them an integral part of a group with an annual turnover approaching £130m.

Hessle managing director, Andrew Rumgay, says Baumann is a perfect fit for the current range of products on offer. Says Andrew: “We are delighted to be partnering with Baumann at an important stage in our history. Baumann is a deserved market leader in the sideloader business and as we have grown, our customers handling timber, scaffolding or metalwork have increased their interest in what used to be seen as a niche product.”

Whilst the size of the UK sideloader market remains relatively modest, the ability of sideloader equipment to carry long loads over greater distances has led to a resurgence in popularity, particularly amongst ports operators, timber, metals and energy businesses.

Adds Andrew: “We have a dedicated team of service support personnel who specialise in looking after not only our own equipment but also fleets of customers own machines. The quality of Baumann engineering and manufacturing is second to none and is a proven solution. Our sales and hire customers will certainly not be disappointed.”

Baumann has been at the forefront of developing AC battery powered sideloaders, offering very low maintenance and operating costs, together with a load-levelling system that enables the machine deck, load bed and forks to remain perfectly level at all times, even on rough terrain or slopes.

This year the company is also shortlisted for a Fork Lift Truck Association award for Innovation, for its Archimedes screw outreach system, one of the most significant developments in sideloader design in 40 years.

The new Baumann GX Series utilises the direct drive Archimedes screw and sliding blocks, to extend the fork carriage, whilst preventing transverse movements and eliminating unnecessary stresses. The system means greater sensitivity and consistent control, and the maximum working speeds – results never before reached.

Despite being considered one of the most respected and reliable brands in the sideloader sector, the Baumann brand has suffered from confusion brought about by the sale of its German service arm in 2007, and subsequent attempts by competitors to utilise the Baumann name. The factory itself, established in the late 1960s, has responded by adopting the name of its birthplace on the shores of Lake Garda, Cavaion.

The location of ‘Cavaion Sideloaders Baumann’ was said to have been selected for its proximity to a renowned nearby technical school by owner, Wolfgang Baumann, who believes craftsmanship “permeates the local culture.” The fledgling business took just six months to produce its first model. A family company to this day, Baumann now sells its products worldwide through 106 dealers in 76 countries.

Hessle provides a wide range of handling equipment including rough terrain and industrial forklifts, telescopic handlers and powered access equipment. They also specialise in high capacity Rough terrain machines. Owners, Corpacq, have around 30 locations nationwide.