A report from the MöLo Exhibition 2011 – Kassel, Germany. German Removers Association (AMö) invited all BAR members to attend its biennial exhibition of handling and removals equipment and services (MöLo).
David Trenchard from Leatherbarrows accepted the invitation of the German Removers Association (AMö), to all members of BAR, to attend its biennial exhibition of handling and removals equipment and services (MöLo) held in Kassel, Germany from 16 to 18 June. David said that the event was both conveniently located, interesting and that he was made very welcome by hi German colleagues. What’s more, he learned a vitally important piece of information about the enforcement of vehicle height legislation that would be essential to any moving company travelling to Europe. Read on …
David explained that the annual AMö conference was held at the same time as MöLo and the meetings and functions were split between the exhibition hall and the La Strada Hotel which is 2 km away and reached by foot or by shuttle bus. AMö arranged accommodation in the comfortable hotel for any attendee who requested overnight accommodation, at just 79 euros a night. “Clearly these facilities have been specially designed and built for the exact type of needs of this event and we would be very hard pressed within the UK to find anything to match the ease of use, the flexibility and the quality of facilities and the quality of food which is provided,” he said.
The exhibits and the exhibitors provided goods and services of interest both to UK movers as well as the German movers for whom the event is clearly organised. There were several manufacturers of external elevators displaying their various models, whether fixed to a lightweight road truck or build into a trailer to be towed behind a van or truck. The quality of these is excellent and when you see them working in a town or city centre location the time saved is clearly considerable. They are beginning to be used more in the UK but their use is easier in mainland Europe where all new buildings have suitable access facilities for their use.
There were at least six body builders showing mostly demount or swap body equipment and various types of bodies available, and also lightweight bodies for 3.5t, 5.5t and 7.5t used to provide maximum possible cargo carrying weight. There were some interesting different features than in the UK market although some materials used are not available here. One exhibitor had a large range of different aluminium loading and vehicle ramps for many different uses. Another different arrangement was for a set of steps that slid into a space just below the van body and could be used alone or installed to be used as an alternative to a fixed tail lift.
David took the opportunity of investing in three new bodies from manufacturer Sommer while at the exhibition. It was while in conversation with Alexander Tietje, the company’s managing director, that he learned of a more rigorous enforcement of the fourmetre restriction for vehicle bodies in some European countries. “The regulation has been in force is some European countries for many years but the police are enforcing it much more strictly now especially in Germany and Switzerland,” he said. “Everyone is looking to maximise the space in vehicles but operators should be careful not to use over height vehicles when travelling in these countries.”
Derek Avis from Vancraft confirmed that it had been generally accepted practice for many years not to build vehicles over four metres. “We haven’t built any of our vehicles over four metres high for many years for exactly this reason,” he confirmed.
“We also learnt about electricity savings in warehouses by the installation of a voltage converter which apparently is used throughout the UK by a hotel group, perhaps this is why the lighting in some hotel rooms and corridors seems to be dim? The advantage is a guaranteed saving in power costs,” said David.
DMG, the German equivalent to BAR Services, was very much in evidence. The Germans love the tape-free folding cartons that don’t seem popular in the UK. DMG also rents out steel lockers on wheels as an alternative to plastic crates or tote cartons for office moving. Other materials suppliers such as Roldo Rent and Transpack were showing very heavy-duty picture chests with foam dividers and the extremely durable flat screen television chest, these were both over 400 euros to purchase but certainly did the jobs for which they were designed.
Also present were several insurance specialists, TomTom showing its vehicle tracking and communications products, and a display incorporating a cab simulator on a short track to demonstrate the importance of seat belts and a speedy breaking response.
“We were very interested in learning more about the helpful aids available to drivers in using demount bodies and safely locating the twist lock points,” said David. “We came away with a lot more knowledge and details of various standard products readily available to make our drivers work safer and easier.”