‘Nationwide’ Success Thanks To Bespoke Ramp From Thorworld


Thorworld Industries’ ability to design, manufacture and install yardramps to suit specific needs made it the perfect choice when Nationwide Platforms needed a bespoke loading and unloading solution at its new site in Bristol.

Nationwide Platforms is the UK’s largest powered access company and part of leading European rental equipment provider, the Loxam Group.  It has recently opened a 3.2 acre super depot in the Avonmouth area of Bristol, home to around 750-950 self-propelled lifts for hire, as well as a workshop and customer training areas.

The desired location of the warehouse required modification to the building – including installation of an entrance – as well as a ramp to provide safe ground level access. However, the size and weight of the scissor and boom lifts being transported into and out of the workshop meant that a bespoke solution was vital.

“A standard ramp was unsuitable because of the nature of our machines, so we needed a high-capacity rating capable of taking 30 tonnes overall and 15 tonnes on a single axle,” explained Brian Stead, Commercial Services Director at Nationwide Platforms.

“Equally, the ramp incline was limited to 3.7 degrees, due to the gradeability and under-clearance requirements of some of the machines and most importantly in order to protect workers from and potential accidents and incidents.”

Putting safety first, Nationwide Platforms would not compromise on quality, as any ramp failure could lead to serious injury or loss of life.

“This type of ramp is not something you buy every day, so choosing the right supplier was critical,” confirmed Brian Stead.  “With over 30 years in construction and logistics, I knew of only one company I could trust for this bespoke solution and turned to Thorworld”.

“After initial enquiries, my views on their capability to manufacture to a high quality and in a timely manner were confirmed.”

After Thorworld’s dealer Loading Bay Service conducted a site survey, Thorworld’s technical team, led by Ian Langan, designed a ramp tailored to Nationwide’s requirements. The end result was a ramp 18m long and 3.2m wide. Due to the length, the ramp was supplied in three sections (upper, lower and entry), to be assembled and welded on site.

For enhanced safety, the ramp features 300mm high curbs and plain plate decking with Bimagrip Antislip.

An unusual challenge was that the ramp was installed before the entrance to the workshop. “It’s not often we install a ramp that leads straight into the wall of the building!” commented Warren Craig, Director at Loading Bay Service. “Yet it made sense to build the loading facility this way around, as it was then easier and safer for the door installers to complete their work.”

The Bristol facility went live in Spring 2022 and is now one of the largest powered access depots in Europe.

“We’re indebted to Thorworld for the brilliant job they’ve done to help create safe and efficient access to our workshop, as part of the world-class facilities on-site,” concluded Brian Stead.

Thorworld Industries specialises in the manufacture of materials handling equipment to assist and improve productivity in the handling and control of goods, being loaded/unloaded into and out of vehicles.