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Two Skyjack vertical masts light up Bonhams Auctioneers

POSTED November 10, 2014


Skyjack is helping Bonhams, the world-famous auction house, keep its flagship salesroom running in London. Two SJ16 self-propelled vertical mast lifts help the team prepare lighting displays in the galleries, which are home to a wide range of objects, from priceless paintings to classic cars.

The SJ16s, which offer a 6.75m work height, were sold to Bonhams by specialist work at height company Rapid Platforms.

The two Skyjack vertical mast lifts perfectly fit the needs of the auction, as Tim Kearley, gallery manager at Bonhams, explains.

“We chose the Skyjacks for their ease of use, quick set up and excellent maneuverability, which makes navigating around priceless artwork a less scary prospect,” he says. “The fact we can move around the gallery at height saves time during set ups, so we meet our deadlines. The simple controls make it easy to use, even for people who don’t normally operate this type of machinery. I would highly recommend these Skyjacks to our other branches – they make life so much easier – especially when two people are on the platform at the same time.”

Bonhams bought the two Skyjacks in October last year. The machines are used for around two days a week to prepare the main galleries. With approximately three sales events staged each week, lighting has to be constantly readjusted. This is a time-consuming job but the machines help Bonhams carry out the work quickly and efficiently.

The London salesroom has a 6m high ceiling, making the SJ16 ideal for the task. The self-propelled vertical mast lift provides a compact footprint and superior maneuverability, ideal for this type of intricate indoor work. When operating in tight workspaces, the high degree steering angle allows for superior functionality and flexibility by offering zero inside turning radius.

Kearley has trained five people to use the Skyjacks. “Everyone says how intuitive they are to control, which is very reassuring when hanging a priceless Chandelier – we certainly need a machine we can rely on.”

The SJ16 features a 41cm traversing platform, providing increased access and the ability to reach over potential obstacles. A unique slide away platform provides easy access to components, when raised or in the stowed position. The SJ16’s non-marking wheels are a big plus at the gallery as marked floors would spoil the sharp look of the galleries.

Bonhams has re-sprayed both machines in its own livery. “It has made them unique to us and very appealing when we see them working in the galleries,” adds Kearley.

Bonhams HQ

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