Haulotte in China: Aerial Platforms Serving the Aerospace Industry

Mr. Guo is a seasoned professional in the heavy equipment world, with more than two decades of experience working directly with Haulotte aerial platforms. In 2008, he founded Beijing Rongshi Tiancheng, which has predominantly served the aerospace industry. While aerial platforms are usually associated with construction and warehousing, we delve into Mr. Guo’s insights to take a special look into their lesser-known applications within aerospace and manufacturing.

Could you tell us about yourself and your company?

Between 2001 and 2006, I worked for a former Haulotte distributor.
Alongside heavy equipment, their offerings included various other types of equipment, such as machine tools and smaller handheld tools like welders.

My colleagues and I were each responsible for specific product families, and I specialized in the Haulotte machines, so I knew the products very well and gained extensive experience in the industry.

Then, from 2006 to 2008, I joined another Haulotte distributor, this time a major Dutch company, as the chief representative of their branch in China.

However, due to difficulties in my working relationship with some colleagues there, I decided to part ways and establish my own company in 2008: Beijing Rongshi Tiancheng, operating in the same industry.

Our main customers, whom I can publicly disclose, include Air China and the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly Line. With the experience I had gained in my previous jobs, I was able to attract a number of clients shortly after starting my business in 2008, and we continue to serve them to this day. I also supply Haulotte machines to customers involved in spaceflight operations.

Considering that your main customers are from the aerospace industry, how have you customized your fleet to meet their unique requirements?

The models used for each customer will depend on their specific needs.
However, our main models include:

  • the Star 10,
  • Compact 8W,
  • Compact 10,
  • Compact 12,
  • Compact 12 RTE,
  • H12 SX,
  • H15 SX,
  • HA15 IP,
  • and the HA16 PE*.

Regrettably, some of these models are now discontinued. Overall, since 2008, we have acquired nearly 300 aerial platforms from Haulotte to serve the needs of our clientele in the aerospace sector.

How are Haulotte models being used for these customers?

For Air China, the Compact 10 is deployed across Air China’s nine maintenance bases nationwide, primarily for aircraft inspections, maintenance, and the installation of various exterior components. On the other hand, the H12 SX*, though discontinued, is mainly used for removing the APU (auxiliary power unit) from the tail of the aircraft. Thanks to its large platform, the H12 SX* is able to accommodate up to three technicians as they manually remove the APU, place on it the platform, and safely transport it to ground level. The Compact 8W* is mainly used in the paint shops to install explosion-proof equipment. This precaution is necessary due to the flammability of paint vapor, which can ignite upon contact with sparks from electrical equipment such as fans. After that, the Compact 8W would then be used for spray painting as well.

For the Airbus Tianjin Final Assembly Line, the HA15 IP and the HA16 PE* are used to install and inspect the wings, while the Compact 12 and Compact 12 RTE* are used for side panel assembly on the fuselage of the aircraft.

Haulotte HA12 IP aerospace

Are there any particular needs you need to fulfil for these customers?

In addition to supplying the machines, we provide after-sales services such as support, maintenance, and repairs. Out of the nine people in the company, we have four dedicated technicians split into two maintenance teams – two based in Beijing and two in Shanghai.
While we do provide accessories as well, our offerings are limited in scale. We maintain a stock of commonly used accessories in our warehouse, but we do not offer accessories on a large scale.

Considering your involvement in the spaceflight industry, what are the specific criteria machines must meet before they can be operated on a space station?

Above all else, reliability would be the main requirement. The machines must be completely free of any risk of oil leakage and undergo meticulous safety inspections and testing to guarantee operational safety. That being said, there isn’t just one brand known for reliability, so what’s left is the relationship between the supplier and the customer, which will always be a factor in deciding which machines are suitable for use.

Beyond their traditional roles in construction or warehousing and logistics, Haulotte aerial platforms have played a major role in aerospace, with applications ranging from maintenance and inspection to installation, assembly, spray painting, and even facility safety-proofing. Having navigated challenges in the past three years due to the pandemic, Beijing Rongshi Tiancheng is now benefiting from China’s economic recovery and remains committed to providing exceptional service to its aerospace clientele.

* Some of the models listed are no longer available and have been replaced by models with different names.

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