The blog was launched on September 21 2007 in response to demand for greater interactivity on the site and a more informal round-up of goings on in the industry.

Every so often I throw my thoughts into a laptop to keep you up to date with developments here in the editor’s chair and elsewhere in the lifting business. With regular trips to Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) meetings and trade shows across the globe in addition to many a visit to factories and workshop floors here in the UK and Europe, there’s often much to discuss.

Topics of conversation have included remote controls, people skills, crane installations, accidents and recruitment, to name just a few. I’ve looked at the serious topics of health and safety and also the light-hearted side of the business. For example, remember the story about the 21 stone, 16ft tall giraffe, which was lifted to the top floor of a department store in Manchester, UK?

During a two-hour operation Speedy Lifting mobilised a SLK counter balanced genie lift and a 500kg minifor hoist to carefully raise the giant giraffe onto the roof of the six-storey House of Fraser building. Of course, it wasn’t a real giraffe, just a stuffed one, but it was a bizarre job specification nonetheless.

As Speedy depot manager Kevin Haliwell said: “This was one of the strangest requests we’ve ever received, but we’re always up for the challenge.”

I remember imagining how the phone call went…

“Kevin, we’ve got a job to lift a 16ft tall giraffe… Kevin, are you still there?”

I don’t mean to say Mr Haliwell wasn’t up for the challenge as he said but he must have asked the caller to repeat themselves.

Please talk back to me. I’d love to put your blogs from the workshop floor up on the site. Perhaps you fancy contributing a regular blog yourself? What have you lifted recently? Just bought an interesting crane? Tell me how business is where you’re reading Hoist. Speaking of which, do you like it? What would you like to see us writing about?

The blog section is still without a sponsor. In a recent poll of visitors to this site the majority (54%) said the editor’s blog was their favourite section. Some 15% said the LEEA archive is what keeps them coming back, while 13% enjoy the daily diet of industry news. Features (8%), tenders (5%) and the latest issue (5%) were also part of the survey.

To view rates or explore additional advertising opportunities see the 2008 Hoist media pack, which is now live on the website. Just click on the media pack button on the navigation menu on the left-hand side of the homepage, then download the PDF.

Hoist remains the only international factory crane magazine, bringing you the latest news, product finder, reference info and more covering bridge cranes, jib cranes, chain hoists, wire rope hoists, blocks, end-of-line attachments, components and the installation, maintenance, training, consultancy and trade associations surrounding this equipment.

Just 18 days to go until NA08, the largest relevant trade fare in the Americas this year. Click the link below for a full preview to this year’s show.

Richard Howes, Editor