Photo by Hy-Brid Lifts
Hy Brid Lifts Ps 1430

Interview with Terry Dolan: Best Drives for the Market

Oct. 19, 2020
RER interviews Terry Dolan, president and CEO, Hy-Brid Lifts, about the impacts of COVID; redesigns to its products; the growing acceptance of electric drive lifts; preventing leaks; and more.

RER: What impact has COVID-19 had on your business and what do you expect going forward?

Dolan: COVID-19 has taken a toll across all businesses and has certainly impacted Hy-Brid Lifts. However, with a highly differentiated product, we feel we have fared better than any. We have put practices in place to ensure the safety of our team and have had zero cases of COVID in our facility. In addition, the unique times have pushed us to do business in different ways that will stay with us beyond COVID. We have instituted online training systems and videos to ensure that even when we cannot get out in person, our customers get the support and training that they need.

What have been the latest developments in your company’s product line in the past year

All of our lift models have undergone a complete redesign. That includes one of our most popular units — the PS-1430. As one of the first lightweight, maneuverable indoor lifts, our 14-foot unit really helped to define a class of lifts under 19 feet. It began as the HB-1430 and has progressed into the PS-1430. While the visual brand language and many of the features remain similar, this flagship product has undergone a complete redesign and continues to be one of our most-ordered lift models. We implemented our new LeakGuard fluid containment system, increased the lifting capacity and added active load sensing. We also upgraded our controls to provide the operator with more information and upgraded the non-marking tires for improved floor loading. These features, along with others on the PS-1430, make it an ideal lift for users in the market for an electric drive scissor lift.

Another addition to the Hy-Brid Lifts lineup is our Zero-Turn Series, which is making its way to the top of our most popular units. This line includes the ZT-1230 — with a platform height of 12 feet, and the ZT-1630 with a platform height of 16 feet. These lifts are nimble, precise and intuitive to operate. We believe a dynamic shift is coming; customers will be operating in finished facilities and will need tighter turning radius machines. Our ZT series fits the bill with counter-rotating rear wheel drive and steering that make pivot turning a realization. These lifts feature point-and-go drive operation, as opposed to a traditional toggle method. The precision steering and proportional movement of our ZT-1230 and ZT-1630 make it easy to maneuver around finished walls and fixtures, eliminating the need for a cumbersome, oversized unit that could cause costly damage or rework on finished jobsites.

What have been the most important recent trends in aerial product development and what trends look most important in the near future?

One ongoing trend in the aerial industry is overall efficiency. Doing more work in less time. One of the ways that Hy-Brid Lifts can help to promote efficiency is with the development of our non-folding rails on the PS-1930. The new ANSI A92.20 design standard, which took effect June 1, requires manufacturers to have higher rails on MEWP platforms than the old ANSI A92 standard called for. Because of the new higher rails, many scissor lifts now have rails that users must fold down for the lift to fit through doorways. Hy-Brid Lifts designed the PS-1930 so it can fit through standard doors and into elevators without an operator folding down the rails. This feature saves operators a few minutes each time, which adds up to time better spent getting work done.

What level of demand are you seeing for electric MEWPs, hybrids, alternative fuels? 

There are many features of hybrid and electric-drive access platforms that make them attractive to users, and we have watched the industry take note of these benefits since day one. The industry is growing in their acceptance of this style of lifts, and Hy-Brid Lifts has always been manufacturing them from the start. Users continue to notice benefits, as well — like less risk of fluid leaks, proportional drive, less maintenance, quieter operation, and more power to climb inclines. From the very beginning, Hy-Brid Lifts has always employed electric drives, believing them to be the best drive for the market. It’s great to see operators requesting electric drive lifts with the features that will make their jobs easier.  

The maintenance that accompanies a fully hydraulic machine is much more substantial and limits the operational hours of a lift. Customers take notice when a Hy-Brid Lifts model requires less service and maintenance. On top of that, our LeakGuard system is proving to be a favorite for users who want to eliminate the need for diapers or cumbersome fluid containment systems. LeakGuard provides a safe way to handle hydraulic fluid and prevents leaks from dripping on ground surfaces and internal components. It also helps prevent jobsite rework costs that may be caused by hydraulic leaks. Rental center customers, especially, ask for this easy-to-use system by name. LeakGuard is currently available on all Hy-Brid Lifts Pro Series units.