Paul Jensen, product manager, Americas, Haulotte, talks about Haulotte’s compact electric scissor lifts, pressures to increase pricing, onboard diagnostic tools; and more.
RER: What new equipment enhancements or developments has your company come up with in the past year?
Jensen: This year, Haulotte is upgrading its compact range of electric scissor lifts. The five new rugged models have been redesigned to ensure a maximum utilization rate, increased safety and simplified maintenance. They integrate the group’s high-quality standards and meet all the requirements for working at heights from 20 to 39 feet on all types of stabilized ground. All models are equipped with the newly designed guardrails that feature thicker stock. The easily foldable guardrails come standard on all compact models.
Scissor operators will love the way the new AC motors respond to control inputs. The proportional controls ensure smooth and precise movements even when working and maneuvering at full height. Compact scissors are equipped with Haulotte Activ’Energy Management. The intelligent Canbus charger constantly monitors battery parameters to ensure optimal charging. It also incorporates dedicated charging cycles for battery maintenance (desulfation, equalization, etc.). To reduce maintenance costs and efforts, the system can be fitted with centralized watering solutions, either manual or automatic.
RER: Any new achievements or developments in safety equipment or accessories?
Jensen: Haulotte has led the industry in secondary guarding technology for boom lifts with the innovative Activ’Shield bar. Now we are bringing a new secondary guarding device that is perfectly integrated into the upper control box and detects the driver’s position and movements in real time using lidar technology. A warning light and audio announcements, available in 13 languages, inform the operator of the system’s status. In dangerous situations, the machine stops immediately and restricts forward movements.
Obviously longer lead times have been a major concern for rental companies with some saying they are waiting a year or even two years for some machines. What steps are you taking to try to reduce these long lead times?
Jensen:Supply chain shortages have been a big challenge across nearly every industry for the past two years. Haulotte has been working very closely with our suppliers to keep a steady flow of equipment onto the production lines. Our engineering and R&D teams have been working hard to find alternate component solutions that meet Haulotte’s high standards so we can minimize the delays as much as possible. Although we still have lead times that are longer than we would like, we have also seen record production volume numbers as we work hard to bring those lead times down.
RER: Costs of machines have increased significantly in the recent past? What has led to this cost increase and are you doing anything to try to reduce the cost of new units?
Jensen: Pressures to increase prices seem to have come from every angle. Between inflation, supply chain shortages, and transportation challenges just to name a few, we’ve all seen prices grow. Although we have had to increase our pricing at Haulotte, we have as much as possible been able to honor the pricing that we agreed to when the purchase order was signed and accepted. That means that to date, we haven’t applied any surprise surcharges or last-minute price increases no matter how long the lead time. We’ve rewarded our customers that stick with us through these challenges with the respect of sticking to our agreements and we hope to continue to do so. We also must strike the right balance so we can maintain the profitability required to provide effective technical and parts support to our customers and machines after the sale. We value our long-term relationship with customers and defend a win-win situation that benefits both parts.
RER: Have you made any improvements that make machines easier to maintain?
Jensen: The new compact scissor lifts have been designed to facilitate routine maintenance operations; components are easily accessible, electrical and hydraulic elements have been separated, and the routing of hoses has been carefully designed to avoid the risk of friction and leaks. Renowned for their performance and reliability, asynchronous motors require no routine maintenance. The scissors have been subjected to rigorous endurance tests to guarantee their ruggedness.
Compact scissors embed a number of diagnostic solutions to facilitate troubleshooting and reduce downtime. The Haulotte Activ’Screen on-board diagnostic tool gives access to machine parameters and provides key information about the machine’s status in real time. These features are also available via the Haulotte Diag mobile application, which also offers advanced diagnostics with detailed resolution procedures.
The Sherpal telematics solution allows remote diagnosis of machines. It considerably reduces downtime by providing remote access to fault codes and recommending actions. The telematics data helps make sure technicians have the right parts on the truck so more repairs are completed on the first visit, reducing downtime.
The Activ’Energy Management tool allows complete control over battery maintenance, and thus can significantly reduce maintenance costs.
RER: Are electric machines and/or alternative fuel machines more in demand these days and what is your company doing to address that need in the marketplace?
Jensen: In 2018 Haulotte introduced the electric Pulseo range of machines with the first all-electric 60-foot articulating boom to the worldwide market and committed to providing an electric alternative for all of our internal combustion engine-powered machines. Last year we released 43- and 53-foot electric rough terrain scissor lifts that featured a removable range-extending generator. Haulotte has new announcements on the horizon as we continue to demonstrate our commitment to our 2018 promise.
The marketplace has received our electric product solutions very well. The Pulseo range has been successful not only in global regions with environmental mandates banning the use of combustion engines. Haulotte electric machines are also finding success on indoor projects by solving worker safety and productivity challenges while providing large platforms and weight capacities on which to perform the work.