The year 2001 will be remembered in the history of aerial work platforms as one of the most challenging. Even with a slowing economy and softer demand in the office and commercial construction sectors, construction remains strong. There is still a need for aerial equipment and that has created a problem for the shop personnel charged with keeping boom lifts, scissor lifts and rough terrain telescopic handlers in top operating condition. Repair parts can become difficult to source in some instances, particularly the items that are subject to wear and tear such as electrical switches, seals and gauges among others.
Also, in the slowing economy, rental organizations seeking to expand their business are taking on additional machine repair and maintenance work. Because they have the complete service facilities, skilled personnel and parts sources, they can perform many tasks at lower cost than many organizations that only inventory and rent equipment.
Illini Hi-Reach, located in Lemont, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, is among those independent rental companies that have seen the opportunity to offer its services as a repair organization, and it has been able to take advantage of the opportunities in the market for aerial equipment. Because of the consolidation trend in the rental industry, a number of good used aerial work platforms have come on the market. As a result, Illini Hi-Reach has been able to buy used equipment that is only a couple of years old. The company is comfortable making the purchases because of the strength of its service department. In addition, its ability to acquire necessary components at reasonable prices allows it to bring any used equipment up to safe operating standards.
Mary Beth Naranjo, parts manager and a six-year veteran parts buyer, and Jamie Gray, service manager with 10 years of experience repairing aerial work platforms, are responsible to keep Illini Hi Reach's machines running. With adjoining offices, Gray and Naranjo are in constant contact regarding what's needed for the day's work and for upcoming programmed maintenance.
Faced with the challenge of keeping Hi-Reach's existing equipment operating and knowing that different brands of machines could be added to the company's inventory at any time, Naranjo needed a dependable source for buying parts for the company's fleet of nearly 300 aerial work platforms and telescopic handlers. The fleet includes scissor lifts and boom lifts from six original equipment manufacturers and three manufacturers of telescopic handlers.
Though there are a variety of machines and brands in Illini Hi-Reach's fleet, they do have a lot in common. No matter who made the machine or how big it is, they are still made up of switches, motors, pumps, controllers and many other parts common among different manufacturers and equipment models. While a machine element may have a different part number, many are interchangeable and can be installed on a variety of machines regardless of the manufacturer.
In the past, every time a component was needed, Naranjo had to track down the manufacturer, locate a distributor, establish credit and order the part at full price because it was impossible to get a volume discount. The process was expensive, time consuming, generated a ton of paperwork and delayed getting equipment back on rent.
Illini Hi-Reach was just one of many JLG customers faced with the same issues. JLG saw the need to create a program that would offer replacement parts for telescopic handlers and aerial work platforms made by all of the major manufacturers. Because there are many parts in common, it was not an impossible task. By providing a single source for parts, JLG could save its customers the time wasted tracking down replacement parts and money spent buying one part at a time from a variety of vendors.
In the fall of 2000, a plan to develop an all-encompassing parts service was initiated under the PartsPlus program, JLG's registered trademark for all its customer parts purchasing programs. While this policy of providing parts for competitive products has been standard in the agricultural industry and among the manufacturers of earthmoving and material-handling equipment, this is the first time on such a large scale by an aerial work platform manufacturer.
Decisions on what to stock in the expanded PartsPlus program were made after extensive review of the market. Wade Jones, JLG's parts marketing manager, and his team studied competitive machines along with their parts and service manuals, then initiated sample parts orders from the manufacturers that had been supplying parts for other brands. Following the information gathering, component testing and inquiries in the marketplace, Jones' group identified and compiled a list of the same parts as had originally been installed. The result was that JLG could specify the part that had originally been used. JLG then placed orders for the inventory of parts they would be stocking.
With the groundwork done, JLG launched the competitive parts portion of the PartsPlus program in February of this year. The company started with 500 different parts used in the machines assembled by six different companies, which were added to its own JLG and Gradall parts lists. Parts are sold using the original OEM part number, so when a dealer calls it's not difficult to find the exact replacement unit.
Then the competitive parts program took off. The first month brought one program participant, 13 joined during the second month and then the service started to grow exponentially. Sales have now reached the point that JLG is processing hundreds of orders a month and inventory has grown accordingly. Jones says there are now more than 1,000 stock-keeping units (SKU's). JLG has a 98 percent fill rate on parts ordered.
A customer cannot build a complete machine by ordering components from JLG because the company doesn't carry everything. Instead, the manufacturer has concentrated on stocking the high volume purchased parts used by other manufacturers and has stayed away from proprietary items, such as specialized booms, decals and platforms. On items JLG does stock, there is a one-year warranty from the date of installation.
JLG has added full-time representatives, calling on more than 3,000 customer locations, to help them with the PartsPlus program along with its corporate contact center responding to customers, notes John Louderback, vice president of customer support services.
While the phone system is operated 12 hours a day, Monday through Friday, JLG's computerized parts system is available around-the-clock on the Internet, contributing to the parts program's success. It's called the Online Express system and Jones reports that more than 50 percent of competitive parts orders now originate through the computer.
Naranjo says she uses the Online Express system as a reference at least six times a day. The system gives her the option of getting an overnight emergency shipment if she places the order by 4:30 p.m. EST, or the system will accumulate her orders until she reaches a predetermined dollar amount then releases a ground shipment.
At Illini Hi-Reach, the PartsPlus program gives it the confidence to go after other repair business along with its rental business. The company mails flyers, uses envelope stuffers and calls on its own contacts to garner outside repairs.
Information for this story provided by JLG Industries, McConnellsburg, Pa.
High Reach Equipment
The new Gehl Personnel Work Platform System provides users with the ability to use an ANSI/ASME-compliant work platform safely and more efficiently. The system offers workers an extra level of protection with access to the remote shutdown switch. As an added safeguard, a remote control button allows personnel in the work platform to stop all boom functions while the PWP mode is engaged. It constantly checks the altitude of the machine and will not allow boom functions unless the machine is properly leveled.
www.gehl.com • 262/334-9461
RS # 144
The MTI AmeriQuip Eagle 2-45 trailer-mounted aerial lift has a lifting hook capacity of 600 pounds and a basket capacity of 500 pounds. For ease of operation, it features 360-degree continuous rotation and AmeriQuip's exclusive Eagle Eye monitoring system, proportional hydraulic controls and automatic bucket leveling. Emergency descent valves at the bucket and base and a 5-degree slope sensor and alarm are standard. It offers up to 45 feet of working height and up to 20 feet of side reach.
RS # 145
JLG Industries introduces its SkyWelder package that features an integrated, self-contained welding system. The package is available on JLG's Model 400S and 460SJ boom lifts and has been developed to meet the specific needs of steel erectors and others doing overhead welding. The package consists of a 4,200-watt AC generator powered by the machines' hydraulic system and a 225-amp welder. The Model 400S telescoping boom lift has a 40-foot platform height, 34-foot horizontal outreach capability, maximum restricted platform capacity of 1,000 pounds and an optional 750-pound unrestricted capacity. The Model 460SJ is a jib-equipped telescoping boom lift with 500-pound unrestricted platform capacity, 46-foot platform height and a horizontal outreach of 40 feet, 6 inches.
www.jlg.com • 240/420-8726
RS # 146
The Runabout, Genie's newest self-propelled aerial work platform, features a narrow 29.5-inch width and a 53-inch length, which allows it to go through any single doorway as well as fit in most elevators. There are three models, the GR-8, GR-12 and the GR-15, featuring 8-, 12- and 15-foot platform heights, respectively. With weights of 1,450 pounds on the GR-8 to 2,150 pounds on the GR-15, the product can be used on sensitive flooring, in passenger elevators and be transported on lighter weight vehicles. The 8- and 12-foot height models have a 500-pound load capacity while the 15-footer has a 350-pound lift capacity.
www.genielift.com • 888/543-8373
RS # 148
National Crane Corp. introduces its new Series 400B telescoping crane, a redesigned version of the company's 400A series. Rated with a maximum capacity of 20,000 pounds, the series features a vertical reach of 95 feet and wider 19-foot, 11-inch hydraulic outriggers that provide stable leveling and retract smoothly without binding under load. Available options on the new series include a hydraulic oil cooler, an automatic self-contained radiator system with an electric fan that cools oil under continuous crane operation, one-person personnel baskets and one-hand cable and radio remote control key crane functions.
www.nationalcrane.com • 402/786-6300
RS # 147
The Gradall Co. announces its new personnel work platform attachments are available for both G Series and D Series material handler models. The G Series includes the latest models with 6,600-pound capacities and 42-foot maximum lift heights — Model G6-42P with 90-degree rear pivot steering and Model G6-42A with an all-wheel steering system. Included in the D Series collection of machines are the Models 524D, 524D Lo Pro, 524D-3S, 534D9-45, 534D10-45 and 544D, offering maximum capacities ranging from 6,000 to 10,000 pounds and maximum lift heights from 23 to 55 feet.
www.gradall.com • 330/339-2211
RS # 150
The HA16 PX articulated jib platform has a working height of 52 feet, a platform height of 46 feet and weighs 15,620 pounds. With considerable offsets, the articulated jib platform makes it easy to work on the most difficult positions, particularly on congested sites. Because of its compact chassis and its mobility, the product can be used on industrial sites and outdoors on all sites.
33 (0)4 7729 2424
RS # 149
UpRight Inc. releases the Mast Boom series with two models, the 26.25-foot maximum working height MB20N and the 32-foot maximum working height MB26. The MB20N has a maximum working outreach of 8.66 feet at platform height of up to 16.54 feet. The MB26 has a maximum working outreach at up to 21.36-foot platform height. Outreach on both machines remains the same at each stage of elevation giving a greater range of access.
www.upright.com • 800/926-5438
RS # 151
The WorkForce SkyRider 15 self-propelled lift from Bil-Jax is designed for restocking shelves and many other applications that require putting people and products in the air. The product has a 500-pound capacity with a large cage that will easily accommodate an individual and several boxes. It propels at 2.5 miles per hour in the down position and .5 miles per hour in the fully extended position. The machine is capable of traversing 10 miles and accomplishing more than 100 lift cycles on a single battery charge.
www.biljax.com • 800/537-0540
RS # 152
Grove's articulating boom line consists of the A60J, A80J and A125J with platform heights of 60, 80 and 125 feet, respectively. Working heights add 6 feet to the above dimensions. All feature articulating jibs to assist in easy and precise positioning at the job. The units offer large platform sizes and capacities.
RS # 153