Aerial equipment and its industry have not escaped the effects of a poor economy, yet, despite the constraints, manufacturers safely enhance and accessorize, providing quality products for these and better economic times.
No question innovations and safety are priorities, but the biggest one these days is safely weaving through a struggling economy. Major consolidation and restructuring along with new significant entrants into the industry have produced an overabundance of new and used equipment. Frank Scarborough, president/CEO of Scarborough & Associates, and Leigh Sparrow, senior vice president of Global Sales at UpRight, both believe customers will spend 2002 absorbing the influx of equipment. “As the major rental companies complete their efficiency drives and better balance their fleets, we will see a return to a stronger and steadier market in 2003,” Sparrow says.
“By developing accessories along with new innovative products, the industry will again see growth by meeting end-user needs better,” says Jeff Ford, product manager at JLG, McConnellsburg, Pa. “If the manufacturers wait this downturn out with the same products and programs that were in place before the downturn, then it will take longer for recovery.”
With competition great, many already have or will innovate with more aerial equipment utility by adding items such as generators, welders, saws and air lines to platforms. Scarborough adds to this list light towers, people placement (elevators with easy entry and exit) and the combination of articulating and jibs.
Ford says aerial work platforms should be more than just a way to get up in the air. “I see a definite trend towards evolving the aerial lift from a personnel platform to a ‘workstation in the sky’ that improves operator productivity by integrating tools and other devices into the machine design,” he says.
JLG manufactures SkyPower, the base accessory unit used to power JLG accessories such as SkyWelder, SkyCutter and SkyBrite. Along with the welder and cutter, the SkyBrite can be attached to the platform. It is a system of four to six banks of lights that illuminate large work areas or other areas in the dark.
UpRight offers built-in generators, air lines, workbenches, security packs, cladding panel manipulators and more. “It [accessorized lift] not only gives a rental company the edge, but also allows additional revenue from the extra accessories,” Sparrow says. “For the user, he benefits from having an independent high reach work station rather than just a lift.”
Scarborough foresees more companies adding features such as digital cellular/GPS technology, combining it with the Internet and using it to monitor specific functions on individual units, such as hours of actual operation, etc. UpRight currently incorporates a system such as this. “The Mini Dat system, shown at [the Bauma trade show in Germany] this year, allows rental companies to interrogate a lift via a cellular phone link, restrict operating hours to a standard five-day single shift week, check charging practices and shut a machine down if the account becomes delinquent,” Sparrow says.
As manufacturers improve scissors and booms, safety becomes increasingly important. By discouraging the use of ladders and scaffolds and encouraging operator training, many aerial industry personnel believe accidents decrease immensely. And Scarborough points out that in a rough economy the responsibility to provide this training lies more with the rental companies. “Due to the horrific business downturn in sales and sales price reductions, the manufacturers are faced with rationally reducing their operational costs, which impacts what they will provide for the rental industry and its customers,” he says. “The rental companies will be faced with providing increased levels of quality safety/operational training and not relying on suppliers.”
“The emphasis will continue to be on operator training and awareness of the limits of lift equipment,” says Kerry Nichol, marketing communications manager for Skyjack. “Simply trying to make machines safer will not eliminate the predominant cause of accidents: operator error.”
Enforcing the use of safety belts in boom lifts will also prevent accidents, Sparrow says. Upright advocates a waist belt for use on boom lifts with a shorter lanyard that prevents an operator from falling over the side. Sparrow notes that concern rests on protecting an operator after he has fallen over the side of the platform and thus full body harnesses are mandatory from a legal standpoint yet are not always used. The waist belt not only prevents this problem in the first place, but also avoids the real risk of being catapulted out of the platform should the lift drop into a large depression while traveling with the boom extended in a long reach position.
JLG offers the 740AJ fall arrest machine. The fall arrest system works with a standard lanyard and allows the operator to leave the platform to perform work on aircraft, structural steel or whatever the job may be.
“Manufacturers make the machines as safe as possible; it is up to the operators to correctly apply the safety features,” says Ed Samera, vice president of Quality and Product Support. “Training of operators will improve and become more widely available.”
Safety features are necessary, and attention to aerial safety should always be emphasized, but Sparrow warns the addition of too many safety features can be hazardous. “Sounds crazy, but we have seen, mainly in Europe, some notified bodies and inspection companies constantly looking for ways they can input extra safety features into aerial lifts,” he says. “What they often overlook is that by trying to make one function foolproof they introduce a new risk elsewhere on the machine. Another risk if these overzealous inspectors are given free reign is that they end up making a lift impractical or over expensive, so that users resort back to traditional methods of access such as ladders where the risk of an accident is hundreds of times higher than with an aerial lift.”
Rebecca Bridson can be reached at: [email protected]
The Favco Model 40T is a 40-ton rated telescoping boom crane mounted on a Caterpillar excavator-based power module including undercarriage, engine and cab. It is capable of 360-degree lifting on slopes as much as 5 degrees, and its four-section boom is fully powered to 100 feet. With standard 32-inch triple grouser pads, the product has a ground bearing pressure of only 7.8 psi for operation on soft surfaces versus 60-105 psi for comparable tire-mounted rough terrain cranes. The cab is comfortable, quiet and efficient with joystick controls mounted on the arm rests of the operator's seat and full climate control including air conditioning.
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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.
www.groveworldwide.com • 717/597-8121
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The S 58 SX boom from Schwing is 187 feet, 10 inches long. State-of-the-art high strength materials used throughout the machine combine with smooth ground weld seams for long-term stability. The Super-X front outriggers have a curved shape to extend around job site obstructions and speed set-up. A small footprint of 29 feet, 2 inches in the front maximizes horizontal reach. The right outrigger doubles up as a water tank, and the left is optionally available as a fuel tank for those long hours on the job site.
www.schwing.com • 651/429-0999
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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
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The Bronto Model SI 155 heavy-duty boom lift features a 155-foot working height, 70-foot working outreach and 1,500-pound platform capacity. It is the tallest insulated high reach aerial device available for rent in North America, according to the manufacturer. The truck-mounted unit is qualified for barehand use up to 500 kV with a Category A rating per ANSI A92.2.
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The TB42 and TB50 telescopic boom lifts from Terex have 43-foot, 6-inch and 50-foot maximum platform heights respectively. A unique drive system provides sound mobility. Other features include 4-wheel drive, oscillating axle standard, microprocessor controller for exceptional reliability and serviceability. There is an articulating jib on the TB50.
www.terex.com • 203/222-7170
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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
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The Model 450A Series II is an articulated boom lift, and the Model 450AJ Series II is an articulated boom lift with a 4-foot, 1-inch jib boom. Field tested gradeability is 30 percent in the two-wheel drive machines and increases to 45 percent on the four-wheel drive machines. Both models have 500 pounds of unrestricted platform capacity, and the horizontal reach is now 24 feet, 6 inches, while the up-and-over reach extends to 25 feet, 2 inches. The electrical and hydraulic systems have been redesigned for reduced complexity and ease of service.
www.jlg.com • 240/420-8726
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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
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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
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Bil-Jax introduces the compact XLB-4016 and XLB-4319 towable boom lifts with working heights of 40 and 43 feet respectively. The 4016 has a side reach of 16 feet and the 4319, 19 feet. Standard features on both include 360-degree rotation, hydraulic outriggers, proportional controls and a 450-pound platform capacity. Each is battery powered and offers a 110v outlet to the platform for power tools.
www.biljax.com • 800/537-0540
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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 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
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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.
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Pinguely-Haulotte introduces its new range of diesel scissor platforms: Compact 2068RT, Compact 2668RT and Compact 3368RT with 27-foot, 6-inch, 33-foot, 8-inch and 40-foot working heights respectively. The RT compact units travel easily over all surfaces because of the standard 4-wheel drive, and the hydraulic differential lock ensures optimum traction. The units climb a 40-percent slope and have a turning radius of 11 feet, 5 inches with a drive speed of 3.1 mph. All the platforms come with a platform load limiter, an emergency lowering system, a 3-degree tilt alarm and hydraulic brakes that guarantee safety.
www.haulotte.com • 33 (0)4 7729 2424
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