Aerial work platforms: Multi-purpose machines

Aerial work platforms: Multi-purpose machines
Manufacturers are increasingly offering attachments or workstations for aerial work platforms because of the added productivity they give to their users. Overhead work encompasses a multiplicity of activities such as welding, glazing, painting, wiring and maintenance, among many other tasks, and users need to take tools in the platform or use auxiliary power sources to perform these tasks.

The attachments also help make overhead work significantly safer. They are making overhead work so much safer that they have been endorsed by the national safety training organization, Aerial Work Platform Training (AWPT).

Tony Groat, AWPT’s North American membership development director, says, “Today’s increased use of aerial work platforms in all areas of work applications has expanded to incorporate many auxiliary tools, but also increased the risk associated with [AWP] use and the need for additional training and safety. Field application of these tools with aerial work platforms can create additional risk created by increased congestion of both the platform and on the ground below. There are risks of exceeding the capacity of the platform and of entangled or snagged lines from the platform.”1429770755

He continues, “Factory-approved options and workstations greatly enhance the safety and productivity of the platform operator and those in the work area. Fully integrated tools improve machine mobility and accessibility for the operator. AWPT applauds the concept of incorporating electric, air and water lines running inside the boom from the base to the platform. They allow powered tools to be safely operated from the platform and eliminate the dangers and hassles of tethering lines draped over the platform railing to a separate machine on the ground where they can become a hazard to moving vehicles and ground personnel. Our organization supports anything that makes the operation of aerial work platforms safer.”

The simplest of the attachments are fluorescent tube caddies, pipe racks and specialized cradles for glass and panels that are installed on the platform’s rails. There are also a variety of tool trays for both scissor lifts and boom lifts which can include a vise, tool and parts holders, a 12-volt outlet to re-charge battery-operated hand tools and an electrician’s tree to hold wire spools.

As Groat says, aerial work platform manufacturers are increasingly adding air and electrical lines routed through the boom to the platform with quick connects at the base. Compressors and generators can be attached to the machine at the base with outlets at the platform without the hazard of lines hanging down from the platform.

There is a drawback when lines are routed through the boom with a separate generator or compressor at the base, however. Work must stop every time the aerial work platform is moved so that the ground-based equipment can be moved as well. To overcome the mobility problem, JLG, Skyjack and Genie have added generators integrated into the engine compartment and powered with a hydraulic or belt link to the engine. JLG also has an optional air compressor that can be installed in the engine compartment and is powered by the generator. It is available for its boom lifts and delivers 9.3 cfm of air at 125 psi.

The generators have become so popular that Howard Kaplan, vice president and product parent at JLG says, “Our SkyPowerTM 7,500-watt generators are sold on most combustion-powered boom lifts and are standard equipment on 120-ft. and 135-ft. platform height boom lifts. On the 60-ft. and under boom lifts, either the 7,500-watt generator or a smaller generator are options.”

Phil Harvey, Genie boom lift product manager, adds that not only are there generators for their combustion-powered boom lifts and for their electric-powered boom lifts. “Genie offers an optional 800-watt inverter that converts 48V DC to 120V AC power to allow operators to utilize a variety of power tools on the platform.”

Genie also offers a 110V/60Hz inverter on all of its electric scissor lifts and an additional 230V/50Hz inverter choice on its two largest units, according to Eric Ludwig, Genie scissor lift product manager. On the combustion engine models, there is an optional 2,000-watt generator and for the largest rough-terrain models, there is also a welding option that includes a 12,500-watt generator with the welder.

Skyjack also offers optional generators on its new boom lifts. There is a basic 3,500-watt model and a step-up option for a welder-ready machine that includes a 12,000-watt hydraulic generator with an oil cooler. For Skyjack’s electric-powered scissor lifts there is an optional 800-watt AC inverter and an optional shop airline to the platform. Skyjack’s rough-terrain scissor lifts also offer the shop airline, inverter and a 2,000-watt hydraulic generator.

Since most customers have their own electric-powered hand tools, such as grinders, drills and saws, welders are the most common tool rented to utilize the built-in power sources and all three manufacturers have welding units to accompany their generators.

Kurt Kropp, vice president of Kropp Equipment, a multi-branch aerial work platform rental house based in Schererville, IN, says that not only steel erectors use welders, but his company has a number of glaziers that use them to fasten mullions. The welders are in such demand that his company has generators suitable for powering the welders installed on 200 of the boom and scissor lifts in the fleet. When they are rented with a welder, there is a 10- to 20-percent premium in the monthly rental rate.

He points out that with today’s fuel prices, another selling point for his customers is the economy of onboard generators and welders since there is no need have fuel to run a separate piece of equipment. Kropp also says that his company has not encountered any particular maintenance problems with the generators or welders, and since they are securely fastened to the frame, overnight theft from parked units has not been an issue.

Besides powering welders and compressors, the generators incorporated into JLG and Genie machines can also power light towers to illuminate the work site.

In the past few years, aerial work platforms have gone from machines that lift workers into the air to multi-tasking tools that optimize productivity in a safer environment. The net effect is that the new technologies are helping dealers become more profitable while providing better service to their customers — a win-win situation.

Using Safety Tips While Operating Aerial Lift

About twenty six construction staff die every year from mistreatment aerial lifts. over half the deaths involve boom-supported lifts, like bucket trucks and cherry pickers; most of the opposite deaths involve cut lifts. Electrocutions, falls, and tip overs cause most of the deaths. alternative causes embody being caught between the lift bucket or safety rail and object (such as steel beams or joists) and being affected by falling objects. (A employee may be catapulted out of a bucket, if the boom or bucket is affected by one thing.) Most of the staff killed square measure electrical staff, laborers, painters, iron staff, or carpenters.

Before operative associate Aerial lift Check operative and emergency controls, safety devices (such as, outriggers and guardrails), personal fall-protection gear, wheels and tires, and alternative things specified by the manufacturer. explore for potential leaks (air, hydraulic fluid, and fuel-system) and loose or missing components. Check wherever the lift are used. explore for A level surface that won’t shift.
Check the slope of the bottom or floor; don’t work on steep slopes that exceed slope limits listed by the manufacturer. explore for hazards, such as, holes, drop-offs, bumps, and debris, and overhead power lines and alternative obstructions. Set outriggers, brakes, and wheel chocks – although you’re acting on A level slope.

Your leader should:

• offer needed manuals to operators and maintenance mechanics.

• take care operators and mechanics square measure trained by a certified person experienced with the model of aerial lift.

Using associate Aerial lift

• Invariably shut lift platform chains or doors.

• Stand on the ground of the bucket or lift platform. don’t mount up or lean over guardrails.

• don’t exceed manufacturer’s load-capacity limits (including the load of such things as bucket liners and tools).

• If operating close to traffic, found out work-zone warnings, like cones and signs. to stop electrocutions:

• Non-electrical staff should reside least ten feet off from overhead power lines.

• Electrical staff should de-energize/insulate power lines or use correct personal protecting instrumentality and tools.

• Insulated buckets shield from electrocution owing to electrical phenomenon passing through you and therefore the boom to ground. associate
insulated bucket doesn’t shield if there’s another path to ground – for example, if you bit another wire.

To prevent falls:

To help keep staff within guardrails or in buckets, authority needs either a full-body harness or a positioning device on bucket trucks or boom-supported lifts. authority accepts a positioning device (belt) with a brief lanyard, if there’s associate anchorage within the bucket.

To prevent tip overs:

Check the manufacturer’s directions.

• don’t drive with the lift platform elevated (unless the manufacturer says that’s OK).

• don’t exceed vertical or horizontal reach limits or the required load-capacity of the lift.

• On associate elevated cut lift, avoid an excessive amount of pushing or pull. coaching authority says a certified person should train all users.

The coaching should include:

• Any electrical, fall, and falling-object hazards.

• Procedures for addressing hazards.

• the way to operate the lift properly (including most supposed load and cargo capacity). The user should show he/she is aware of the way to use the lift.

• Manufacturer needs. If the hazards amendment, the kind of aerial lift changes, or a employee isn’t operative a lift properly, staff should be retrained.

Maintenance and Inspections

De-energize and lockout/tagout aerial lifts before any maintenance or repairs. every aerial lift should be inspected because the manufacturer needs – each three months or once a hundred and fifty hours of use, whichever comes 1st. and therefore the owner of a lift should do an in depth yearly examination, pro re nata by the manufacturer. you ought to apprehend several construction contractors rent aerial liftsrather than shopping for them. therefore you’ll not apprehend that model you’ll be mistreatment, albeit operator controls and alternative key options disagree on every model. Also, you’ll not apprehend the upkeep history of the lift.

The dealer or company dealing out the lift should:

• take care the lift is correctly inspected and repaired before rental.

• offer operator and maintenance manuals and maintenance history.

• ensure the operator controls square measure simple to succeed in and properly marked.

Your leader should:

• take care associate aerial lift isn’t changed while not written permission of the manufacturer.

• take care associate aerial lift is employed solely underneath conditions approved by the manufacturer.

• take care correct personal fall-protection is provided and used.

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Varied steps to use Boom Lifts

Over the years there are number of lifts which have been came. Aerial lifts which are Cherry pickers, Boom lifts, Scissor lifts, Man lifts, Fork lifts which are elevating lifts used to elevate from the ground. All the jobs above the ground are done with the help of Boom lifts. Starting from trimming of trees to any lifting place boom lifts makes it easier as well as safe. These machines are huge and even powerful so before renting boom lifts it is better to consider it properly. Some of the significant steps to use Boom lifts are as follow:


1)      See if your project really requires Boom lifts renting or ladder or even scaffolding would help you save lot of money.

2)      If you really want to rent Boom lift get different quotes from the company. You should know that Boom lift is suitable for the terrain and is capable to work on the surface where the work is to be done. While renting boom lift you should know the weight capacity, fuel type, terrain as well as reaching level.

3)      Pricing is an important factor. Ask for the insurance of the lift as well as other prices as delivery and pick up fees. Also the clean-up charges and refuelling charges are equivalent. All these should be considered.

4)      Get all the equipments properly as you might get obstructed when you start with the work.

5)      Only renting the boom lift is not enough. You need to know how to operate. The manual is present so before starting with the job know all the control of the devices properly.

6)      Also important is to know the condition of boom lift as there can be any damage to the lift. This should be known before you accept it. All the things like the capacity, work on terrain, fuel should be known.

7)      Keep it on a fall arrest harness so as to check the condition of the lanyard.

8)      Check to make sure that all the information is read since there are varied switches that control operation.

9)      The red kill button should be pulled to start the engine and power up console.

10)   After all these come into the basket and start the cranking engine and if any things is not known refer the manual.

11)   Check out the ground levels and get assured of any hazards taking place.

12)   You should familiarize yourself with the device perfectly and know all the driving controls as well as the steering perfectly.

Renting boom lift is not just the work done for achieving you task you should know all the things. An expert help would be best preferred. Clean the device and check all the things regularly. Look out for any obstruction so as to avoid the hazards as the accident causing could be fatal. Expert operating may also help you in cutting down your cost and would make things better. You know do thorough research before renting boom lift.

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