As the market prepares for the implementation of the new ANSI A92.2 standards, manufacturers across North America are focusing on ensuring their products comply. Electric scissors are one of the categories that will potentially be most affected by the new standards, with guardrail height and wind load requirements impacting machine design and usage.
One of the most talked about aspects of A92.2 is how wind speed conditions will determine if a scissor lift can be used outdoors or not. OEMs are redesigning machines to meet the requirement by restricting the working/drivable height of scissors to compensate for wind speed if necessary. Most have adopted a button or switch that the operator will need to select whenever a machine that is initially rated for “indoor only” use is to be used outdoors at a lower maximum height.
But the electric scissor lift market isn’t only talking about ANSI. We asked OEMs for their input on trends, market predictions and what their take is on increasing competition in this ever-popular segment. Here’s what they had to say.
ALH: How is the electric scissor lift market fairing in North America right now? What is your projection for the year?
Mike Flanagan, Genie product manager, Terex AWP, The slab scissor lift market is strong, despite what rumors or predictions may say. At Genie, we’re focusing on delivering on customer expectations, providing product that meets rental needs and drive rROIC.
Paul Jensen, product marketing manager, Haulotte Group, We expect the electric scissor lift market to grow over the next year. Low-level access scissor machines will help fuel that growth as the smaller footprint machines gain popularity as a way to increase production while decreasing ladder injury risks.
Nichole Lerma, marketing specialist, MEC Aerial Work Platforms, We have seen strong demand for direct electric drive and expect the trend to continue growing as more users are exposed to the benefits. The market prefers compact electric scissors and MEC will continue to develop and deliver products that customers request.
Jordan Cuadrado, product manager, LGMG North America, The market for electric scissors lifts is on the positive and will continue to grow in the positive over the year. The release of the 92.20 standards has changed the standard specifications of most scissor lifts, and to meet OSHA and ANSI requirements, rental companies will have to recycle their old inventory for the updated scissors to stay competitive within the rental game.
Mitch Fedie, marketing manager, Pettibone, The electric scissor lift market remains strong in North America, especially with the continued growth of the rental market. We expect 2020 to remain at similar levels as 2019.
Matthew Elvin, CEO, Snorkel, Electric scissor lifts are a large proportion of aerial lifts that are sold to rental companies. Some reports are suggesting that we will see a reduction in the rate of growth of the rental sector this year, which would affect sales of electric scissor lifts. Currently, rental demand is remaining steady, however, there are signs of increasing caution in the global economy, which may ultimately trigger a slowdown in construction activity, if confidence is not restored.
ALH: What is the biggest trend with electric scissors right now?
Flanagan, Terex AWP, Growing demand across all industry segments is driving innovation with entirely new slab scissor models, as well as within specific areas of machine specification or operation. The Genie GS-1330m and GS-4655 models, for example, two of the newest slab scissor lifts in the Genie product family, are both powered by electric drive systems. These systems provide the high productivity performance expected from Genie slab scissor lifts, while delivering on all facets of machine operation and ownership expectations regarding efficiency and cost of ownership.
Justin Kissinger, vice president of marketing, Hy-Brid Lifts, The most prominent trend among electric scissor users and manufacturers is the introduction of new ANSI A92 standards.
The design changes that affect manufacturers range from small adjustments to larger changes, and include folding rails, indoor/outdoor ratings, capacity ratings, and many more.
Because of the raise of required rail height, many manufacturers are changing their models to include folding rails. This is something we’ve made it a priority to avoid with our newest lift, the PS-1930. With non-folding rails, operators can save a step by not having to stop and fold down the rails before going through a standard doorway.
Our Pro Series range is our best-selling line of models. This includes the PS-1030, PS-1430 and the all-new PS-1930. Of those, our 14-foot lift and new 19-foot lift are proving to be frontrunners for best sellers in 2020. This range is popular because of its lightweight and compact design. By choosing a lightweight lift, operators are able to access more jobsites, as well as have more lifts per floor to complete work. Their compact design makes it easy to transport them both to and on a jobsite. They fit through standard doors and on passenger elevators, all without the need for folding rails.
The higher-platform models have more capacity to allow more tools and materials to be taken up at a time. Our PS-1430 has a capacity of 700 pounds, and the PS-1930 has a capacity of 650 pounds, which is one of the highest in the industry. The A92.20 changes included a capacity increase, which presented a number of benefits to the user. With a higher capacity, there is a lower likelihood of the machine being overloaded and the functions disabled. If the platform is overloaded, all functions must be disabled, according to the new standard. If a user is taking something down at height and the lift is over capacity, they won’t be able to descend until weight is taken off the platform or another person performs the emergency lowering procedure at the base of the lift.
Jensen, Haulotte, There’s a lot going on in the scissors world right now! Low-level access scissor lifts are gaining in popularity as ladders are being removed from job sites. Scissor owners are becoming more tech savvy and investing in telematics to gain efficiencies in their business operations.
Lerma, MEC, Scissor lifts with a compact footprint is a huge industry trend. First, MEC introduced the 1330SE offering the chassis dimensions of mast style machines but without the rigidity and platform area compromises they bring. Next, MEC came out with the Micro 19 and Micro 26 which continued the trend in micro scissors with more height to respond to customer demand. Jobsites are more crowded with greater overlap of trades, and any machine that can do the same task yet fit in tighter places has an advantage.
ALH: There has been an influx of new scissor lift OEMs entering the North American market over the last few years. How do you view the competition and how does it affect the market?
Jensen, Haulotte, We welcome the new entrants to the market. It is a good sign that companies view our industry as strong and attractive enough to enter as a new competitor. MEWP usage is growing and as customers see more offers it becomes easier to see the difference between OEMs and make decisions on the product that best matches their business model instead of deciding on price point alone. Haulotte has worked hard to position itself as an innovative market leader, providing a customer centered product with features designed to keep users safe, minimize TCO, and minimize impact on the environment.
Cuadrado, LGMG North America, The competition has tripled since a few years ago but the goal remains the same: capturing market share. All of our competitors are trying a wide variety options or special operator features to keep/gain market share; it’s just all about getting that competitive edge. That edge can cover many different aspects; customer needs, cost, quality, reliability or service. Seeing that LGMG North America has entered the market in the past year and found willing distributors and customers for what we brought to the market is testimony that LGMG has a future in the U.S. We look forward to seeing how the market responds to these new standards.
Lerma, MEC, Innovating and differentiating for a better solution is what drives us, so new competition keeps us sharp. The Leak Containment System in 2019 and the Xtra Deck in 2020 are examples of two safety and productivity features we launched that have customers excited about MEC. We have patents pending on our innovations, so we’ll keep our competitive advantage.
There will be some buyers lured by competitor’s low prices trying to buy market entry. Without proven history and infrastructure for support, service, parts and resale will prove the ownership cost is not what is desired. MEC’s strategy is to continue providing a better solution for our customers through innovation to deliver higher ROIC.
Flanagan, Terex AWP, New competition is a good sign for the market; it shows that the industry is positioned for future growth that new OEM entrants are hoping to take advantage of. At Genie, we are focused on delivering on the product, quality and service values that have been fundamentals since Genie launched more than 50 years ago. We’re excited for the years to come – and recent product launches such as the Genie GS-1330m and GS-4655 models are just the beginning of Genie innovation in the cornerstone MEWP product line.
Elvin, Snorkel, Increased competition is usually good for an industry as it helps to promote a greater culture of innovation, particularly with existing manufacturers. Increased competition gives the customer base greater choice, which means that as an existing manufacturer, we need to continuously improve our customer experience and product offering. We have to find ways to differentiate and work harder to earn and retain their business.