Hy-Brid Lifts upgrades control system
By Euan Youdale22 October 2020
Low level access equipment specialist Hy-Brid Lifts has introduced a new control system.
The manufacturer’s new CANbus Intelligent Controls system comes standard on all Pro Series Hy-Brid Lift models, and replaces the previous hard-wired controls. With features including a diagnostics display, indoor/outdoor selection and movement controls, the panel is designed to make operation easier.
“Many lift manufacturers are making the switch from hard-wired controls, but ours takes it to the next level,” said Terry Dolan, Hy-Brid Lifts president and CEO. “We listened to customers and learned what controls and options would make their jobs easier. Then we implemented those elements to make the most intuitive controls possible.”
The Intelligent Controls includes selection buttons for driving and lifting control. The driving control engages steering and forward and backward motion controls. The lifting control engages the up and down movement of the platform. Both driving and lifting movement feature Hy-Brid Lifts’ proportional control. This provides feather-like control for optimal lift positioning and precise jobsite mobility. Additionally, if the controls have not been used after a short amount of time, they will automatically disengage for safety reasons.
The panel also includes a diagnostic display that indicates battery charge level, percentage of load in the platform, and hours on the machine. It will also show warnings such as platform overload and tilt angle. Operators can cycle through the diagnostic display with the easy-to-identify information button.
“Customers told us that they want to see the percentage of weight capacity in the platform,” Dolan said. “Competitive units will give a fault code, but don’t indicate how much weight has caused the issue. It could be a matter of raising the lift up, transferring something off a shelf into the lift, and then receiving a fault code. It could be 5 pounds or 50 pounds. Our system makes it easy to identify so they can efficiently accomplish their jobs.”
New ANSI standards indicate that once a machine is overloaded, it must stop all functions. This includes lowering the unit until the weight on the platform has been brought back to the manufacturer’s specified capacity. In response, Hy-Brid Lifts feature higher platform capacities, minimising the chance of overloading. Additionally, active load sensing helps the operator avoid an overload situation by knowing how close they are to max capacity. This allows them to bring the lift down to unload weight before adding more materials on the platform.
“An operator who has overloaded the machine might think it is not functioning properly,” Dolan said. “If they are not familiar with the new technology, they might call the rental company and request a service call. By educating customers and rental centers, they can avoid these situations and costly service calls.”
The control panel includes an indoor/outdoor selection button. The indoor option allows for full height operation if no wind is present. The outdoor selection button limits the height to allow for a 28-mph wind speed, which complies with ANSI A92.20. This indoor/outdoor option increases safety for the operator and provides contractors access to more jobs. Since any possibility of wind classifies the working area as outdoor, the outdoor option is especially useful for operators who might work in a building where the walls aren’t up yet.
Lastly, the Intelligent Controls include a horn, which adds a safety element by alerting other workers about the lift when entering a hallway or room.