AJ Access supplies boom lifts to Antarctica

By Steve Ducker17 August 2015

Two boom lifts have been adapted and supplied by AJ Access Platforms to work in one of the world’s most hostile environments.

AJ Access Platforms fitted snow tracks to the Genie Z60/34 articulating booms so that they can be used in Antarctica to carry out general maintenance and repair work at the British Antarctic Survey Halley V1 Research Station.

Typical winter temperatures are below -20°C with extreme lows of around -55°C, so AJ Access provided special biodegradable hydraulic oils and batteries for cold weather starting, and British Antarctic Survey engineers incorporated pre-heating technology.

The Genie booms will run on aviation fuel because diesel would freeze at those temperatures.

The machines will set sail for the Antarctic on the research ship RRS Ernest Shackleton in October and are due to arrive at Christmas.

There is 24-hour darkness for more than 100 days of the year and strong winds reduce visibility to just a few metres. The machines will be outside all the time, and on many occasions the operators will have to chip off large quantities of ice before they can start them.

Ben Norrish, vehicles and plant manager for the British Antarctic Survey, said: “We need reliable machines that are in good condition because we can only take a limited supply of parts with us and it would be very expensive if we had to have other parts flown out.

“AJ Access Platforms has supplied boom lifts to us in the past and has a good understanding of our requirements.”

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