Light on its feet

24 April 2008

Niftylift's 21 m working height HR21 weighs just over 6 t.

Niftylift's 21 m working height HR21 weighs just over 6 t.

Andrew Fishburn, sales and marketing director at UK access rental company Wizard Workspace (formerly Independent Access Supplies), says lightweight self–propelled booms are growing in demand, and not for the typical industrial applications for which they are often designed but on construction sites where floor loadings are an increasingly important consideration

“The main issue is floor loadings, and it's going to become more and more prevalent on multi–storey buildings”, he says, “Contractors are pouring less concrete and allowable floor loads are coming down.”

Mr Fishburn says the JLG 800AJ is at about the limit for the typical ground–floor slabs being poured now, and says that new models such as Niftylift's HR21, a 21 m working height, 13 m outreach articulated model that weighs just over 6 t, could prove to be an ideal solution. He also says he is seeing an upsurge in demand for machines such as JLG's M600 dual–fuel, articulated machine, which weighs around 7 t.

The question in Andrew Fishburn's mind is whether the lighter–duty booms will be suitable for long–term rental use on demanding construction sites. Time will tell.

Other manufacturers are also adding lightweight models to their ranges. Aerial Access, for example, will this summer bring out a 13 m working height, electric or dual–fuel articulating boom, the S13T, that will offer an outreach of around 7 m and will weigh as little as 3 t. This lightweight version will have a 1.8 m wide chassis. “This aims to satisfy the demand for lighter machines required by the construction industry”, the company says. A 1.4 m wide modified S13T will weigh closer to 3.7 t. Aerial expects to go into production with the new machines in June.

Manitou, meanwhile, is updating and expanding its range of lightweight, electric articulating booms. The new models comprise compact &C' versions and bigger &L' versions of its 12 and 15 m working height machines. The compact 120 AETJ C and 150 AETJ C models have chassis widths of 1.2 m and 1.5 m, respectively, and weights of 6.55 t and 6.7 t. The larger versions have widths of 1.5 m and 1.75 m and are lighter, at 5.05 t and 5.91 t.

The new range also includes the company's first 17 m working height electric model, the 170 AETJ L, which has a maximum outreach of 9.4 m and 1.75 m chassis width. This weighs 6.9 t.

Of course, buyers looking for lightweight booms have the option of going for machines using outriggers for stability. Kesla Oy's XS models are a good example, offering 19 m and 24 m working heights with machine weights of 3.7 and 4.8 t, respectively. These have just been made available in North America through Kesla's US dealer, Specialty Equipment Co.

Similar in concept is Dino Lift's self–propelled 205 RXT and 240 RXT, which offer working heights of 20.5 m and 24 m with weights of 4.1 t and 4.25 t. Dino says it has recently started to use 19.1 kW Caterpillar diesel engines, bigger than the 17.5 kW units used before. The company says it will add other models to this self–propelled range.

Spider type machines of the sort produced by Worldlift Industries (the Falcon range), Teupen and Hinowa are another option here. Hinowa's new 19.5 m working height Lightlift 19.65 model, to be launched at Intermat, weighs 2000 kg and has stowed dimensions of 0.76 m (W) by 2.1 m (H).

Teupen, meanwhile, gives ground loading figures of 4.75 N/cm2 (travelling) and 2.08 N/cm2 (working position) for its Leo 15 GT, which has a working height of 14.9 m and outreach of 6.4 m. It has a 0.78 m travel width and weighs 1850 kg

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