North American aerial platform owners should prepare for significant changes to the design of machines when new ANSI and CSA standards are introduced in 2017 and 2018, said Chad Hislop, Genie director of engineering, Terex AWP, speaking at the ALH Conference and Awards in Miami, October 11.
The new design standards, which will be introduced in 2017 with a 12 month compliance deadline for OEMs, are likely to lead to the use of platform load sensors, automatic envelope control systems, dual capacity ratings on booms, and a split between indoor and outdoor models for slab scissors and vertical mast machines.
The new standards will align US and Canadian requirements with current ISO standards used in the rest of the world, and will harmonise how OEMs treat issues such as wind, tilt and rated capacity.
The new design requirements for rated capacity will require the use of load sensors – as has been the practice in Europe for around 15 years – and will probably lead to the use of more sophisticated control systems and dual capacity machines with automatic envelope control.
“The standard 500 pound capacity rating [on booms] won’t cut it anymore”, he said, “With load sensors people will not be able to do the work that they do today….I would expect to see full load capacities to go up, and I would expect also more secondary envelopes.”
He said it was likely that booms would operate with 660 pound capacities at the full outreach plus an additional 1000 pound rating on a smaller working envelope.
The new ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards are expected to be published in January 2017, with manufacturers required to comply within 12 months.
There will be no need to retrofit existing machines, so machines currently in the fleet will be legal. However, one delegate at the conference raised the possibility that major contractors or other end users could stipulate the use of ‘state of the art’ machines, which would potentially lead to an accelerated uptake of new platforms.
The new design requirements for wind will see light machines, such as electric scissors and vertical mast machines, categorized as either indoor or outdoor models, which will be heavier. Mr Hislop said that this means rental owners would have to make decisions on the mix of their fleets.
The implications of the new requirement of tilt will be automatic cut-out of the lift and drive functions if the tilt angle is exceeded. Mr Hislop said OEMs were likely to use control systems to modify working envelopes based on the degree of tilt.
“Three things – wind, load sensors and tilt sensors – are going to be challenging” he said, “but I think you can expect to see innovation, to build better machines with more capacity. Hopefully, we’ll not see a Tier 4 Final level of complexity or cost.”
He said Genie would fight to maintain acquisition costs and that increased volumes of a single ‘worldwide machine’ would help in this regard.