After a year of planning, German company Ruthmann and Texas-based ReachMaster have taken the wraps off a new 108-foot working height aerial work platform, the Eagle T-108 A. The unit will be shown for the first time at ConExpo, March 7-11 in Las Vegas.
The new unit offers a vertical work height of 108 feet, 69 feet of horizontal reach and 700 pounds of basket capacity. The Steiger lift system consists of a straight boom with a jib, which is shipped from Germany to ReachMaster in Texas where it is then mounted on a Ford F650 chassis.
Since the total weight of the unit is 24,900 pounds, no special CDL requirements are needed and the Ruthmann Eagle T-108 A can be driven with a standard driver’s license in the U.S.
“We have been active on the U.S. market for some years through our cooperation with Time Mfg. on our taller units of 125 feet and above, and that remains in place with no changes,” said Rolf Kulawik, managing director of Ruthmann GmbH. “However, it has also allowed us exposure to the market segment for smaller units that could be driven without CDL, reflecting opportunities similar to those we have seen in Europe, where the use of smaller truck- mounted lift has made a huge difference for professionals and the rental industry.”
Time Mfg. opted to focus on the taller units, prompting Ruthmann GmbH to look for another partnership for the smaller models, and ReachMaster, Inc. was selected for that role.
“We have known ReachMaster, Inc. for several years, even before we acquired Bluelift SpA (now Ruthmann Italia) which is also distributed in North America by ReachMaster, Inc,” Kulawik says. “In addition, Time Mfg. and ReachMaster, Inc. have also known each other well for years, and both being Texan companies they speak the same language.”
Ebbe Christensen, President of ReachMaster, said, “We are very excited about this opportunity to join forces with a manufacturer of Ruthmann’s caliber and magnitude. In the past, we have taken on the role of pioneering new product categories, in particular from Europe, and this falls well within our focus on niche products. As often is the case, habit is the strongest obstacle to innovation, but we believe that once the market sees the benefits of a mobile unit of this size and quality that can be operated with a standard driver’s license, it will spark interest in the segment.”
The Eagle T-108 A is just short of 33-feet-long.
“We see opportunities for the unit in several market segments, from cell phone tower maintenance over wind power (wing tip repairs), to more traditional applications like window cleaning, building maintenance and tree care,” Christensen said. “And, of course, the rental industry should take special interest in this concept as it can lower logistic costs dramatically and represent a new revenue source. Opposite a boom lift, the truck - as a mobile unit - can drive to and from sites under its own steam, and you eliminate costly and time consuming deliveries, both to the benefit of the rental companies and their customers.”