Truck mounts: compact trends

22 October 2018

AI rounds-up the latest from the world of truck mounts, with a particular emphasis on the compact sector.

The 3.5 tonne GVW market in Europe is taking on new levels of activity, with competition growing across the sector. The move to more compact machinery is not just a trend in the 3.5 tonne area, however, there is a general trend in this direction, including from the likes of producers of big truck mounts like Bronto Skylift.

Accompanying all this is the demand for quiet, emission-free machines; hence the proliferation of hybrid models.

A good gauge of the 3.5 tonne market was Platformers’ Days, in Germany, which took place in Germany. There were a large number of new products on show at the exhibition, particularly in the 3.5 tonne truck mount market for Europe to fall in line with the class B commercial driver’s license.

Expanding products

Among them was the updated 24m working height 240PX, from Italy-based GSR, now with added self-levelling, which is requested in the German market. The unit is also ready for sale in another important 3.5 tonne market, the UK.

Comet’s new Eurosky unit was also on display. The platform features a working height of 31m with a maximum lateral outreach up to 17m. At full outreach, the basket’s maximum capacity is 250 kg. The Eurosky line features double pantograph, 360-degree continuous rotation, 90 degree plus 90 degree swivelling basket and an electric power tap (230 volt) in the basket. The unit features 100 percent hydraulic controls. It is mounted on a 3.5 tonne vehicle and is thus available with B(E) driving licence.

The company also launched its new Solar unit. The machine features a basket capacity of 400kg with no limitations or need for stabilizers. The unit features a self-levelling system with a basket size of 3.5 m by 2 m. The basket can rotate laterally by 90 degrees and features a constant linear outreach of 4 m. The unit has an 11 m working height. In this respect, says Gabriele Valli, sales director at Comet, “Our philosophy remains to offer what our competitors do not produce or do not want to propose, then acquire market niches and become in those niches the market leader as it is the case for mini-vehicles and pick-ups.”

Next on the products list, says Valli, is a double articulation platform - sigma boom - as well as a new Eurosky model with 25m working height, on 3.5 tonne vehicle. Valli adds, “The general trend is to always to get more light and performing products, easy to use and which require low maintenance. Furthermore, the consumer now realises that many electronic sophistications are not necessary and begins to evaluate platforms with limited electronic controls.”

3.5 sector

Back onto the subject of 3.5 tonnes, there a couple of new players on the scene. Hematec launched its first truck mount at Platformers’ Days. The 22.7m working height SCA23 is manufactured by Italian manufacturer Safi, combined with Hematec’s electric drive system and mounted on a Nissan Cabstar.

As Dinolift’s distributor in Germany and Austria, Hematec was also showing the Finland-based manufacturer’s first truck mount, the Dino 230 VT, also with a 3.5 tonne GVW. The product was launched at Vertikal Days as prototype in the UK earlier this year. It is a straight telescopic boom lift with a working height of 23m. Features include intuitive controls, automatic levelling, an easy-entry basket with non-slip stairway, and three jacking options.

The company first launched the model in local markets, including in Finland, in September. Other countries are following, including, of course, Germany where Hematic is helping to develop it for the needs of customers. The manufacturer understands the challenges of the 3.5 tonne sector. “We have a long history of trailers and lots of customers have asked for a machine in this category,” says Petri Paavolainen, Dinolift managing director.

“There are many players, and it is fragmented market. However, it is better than having two or three medium-sized companies across the whole market, as it means we can compete.” The manufacturer is considering extending the range, perhaps in to hybrid.

Socage has been developing its range too with the 20T and the 20TJ at Platformers’ Days. Like other products in the 3.5 tonne range, it has an ultra-light boom, increasing performance and, importantly, reducing the weight of the machine. The booms can therefore be mounted without taking up too much of the truck’s GVW, leaving enough margin to carry equipment and materials. The hydraulic controls of the previous range have been replaced with an electrical version, for greater precision.

At Platformers’ Days, the 20T will be installed on a Nissan Cabstar, with HE+H stabilization, allowing the front outriggers to be extended using hydraulic control, while the back outiriggers remain in shape. Working height is 19.6m and outreach is 13.9m, with a 300kg basket load.

The 20TJ, with jib, has the option of standard (ME+H) and extreme stabilisation, with the latter shown at Platformers’ Days. With the manufacturer’s X-factor chassis a working height of 19.5m, outreach of 13.7m and 300kg basket load can be achieved, and remain under 3.5 tonne GVW.

Hybrid launches

On the subject of hybrids, most companies are seeing the attraction, including Italy-based Oil&Steel. The company says, “We are experiencing the phase out of Nissan Cabstar, so we are venturing new brands of trucks. We will be also challenged by zero mission engines, so we are researching platforms with battery packs.”

Its latest machine is the 20MT telescopic platform with 20m vertical reach, 13m lateral reach. Coming next is the 20m double articulation and jib, set to be launched in January. The company adds, “Utility is becoming more interesting every day, so we can see that in the future there will be more sales for big utilities companies than for rental.”

Ruthmann has is already developing its hybrid and 3.5 tonne offering and now has launched its first hybrid models, the Ecoline 160 Hybrid and 180 Hybrid. On show was the 180 Hybrid, which is part of the manufacturer’s lower cost range Ecoline range, manufactured at Ruthmann Italia. “With this development, we address the growing market demand for alternative power sources at an affordable price.

But Ruthmann says it did not want to design a ‘pseudo hybrid’ system. The result of its efforts, it says, is a genuine hybrid system. The battery is charged while the truck is driven between job sites. It then continues to be charged during operation, thanks to the integrated charging device. The battery has a six to eight-hour capacity – enough for all-day operation at the job site.

The first buyer of the new model is Christian Gerken, managing director of Gerken. He says, “There is no noticeable difference in movements between the hybrid and conventional drive system.”

Remaining on the subject of hybrids, but moving away from the 3.5 tonne GVW sector, the P 370 KS E is the first electric-powered platform in Palfinger’s Premium class range. “The demand for noise- and emission-free platforms for a variety of jobs both indoors and out – maintaining bridges, working inside tunnels and buildings as well as construction jobs in urban areas and on large construction sites – continues to rise,” says a company spokesperson.

The new components such as the electric motors with hydraulic pumps, battery system with an integrated charging system and intelligent energy management system form the heart of the new electrically powered access platform. “The P 370 KS E combines a diesel drive system with an electric drive system, which means that it offers the performance and service life of a diesel engine at low operating costs,” says the spokesperson.

Depending on how the product is used, the P 370 KS E can be operated for a full working day in electric mode and using and using an external power supply, charging can be performed on site during downtimes or breaks. The intelligent charging system shortens the charging time by 25%. After just one hour of charging, the platform can be operated electrically again for up to one and a half hours, depending on how the platform is used.

Like the P 370 KS, the electrical E version, has a maximum basket load of 500kg and a working height of up to 37m, plus outreach of up to 31.5m. And, has compact vehicle length of 8.35m and its patented counter slewing device.

Multitel Pagliero launched its latest hybrid-powered model. The platform is the standard Multitel MT 162 EX, with more than 16m of working height and 11.5m of working outreach. It is mounted either on an Iveco Daily 35 S 13 or a MB Sprinter chassis cab and stays well below the 3500kg weight limit with fuel and driver. The unit is powered in a conventional manner to travel to site although a second alternator on the vehicle engine charges the batteries.

When on the work site the platform can be deployed on its outriggers using either the vehicle PTO or the on-board batteries. Thereafter the platform will give a full day work powered by the batteries. The batteries power an electric motor, which, in turn, powers a hydraulic pump to drive the platform. Overnight charging of the batteries is the norm, although they can be charged from empty to full in less than four hours. The company expects to shortly add new models to their Eco Hybrid range.

Compact launch

Bronto Skylift, famous for its big truck mounts, has launched its smallest model to date, the 35m working height S35EM.

The first unit was delivered to Finland-based rental company Jalo&Jalo and was officially launched at Platformers’ Days. The S35EM has been designed with ease of use and heavy use in mind. “It has all the elements of a true work machine, yet it’s light and compact enough to be easy to manoeuvre and operate,” said the manufacturer. Transportation length is 9.5m, outreach is 29m and maximum basket load is 500kg.

“There an increasing use of platforms for window cleaning and maintenance work in the cities, where the size and time matters, so we wanted to create an inexpensive solution for city rental opportunities. The S35EM provides easy and quick operation for end users and is our answer for the growing need for a self-drive units,” explains Ian James, key account manager, Bronto Skylift.

There are three options for the basket - basic: 2.04m wide with 500kg load, wide: 2.4m wide, 450kg load and extendable: maximum width of 3.4m and 350kg load.

For easy access, the basket is located to the rear on a landing stage with a pull-out step.

To make loading and unloading even easier, the basket can be lowered all the way to the ground level. The control panel, incorporating all levers and safety alerts, is attached to the basket and is movable to as required by each task.

As a self-drive unit, the S35EM is quick  and easy to deploy on site with variable jacking and is therefore ideal for rental applications and inner-city work. Optional equipment includes hydraulics and electricity in the cage, hydraulic material winch and ultrasonic collision guard.

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