Aerial work platforms are designed to help workers work at great heights without endangering their lives. Many construction sites rely on aerial work platforms in order to perform a vast array of tasks that would be difficult to perform manually.
Ladders and scaffolding may be affordable and practical, but they have severe limitations that can be solved with a reliable aerial work platform. However, you must follow all safety protocols before you use an aerial work platform, as negligence or incompetence can endanger the lives of workers and pedestrians.
A specific task may require a certain platform. Different aerial work platforms have different pros and cons. First, determine what needs to be done, and then use a platform that is designed to solve your problem.
Here we will discuss the different aerial work platforms that are available in the industry and why you should consider adding them to your work repertoire in 2021.
Aerial Work Platforms
Scissor lifts are a state-of-the-art aerial work platform that is very popular. However, most scissor lifts can only move vertically, which may be a problem, depending on the task at hand.
Boom lifts are designed to elevate or extend so that workers can reach very high places that would be impossible to reach with scaffolding or a ladder. Most consist of a platform or bucket that is connected to a crane system that is hydraulically powered.
A spider lift is a type of boom lift that is rapidly increasing in popularity. However, spider lifts tend to be lighter than most of the boom lifts that are sold in the market. Due to their unique weight and size dimensions, spider lifts are commonly used to work in difficult areas or sites. For example, most spider lifts can easily pass through a single doorway, so their flexibility and compactness can benefit certain projects.
The purpose of a scissor lift is the same as scaffolding and ladders. However, their carrying capacity is far greater. Scissor lifts also provide top-of-the-line cross balance support. The cross balance supports will allow the operator to move the lift up and down without worrying about personnel or objects toppling over.
There are also many different types of scissor lifts to choose from. Slab lifts are ideal for flat, paved, and smooth surfaces. Their reach range is between 25 and 46 feet, and their load capacity ranges from 500 to 1,200 pounds. They also tend to be electrically powered.
Rough terrain lifts can either be IC or electric powered. Four wheel drive is provided in order to maneuver on off-road terrain without any issues. Rough terrain lifts include heavy-duty tires that will be able to withstand whatever Mother Nature throws at them. The load capacity is greater, with a range of 800 to 1,500 pounds, and the reach ranges between 32 and 59 feet.
Single-man scissor lifts are designed for one person, and are quite portable. They can often be pushed manually due to their light weight. Their load capacity tends to range from 300 to 500 feet, and they have a reach between 17 and 46 feet. Scissor lifts will reduce the risk of an accident taking place while on the job. They generate zero emissions while in operation and also produce very little noise.
Boom lifts are designed for safety and speed while working at high elevations. They can be adjusted for different heights and sizes with relative ease. They are frequently used for cable and electrical repairs, as well as for cleaning buildings and windows. A boom lift helps workers protect themselves and those around them while still meeting tight project deadlines.
Articulated boom lifts are a type of crane that can be repositioned as needed. The basket will be kept at a steady height, regardless of the position. They also have two hinged joints, which provide them with superior flexibility when compared to other types of cranes and lifts. They can be rotated a full 360 degrees if needed, and are designed for projects that are situated above ground.
Telescopic boom lifts can be retracted and extended via tubular sections. They can slide in and out in a manner similar to a handheld boom lift. Their reaching height also tends to be greater than other aerial lifts, with some being able to extend over 100 feet.
Telescopic boom lifts are commonly used to repair, maintain, or install HVAC systems. They are also used in order to trim trees, paint, rescue people that are trapped in burning buildings, access multi-story complexes, and work on long bridges.
Spider lifts have four legs that work independently from one another. Spider lifts can work in difficult areas because of their flexibility. They are similar to cherry-pickers, and can be used in closed and crowded areas. They tend to include a bucket at the boom lift end for convenience. Workers can stand on the bucket in order to access certain areas of the workplace.
Spider lifts are mounted on top of a vehicle and are equipped with durable tires so that they can be driven on uneven terrain if needed. They were originally designed in order to pick out of reach fruits without having to break a sweat. Today, they are commonly used to help firefighters reach very high buildings in order to rescue people and put out fires.
Be Prepared for Anything
Your workers will be protected when they use an aerial work platform, especially when they are manually lifting and moving materials. Aerial work platforms are built with optimal safety in mind so that workplace accidents will be drastically reduced.
However, not all aerial work platforms are designed to perform the same tasks. Each type has its unique dimensions, strengths, and limitations. Therefore, it is best to choose an aerial work platform that is best suited for your unique needs.