European scissor lift sector opportunities
By Euan Youdale14 January 2022
AI provides a round-up of some the latest scissor lift developments in Europe
There have been a few developments in the scissor lift sector in recent weeks, particularly relating to the European market, where there have been production expansions and equipment introductions that reflect the changing industry.
One of the major issues since the start of Covid-19 is long lead times, brought about by factory closures by the OEM’s and their components suppliers during the pandemic.
This means companies are now in catch up mode as markets recover and customers need new equipment as quickly as possible.
Add transport challenges to that and it is easy to see how the lead times continue to grow.
How manufacturers are reducing lead times
These delivery problems have prompted significant action from manufacturers around the world, many of which have shifted the production of certain equipment types and models to new locations.
Genie announced in September that it has added rough terrain and electric scissor lift production to its Umbertide, Italy, manufacturing facility.
The models already exist in the Genie range and are also produced at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington state, US.
They include the GS-2669 RT, GS-3369 RT and GS-4069 RT rough terrain scissor lifts, and the GS2669 DC, GS-3369 DC and GS-4069 DC all electric lifts.
The company said the decision to produce the units in Umbertide will mean shipping times to Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia and India - the EMEARI region, would be reduced, therefore providing shorter lead times for customers.
Francesco Aiello, senior director, Terex Umbertide, said, “By localising production at the Umbertide factory, customers across our region will see improved lead times as a result of faster shipping availability.”
Both the RT and DC models offer driveat-full-height capabilities and patented full time oscillating axles.
The GS-2669 delivers a working height of 9.7m and provides up to 680kg of lift capacity, while the GS-3369 can lift up to 454kg to a max working height of 11.75m.
The all-electric GS-2669 DC, GS-3369 DC and GS-4069 DC lifts are suitable for indoor work in confined spaces while rough terrain capabilities mean they can also be used for rugged applications on challenging ground, sand and mud. Sealed AC drive motors deliver a high level of performance.
New micro scissor lifts launched in Europe
Skyjack displayed a range of models at this year’s Platformers’ Days in Karlsruhe, Germany, which also took place in September.
The company was introducing the SJ3014 micro scissor and the SJ9664 RT for the first time in Europe, since the launch of the products in North America this year.
The company also showcased a combination of its latest models and longstanding products at the exhibition.
Earlier this year, Skyjack hosted its first virtual tradeshow in response to Covid-19 travel restrictions, and using customer feedback from that, along with jobsite data, took the time through the pandemic to optimise its products.
As such, the new 6.4m working height SJ3014 micro scissor has a quiet and swift electric drive and low floor load ratings enabling it to easily access tight spaces, such as elevators.
The model comes with 25% gradeability, proportional drive and lift controls, and limited maintenance on wheel motors.
Large rough terrain scissor lifts
With growing urbanisation and a demand to reach higher, Skyjack has also introduced its largest rough terrain scissor lift to date, the SJ9664 RT. It makes work at seven stories possible without asking customers to jump to a specialized class.
Using an axle-based four-wheel drive system and the company’s Smartorque technology, the SJ9664 RT is designed to balance engine horsepower, torque and hydraulic performance to create more cost-effective operation, while taking emission regulations and controls into consideration.
The SJ9664 RT uses a smaller Tier 4 Final Kubota engine, while delivering the same onsite performance as higher-powered units.
It also includes features like a reinforced scissor stack that provides increased rigidity, simplified e-lowering, and an on-board diagnostic display.
Construction equipment exhibitions post-Covid
Snorkel’s latest electric slab scissor also made its European debut at Platformers’ Days in Germany.
Launched at Conexpo-Con/Agg 2020, in Las Vegas, US, the S4740E entered full production in North America in January 2021, with European production at Snorkel’s manufacturing facility in the UK commencing earlier this month.
The S4740E is the largest electric slab scissor lift offered by Snorkel, with a maximum working height of 45 ft 5 in (14m), measuring just 47 in (1.19m) wide.
Ideal for working in tilt-up warehouse spaces and confined high-rise indoor spaces, the S4740E is the company’s first lift to be offered with a choice of either hydraulic or electric drive.
Weighing 6,825 pounds (3,100kg), the S4740E shares the same features and benefits of Snorkel’s existing electric slab scissor lift family, including saloon-door style entry gates, “inside-out” access to key components for easy servicing, and a fixed upper control box with integrated power outlets.
The first UK-built S4740E is currently on display at Platformers’ Days, on Ahern Deutschland’s indoor stand, and is now available to order globally.
Global access equipment manufacturers expand into Europe
Indeed, manufacturers have been using the first access-related trade shows in Europe, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, to show how their latest products can benefit customers across the continent.
They notably include some of the newer access OEMS, which are looking to expand their scissor products, with other equipment to follow, throughout Europe.
Chinese OEMs target UK access equipment market
In August it was announced that Zoomlion Access had appointed AJ Access Platforms to distribute its products in the UK.
Under the new partnership AJ Access Platforms will initially offer the Chinese manufacturer’s full line of DC scissor lifts, ranging from 6.5m to 15.7m working height (21ft 4in to 51ft 6in). The boom line will be available by early 2022.
AJ Access was at the UK’s Vertikal Days show in September, to present its new line of products and promote the established service network that the company offers throughout the UK.
Jason Liu Jian Cun, deputy general manager at Zoomlion Access Overseas BU, said, “We are really excited to extend our partnership with AJ Access in the UK.
“We believe this partnership will bring great value to local customers and environmental-friendly electric-powered products, especially the lithium series of scissor lifts and boom lifts.”
Richard Saunders, managing director at AJ Access Platforms, added, “As emission rules are tightened, demand for intelligent and robust electric and hybrid MEWPs has never been higher.
LGMG was also making itself known to the UK market at Vertikal Days, with a full range of its scissors on show.
According to APS, the manufacturer’s distributor for the equipment in the UK, some 100 units of LGMG’s 16m working height scissor have already been sold into the UK.
One of the advantages, says APS, is it has units supplied directly from the manufacturer’s base in China, in stock in the UK.
Taking into consideration the problems over lead times, caused by the pandemic, this will be an advantage, at least in the short term.
Sinoboom also announced at Vertikal Days that it has partnered with TVH to supply full parts and 24-hour service for its range of scissor lifts, and boom lifts.
It follows the news in January that Sinoboom had signed up with newly-established Pinnacle Platforms to provide distribution for its products in the UK.
Pinnacle Platforms, based in Peterborough, is led by longstanding industry professionals Tim White and Wayne Lawson, and will focus soley on the sale and service of Sinoboom products.
France: access equipment market opportunities
Stepping away from the UK, in recent weeks, Turkey-based ELS Lift signed a distributorship agreement in France with SNM Lift, part of SNM Group, located in the Pays de la Loire region.
SNM Lift will carry out sales, after sales, rental and marketing activities for ELS Lift’s low level scissor products of 6m working height, or under.
The micro scissor market has been hotting up, with Skyjack’s first micro, as mentioned previously in this feature, along with new products and ranges from Genie and JLG, having been launched in the last 18 months.
And, in recent weeks, MEC also announced an update to its Micro 19 scissor lift, (see the box story below: MEC updates micro scissor lift in the US).
The first customer meeting following the partnership between ELS and SNM was held at another specialist lifting show, the JDL Expo fair in France, back in June, which was one of the first exhibitions of its type to be held in Europe since the beginning of 2020.
ELS Lift’s export and EMEA business development manager Alistair Palacıoğlu, said, “We’re delighted to have SNM Lift, which has 35 years of experience, and is the sales, service and after sales service provider of all types of access and heavy lifting machinery in France and French speaking countries, appointed to run and represent our services.”
Palacıoğlu added that France was one of its first export markets. “This market, with great potential, is a critical strategy area for ELS Lift…we see the SNM Lift team as a strong partner for our developments in the French market.”
MEC updates micro scissor lift in the US
The most recent developments in scissor lifts have not all been dedicated to the European market.
The US has been a focus for micro scissors, as we have seen in Europe. Californiabased manufacturer MEC Aerial Work Platforms recently announced an update to its Micro 19 scissor lift.
The new version comes with fixed rails that fit through standard doorways and lower stowed platform height entry and exit. MEC has also reduced the overall height to 1.99m to meet the taller ANSI guardrail regulation of 1.1m.
Gary Crook, VP of engineering, said, “Now there is a machine that has the micro footprint the industry has come to specify by choice with the simplicity of fixed guardrails.”
Performance capabilities include a maximum lift capacity of 227kg (500 pounds), an indoor working height of 7.6m (24ft) and an outdoor working height of 6.5m (21ft). Weighing 1,300kg, the Micro 19 offers a stowed width of 81cm (32in) and a length of 152cm (60in).