Aerial platforms for niche jobs
By Euan Youdale20 February 2023
Access equipment manufacturers spend much of their time designing unique working at height solutions to fit customers’ specific requirements. Here, AI reviews a range of aerials originally produced to meet the needs of standalone projects.
MEWPs for the rail industry
Co.me.t Officine is in the business of providing specialist equipment.
As an example, last year the manufacturer produced two aerial platforms for one Italian company, with the purpose of cleaning and maintaining facades.
The company adapted a pair of standard 28m working height Eurosky 28 double articulated platform by placing them on a hydraulic trolley that runs on rails, acting like a small single-unit electric train that moves along the track laid at the base of the facade.
The platform offers an outreach of 14m and 250kg in the basket. The electric engine powers the hydraulic pump and components.
Aerial platforms on carriage wagons
In another rail-related order, this time from the Czech Republic railway, Co.me.t sold two 24m working height Eurosfilo 24 JIB units to be installed locally on a pair of carriage wagons.
The platforms are powered independently, as well as by an electric motor that moves along the hydraulic section.
With a maximum outreach of 19m and capacity of 280kg, the platforms are used for maintenance along the country’s railway lines.
This includes maintenance of cables and tunnels maintenance, as well as light installations and plant cutting, among others.
The equipment has been designed to work on a variable inclination while remaining level even on steep inclinations. As the company adds, another interesting element is the equipment’s ability to offer a considerable outreach without the use of stabilisers.
Multi-person spider lifts
In a niche design that has now become a standard offering, Palazzani upgraded its TSJ 27 and TSJ 30.1 models.
Originally both units were designed with a basket capacity of 120kg and 230kg, as is the entire TSJ range. To satisfy the specific requests for two different projects, mainly indoor and outdoor maintenance in shopping centres, the basket capacity was increased to 330kg, which added a third working area and three different outreaches with 120kg, 230kg or 330kg in the basket.
Both customers required a spider lift able to lift either two or three people and materials in the basket, with the three-person option meaning the work can be caried out faster, while remaining safe, or for more tools to be brought to the work area.
For the modification, Palazzani’s Technical Department had to perform in-depth calculations and tests on the machines, create new software and new CE certification.
The first two units have already been supplied and following those requests, this upgrade has now entered both models’ available options.
Fully electric platforms for road applications
At Bauma 2022, CTE launched the fully electric MP 20 EV on 3.5-tonne GVW truck mount.
“The need to respect the environment around us is influencing our way of living and working, from built-up areas to construction sites, from city squares to interior spaces,” says the company.
“Traffic restrictions, with pollution and noise emissions restrictions are leading to an increasingly urgent adaptation of work tools and equipment, and aerial platforms for work at height are also part of this change.”
“Public bodies, municipal companies, green maintenance and large rental companies will be the first to experiment with sustainable solutions such as the use of full electric vehicles to interface with operations in residential areas or construction sites with special requirements, or even for night-time jobs.”
The CTE MP 20 EV has a 20m working height, 13m outreach and 250kg capacity. With double arm configuration, one of which is telescopic + jib, it has been designed and engineered by CTE and high strength steel SSAB technology.
It is installed on an e-carry, all-electric truck produced by Italian electric vehicle company Green G. The vehicle’s range is up 70km (WLTP) and 25 work cycles.
Jobs already carried out by the MP 20 EV include tree care operations in the centre of Verona and Christmas lights installation in the same city centre.
The company adds, “It was very challenging to design and realise a full electric truck mounted platform with 3.5 tonne of GVW, since battery has an important weight.
“Thanks to the collaboration with an Italian manufacturer that produces electric vehicles we have been able to develop our platform in the full respect of weight limitation.”
Customised platforms for high-rise buildings
Among Easy Lift’s speciality products is the R300 platform, installed by the Italian manufacturer on a special frame that allows it to move on rails.
It has been produced for a building maintenance unit (BMU) manufacturer, specifically for work on skyscrapers.
The machine will be used for the maintenance and cleaning of a sloping roof about 10m high, with a pyramid shape and a vertex that extends inwards.
The machine is located under the sloping roof, where there are two rails on which the machine is installed and moves.
The unit was therefore conceived to carry out maintenance work in complex and narrow working areas.
The special platform retains the features of the standard R300 tracked telescopic platform, with 180° jib and basket load capacity of 230kg, which can again rotate 180°.
However, to allow the machine to cover the entire working area, modifications produced a wider outreach.
Indeed, unlike the R300 spider - which has an outreach of 14.50m and load capacity of 120kg - the upgraded machine offers a 15.7m outreach, even at very low boom angles with the full load of 230kg. Turret rotation has also been increased to 660°.
The machine is powered by three electric motors – a 7.5 kW motor drives the hydraulic pumps to move the aerial part, while the two smaller units offering 0.37 kW to allow movement on the track via two reduction gears.
The biggest challenge was the sloping roof which requires control of the rotation and lifting of the boom to avoid collision with the surrounding walls. Thanks to the control system that detects main boom inclination this was avoided.
Hoists for underground access
France based XL Industries has presented its XE5 Top-Down Hoist for underground access.
It can be suspended and operational from day one as excavation works begin. It provides continuous access to the bottom of a shaft as it is being sunk.
Features include the ability to erect the mast sections from inside the car, landing on pit level for continuous access, a minimal footprint enabling installation in dense area, and a modular car for five or 10 passengers.
France Elévateur recently produced 16 custom vehicle mounted platforms for the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), after winning a tender to replace outdated units in the organisation’s fleet.
To comply with the tender, issued in 2020, France Elévateur designed a bespoke version of its 17m working height 172TPLi model to meet safety feature requirements.
Mounted on an Iveco Daily 70C18H and offering a 1.6-tonne net payload and an outreach of 10m, the units were produced in partnership with local company CTC Automotive to deliver the Iveco Daily 70C18H on which the platforms are mounted.