01 May 2008
Irrespective of the argument concerning the use of 'dumb' platforms in North America, JLG has been marketing its Transformer concept in this region of the world for some years. The TF6-42, based on a Gradall-designed telehandler, can be used as an AWP capable of being driven from the platform with a maximum travel speed of 5 mph (8.5 km/h) and a platform capacity of 2000 lb (900 kg) restricted lift capacity to 33 ft (10 m). The Transformer meets the different standards laid down for both telehandlers and AWPs, but is currently not CE certified. The company has said in the past that it would consider developing a similar machine that is more attuned to European design considerations, but as yet nothing has appeared. However, it has to be said that this flexibility does not come cheaply, with a new Transformer costing in the region of US$120000 (€93000), depending on specification and options.
Manitou has adopted a somewhat different approach by developing attachments for telehandlers geared for specific applications. A good example is the roofing platform it showed at Bauma. There is no doubt that one attractive feature of the telehandler is its relatively high load carrying capacity in the basket. Manitou's roofing basket features double opening doors on the front of the platform to allow roofing contractors easy access to their workplace, and the ability to carry a considerable amount of materials into the air when they go up. With the platform in contact with the roof and the doors open, a safety interlock ensures that the platform cannot be moved or the telehandler driven until the doors are closed once again.
Merlo, in turn, has taken its SPACE concept one step on with a special design specifically for tunnelling applications. Faced with the need to lift and then fix tunnel ring sections into place, Merlo has mounted its SPACE platform vertically on the lower section of the telehandler's main boom. This allows the machine to be used by a single operator to both to lift the tunnel sections using the machine's main boom and then to secure the rings from the platform while they are held in place. This eliminates the need to a second machine and operator.