Truck mounts: Compacts at the cutting edge
By Euan Youdale08 August 2023
The smaller truck mount in the 3.5 tonne and below category is the prime area for the move into hybrid and electric, besides the challenge to provide greater capablities all round.
According to Versalift the main challenges in providing solutions with greater capacity, height, and outreach on small chassis are securing payload while maintaining performance.
This is in addition to securing extra weight for battery packs in hybrid solutions, and balancing cost.
To approach these challenges, the company is using advanced stabilization technologies and optimising its frame design. “Additionally, we seek to secure extra weight for hybrid solutions by utilising lightweight materials and efficient power management systems,” said a company spokesperson.
“We also identify cost-effective components and streamline the manufacturing process.”
Versalift is part of Time Manufacturing Company with its partners in the group including France Elévateur, Movex and Ruthmann.
Together, they are looking into new market trends like Hydrogen driven vehicle solutions. “We are convinced that the battery-powered electric vehicles we see today are merely the first step on the evolutionary road to having emission-free vehicles that will meet and most likely at some point exceed our expectations.”
Maturing access equipment markets
Ruthmann’s view is that the hybrid and electric sector for compact truck mounted equipment is developing slowly but steadily.
“The market has been holding back, waiting for more mature products that can meet their needs. However, there has been an increase in demand recently.”
Despite this, the industry is still at a tipping point, particularly in terms of range, which doesn’t yet fully meet all customers’ expectations.
As Ruthmann points out. “It’s exciting that the industry has come to a point where it can deliver meaningful 100% electric solutions. However, it’s difficult to stay below the 3.5 tonne limit, and we find that many customers are looking to move to the 4,250kg class.” The 3.5 tonne class refers to EU vehicles that can be driven using standard driving licence as long as the GVW is below that weight.
However, concerning electric vehicles there is still no EU harmonised law that allows these vehicles to be driven with a B driver’s license when there is a lift mounted, says Ruthmann. The industry is now waiting a dispensation for fully electric solutions.
The existing 100% electric Ruthmann Ampero is now available on the standard chassis of the new Iveco eDaily. Based on the current Steiger TBR 260, the Ampero TBR 260 E is the highest electric truck mounted aerial platform on the market. This latest generation offers a working height of 26m and an outreach of not less than 17m. Up to 150km and 30 full working cycles are possible with one battery charge – enough for one working day at least.
Demand for electric access machines
Multitel Pagliero says the growth of the hybrid and electric vehicle mount sector over the last two to three years has been significant. “More and more rental customers in different countries are buying hybrid versions of all the most popular models. A clear sign of the market embracing the sustainability philosophy. For this reason, we will propose more hybrid solutions within our range.”
The last hybrid model from Multitel is the MXE170 mounted on Piaggio Porter NP6, with LPG and petrol fuel. The low weight unit has a GVW of 2,800kg, allowing it to move on delicate surfaces, and a reduced length of 5.85m, while the stabilization is width is only 1,8m.
The compactness is complemented by the low height of 2.550m, making it one of the most compact platforms on the Piaggio NP6.
The choice of LPG, in addition to cost savings and less pollution, allows urban work at all hours of the day, without the constraints of traffic blocks.
New truck mount models
At Versalift, there is a long history of providing hybrid and electric solutions. Currently, most of the company’s platforms are available as hybrid solutions, while for fully electric solutions, it has been waiting for the market to mature.
However, it has recently introduced two fully electric van mounts – one in the 3.5 tonne category and another in the 4.25 tonne category, as well as offering the VTX 240 G3 as fully electric on a 4.25 tonne chassis.
Moving forward, Versalift plans to expand its range of hybrid and electric solutions and keep a close eye on industry developments to meet the evolving needs of customers.
The VTX-240 G3 provides the established benefits of the VTX but now as a hybrid solution. Mounted on MB Sprinter chassis, it comes in at less than 3.5 tonnes, including fuel, driver and battery.
It has a basket capacity of 220kg, a very low transport height, and a unique working diagram that provides flexibility.
It comes with a 2 x 90-degree basket rotation and has a knuckle between the lower and upper boom, to get up and over obstacles, which is ideal for working on roofs. The diagram also allows -3m below ground level and the chassis can be levelled on a 6° slope.
The VTL-37-130-F hybrid, mounted on a 3.5 tonne MB Sprinter is suited for work in places where there is little space, such as in cities. The shape of the lift structure leaves free space on the flatbed for the installation of a toolbox. The Optional toolbox is made from insulating “sandwich” plates that will keep the contents dry.
The light structure of the lift, subframe, and toolbox allows a spare payload of up to 200kg. It has a reach up to 13m, with a bucket load of up to 230kg. The LMC system provides dynamic outreach, allowing the operator to have safe and optimized outreach. An E-Tech battery package is installed to convert to a hybrid solution.
Joint ventures in aerial platform design
CTE’s latest offering is on a fully electric truck. The CTE MP 20 Ev is mounted on a 3.5 tonne e-carry Green-G truck and offers 20m of working height, 13m of outreach and 250kg of capacity.
The double boom configuration, one of which is telescopic with jib, is designed, engineered, and manufactured by CTE and SSAB.
Adhering to industry requirements, it offers a ground console with wireless remote and integrated display for wireless operations.
The basket console has the same look and feel of the ground console, with integrated display for easy familiarisation for the operator. It is equipped with CTE’s CTE S3 EVO smart management control system.
The-carry Green-G provides a range of up to 70 km (WLTP) and 25 work cycles. The power supply system offers the advantage of it ability to work entirely on battery or in plugged-in mode connected to the mains with the 220V supplied charging device.
As the company says, such designs carry challenges. “The main challenges are to engineer, design and manufacture lighter structures maintaining stiffness and resistance to fatigue.” CTE has achieved these results through FEA Fatigue analysis and physical tests correlation and has heavily invested in R&D in electric technology.
“The engine manufacturers are starting to introduce full integrated solutions, with engine, electric generator and system controls. Also, several electronic components manufacturers are developing specific solutions dedicated to motor and battery controls. Development of new battery management systems and materials is also on the horizon,” said the CTE spokesperson.
High precision truck mounts
“At the same time, major players are also presenting their new vehicles fully electric, fully compatible with the actual installation. The future is certainly green on the vehicle side, while the distribution infrastructure must be implemented.”
Movex’s latest platform offers hybrid operation that offers the advantage of being able to work for extended periods of time indoors on battery power.
The SERIE TLH can be mounted on a Renault, Iveco or Isuzu and offers working heights of 16.4m, 18m and 20.1m, along with possible horizontal reach options of 9.6m, 10.7m and 10.8m. Basket load capacity is 230kg with two operators.
The high precision electro-hydraulic controls are in the basket and at the base of the machine, while there is automatic basket leveling using compensated cylinders. The basket at the end of the telescopic boom has a rotation of 50 degrees + 50 degrees.
The combustion engine is used for transportation only, with the electric working autonomy of the platform for the TLH series being at least one working day.
Rising development of electric truck mount models
The Klubb group has also witnessed the upsurge in the adoption of hybrid and electric green vehicle mounts in recent years, including mounted van platforms. As well as the reduced emissions, they contribute to lower operating costs, says the company, through decreased fuel consumption and maintenance requirements.
The innovative systems found in this technology also enhances overall efficiency, allowing for a more streamlined and productive operation, such as the PT range, as well as the PNT200 and the rest of the PNT Range.
”The demand for hybrid and electric vehicles is higher than ever before, particularly in the context of burgeoning urban areas,” says Julien Bourellis, Klubb Group CEO.
”The significance of compact mounted vehicles cannot be understated, as they possess the agility and versatility necessary to navigate and reach diverse heights.
”Embracing these compact hybrid and electric solutions has become increasingly imperative to meet the unique demands of modern urban environments, while simultaneously fostering sustainability and responsible resource utilisation.”
Truck mount power options
The PNT200HE is a truck mounted access platform offered by Isoli, with a working height of up to 20m and a maximum outreach of 12.8m. The PNT200HE has a hybrid power system, integrating an electric motor with a diesel engine.
The system optimises power distribution and is equipped with user-friendly controls.
The range is complemented by another range of truck mounted products in the 3.5 tonne and below GVW segment. From CPL, which is also part of the Klubb group, comes the PT ranges.
Leading the pack is the PT160E, a 16m unit, ideally suited for a range of tasks with an outreach of 8.9m and a substantial load capacity of 300kg.
Next in the line is the PT180E, an 18m machine, boasting a maximum outreach of 12.5m and a load capacity of 300kg. As the company describes it, the flagship model is the PT200E, offering a working height of 20m and an outreach of 10.8m. With its maximum basket capacity of 300kg.
By broadening its product range through acqusition and new designs, Klubb says it aims to address the unique requirements of various industries with tailored solutions. Therefore, Bourellis says, it will continue to expand its electric and hybrid range.