Why pick-up mounts are growing in popularity
By Euan Youdale10 February 2022
Pick-up mounts are compact and resourceful and are seeing growing interest from potential users from outside its traditional markets. AI discusses the key features found in this niche aerial product type.
Pick up mounted platforms are starting to see a rise in interest across Europe.
Versalift, based in Denmark, explains that its main markets for pick-ups has been in the UK, along with northern European countries like Sweden, but that interest is growing across the continent due to an increased understanding of their benefits.
Advantages of pick-up mounts
Pick-up mounts can be used for streetlighting and off-road light maintenance, as well as telecommunication and tree care applications.
The advantages of a pick-up, compared to vans and other regular chassis is that its comparatively light and compact. This means it is useful in parks, along narrow paths, and inner city areas that other vehicles cannot access.
The new 13.9m working height Versalift VTA135-H incorporates the manufacturer’s latest profiled boom which has been used extensively on van and truck mounted platforms since 2018. Manufactured from ultra-high strength steel, this gives a reduced platform weight and improved performance.
The VTA has a lower centre of gravity giving it an improved platform performance and safer on-road stability.
The use of higher strength and lower weight platform is designed to make the unit future proof and ensure a practical payload is possible with oncoming vehicle updates, that being the ability to carry two people and work tools within the 3,500kg standard driving licence limit.
National Small Series Type Approved, the new VTA135-H is fully hydraulic and can be installed on either Isuzu D-Max or Toyota Hilux single cab pick-ups on all terrain tyres.
The 13.9m working height machine has an outreach of 6.5m, 230kg SWL platform capacity. Additional options are aslo available, including a tow bar with 12V electrics, reverse camera, duck under bucket, and bespoke locker installations.
From listening to customer feedback, the bucket is now constructed from plastic to increase durability in arduous conditions. As before, there is a safe and convenient walk-in model with the option of a duck under if required.
Another key feature is the introduction of Certified Low Voltage Insulation as standard.
Upgraded pick-up models
CPL, which is part of the France-based Klubb Group, has been a market leader in the UK for 10 years.
Originally mounted on the Land Rover Defender, which was discontinued, the CPL conversion from the Defender has evolved onto the Isuzu D-Max and the Toyota Hilux.
CPL is on its third iteration of its pick-up mount model with full National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA), which was awarded in 2021 on both D-Max and Hilux, meaning they are compliant to the highest level.
The latest version boasts several advantages including the 3.5 tonne suspension upgrade allowing for a greater payload. The articulated boom itself has a working height of 13.1m and an utreach of 6.2m with a 240kg basket capacity.
It was released in April 2021 and saw several aesthetic changes, including improved boom docking, frontal support and updated in-cab controls.
A company spokesperson said, “The CPL pick up was initially a favourite within the utilities sector having already supplied over 1,500 units to the UK utility industry alone.
“CPL have since expanded their market footprint to become market leaders on 4x4 MEWPs for telecommunications, arborist and rental companies due to the versatility of the conversion, producing over 250 units per year and over 2,000 units in the UK market.”
Since the launch of the latest version, CPL has developed optional accessories designed to provide more efficiency.
One of these is the newly-designed deck access kit, which now incorporates the spreader plates, adding space to the deck and providing a neat finish and better weight distribution.
Multi-purpose pick-up mounts
Italy-based Comet has an impressive five models in its range, from 12m to 16m working height, and is the only company to offer a double pantograph boom, along with a jib, it says.
The X 4 12 and 14. 3 series, with 12m and 14m working heights, are designed to be effectively three vehicles in one, through the transport of people, material transportation and having an aerial platform.
This solution is ideal for those who need a multi-purpose vehicle, and not just a platform, says the company.
Thanks to the optional box, customers can transport tools of all kinds, while the payload is 500kg. The 100% hydraulic operation makes them very simple to use.
Single cab pick-up mounts
Comet’s new 14m working height Eurosky 14 2 6 Jib and 16m working height Eurosky 16 2 6 (7.5) Jib can only be mounted on a pick-up with a single cab, notably the Ford Ranger, Isuzu and Toyota.
The Eurosky 14 and 16 models are very low to the ground and easily pass where others cannot go, says Comet, as well as being stable for driving off-road.
Thanks to the double articulation pantograph there are no lateral obstructions, while 100% hydraulic operation makes then easy to use, as with the previously mentioned series. They are also designed to be very light with no modifications to the pick-up required.
Comet’s standard pick-up, the 14m working height Eurosky 14 2 6.2 (7.6) Jib can be installed on vehicles with single cab or super cab for transporting four people, including the Ford Ranger, Isuzu Aand Nissan Navara.
As with the other Eurosky models, Comet says it is the only one on the market to offer a jib on this product type.
“We have developed this model to allow electricity companies to carry up to four people or equipment inside the cabin,” says the company.
An extra point is that both the boom and turret can be insulated to 1KV, meeting DIN VED 1 KV certification.
A range of options available across the Comet ranges include, toolboxes for loading materials, electrical sockets, start and stop from the basket, magnetic yellow flashing lights and hour meter in the cabin.
Aerial platforms on 4x4 pick-ups
Since its acquisition of the Spanish manufacturer Movex, the France-based FE group now offers the ATL15 model, mounted on the Ford Ranger 4X4 pick-up.
The ATL 15 offers a market leading 15m working height and a maximum outreach of 8m, which allows it to meet the needs of various sectors.
“The market for aerial work platforms on pick-ups and especially 4x4 pick-ups is in full development,” says the company.
“That’s why we had to redevelop a new ATL15 model on a Ford Ranger 4X4 carrier that meets the requirements of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) anti-pollution standards.”
The company adds that it has already sold more than 30 units in Spain and France, and it now intends to develop this machine across the rest of Europe and further afield.