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Identifying the Right Access Platform for Your Project

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If you are planning to buy or hire access platforms, selecting the right equipment is crucial for ensuring efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness. Choosing the wrong type of mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) can result in delays, increased costs, and potential hazards.

By understanding the various types of access platforms and their applications, you can make an informed decision to best suit your needs. This article will explore the most common types of MEWPs, from scissor lifts to boom lifts, and how to identify the right equipment for your project.

Types of Mobile Access Platform

The three main types of mobile access equipment are scissor lifts, articulated boom lifts and telescopic boom lifts.

Scissor Lifts

A versatile and popular choice for a range of applications, scissor lifts can reach heights of up to 11.7 metres. They offer a large, stable working platform that moves up and down on interlocking supports that form a criss-cross pattern.

Scissor lifts are ideal for tasks that require vertical movement, such as maintenance work, installations, and stocktaking. They are available in both electric and diesel-powered models, making them suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. They can vary in size and specifications, but are typically affordable, so when you’re deciding to hire or purchase you can keep that in mind.

Articulated Boom Lifts

Articulated boom lifts, also known as cherry pickers, offer excellent manoeuvrability and reach capabilities. They feature jointed arms that can extend and bend, allowing for precise positioning and access to awkward areas. These lifts can reach heights of up to 15.7 metres and are available in both electric and diesel models.

Articulated boom lifts are perfect for projects requiring both vertical and horizontal reach, such as tree surgery, facade maintenance, and signage installation. Their flexible design allows them to navigate around obstacles with ease.

Telescopic Boom Lifts

Telescopic boom lifts, or stick booms, feature a straight, extendable arm. Offering the greatest horizontal reach among MEWPs, they are typically diesel-powered. They provide a stable platform for working at significant heights.

These lifts are ideal for projects that require extensive horizontal reach, such as construction work, bridge inspections, and window cleaning on high-rise buildings. Their impressive reach capabilities make them a popular choice for tasks where other access platforms may fall short.

Assessing Your Project Requirements

Access platforms come in a wide range of models, sizes and specifications, each suited to different types of jobs. It’s essential to consider the parameters of your project and your working environment to select the most suitable equipment for your needs.

Working Height

Working height refers to the maximum vertical distance from the ground to the highest point a worker can reach while using the platform. Ensuring that your chosen access platform can safely reach the required height will help you avoid costly interruptions and complications.

To determine the required working height, measure the height of the area you need to access and add a margin for safety and ease of work. This margin can vary depending on the type of task and the equipment used but is typically between 2 to 4 metres.

Horizontal Reach

Horizontal reach refers to the maximum distance from the centre of the platform’s base to the furthest point a worker can access. This measurement is particularly important when working around obstacles, up and over barriers or accessing hard-to-reach areas.

To evaluate the required horizontal reach, consider the layout of your project site and any obstructions that may be present. Understanding the necessary horizontal reach will help you choose an access platform that can efficiently manoeuvre around obstacles.

Terrain and Ground Conditions

The terrain and ground conditions of your project site can also impact the suitability of specific access platforms. For example, rough terrain may necessitate the use of a mobile access platform with four-wheel drive and robust tyres. Sensitive flooring or indoor use may require non-marking tyres and a compact design to allow for easy navigation in confined spaces.

When assessing your project’s terrain and ground conditions, be sure to consider factors such as slope and surface texture. Always ensure the machinery is compatible with your site’s conditions before choosing and operating your access platform.

Weight Capacity and Platform Size

Different types of mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) can vary in terms of maximum load capacity and working area. Overloading a platform can result in instability, while an insufficient workspace can hinder productivity and lead to delays.

Create a comprehensive list of personnel, equipment and materials that will be utilised at any one time. This will help you choose an access platform that can safely and efficiently accommodate the demands of your project.

Power Source

Selecting the appropriate access platform for indoor or outdoor use is crucial. Electric work platforms are quiet, produce zero emissions and tend to have a more compact design. They are generally most suitable for indoor use and noise-sensitive areas.

Diesel-powered platforms are louder and produce pageant emissions but are typically larger and more powerful.  They are better suited for outdoor applications that require greater load and reach capabilities.

Choose TAG for Mobile Access Platform Sales and Rentals

We are TAG Forklift Truck Services: suppliers of high-quality mobile access work platforms and warehouse equipment for sale and hire. Our fleet includes scissor lifts, cherry pickers and forklift trucks in a range of sizes and fuel sources, from diesel to electric.

We work with many well-known and trusted brands including JLG, Hyundai and Linde. We offer a range of flexible hire contracts, plus new and used equipment for sale. We pride ourselves on our unbeatable customer service and competitive prices.

Contact TAG Forklift Truck Services to discuss your requirements with our helpful team. Fill in our enquiry form or call us on 0161 848 0555.