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Lift Specification: Answer Seven Questions

040910lifts.mp3lifts, aerial work platforms, aerial platforms, re-lamping



June 2010 - Equipment Rental & Tools

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is answering seven questions for lift specification.

The questions include:
What size aerial work platform does the job require? Managers can answer this question by determining technicians' needs for height and reach, platform space for workers, and materials and tools.

What load capacity does the job call for? Capacity is a measure of the power needed to raise loads to the working height.

Is the unit easy to use? If the task is a straightforward application, a manager can specify basic operating controls. But if the task involves a complicated combination of terrain and reach requirements, managers might need a computerized dashboard that calculates the load and matches it with the application.

What power source is required? Generally, lighter capacities use electricity, and heavier capacities use diesel fuel or liquid propane, but a considerable overlap exists.

What options or accessories do technicians need? For example, if workers are changing fluorescent lamps, they need lamp holders that conserve space and minimize the chance of breakage.

What obstructions might be present? A walk-though of the work site can reveal several potential obstructions on the ground and overhead. Ground obstructions can include obstacles workers must maneuver around, including trees, guard rails, lamp posts, and other vehicles and equipment that can be in different locations.

Finally, what operator training is required? In the interest of providing a safe operator environment, agencies have developed standards for renting aerial lifts that include specific training methods.

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