Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using MEWPs

The most common mistake managers make when purchasing or renting aerial lifts is not choosing the right unit for the task to be completed.

By Howard Riell, contributing writer  
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Two of the most common errors when using MEWPs involve training and maintenance.  

When it comes to training, organizations such as the International Powered Access Federation provide classes that cover basic operator training. 

“That training, while important, is not specific to the manufacturer and model that the operator will be using,” says Kissinger, who suggests managers review the manufacturer-supplied operator’s manual to familiarize themselves with the specific machines they are using. 

“Pre-start inspections are crucial for safety and should be completed before each use to make sure everything is in working order,” he says. “This will keep the operator safe and prevent higher maintenance costs over the life of the lift.” 

The most common mistake managers make when purchasing or renting aerial lifts is not choosing the right unit for the task to be completed, Kissinger says. To select the most appropriate MEWP, managers should ask the following questions about tasks to be completed: 

  • Will there be wind on the job site? 
  • What are the ground conditions? 
  • Is the location of work hard to access? Are there tight turns or narrow hallways to navigate? 
  • Are there any delicate or restricted-weight areas the MEWP will need to work on or drive over? 
  • How high is the work to be done? 
  • Does the floor need to be protected from hydraulic oil drips? 
  • Is precision maneuverability important? 
  • Will the MEWP have to pass through multiple doorways? 

“Once they know the answers to these questions, they can consult with their local rental company to make sure they are getting the right lift for their needs,” Kissinger says. 

Myths and misconceptions 

Some information managers have about MEWPs might not be true

For example, they might believe that one piece of equipment can accomplish all the maintenance activities that need to take place in a facility.  

“That is typically untrue, and it can also be unsafe to use a MEWP for a task that it isn’t intended for,” Caskey says. “Rental equipment can help in this case by offering many different options for specific jobs.” 

Managers also might not understand that “they don’t need to own their entire fleet of aerial lifts,” Caskey says. "Cost-effective short- and long-term rental equipment plans are available.”  

The advantage of renting is that the rental partner takes care of the preventive maintenance, as well as repairs, and annually certifies the MEWPs to the latest safety standards. 

Howard Riell is a freelance writer based in Henderson, Nevada.

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  posted on 7/18/2022   Article Use Policy

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