Personnel Lifts: Warranty Considerations

personnel lifts, aerial work platforms, warranties   February 26, 2009

This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is understanding warranty options during lift specification.

When specifying aerial work platforms, managers should make technicians aware that modifying lift equipment can void the warranty. Technicians need to check with the manufacturer before doing so because safety might be at stake.

For example, converting a pallet lift into a personnel lift by adding a cage attached to the forks not only might void the warranty. It also might increase torque in a way the equipment was not designed to handle, making it unstable and more likely to tip over. Adding a counterweight can stress components, possibly resulting in hairline cracks that weaken, distort and ultimately cause the part to fail.

Warranties usually require user registration to establish the start date of the warranty period. Programs vary by manufacturer, equipment and even component. For instance, one manufacturer offers a one-two-five warranty — that is, one year on parts, two years on the drive train, and five years on structural members.

Managers also can buy certain used pieces of equipment with a warranty, which usually is shorter than one for a new unit. But it pays to check this out when considering a used unit’s value.

Managers also must consider whether the warranty includes a loaner while the repair is being made. If so, what is the delivery time? Some programs include a rapid replacement policy, either on the same day or within 24 hours. But even this backup arrangement can be costly if the situation results in idle workers who must wait for the replacement lift equipment to arrive.


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