Choosing a Boom Lift for you next project
Prior to the start of work involving any trained operator, the aerial work platform is selected to offer them access to areas at height. Such a decision is important in defining the efficiency and safety of the operator. The process involving selection of the articulated boom lift for the next project requires more planning as compared to any other form of renting. This is because man-lifts vary significantly and thus the selection of the boom lifts should consider the work environments in which they are to be applied, with safe completion of the task being the major point of interest. For instance, the articulated boom lift may be applied in a new construction site, on a drill rig at the sea, in a production plant, or in a shopping mall. The following are important factors that one ought to consider in ensuring that they appropriately select the boom lift equipment in man-lift application scenarios.
The major reason of applying a boom lift is to reach work at a height. As such, the first consideration in selecting the type of boom lift equipment to use is determining the height that an operator ought to reach in order to comfortably handle a piece of work. Such a height can vary both with the task to be conducted and a worker’s height. Some tasks require a worker to make fine equipment adjustments or to lift objects that are relatively heavy. Such cases may limit the overhead reach of the worker and thus require application of boom lifts with higher maximum elevation. In any case, it is important to correctly differentiate platform height from working height. The former is the vertical distance from the platform floor to the ground while the latter is the sum of the vertical height of the worker (mostly assumed to be six feet) and the platform height. Differentiation of these types of heights is important as it ensures that the worker does not come short of the required height during boom lift application. Such heights can be determined using actual measurements.
It is sufficient to only determine the vertical height if the work is directly above the boom lift’s base. Nevertheless, if the work area extends beyond the boom lift’s base, it is important to also determine the amount of horizontal reach required. It is important to ensure that any estimations incorporate the ability of the worker to reach the work area with the feet still firmly standing on the floor of the platform, and the nature of the work to be done. Moreover, it is important to review all the possible locations that the man-lift equipment can be set. If there are any obstacles that would prevent setting the boom lift close to the work site, one would be required to consider the extra horizontal length in the calculation of the reach required for the equipment to provide from a further position. Articulating or telescopic boom lifts provide better reach in cases where the equipment cannot be set close to the work area.
Manufacturers state each man-lift equipment’s rated work load (RWL). This involves the total weight that the equipment is allowed to carry on the platform. It includes everything carried on the platform including tools, people, equipment, safety gear, materials, or even the worker’s lunch box or cooler. Most boom lifts allow for a capacity of one, two or three persons. It is important to consider the number of people that are required to be lifted at once in the selection of the right man-lift equipment. Knowing the capacity of a man-lift equipment is sometimes not enough. For instance, if an articulating boom lift has a capacity of 900 lbs., yet it is rated for only two people, it is not proper to lift three people weighing 180 lb. each, as much as their total weight may only add up to 540 lbs.
The size of the material is also important to consider. In most cases, the design requires the lifted material within the platform. As such, it is important to address this aspect in the selection of the best platform to be applied in a given task. In addition, most platforms are designed in a way that they require equal distribution of the load on the platform to avoid stability problems. The material handling needs of a given job should thus be well defined before choosing the most appropriate man-lift equipment for a given task.