Features of Access Platforms - Access equipment can be fitted with a number of features that make your access platform so much more effective; below I have detailed some of the options available to you.
Self Seeking Chargers - This type of charger is fitted to all modern access platforms; they simplify the charging process by allowing you to plug them into the mains to charge or run of a generator using a transformer. You don't have to worry about which you use as the charger will discover which charge is being applied and adjust itself accordingly.
Jibs - Jibs are found on articulated booms and telescopic booms; they enable you to rotate left to right and up & down but without having to move the main boom. This gives you greater accuracy when it comes to positioning your access platform.
Four Wheel Drive - If you are working on rough terrain or muddy ground where traction is an issue then you would be well advised to spend the extra money it costs to buy an access platform with this option fitted. As with any off road vehicle the 4x4 option enables you to cope much better with these types of conditions.
Platform Accessories - There are a number of different options you can have fitted to your access platform to make life easier for yourself and completing jobs more efficient. There are storage units available to keep tools and equipment safely stowed away; you can have pipe cradles and fluorescent tube caddies; maybe you need some extra light? Well why not have some platform work lights fitted to your machine. There are a multitude of options you can choose from and it may be well worth discussing with anyone you approach the options available to you.
Tyre Types - Selecting the right tyres for the right applications is important to the overall success of your access platform and the ability to get the job done. There are four main types of tyres used on access platforms:
Non Marking Tyres - These are fitted as standard to all electric machines and are generally for indoor use on smooth surfaces and are, as the name suggests, to protect floors from being damaged. Industrial or Turf Tyres - These are air filled black rubber tyres and are fitted to mid level access platforms that aren't going to be used on rough terrain but do need to come off slab concrete or tarmac, hence the term turf tyres. Rough
Terrain Tyres - When you need to use your machine on muddy ground or on uneven ground then these are the tyres to go for, they help give much better traction than the turf tyres do. These are often fitted as standard on all articulated booms and on the rough terrain scissor lifts.
Foam Filled Tyres - These tyres are the best type of tyres to have on your machine if your budget allows as they have real advantages over the other types of tyres available for access platforms. They will never go flat; you have more tread options which can help on rough terrain and also due to the weight of the foam filling they actually help to add stability to your machine. Foam filled tyres are fitted as standard to most boom lifts over 16m. That's the other features of access equipment dealt with.
In the next part we will look at the safety aspects of using access equipment.