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OT- Looking for a Light weight, long reach manlift

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  • OT- Looking for a Light weight, long reach manlift

    Hi all,

    Sorry, I know this is not particularly machining related (unless I try to build something that will work) but there is a wealth of experience from a world wide membership that resides on this form. I thought maybe someone here may have seen something that will fill my need.

    I have a Sports lighting installation company. I also perform maintenance on sports lighting systems. These systems typically range in height from 60'-100' above final grade. The work is usually changing light bulbs, cleaning lenses and reflectors and changing the occasional ballast. I am looking for a manlift that can be moved from jobsite to jobsite with equipment that doesn't require a commercial license to operate.

    Since most of this work is at the 70'-80' level, I need a machine that will have a 75' platform height, will be self propelled, have a 500 lb basket capacity and will weigh 10,000 lbs or less. On the rare occasions that I need to reach higher I can rent what I need.

    I have found a lift that Bil-Jax (55XA) makes that has a platform height of 56' and weighs 6000 lbs. This machine is similar to what I am looking for, except that I need the additional reach. It appears that they are saving weight by extensive use of aluminum in the construction of the machine, and they use out riggers to stabilize the machine when in use.

    If any of you know of such a machine or how I might accomplish this goal, I would be very appreciative of your suggestions.

    Tim

  • #2
    One of the issues "we" never solved to our satisfaction (faced with similar issues but not as a business concern...more or less associations making use of sports facilities and not having $$$ to purchase equipment, or that was what we were continually told), anyway...

    part of the difficulty is the height, its enough that "regular" types of tow behind man lifts are not quite tall enough (the mfg you mention does have some that are a bit taller but still not the 70' or 80' that would be most useful).

    This company, for one, http://www.jlg.com/en-US/Model.html?...c-268cb1f085d7

    can get you that high but the equipment itself is comparing apples and oranges.

    For that height many, as the above example, go to motorized or self-propelled boom lifts and that can be, depending on need and potentially other issues involved, a whole different series of headaches and dollars. It sort of falls towards what you would end up renting on those "other occasions" you speak of...from what I can recall, the issue going to the height is more one of "counter balance", i.e. the base to go that high safely needs to be substantially more mass (and area for that matte esp re: outriggers), hence the self propelled or truck mount...IIRC I think the "solution" we ended up using was, more or less, having someone scale the poles, since they all had working platforms permanently mounted up top, setting up a winch etc. etc.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is vaguely possible that there is something Swiss or Italian that would do this- they do have a wider range of small, towable, cranes and manlifts than we do here.

      But I have sure never seen such a beast in the USA.

      And, frankly, having spent some time doing work in 90 foot lifts, I cant imagine wanting to have one that weighed less- there is enough wiggle at the end of a 90 foot stick when its made out of heavy steel and attached to 20,000 or 30,000lbs of counterweight.
      A Genie Z80, for example, weighs 37,500lbs in the 4 wheel steering version, and having spent days up in one, I sure wouldnt want em to cut corners on it. Even in "rabbit" mode, fine adjustment in one of those things can scare you a bit on a windy day.

      It seems like it would require an entirely different approach to do what you want- maybe an air powered straight up telescoping lift, with really big outriggers- but even then, it gets heavy really quickly.

      I just wonder if its physically possible to get the height you want, with the resistance to wind and overturning that you need, without the weight to anchor it. Maybe you could build one that you filled up with water on site?
      But commerically available? I doubt it.

      Let us know what you find, though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah Russ, the big problem for me is hauling around the large equipment typically required to perform maintenance at these heights. Most of these lifts weigh in at 36,000lbs-48,000lbs. I am looking for a solution that will allow me to avoid the hassles of getting and maintaining a CDL and obtaining DOT authority. Since many of the jobs only require fixing a few fixtures it is not feasible to hire the hauling. Also a self-propelled crane has the same issues (CDL & DOT) as moving a large man-lift.

        Tim

        Comment


        • #5
          Think Jet Pack.
          I can see how you want something light at that height.
          I don't really enjoy heights but have been known to climb 150 ft towers on a mountaintop. They are securely bolted to Terra-firma. ;-)

          Dave

          Comment


          • #6
            Jet Pack

            Also thought about the magnetic climbers that the Seals use to climb up the sides of ships. But since I'm the one doing the climbing, "not"

            Ries, I too thought I might find something offshore, Harbor Freight?

            Comment


            • #7
              This is going to sound "out there..." but it is an interesting problem.

              Do "you" suppose there is someway to have a "crawling device" that could be attached to the pole itself, if that would suffice for most general maintenance (change bulbs, general cleaning etc.) ?

              I just have visions of a sort of cage (think back of pickup truck size) with bogey wheels (some driven), that would open up on one side, you would wrap it around the pole, close and fasten that side shut, get on board and start the drive wheels pulling you and the bit of equipment up the pole (design such that it would work on round or hex shaped poles)...now I suspect the poles are not really designed for that sort of loading but, hey, who knows if the whole thing were say 300lbs, plus material, plus 200lbs rider...

              Edit: the drive off one of those tracked snowblowers say...

              Comment


              • #8
                Russ, not out of the realm of reason. I too have thought about such a device. I would have to get some engineers involved early on to determine if the pole could stand the additional load. One difficulty with this approach is how do you get around speaker brackets ancillary lighting brackets and such that are mounted lower on the pole than the crossarms that support the field lights. Also you may have steps and cages (that I am too old and fat to want to use) that you have to get around. In addition, the poles are tapered and typically only 6"-8" in diameter at the top. The drive mechanism would have to account for the taper as it went up the pole.

                Not fufuing the idea, but there are some obstacles to overcome.

                Tim

                Originally posted by RussZHC
                This is going to sound "out there..." but it is an interesting problem.

                Do "you" suppose there is someway to have a "crawling device" that could be attached to the pole itself, if that would suffice for most general maintenance (change bulbs, general cleaning etc.) ?

                I just have visions of a sort of cage (think back of pickup truck size) with bogey wheels (some driven), that would open up on one side, you would wrap it around the pole, close and fasten that side shut, get on board and start the drive wheels pulling you and the bit of equipment up the pole (design such that it would work on round or hex shaped poles)...now I suspect the poles are not really designed for that sort of loading but, hey, who knows if the whole thing were say 300lbs, plus material, plus 200lbs rider...

                Edit: the drive off one of those tracked snowblowers say...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Guys, posted this query on several other forums, and a couple of guys on the Heavy Machinery forum pointed me to these links:

                  http://www.denkalift.com/What_We_Do/...tions/Model_82

                  and

                  http://www.spiderlift.co.uk/siteinspections

                  Cool stuff, a bit pricey but not too bad compared to a standard straight boom lift or a crane with a tip mounted basket and remote controls.

                  Tim

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have also run across a company called Reachmaster. Their TM100 is a 100' boom lift that mounts on a 19,000GVW truck. I think that would avoid the CDL-DOT hassles. Here is a link:

                    http://www.reachmaster.com/tm100.html

                    Cool huh? I have emailed for pricing

                    Tim

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The reachmaster, mounted on a truck, would be the way to go, I would think. Those Denka lifts are pretty amazing though- a 7000 lb lift that goes up 30 meters?

                      Before I bought one, though, I would wanna run one all the way up, and check out the pucker factor.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks for posting the links...that Reachmaster series has, potentially, very useful items (particularly the lifts that can access through single standard size doorways)

                        check out the pucker factor
                        I am very, very bad with heights and those ones that look sort of like spiders, frankly scare me...not sure I can see how you would ever have such perfect conditions outdoors to make them truly functional [not a not on any company in particular, one would hope they are long past due (sp?) diligence in terms of engineering]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Russ, I too think the truck mounted TM100 may be the best solution. Kind of depends on the price.

                          Ries, as to the pucker factor, I get what you are saying. I have done this kind of work since the late 90's. Mostly worked off of 80' boom lifts, some 120' lifts. I have worked off of cranes with tip mounted baskets and also swinging baskets. The worst was a sign truck (one of the round boom types with a telescoping ladder on top, boom like a piece of cooked spaghetti) that I was at it's height limit in a 40mph wind. I swore that I would never do that again no matter how important the customer thought it was. I have lots of war stories, but I won't bore you. Suffice it to say, if it's not stable, I'm not gettin on it.

                          Tim

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tmc_31
                            .....Also thought about the magnetic climbers that the Seals use to climb up the sides of ships. But since I'm the one doing the climbing, "not"

                            Ries, I too thought I might find something offshore, Harbor Freight?
                            Make your own! Just replace the gaffs with magnets and climb it lineman style...
                            Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arcane
                              Make your own! Just replace the gaffs with magnets and climb it lineman style...

                              Ya know, I still have my climbers from my lineman days. Wonder if I could just make new gaffs from HSS (see machining content) and just climb them Gotta get the angle just right.

                              Tim

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