As stated in Parts 1 and 2 of this series, many material lifting devices are designed for use with large, heavy objects. When workers need to access areas or items beyond their reach, personnel lifts are the preferred equipment choices. All of us have seen telephone or cable installers using "bucket trucks" or "cherry pickers" in order to get to the top of poles to do their tasks. These lifts are part of the actual truck. But there are many times when a smaller, more compact device is needed, something mobile but offering a standalone approach. These devices are called personnel lifts.
There are quite a few lifts available for very specific work activities:
- ARTICULATING lifts for a long reach in confined spaces are powered by diesel or electric motors. These lifts can often be seen on new construction sites and are controlled by the operator. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, articulation means "to become united or connected by or as if by a joint." In practical terms, this means the operator can create angled joints in order to access otherwise restricted spaces or areas.
- For warehouse use and for various maintenance tasks, MAST lifts are ideal. Indoor and outdoor applications intended for accessing heights of 13-26 feet are great for hard-to-reach places.
- PUSH AROUND models are specifically designed to be used on fragile floor surfaces. They are lightweight, compact, and are transportable in trucks or vans. These lifts reach between 15-40 feet.
- For construction and public works employees, SCISSOR lifts are actually large platforms that attain heights of 15-53 feet. These products are quiet and can be used in small spaces. Electric versions are primarily used indoors and diesel versions are designed for outdoor use.
- Demolition, shipyards, and construction sites often need TELESCOPING lifts for extended reaching activities.
- TRAILER lifts are used for great heights of 35-79 feet and can be towed to various locations. They employ stabilizers for use on uneven ground and are available in telescoping and articulating models.
- Earth moving activities require maximum stability provided by TELEHANDLERS.
When workers need to be elevated very short heights, there are platform lifts that minimize possible cumulative trauma disorders or injuries and reduce worker fatigue. Raised heights of 19 inches and lowered heights of three inches or so are typical of these ergonomically designed lifts. Some models are electrically lifted; others require turning a crank. Typical work applications could include packing stations, maintenance of heavy machinery, or work areas where height is a problem. Learn more here about aerial lifts.