Big Boom Lifts Create High Powered Access Industry Appeal

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As buildings continue to get taller and jobsites more compact, the need for high-reaching self-propelled boom lifts has never been greater. Manufacturers have responded to contractors’ equipment application requirements over the last decade by introducing articulating and telescopic boom lifts with higher access platform heights. In fact, Lift and Access’ inaugural issue in 2004 provided an in-depth review of JLG’s 125-ft. 1250AJP articulating boom lift, as well as a first look at Genie’s 135-ft. Z-135/70 articulating boom lift. Since then, JLG and Haulotte have added to their big access platform offerings, and Genie is rumored to have a 170-ft. powered access unit in development. When determining which machines to review during the 2012 Lift and Access Showcase, editors quickly realized how important this popular, growing product class is to the construction and rental industries.

Among the big booms at the Showcase, Haulotte showed its articulating HA 100 JRT, JLG displayed its 1500SJ straight boom, and Genie presented its S-125 telescopic boom. Representatives from each OEM explained the nuances of their company’s featured access platforms during walkaround presentations attended by the media, major rental houses, manufacturers, and component vendors. Note that Snorkel also has two telescopic boom lifts in this class, but no machines were available for the event.

As you’ll find in the following pages, these machines each take the operator to the necessary work height but offer a different perspective on the journey. For example, the main focus of Haulotte’s presentation was its envelope system—or lack thereof—and its independent steering system. Genie noted its distinct operator platform features, including the anti-entrapment devices installed on the Showcase S-125 unit. JLG’s overview included its 20-year history in the 150-ft. boom lift market and how new technology has enabled the 1500SJ to eliminate the need for an over-width permit to transport it.

Read on to learn specific details about the three machines presented at the Showcase.


Genie S-125 Telescopic Boom Lift

The Genie S-125 from Terex AWP, Redmond, Wash., has been the company’s flagship boom lift for more than a decade. According to Scott Krieger, product manager for Genie booms and telehandlers, it is a solid, rugged powered access machine that has been around for years and will continue to be a part of the Genie telescopic boom lift family.

For the operator, the access platform is home base. “If it is easy to use, the controls are intuitive, and the operator feels safe and comfortable, he is more likely to be productive,” Krieger said. The Genie S-125 is available with either a 6- or 8-ft., 500-lb. steel platform with standard bar or optional swing-gate or tri-entry configurations. The Showcase machine featured a swing gate entry and half-mesh platform inserts that help keep materials inside the basket. On the platform, the unit is operated using fully proportional Hall-effect joystick controls.

Anti-entrapment products were introduced by many major manufacturers in 2012, and Genie is no exception. The company showed its Operator Protective Structure device prototype at Intermat and brought its production unit to the Showcase. Weighing only 35 lbs., the OPS surrounds the operator like a cage and helps prevent him or her from coming in contact with an obstruction overhead.

Partnering with BlueSky Solutions, Genie had the SkySiren anti-entrapment device installed on the S-125 displayed at the Showcase. “Essentially, it is a bump bar, and if the operator was to be struck from behind and pushed forward into the controls, it will stop the machine,” Krieger said. A siren will sound, and a red light will flash as well. Note that there are currently no regulatory requirements for anti-entrapment devices.

From a productivity perspective, the platform rotates 160°, and the vertical jib rotates 135°. Turntable rotation is continuous 360°. The unit is available with or without the 5-ft. jib.

Weighing 45,000 lbs., the S-125 measures 8'2" wide when the axles are retracted. With its axles extended, the unit produces a stable 11-ft. footprint. Four-wheel steer and four-wheel drive are standard. Maximum travel speed is speed is 3 mph when the boom is stowed; 0.68 mph when it’s lifted below 80 ft.; and 0.34 mph when it’s above 80 ft. The S-125 can climb up to 40% grades when stowed. Foam-filled tires are standard.

Serviceability relates directly to machine uptime and utilization, Krieger said. “When maintenance needs to be done, we want to be able to get to the engine, hydraulics, or electrical system quickly,” he said. If it can be done quickly and easily, maintenance will more likely be done properly, he added. All daily check points are located at ground level, including fluid levels and filters. The engine is located on one side, and the hydraulics system and generator are located on the other side. The unit is powered by either a 74-hp Deutz turbo diesel engine or an 83-hp Perkins diesel engine.

Power plant options include AC generator packages, cold weather packages, a diesel scrubber/spark arrestor muffler, and intake air pre-cleaner. In addition to the aforementioned platform options, other accessories are the acces platform top auxiliary rail, Arc Pro 275 heavy-duty welder package, hostile environment packages, thumb rocker steer, a tool tray, pipe cradle, and panel cradle.


Haulotte HA 100 JRT Articulating Boom Lift\

The HA 100 JRT from the Haulotte Group, Archbold, Ohio, is one of two machines in the company’s articulated big boom series. Currently, Haulotte is the only manufacturer with a 100-ft. platform height, rough-terrain articulating boom in North America.

Key to operator productivity is the powered access machine’s range of motion. The HA 100 JRT has an unrestricted working envelope, allowing workers to have 550 lbs. in the basket and use the machine throughout its entire range.

The machine’s turret and turntable provide 360° continuous rotation.

In addition to its 100-ft. platform height, the three-section telescoping boom extends 70 ft. horizontally and has a 37'3" up-and-over clearance. The only limitation is that the vertical section of the boom, called the tower, must elevate fully before the rest of the boom can extend out. A plunger switch, rather than an angle or link sensor, determines when the tower has been fully elevated. When the boom approaches full extension, the control system automatically slows down the rate of movement to provide a smooth, comfortable stop for the operator and passengers in the platform.

A 6-ft. fixed-length jib connecting the boom top to the access platform makes it easier to maneuver the platform into the best position for completing any task quickly and efficiently. The jib rotates 140° vertically, while the work platform rotates 180° horizontally.

Haulotte offers its 8-ft. work platform with two entry options: a swing gate or a drop bar. The HA 100 JRT is operated from the platform via fully proportional controls. Auxiliary power in the platform is standard. A 70-watt platform work light and an air line to the platform are options.

According to Tom Bell, Haulotte’s general manager for Canada, a unique feature of this machine is that the horizontal section of boom can pivot down from the tower to lower the work platform to the ground while the vertical tower stays fully elevated. This allows workers who need to leave the platform for materials, a break, or other reason, to get up to full height faster than if they’d have to stow the entire tower and boom to get down, then re-erect it to get back to height.

For greater stability, the 100-ft. unit has an extendable axle system, which uses vertical hydraulic jacks to raise and support the chassis before the axles extend horizontally. Bell said Haulotte has gone with this style system to allow the axles to extend within a tighter position. An oscillating axle is also standard.

Rather than a steering-mode system, the unit has infinitely independent four-wheel steering. Because the axles can be steered independently, the machine can maneuver into narrow spaces more easily, Bell said. Four-wheel drive, hydraulic differential lock, and 15 inches of ground clearance also improve rough-terrain capabilities. Note that the chassis on the HA 100 JRT is the same chassis as the 130-ft. HA 130 JRT boom lift.

Powered by an 84-hp Perkins diesel engine, the HA 100 JRT travels at a top speed of 3.1 mph and can climb grades up to 45%.

Total machine weight is 45,600 lbs. For transport, the HA 100 JRT measures 8'2" wide and 29'2" long. To achieve that length, the boom is raised slightly, and the access platform basket is folded under. The machine’s transport height is 10'10".

Options on the HA 100 JRT include a flashing beacon, motion alarm for travel and elevation, a 110V AC generator, and an arctic package. An analyzer is also available for troubleshooting the machine and for custom tailoring control response to the operator’s needs or preferences.


JLG 1500SJ Ultra Series Telescopic Boom Lift

McConnellsburg, Pa.-based JLG Industries first entered the 150-ft. boom lift market 22 years ago with introduction of the 150HAX articulating boom lift. While the 150HAX’s wide-stance stability enables it to be driven with the platform fully elevated, the unit measures 11'6" wide even when its axles are retracted. The overall width requires truckers to carry an over-width permit when transporting the powered access lift.

In March 2011, JLG began offering its second 150-ft. boom—the 1500SJ Ultra Series telescopic lift. A significant benefit of this machine is its 8'2" width when axles are retracted, allowing it to be trucked without an over-width permit. When the axles are extended, the machine is 12'6" wide. With the jib retracted and stowed underneath the boom, it has an overall length of 43 ft. Ground clearance is 12 inches under the axle and 25 inches under the chassis. The machine weighs 48,000 pounds, so an overweight permit is required.

Maximum horizontal outreach is 80 ft., and at 120 ft. in the air, it still has 70 ft. of horizontal outreach. The machine has a 10.3-million-cu.-ft. work envelope. Bill Dovey, product manager, said that means the machine could virtually be parked in the middle of an arena project and build the arena around itself.

Typical of many RT boom lifts on the market, the 1500SJ offers four-wheel drive and four-wheel steer. It has 40% gradeability and drive speeds up to 3 mph. Three steering modes include conventional front two-wheel, crab, and four-wheel coordinated. The oscillating axle moves 12 inches for better traction and to keep all four wheels on the ground.

The boom lift is powered by 74.9-hp, four-cylinder Deutz turbo diesel engine. The standard fuel tank has a 31-gallon capacity, with a 55-gallon tank optional. A Sauer-Danfoss two-section axial piston pump provides hydraulic flow to the closed-loop travel drive. An open-loop pressure compensator with an axial piston pump on the end of the pump assembly provides fluid flow for the boom, turntable, and steering functions. The hydraulic tank holds 52 gallons.

JLG pioneered the four-plate boom in 1979 on its Model 110F. Today, on the 1500SJ, the four-section, four-plate boom is made of 110,000-psi steel. It has heavy steel plates on the top and bottom, while thinner steel plates on the sides reduce weight.Mounted to the boom is a telescoping jib that measures 15 ft. long when retracted and 25 ft. long when extended.

On the dual-capacity access platform, operators select whether the platform has 500- or 1,000-lb. capacity. With 500 lbs. of platform capacity, operators have unrestricted access throughout the entire work envelope. They can telescope the jib and go all the way up to 150 ft. With 1,000 lbs. in the basket, operators can go to 130 ft. but cannot telescope the jib.

The envelope management system keeps the platform in the allowable work envelope. In automatic mode, the lift and telescope functions are coordinated. In manual mode, the platform will stop when it reaches the edge of the allowable envelope. The operator then will need to lift up and select another function or switch back to automatic mode.

On the platform control console, an LCD panel provides a wealth of information for the operator, including reminders for the operator to wear a harness and lanyard and select the platform capacity. It also tells the fuel level and whether any fault codes are present.

The 1500SJ’s standard features include a 7,500- watt engine-driven generator, foam-filled tires, and AC power to the platform.

Options and accessories include a 250-amp Miller welder, the Sky-Glazier and SkyCutter packages, JLG’s Clear-Sky telematics system, a variety of platforms, cold weather start and hostile environment kits, and more.