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It’s the Electric Drive

It’s the Electric Drive

Skyjack’s launch of a new range of electric scissor lifts paves the way for improved job site sustainability and performance. 


As the global spotlight intensifies on both technological innovation and environmental sustainability, Skyjack is catapulting ahead with a new range of DC electric scissor lifts equipped with advanced AC brushless electric drive motors.


The simply electric range will be launched globally with availability in all regions throughout 2024, replacing the current hydraulic drive models.


The innovative drive system provides exceptional duty cycles and fully proportional controls, which offer a superior drive experience. The new range boasts improved efficiency, controllability, and torque.


This means that productivity is boosted with an improvement of up to 20% in runtime per charge.


E-Drive provides consistent power, traction and torque, with over 25% grade ability, so that climbing loading ramps is easy, making it easier for operators to maneuver the scissor lifts on the job site.


Design and Development


During development of the new E-Drive DC scissors, Skyjack focused on increasing operational uptime.


This has resulted in a range that provides users with more while also significantly reducing cost of ownership and improving resale value, providing customers with a significantly improved return on investment.


Corey Connolly, senior product manager at Skyjack commented, “A longer run time per charge and fewer lifetime charge cycles mean our customers will find they spend less on batteries over the life of the machine and that is just one of many benefits.”


To achieve these improvements, all major service points are easily accessible, enabling straightforward troubleshooting and repair.


The sealed drive motor is maintenance free. The motors’ improved efficiency reduces charge time and power consumption, which saves costs and in turn reduces battery maintenance.


The drive motors have no oil leakage potential, and an optimized hydraulic lift and steer manifold reduces hydraulic connections by 70%, further reducing the potential for ground contamination and associated clean-up costs.


An optional leak containment system (Ecotray) provides further peace of mind.


“Ever since we launched E-Drive on our vertical mast range we have been excited about this launch. Our new vertical masts were very well received and now, after more than two years in the market, we see E-Drive as a proven winner, and I am sure our customers will welcome this change on our core scissor range,” said Connolly.


Ken McDougall, president of Skyjack, said this is an exciting time for the company.


“Rolling out our new E-Drive across our eight model DC scissor range takes time. I think it is worthy of note that we have been able to achieve that without real term increase in cost,” McDougall stated.


McDougall also highlighted the importance of having equipment that helps customers save money and gain productivity. “By providing significant reductions in our customers’ cost of ownership we have a truly competitive offering that more than lives up to the Skyjack simply reliable ethos. With our new E-Drive machines we will see our customers getting more done for less,” McDougall said.


The new models will feature a new designation carrying “E” to signify E-Drive, for example “SJ3219 E”.


In addition, the new range will carry Skyjack’s ECO mark as rental companies and major contractors face increasing demands for sustainability information.


Skyjack has introduced its ECO mark to support its customers by providing products that deliver benefits in environmental performance and long-term sustainability.


Skyjack’s E-Drive scissors ECO benefits include:

  • Operational carbon saving compared to previous model
  • Improved run time per charge.
  • Zero emissions
  • Inherently quiet machines, white noise alarm (optional)
  • Leak containment (ECO tray) (optional)
  • Biodegradable oil (optional)

New Operating System

With E-Drive, Skyjack has also introduced a new CAN bus based operating system.

While Skyjack’s standard color-coded and numbered wiring remains, it now combines with an externally visible diagnostic system display.

This means that no plug-in tools are necessary for day-to-day troubleshooting.

With the diagnostic display outboard facing, the system can be accessed without the need to open service trays.

It provides real-time data and easy to understand machine faults, written in plain and simple language.

In addition, the new models see a revised emergency lowering location. A single location, single step, valve actuated emergency lowering toggle switch is integrated on the outside rear of the machine with the other base controls.


In addition to the company’s launch of the E-drive this July, Skyjack also announced an updated version of their telematics of Elevate Live 2.0 in June.

Machines equipped with Skyjack’s Elevate telematics package offer customers a substantial increase in field data availability and troubleshooting capability.

Electrically powered machines can see a live battery percentage, extensive charge information, and actions required on how to proceed based on battery percentage.

A controller alarm data also presents any issues with corresponding codes and timestamps, battery voltage, and total hours of battery usage.

“Our Elevate Live telematics system provides critical alerts and actionable insights into machine operations that help rental companies save time and money,” shared Virgo. “The data obtained through Elevate promotes equipment longevity and on site efficiency.”

Elevate Live is available on all Skyjack equipment, whether or not Elevate telematics is installed. Information is accessed through a QR code eliminating the need to download apps and remember login details.

If a machine has Elevate telematics installed, the operator will see more detailed information like the machine’s state of health including battery life percentage, last charge date, and recommended charging instructions.

Standard Features Remain

While the new E-Drive range offers many new features, there are valued Skyjack features that remain.

These include:

  • Skyjack’s unique scissor stack design with symmetrical load distribution and cross member bracing providing operator comfort and confidence when working at height.
  • The acclaimed removable, high strength, and impact resistant composite upper control box with integrated shroud to protect against inadvertent operation.
  • ElevateLive QR code label on each machine provides operators access to critical machine information including pre-use inspection guides and familiarization materials, via a mobile device.


Global Expansion


At this year’s ConExpo/Con-Agg recently revealed an ambitious expansion plan which will see its global manufacturing capacity increase by 235% compared to 2022 levels.


The expansion involves growing its number of manufacturing plants from two in Canada to five worldwide, with new facilities in China, Hungary, and Mexico.


Following this expansion announcement, the new range will be available through a phased introduction by region, starting with the smaller SJ3215 E and SJ3219 E models followed through to Q1 of 2024 with the remaining machines in the range.


The E-Drive models will be available in all other regions throughout 2024.


McDougall explained that the need for increased capacity and a reassessment of supply chain and logistics structures arose from the pre-COVID limitations at Canadian plants and the challenges brought about by the pandemic.


The first phase of the expansion involves enhancing fabrication and vertical integration at the Canadian plants.


These facilities will focus on producing vertical masts, DC, and RT scissors while shifting telehandler and boom production to the new plant in Mexico.


Skyjack will also establish the Canadian plants as innovation hubs, enhancing advanced engineering structures and coordinating design and development activities across its three regional business units: Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific.


“This is an exciting time for our Canadian plants. Our plans call for a significant increase in headcount and a positive change as we develop vertical integrations and an improved work environment,” McDougall said.


Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.