The popularity for low-level access lifts continues to be on an upward trend. Many manufacturers of these productive lifts, which include mast and scissor models with maximum platform heights of 15 ft. or less, say that growth in new construction, renovation, maintenance, and industrial applications is driving the demand.
SJ12 represented the company’s low-level mast lifts at the Lift and Access Showcase
, which took place last October in Las Vegas, Nev. It offers 12-ft. platform height, 500-lb. platform capacity, compact design, 0° turning radius, and Skyjack’s signature relay-based controls.
Stowed for travel or transport, it measures 2'6" wide, 4'8" long, and 5'10" tall. It fits through a single doorway, and its 42-in. wheelbase and 55-in. outside turning radius let it maneuver easily in narrow nooks and crannies. The 30-in. overall width also lets two SJ12s to be carried side-by-side on a standard trailer, said product manager Barry Greenaway.
The SJ12 weighs 1,720 lbs. empty, or 2,220 lbs. with a maximum-capacity load, and travels lightly on carpet or finished flooring. It exerts 80 psi of ground pressure when empty, and just 101 psi fully loaded. Solid, non-marking tires measuring 12 in. in diameter come standard.
With its platform stowed, the SJ12 can travel at up to 2.5 mph or climb a 30% grade. With the platform raised to its full 12-ft. height, the machine can travel at 0.5 mph.
The chassis holds the batteries, hydraulic pump and reservoir, travel drive, steering system, and automatic mechanical pothole protection. Lifting and tie-down rings are provided at the front and rear, and supports on the bottom allow handling with a forklift. A swingup cover on top gives easy access for servicing internal components. The mast is mounted at the chassis’ rear and the platform step-in height is 18 in.
Skyjack uses a square-tube telescoping mast that is raised and lowered by a hydraulic cylinder and cables. The raising mechanism is accessible through a cover on the mast top and is removable. The mast’s inverted design with larger sections on top prevents debris from getting inside. Greenaway said L-shaped wear pads give the mast extra rigidity. The mast can raise the platform to full height in 16 seconds.
Unlike the other low-level lifts at the Showcase, the SJ12’s work platform has no extension deck. Instead, the whole platform can be slid away from the mast. That “traversing” action provides an extra 20 in. of horizontal reach and the ability to work over obstacles while retaining the platform’s full 500-lb. capacity.
The platform features a 37"x27" working area, a steel floor with checking for a non-slip surface, lanyard anchor points, and bolt-on square-tube railings whose sections can be replaced individually. A chain closure comes standard, but two spring-loaded saloon gates, or one full-width gate are optional. Plug-in 110V AC power to the platform comes standard.
Power for all operation comes from four 6V 25A batteries. Wet cells are standard; AGM batteries, optional. A 25A onboard smart charger comes standard. It can recharge the batteries in about 8 hours. The batteries power a hydraulic system that drives travel, steering, and platform raising. An inverter that can provide 110V AC power to the platform without plugging into an outlet is optional.
The front wheels, located on the opposite end of the chassis from the mast, provide tractive effort and steering. They can pivot 90° to enable 0° turns. The steering system can maneuver the SJ12 into the tightest spaces to put users in the best spot for each job. The rear wheels have spring-applied, hydraulically released brakes that can hold the machine on any grade it can climb.
The platform controls are mounted in an aluminum control box that hangs on the platform railing but can be removed to operate the SJ12 from the ground or can be unplugged and removed completely for secure storage. A toggle switch lets the operator choose between platform operation and travel. The selected function is controlled by a fully proportional joystick that provides smooth, controlled operation. A rocker switch atop the joystick controls steering, and the enabling trigger is conveniently on the joystick’s front. Ground controls are at the rear of the chassis.
Options for the SJ12 include the previously mentioned entry gates and AC inverter, as well as a pipe rack, steel stud rack, tool tray, fluorescent tube carrier, flashing light, and biodegradable oil.
As painters, plumbers, drywallers, electricians, carpenters, HVAC workers, millwrights, maintenance crews, and general contractors look to improve safety and productivity on projects in tight spaces or finished buildings, the popularity of low-level access equipment will undoubtedly continue to rise.