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Man and Material Lift Engineering Enters the Realm of Spider-Type Lifts

When Milwaukee, Wis.-based Man and Material Lift Engineering’s founder and president, Jeff Bailey, decided to expand his company’s product offerings to include “specialized crawler lifts,” aka atrium lifts or compact track-mounted aerials, he did so with the full understanding that this is a very small niche market.

MLE is no stranger to niche products—in fact, the company has carved out a nice business producing unique products including self-propelled, explosion-proof lifts of all shapes and sizes, clean room machines, high-capacity aerials, and a variety of other custom lifts. Clients include the largest petrochemical and aerospace companies in the world. One recent addition to its crawler lift line is the A70TD, which features a 70-foot platform height and 33 feet of side reach. In Part 1, I discussed the operational aspects of the unit. Here, I will show you the key features that set the A70TD apart from its competitors.

As I mentioned in Part 1, when the team at MLE began to develop the design for the A70TD, it determined that it would be advantageous to allow the unit to be driven with the boom in a partially elevated position. The boom is made of high-tensile strength steel. When elevated at full height, the high-strength boom translates to minimal deflection at 70 feet and added confidence for the operator.

As you can see in the image, the outrigger “legs” are specifically designed so they can reach over obstacles. The outriggers can level up to 54 inches in total, and the system features a fully automated leveling system.

In addition to short jacking the outriggers in order to set them on different levels or slopes up to 34 percent, the outriggers can be set precisely and quickly with the push of one button. The CPU adjusts the outriggers to ensure proper weight distribution. Once the machine is level within 1°, it is detected to be accurate.

The standard DC drive features two sets of four deep-cycle, 6-volt batteries. When combined, they power the 48 VDC operational and drive system. The 15-hp motor comes from Advanced Motors and Drives and is coupled with a variable displacement Parker Hannifin piston pump.

An optional gas or diesel generator can be added, which provides continuous operation in the most demanding applications. The generator quick charge consists of two 15-amp chargers that are run off the generator. This option also allows for a self-contained 110V power supply to the platform for operation of various power tools.

For service, the A70TD offers a backlit display that features seven diagnostic screens. This Sauer Danfoss-supplied Plus +1 microcontroller is a true CANbus system. The

system not only monitors the status of each hydraulic solenoid valve and sensor but also provides operational feedback. It consists of user-friendly information regarding the major functions and why they can or cannot be actuated, which greatly simplifies the operation of the machine for newer users and aids in troubleshooting to quickly pinpoint a service problem. The information can, of course, be relayed to a service tech so he or she can either rectify the issue over the phone or better prepare if a service call is warranted.

Dual angle sensors monitor the lower boom’s elevation and, when above 50°, allow full non-continuous rotation (continuous rotation is optional). MLE looked to Kinematics Manufacturing to supply the swing drive.

A major option is the 46kV electrically insulated boom, which provides electrocution protection when working around power lines. The ANSI A92.2 category “C” system consists of a 5-foot fiberglass boom tip, fiberglass bucket, and non-conductive hydraulic lines.

Currently, MLE is working with several branches of United Rentals as dealers to support the product. These branches are actively involved in the training program when the machine is delivered. Bailey was also eager to share that not only would there be an 87-foot platform height A87TD out in a few weeks, there are also plans for an A120TD.


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