Are you planning a full makeover of your property, maybe because it has not had one for a number of years or maybe because you are planning to put it on the market and you know a full makeover will add a significant increase in value to the property?
Regardless of the reason, when you are looking to complete a full property makeover, there is a very good chance that you will need to work at height and when you work at height, safety becomes a very serious issue.
Fortunately this is should not be a problem as there is equipment available for you to hire which is designed for just these reasons – mobile elevated working platforms (MEWP’s) or Access Platforms as they are known in the industry.
An access platform is a type of machinery, which allows the operator(s) to be safely lifted to various heights, enabling them to carry out their tasks without the worry of falling and injuring themselves or even worse, falling to their death.
There are many different types of access platforms you can hire, some with specialised features and some with specific features such as hybrid power for working in a fume-free environment.
Fortunately, nearly all access platforms can be grouped into three different types of machine – cherry pickers, scissor lifts and spider lifts and in this article, we will discuss each of them and some of their key features so that you can chose the ideal machine for your needs.
The Cherry Picker (also known as a Boom Lift) is the most common type of MEWP and is the one most used on construction sites around the globe due to its huge reach and easy operation.
The Cherry Picker has a huge arm with a bucket on the end, which the operator stands to be lifted to the correct height. They also usually have a ‘knuckle’ in the arm allowing it a higher degree of flexibility when used on certain types of structures such as bridges and electricity pylons.
The Cherry Picker is also ideal for safely lifting heavy tools, materials and equipment to high places where they are needed.
In the case of a home renovation project, they are ideal for lifting people to the highest point of the property for such tasks as roof and guttering replacement.
The Scissor Lift is a different type of access platform in that it does not have a huge arm to lift people to different heights. Instead it raises in a vertical motion using a criss-cross technique (hence the scissor name) and although it doesn’t have the same reach capabilities of a cherry picker, it has a much wider workspace meaning it can safely lift 3,4 or even 5 people to a height and provide a platform where multiple tasks can be completed.
In the case of a home renovation project, a scissor lift would be ideal for painting and decorating the external structure of the property.
The Spider Lift is similar to the Cherry Picker in terms of capabilities however it is used in different types of environments due to it specific design feature of ‘arms’ which allow it to spread its weight over a wider area.
This means it is ideal for working on delicate surfaces such as polished flooring, sports pitches and landscaped gardens.
In the case of a home renovation project, a spider lift would be ideal for the same type of tasks as a cherry picker but on delicate ground where a tracked vehicle would cause damage.
Carl J Smith has been writing for the Construction industry for over 10 years. Currently he is the Brand Manager for Kimberly Access Group UK – a supplier of hired access platforms.