As aerial industry standards continue to become more closely aligned worldwide, manufacturers like Genie, who produce scissor lifts (a classification of mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPS) named for their lifting mechanism design — a stack of crossed tubes that work in a scissor-like fashion when the platform is raised and lowered) for global markets are taking a closer look at how requirements in these standards impact machine design and safe use.
Today’s ISO standards specifically address wind ratings, chassis angle and load capacity of MEWPs. To adhere to the wind rating requirements in the ISO standards, scissor lifts are now categorized as indoor- or outdoor-use machines. This categorization is based on how the industry looks at the impact of wind on these machines. Using a calculations-based approach, ISO standards state that the use of scissor lifts indoors or outdoors is based on several factors, including side force, chassis tilt, wind rating and platform load sensing.
Options to Comply In order to comply with industry standards regarding wind rating and where these machines can be used, scissor lift manufacturers, including Genie, have several design solutions to consider, such as:
Restrict machines to indoor-only use
Increase machine weight to reach full-height operation outdoors
Restrict capacity in outdoor applications
Restrict platform height in outdoor applications
Each of these options has pros and cons, and in some cases, multiple solutions may be found on one machine.
Indoor-use only machines enable manufacturers to offer lighter weight machines, but in doing this, rental stores will need to make decisions about the mix of indoor-only versus outdoor-use machines in their fleets. Learning from markets like Europe that have had these requirements in place for several years, mixed fleets can get very confusing for both the rental operations team, as well as their customers. Additionally, machines restricted to indoor-use only are not able to operate in large-scale applications, such as high-rise jobsites, prior to wall installation where, although there is a roof, there is also wind.
Increasing machine weight enables manufacturers to offer scissor lifts that can reach full-height operation in outdoor operations, but the significant increase in machine weight will also increase floor-loading specifications, such as maximum wheel load and tire contact pressure. Today’s jobsites need lightweight machines with low floor loading to enable more machines to work in the same area or access on concrete slabs earlier in the curing process.
Restricting platform capacity means machine can be lighter weight, but reduced capacity also means fewer operators, less tools and/or reduced amount of jobsite materials that can be lifted to complete work at height, significantly impacting jobsite productivity. At Genie, we have found that platform capacity is critical to getting the job done on today’s worksites.
The fourth option to comply — restricting platform height in outdoor applications — is the solution that Genie has chosen for its solution in order to reduce confusion in the marketplace, as well as to increase machine productivity. Adhering to the ISO standards, Genie will now design and manufacture its scissor lifts for safe use in both indoor and outdoor applications with dual zone operation. Dual zone operation offers operators the ability to perform indoor, as well as outdoor, tasks using a single Genie® GS™ machine.
Dual Zone Operation To accomplish dual zone operation, Genie has added two buttons to the Genie Smart Link™ platform control, requiring the operator to select the “Indoor” or “Outdoor” zone of operation. When the “Outdoor” zone is selected, outdoor operation is permitted while maximum platform height operation and occupancy will be restricted.
For operators, the ability to switch between indoor or outdoor applications enables them to perform multiple tasks using one machine, saving time and increasing productivity. For ease of operation, the Genie Smart Link dual zone control system is very intuitive, allowing scissor lift operators to work inside or outdoors with the push of a button.
Dual zone operation has many advantages over other options to comply with industry standards, including:
Offering a consistent scissor lift product offering from one manufacturer,
Focusing machine design on increasing customers’ rental return on invested capital (rROIC),
Eliminating the complexity for rental customers of having to manage a fleet of indoor-use only scissor lifts,
And, minimizing the impact to machine performance — like ramp climbing and runtime — and improved jobsite access— by reducing floor loading and machine weight.
For rental companies complying with global standards, the new commonalities in design, features, options and accessories across the full Genie GS slab scissor lift range will simplify the rental process and increase rental opportunities.