Low-level access is a growing segment in the aerial access industry, with increasing pressure to replace ladders with safe, productive, compact, low-level access solution alternatives adapted to space and weight-restricted applications.
It is an exciting challenge for the aerial access industry, which has historically been focused on achieving increasingly tall heights. Low-level access applications demand a number of competing design requirements that are essential to jobsite acceptance. For example, machines under 2,000 lb are required to access many low-level applications — and keeping machine weight low while also providing the performance and productivity expected of a slab scissor lift, namely 500-lb capacity and 2-person occupancy, requires a close focus on design efficiency.
That’s why we designed the Genie® GS™-1330m scissor lift — “m” stands for micro — specifically to meet the low-level access needs of our customers in the ever-changing global mobile aerial work platform market.
The Need for Low-Level Access Lifts
Low-level access lifts provide a safe, stable platform from which work can be more productively performed. Instead of carrying tools and materials while climbing a ladder, workers can place them in the platform for easy access. The ability of these mini, or micro-sized, machines to get into small, tight spaces that other units cannot, as well as to access areas with sensitive floors can help support this growth.
In addition, low-level access lifts can increase productivity by driving from one location to the next while raised up, eliminating the need and risk of climbing down and repositioning the ladder for the next task. With their small, lightweight footprint, micro-sized lifts are ideal for tight spaces, such as data centers, warehouses and buildings where they need to be transported by elevator. They are also perfect for accessing smaller overhead areas such as navigating between duct work and beams where smaller platform sizes provide easier access.
Growing Demand for Low-Level Access
The recent growth in low-level access demand has been driven by data farm jobsites where micro-sized machines, chosen for their compact, lightweight and productive design, are key to ensuring the facilities are up and running as quickly as possible. These massive jobsites are at the leading edge of data technology and demand the same from aerial access equipment providers and manufacturers.
And, the low-level access segment has potential to replace ladders in applications beyond the typical jobsite, including in industrial and institutional facilities. For example, micro-sized lifts are also ideal for renovations of places like hospitals, schools and hotels. With companies desiring the safety of lifts over ladders, many contractors, striving to decrease injuries and create efficiencies, are moving toward utilizing low-level access lifts, like micro scissor lifts. These products do not have the same type of seasonality as other products, as they are primarily indoor machines.
Responding to the Market There has been significant growth in the fleet adoption of low-level access machines worldwide. At Genie, we’re focused on ensuring our slab scissor family can meet the ever-changing needs of the aerial access industry. The core of the Genie new product development process is the relationships we have with rental and end user customers, ensuring our design focus is aligned with the demands of various jobsites throughout the world.
With the Genie GS-1330m slab scissor lift, we’ve been able to achieve the key specifications of a low level access machine for restricted access applications, while maintaining the productivity and performance end users have come to expect. For example, weighing less than 2,000 lb (907 kg) the Genie GS-1330m scissor lift is able to access jobsites previously off limits to heavier slab scissors and vertical mast lifts in the industry due to passenger elevator capacity limitations. This micro-sized scissor lift is the perfect fit for low floor-load and zero-emissions applications in hotels, supermarkets, theatres, gymnasiums, malls and institutional jobsite tasks. Despite being lightweight, the Genie GS-1330m scissor lift is a heavy-duty and rental-ready machine just as well suited for general construction and facilities maintenance applications in space-restricted or congested locations such as offices, high-rise and retail areas.
Low-Level Access Options
There has been significant growth in the fleet adoption of low-level access machines worldwide. New entrants to the market such as the Genie GS-1330m micro scissor are gaining interest because they offer a high rROIC opportunity with a micro-sized machine that shares significant commonality with existing Genie slab scissors, ensuring rental dealers and end user customers are comfortable and familiar with the product.
Thanks to their growing popularity, today end users have the option to choose from manually propelled low-level access products, such as the Genie AWP family, or from self-propelled machines, such as the Genie GS-1330m model.