Capital Equipment News

The new JLG 1500AJP features an industry-leading work envelope – offering platform capacity of 270 kg unrestricted and 450 kg restricted – allowing it to take more materials to heights than any other articulating boom lift on the market.

The most common work-at-height conundrum is still how to safely and efficiently access working areas over obstacles and barriers, but even more so when extended vertical reach and horizontal outreach are of utmost significance. These are some of the concerns that informed the design of JLG’s new 1500AJP articulating boom lift. Apart from multiple boom sections that hinge, or articulate, allowing operators to gain access to work areas over obstacles and barriers, the 1500AJP offers industry-leading reach at height – 300% more working envelope than the closest competitor.

Reaching new heightsHaving made its global debut at CONEXPO CON/AGG earlier this year, the first 1500AJP unit in Africa has just hit the South African shores through none other than the authorised distributor, Eazi Group, Africa’s market leader in the rental, sales, servicing and training of work-at-height and material handling solutions. Capital Equipment News was recently afforded an exclusive opportunity to put the new unit through its paces, which has since been introduced in Eazi Access’s ever-growing rental fleet.

Brett Fleming, CEO of Eazi Group, says the 1500AJP articulating boom lift ticks all the right boxes for customers seeking greater vertical reach and horizontal outreach across a spectrum of applications such as mining plants, heavy industrial facilities, petrochemical plants, aluminium smelters and construction of multi-storeyed buildings, among other uptime-conscious, but obstacle-riddled working areas.

“It is ideal for any major production plants. We see it being a great fit in construction, too, especially on the back of a major trend towards multi-storeyed buildings,” says Fleming. “The beauty of an up-and-over machine is that, instead of having to stand so far away from the working area and boom out, you can get close to the structure and get up and over. There is a massive gain from a space point of view.”

Competitive edge

With its 48,15 m working height, up-and-over height of 18,3 m and working outreach of 23,5 m, the new 1500AJP is said to reach over 60% more work space than the closest competitive articulating boom in the market. The new boom lift also features an industry-leading work envelope – offering platform capacity of 270 kg unrestricted and 450 kg restricted – allowing it to take more materials to heights than any other articulating boom on the market.

“We have already seen big demand for the product. The major reason is that it’s the first time in the industry we have had this much up-and-over and outreach capability in an articulating boom lift,” says Fleming. “Operators will also appreciate the 450-kg platform capacity which is available throughout the vast majority of the working envelope.”

Vershak Birdju, national repair centre manager of the Inland Branch at Eazi Access Rental, adds that the two working envelopes, allowing for two different carrying capacities, make this product unique. “Typically the carrying capacity of a standard boom is about 230 kg. The 1500AJP allows for 272 kg unrestricted, and also has got a load cell that allows operators to carry 450 kg in the basket to a full working height of 48 m, but with a restricted outreach,” says Birdju.

The machine also features a standard 2,4 m jib that raises and lowers 135⁰ to provide additional reach, up-and-over capability and the ability to position the platform independent of the main boom. In addition, the jib pivots 125⁰ horizontally to provide extra manoeuvrability at elevated worksites. “The jib can pivot vertically or horizontally for better access at elevated worksites. The major advantage is that it can be rotated left and right, up and down, allowing for the movement of the basket only without moving the whole machine,” says Fleming.

Another key innovation of the 1500AJP is its Quick Stick feature that enables the machine to move from the ground to maximum platform height of 48 m in 2 minutes 15 seconds and return to the ground exactly at the same speed and time. This is said to be an industry-leading lift speed, allowing operators to spend more time working and less time positioning the machine.

Innovations abound

The other big benefit of the 1500AJP is its below-grade access capability, said to offer 70% more working envelope than the closest rival. This feature allows the machine to work below ground level. “You can boom down, which is actually quite unique for a product of this nature,” says Fleming. “If you are standing above, say on a bridge, you can boom down to access the lateral support down the bridge.” The machine has a 6 m below-grade access capability, which is equivalent to booming it down two storeys below ground level.

Operators of the new 1500AJP articulating boom will also appreciate the LCD panel that clearly communicates the position of the boom in the work envelope and the status of its operating systems. They can also be assured of a smooth, comfortable transition from full function speed to full stop, thanks to end of stroke cylinder dampening. “The LCD display shows you exactly where you are in the working envelope. From a safety point of view, if the operator accidentally goes out of the working envelope, the machine automatically brings them back to the permissible working envelope,” says Birdju.

The LCD display also shows the operator exactly which boom they are moving. “It makes one comfortable knowing that they are moving the right articulation point,” says Fleming.

With serviceability in mind, JLG incorporated an innovative swing-out engine tray that provides easy access to key service points. This is complemented by a hydraulic system that simplifies hose routings and reduces leak points. In addition, an LCD panel located at the ground control panel uses text and fault codes to improve troubleshooting and reduce the number and duration of service calls.

For long, manufacturers of this kind of equipment had to overcome the Achilles’ heel of boom lifts: ease of transportation. Previously, making boom lifts stable at height required a wide wheelbase, extra counterweight or outriggers, all of which can hinder efficient transportation. But JLG’s design addresses these concerns with axles that extend or retract in less than one minute for this particular purpose. Built on the same chassis as the JLG 1850 telescopic boom lift, the 1500AJP has a maximum transport length of 12,09 m, width of 2,8 m, machine height of 3,1 m, as well as maximum transport weight of 26 000 kg, doing away with the need for any oversized load permit during transportation.

Improving market conditions

Despite the challenging economic conditions, Eazi Group reports steady growth of its business, especially on the rental side – showcased by the recent biggest JLG machine order to date. Fleming reasons that when times are this tough, businesses are looking for solutions rather than just products to help boost productivity and safety on sites.

The new 1500AJP forms part of Eazi Group’s recent investment in its largest order of JLG machinery for both its rental fleet and sales divisions. The massive US$9 million deal for a total of 178 JLG machines represents the company’s largest machine order to date, eclipsing the previous purchase by a whopping US$2,7 million.

“Our strategy is to always bring new innovations and technologies to the local market to assist our customers achieve significant productivity improvements in conjunction with improved safety and overall risk management,” says Fleming. “Previously, local companies were not open to alternative technologies such as ours, but operating conditions are calling for ways that significantly enhance productivity and safety. As a result, we see renewed interest in new, innovative work-at-height solutions technologies such as ours.”

Fleming reiterates that Eazi Group’s vision is to make a difference in the lives of its customers, especially when times are this hard, by giving them solutions that save them time, improve productivity, reduce risk and keeps people safe at job sites.
He adds that the spin-off of Eazi’s continued growth is that the business is able to grow its workforce, significantly contributing to the country’s economic growth. For example, having started out with only two people back in 2003, the company now has a strong workforce of 7 000 people.
Fleming is of the view that profits shouldn’t be regarded as the destination of a business, but should rather be treated as the fuel to further drive the growth of the business and its people. Based on that approach, the company recently opened its Eazi University. “This is all about constant education for our staff to equip them with the necessary skills they need to better service our customers,” says Fleming. “It’s also part of our skills retention strategy, which aims to keep our people in the business by creating opportunities for them to grow and progress within the company.”

Since the launch of Eazi University at the beginning of April this year, three sales-related, as well as two technical courses have been completed to date, according Kim Meszaros, marketing executive at Eazi.

Contact Capital Equipment News

Title: Editor
Name: Munesu Shoko
Email: capnews@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

Title: Advertising Manager
Name: Elmarie Stonell
Email: elmaries@crown.co.za
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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