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Spider tips

A reader has sent us a brief report of a narrow aisle spider lift that tipped over in Crewe UK as it was being moved in the transport position.

The lift a CTE 170 rented directly or indirectly from spider lift specialist Higher Access – was, according to the reader that sent us the photograph, driven over a kerb while turning and onto an open pallet that naturally gave way under the 2,000kgs weight of the machine, causing it to overturn.
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The fallen machine - note the kerb and the crushed pallet

As far as we understand no one was injured in this incident, the fact that it is equipped with an umbilical cod controller, allowing the person driving it to stand well clear may have helped.

In the words of our reader “Another example of a poorly trained operator - toolbox talks and the 1b are a must” – the 1b is a reference to the IPAF training course for static booms (this with outriggers such as this).

Vertikal Comment

Narrow spider lifts are truly fantastic pieces of equipment and very versatile, they can go through the narrowest of doors and yet cross very soft or difficult terrain. However they do need particular care when driving them due to the fact that they are as narrow as 600mm overall (this unit is 800mm).

A sharp turn at speed, driving over an obstacle on one side or over a kerb at an angle (rather than head on) especially quickly or jerkily, can all cause such machines to tip. The same applies to spider cranes

However with sensible precautions or care they are perfectly safe in travel mode and if being used regularly on rough or uneven ground models are available with extending tracks for additional stability.

Driving off a kerb requires a ramp or a solid platform, the weight of most aerial lifts will crush a standard pallet and if this happens on one side, most narrow models will tip.


Peter Parker
Peeing contest is not a word I would use professionally and may I remind "Green Gob" that he/she has done the same in response!
Freedom of speech is paramount in web forums and blogs! What would be the point if it was censored?
In fact this sort of response can lead to a safer
use of platforms.
Vertikal do a superb job and "comments" are a part of this.
Everybody has a view and they are often different.

Aug 25, 2010

Norman Osbourne
Whilst we are all being childish in our comments and attempts to take a POP at each other, let us all remember that we work in a serious industry, and there are serious consequences when accidents happen.

To ALL you guys (Higher Access, CTE, Teupen and Spiderman), a web forum like this is not the place for a peeing contest, let us respect the work of the Vertikal crew and use this opportunity to comment professionally.

To set the record straight, ALL manufacturers of narrow 'spiders' have seen a number of their machines tipped over in this way and I would suspect that in every case there is human error, misuse or bad practice at fault.

Best Wishes,

Join the campaign to return to a professional Access Industry at

Aug 7, 2010

Peter Parker
I openly challenge Teupen for figures on the quantity of 15GT's rolled over whilst being driven
in the UK and ask how many of these where operator
best wishes,

Aug 6, 2010

Peter Parker
This was caused by operator error. If you drive a tracked or wheeled machine(any manufacturer)over a pallet,you can expect this outcome!
Just another example of a properly trained operator in a hurry!
The picture (croped) does not fully show the wooden pallet he/she was traversing across.
Pallets are rated for load and are not rated for this type of use.

Aug 6, 2010

Graeme Hill
This is an unfortunate incident and thankfully nobody was injured. The fact that this machine is fitted with an umbilical cord controller allowing the operator to stand well clear of the machine has indeed helped.

It is unfortunate that the operator has elected not to partially lower the outriggers when travelling to negotiate this obstacle. This is a stipulation of the safe operation of this machine when being used on rough or uneven ground, and this is clearly demonstrated to operators during IPAF 1b training and during equipment handover.

CTE takes product safety very seriously and although this incident appears to be operator error, CTE will gather all the facts relating to this incident for further comment.

Aug 3, 2010

An accident with a working platform is always giving cause for concerns, but should such an issue like the recent tip of a CTE spiderlift always be blamed on the operator? And does a narrow machine necessarily need to have limitations in use?
"Of course, a profound training is essential to operate a spiderlift properly", says Teupen CEO Alfons Thihatmer. "However, the demands for spiderlifts in modern archtitecture and facility management are increasing and we have to recognise that not every spiderlift is suitable to do a spiderlift job."
With its 24 years of experience in height access technology, Teupen produces platforms with innovative unique features which could have avoided this particular accident. The LEO spiderlifts are equipped with a patented crawler chassis, which makes the crawlers adjustable in height and in width. "The crawlers can be adjusted individually on either side of the machine, so that the center of gravity will be kept at fall-side. Therefore the platform can compensate a fall of ground up to 30%.", explains Thihatmer. "Kerbs, slopes etc. shouldn't be a problem for a modern spiderlift."

Aug 3, 2010

Lucy Ashburner
As an IPAF Rental + accredited company, Higher Access take our responsibilities very seriously. In this case, we can confirm that the operator had the correct IPAF category 1b licence and was fully familiar with the machines operational capabilities; he had used the equipment for over two weeks. Operators are aware that outriggers should be partially deployed when on uneven ground or when traversing obstacles – supported by decals on the machine itself. The kerb was 245mm to soft ground and the pallet only 130mm in height. This incident was admitted by the contractor as operator error. As the old saying goes – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

Aug 3, 2010
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