Canadian aerial lift manufacturer Skyjack is to unveil a new concept to lower ground bearing pressures on its smaller slab electric scissor lifts.
Dubbed the Skyjack Airlift System, the company hopes to demonstrate the new technology at Intermat in April.
The system - shown to Vertikal.net at a sneak preview during the recent Rental Show in New Orleans - uses a number of lightweight buoyancy tanks built into the scissor arms and to the sides of the chassis and platform. The tanks are then filled with helium gas - the same as that increasingly used for tyre inflation - at the Skyjack dealership before being delivered to the customer.
The precise positioning of the helium tanks is critical to the lifting action and its effect on the machine’s centre of gravity. Tests carried out have shown that floor loadings can be reduced by up to 46 percent on some machines, offering a radical new method for working on low capacity, suspended floors. When fitted, the effective weight of an SJ3215 for example could be reduced to under 600kg or less if the deck extension is removed.
The first units equipped with the new system will include the SJ3215 and SJ3219, and if there is sufficient customer demand it will be extended to the SJ3226 which has been used as a prototype and development work. Its overall weight of 1,876kg however means that the machine would still have a gross effective weight with the Airlift System fitted of 1,150kg or 70psi, which is too high for some suspended flooring systems.
Skyjack president Brad Boehler said: “Innovation has been part of our DNA and as we celebrate our 30th year it is as true today as it was in the 1980’s. We should not think of anything being impossible as Napoleon Bonaparte said 'impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools'."
Final testing is well underway and the company is looking to obtain some long-term test data from real on-site usage before shipping the first production units next year. The first deliveries are not anticipated before 1st April 2016.