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Skyjack's helium compensated scissor

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 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.
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The Skyjack Air Lift system will be available this time next year

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.
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A number of Helium bouyancy tanks are hidden within the structure

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.
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Check the date!


Would it also work with Methane gas?
We have a natural supply of that here.....

Apr 1, 2015

Brad Boehler, one of the best April Fools Days pranks ever. It is refreshing to see an Engineering trained company President being able to allow a laugh, and being able to make the Industry smile. In a news cycle that does not give us many things to smile at, your contribution is up there with the BBC prank many years ago regarding Spaghetti growing on trees.
Your team must have a great time at work.
Thank you for making me smile, and for the very specific drawings. I would now worry that our old mate Simon may try to take a few orders for this model in Asia.
regards, David Single.

Apr 1, 2015

This is a great move SkyJack.

Wow! The benefits of being a manufacturer.

For years we have been experimenting with ideas to try to find a way of bringing the weight of a 19ft battery scissor lift below 1,000kg. What, with raised flooring and personnel and goods hoists having limits, we are often restricted in what machines can be supplied. Sure enough there are smaller units well below 1,000kg but they don’t reach high enough. The original Upright MX19 was 999kg but legislation has forced weights up to around a ton and a half.

This is where great minds think alike. We have been experimenting with Helium too, albeit in a far less technical way. We didn’t want to affect machine type approvals so we have been experimenting with simple Helium filled balloons. We took a standard 19ft scissor lift and tied four helium filled balloons, one to each corner, and then weighing the machine each time we did it, with increasingly larger balloons. In the end we gave up as we calculated that the balloons would have had to be so big that there was not enough headroom to elevate the lift.

The other problem that we didn’t foresee when we were doing our risk assessments was revealed when one of our engineers went missing for nearly two hours before somebody spotted him 11 metres up in the roof hanging on for his life to four balloons. Fortunately we had an air rifle (kept to keep rodents in control and licenced of course) and we were able to shoot him down, I would say a little too quickly, by firing at the balloons. Happily he made a full recovery but he did have funny voice for a while though which really amused the paramedics.

So well done Skyjack. Roll on April 1st 2016.

Malcolm Bowers

Apr 1, 2015

This is not new.
I'm led to believe that flying pigs have used the same technology since before April fools day was invented!

Mar 31, 2015
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