Palfinger has announced a new Crane Mode option for its Jumbo class NX truck mounted work platforms, which currently include 48, 57, 65 and 75 metre models.
The Crane Mode includes a lifting point or hook with an unrestricted capacity of up to 900kg, taking it to its full outreach - 38.5 metres on the 57 metre P570. The lifting point can also be used in conjunction with the machines platform mounted material handling winch which has a capacity of up to 450kg. Palfinger says that crane option is fully compliant with the EN 13000 standard for mobile cranes, when the platform is switched to Crane Mode.
The crane mode is operated from the platform's cable connected secondary remote control station, while a wireless remote control is also available. Once switched into crane mode people are not permitted to enter the platform.
Palfinger Platforms technical director Dominic Ulrich said: "This means that an additional crane is not required at the construction site for simple lifting tasks. For instance, crane mode can be used to lift tools up to the assembly site. Another typical use for crane mode is to transport air conditioning units or antennae onto the roof of a house for installation.”
This will raise hackles among some crane people who are fed up with being told that cranes are not designed for handling people. Yet it seems increasingly OK to use a platforms for light duty crane work.
While not wanting to get in the middle of this one, it has to be said that a crane that has a boom mounted platform with an EN 280 work platform function - such as an increasing number of loader cranes – which is then subjected to a thorough inspected every six months, rather than every year, is perfectly acceptable in most quarters. This is also true of telehandlers with integrated EN280 work platforms.
While poorly maintained cable suspended man baskets that lack the appropriate safety features and back cables are not.
Having a lifting function for platforms is far from new, but modern controls systems and safety devices do in fact make such options more acceptable. One has to assume for example that the platform overload device on this option will cut all functions if it senses a load in the platform when the Crane Mode was selected?