JLG has released its latest secondary guarding/control panel protection system for boom lifts, the SkyGuard SkyLine, which will become the standard in the Europe, Africa and Middle East region.
SkyGuard SkyLine features a small diameter plastic coated wire rope bolted to the left side the platform controls, with a magnetic connection on the other side. If the operator should contact the cable with all but the lightest of force, the magnet detaches from its socket, causing all boom lift functions to stop immediately. It then reverse functions that were activated just before the system was triggered, in exactly the same way as on the current SkyGuard system that uses a solid breakaway bar rather than the wire. The system can be reset by reinserting the magnet connection.
The company says that the new development follows customer feedback on the original SkyGuard system, which dates back to 2012.
The SkyGuard SkyLine is being installed as standard equipment on some boom lift models this month, and will be phased in on all new models during the first quarter of 2019. Customers will also have the option to purchase the original bar style SkyGuard system, should they wish to do so.
European product marketing manager Jan-Willem van Wier said: “This enhanced safety feature is another step forward for JLG as we continue to innovate to meet the changing needs of the access industry needs. The customer and end user feedback on the original SkyGuard system was very positive, and this new feature is a natural evolution of the technology.”
This is a very similar system to Genie’s ‘Lift Guard’ Contact Alarm system which it began fitting to its boom lift models last year. See new secondary guard from Genie. The system works well in that it does not apply any solid pressure on the operator’s chest, while its activation does not damage any components, and it can be easily reset. It is a therefore a definite improvement over the current SkyGuard system. The last function reverse feature can also help to this end.
JLG had been running evaluation trials on a similar system that used a beam in place of the wire, thus eliminating the mechanical aspect of the wire, but some users were not happy that they could not see the beam, and clearly preferred the more tangible wire.
The question going forward is whether the ultrasound systems being introduced by some manufacturers and tested by others, will eventually take over from this more machinal type of secondary guarding? And if so when?