What parts does an aerial platform consist of?

For already 25 years we design and build machines for our customer as an OEM builder. Our core -business is aerial platforms. The scissorlift on tracks can be considered as the specialism of BSE Ymond. That is the reason why special attention is given to this unique type of machine. In this first article we start with the basics of the aerial lift. What is an aerial lift and what (basic)parts does it consist of?

Aerial platforms are special machines that enable people to be safely lifted to a certain height along with materials to carry out activities at that position. The aerial lift is a good alternative compared to scaffolds, especially when the activities are not too long. Aerial platforms are used in building, industry, and engineering. BSE Ymond has already been a key supplier for many years to parties that are active, for example in greenhouse construction/glazing and railway construction and maintenance. An aerial platform can be adapted in every way possible for different markets by us. We can do this because we engineer and build machines to order. This is called “custom made”. Now the basis of an aerial platform is elaborated on: what parts does an aerial lift consist of?

What parts does an aerial platform consist of?

Before we go into detail about the different parts of an aerial platform, we need to look at the different types of aerial platforms that exist. Aerial platforms come in different shapes, types, and sizes. Three main types can be distinguished:

  • Scissor aerial platform
  • Telescopic boom aerial platform
  • Articulated arm aerial platform

It is also possible that an aerial platform consists of a combination of the types above.

All these types of aerial lifts have in common that they all consist of a baseframe, lifting mechanism and a platform. The baseframe houses the drive system of the aerial platform. That propulsion system can be with wheels or tracks, and with a stationary arial platform with stabilizers.  Combinations of these drive systems are also possible. The lifting mechanism is a scissor package, a telescopic boom or an articulated arm, depending on the type of aerial platform. Attached to the lifting mechanism the aerial platform is mounted, form which the activities can be carried out. Sometimes combinations are also possible. For example: we have developed and build scissorlifts with an articulated arm construction mounted on the baseframe or platform.

Scissor aerial platform with extra construction (forklift mast and crane)

The baseframe of the aerial platform

On the baseframe the propulsion system and technical systems to move the platform and stabilizers is mounted. The platform can be powered by a combustion engine, battery power or a combination of these two types. Hydraulic or electric motors are used propulsion method.

The baseframe is not only important for the displacement of the aerial platform but also for the safety (stability). The aerial platform uses wheels or tracks for displacement. Depending on the aerial lift, stabilizers as part of the baseframe, can also be used for more stability. Aerial platforms are commonly 2 or 4-wheels driven of displaced by 2 tracks. Another type of aerial lift is propelled by 4 tracks. The four wheels are then replaced with compact tracks.

BSE Ymond as mentioned before is specialised in custom made scissorlifts on tracks. Our specialty lies in big machines, aerial platforms with large platforms and high loading capacity. When choosing for wheels on such a machine, they must be very big to be able to support the weight. With tracks the machine can be kept compact, with large carrying capacity en widely applicable. Tracks also provide great grip and stability on different types of soil. This makes our machines very well suited for activities in rough conditions, a.o. on clay, sand, or peat soil. Our aerial platforms are used a lot in greenhouse construction, greenhouse glazing, applying shade cloth in greenhouses and final assembly of greenhouses.

Depending on the lifting height, the subsoil and stability of the aerial platform, sometimes the machine must be stabilized by stabilizers (safety!). Putting down stabilizers makes the machine stand stable in one place. The use of separate stabilizers is much less frequent (or not required at all) when using tracks on an aerial platform. Also levelling of the machine (automatic of semi-automatic or manual) adds tot he stability of the machine and reduces the need for stabilizers. A scissor aerial platform always lifts vertically. Compared to, for example, an articulated arm platform, the horizontal outreach of a scissor aerial platform is very limited and so more stability (force x arm). It is possible that the platform of a scissor aerial platform can have one or multiple (hydraulic) extendible parts, that gives some horizontal outreach.

The lifting mechanism of an aerial platform

As mentioned before, the aerial platform can be equipped with different types of lifting mechanisms that each have their strength and weaknesses. We are specialized in the scissor package construction. A scissor aerial platform makes a vertical movement. In contrast to a telescopic boom or articulated arm platform, the scissor platform often remains above the contours of the baseframe without any horizontal outreach.

The big advantage of this type of lifting mechanism is the capability for large lifting capacities. Even large and heavy equipment or material can be safely transported to the working location at a certain height.

When not only vertical movement is required but also a large(r) horizontal outreach, a telescopic boom or articulated arm aerial platform is required. Telescopic boom or articulated arm platforms can generally reach much higher than scissor platforms. Some reach heights of up to 100m! The large disadvantage of these types of aerial platforms is the working area of the platform. Because of the large horizontal outreach, the working area is much smaller, and the loading capacity is much lower (normally 1 to 2 persons). We have developed scissor aerial platforms where up to 8 persons can work simultaneously on the platform. Of course, the type of aerial platform that must be used depends on a.o. the height, location, accessibility, and type of activities.

The platform of the aerial platform

the-platform-of the-aerial-platform

As mentioned before, our speciality is the scissor aerial platform on tracks. With the scissor package we can bring a relatively large platform up in a stable manner. The big advantage is that the aerial platform is not required to be moved around often to reach all locations, increasing efficiency.

Do you want more information regarding aerial platforms or machine engineering/construction?  Contact BSE Ymond. Feel free to inquire about the possibilities by e-mail or telephone.