Access hire: Choosing the right access equipment for your job : Hirepool

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Access hire: Choosing the right access equipment for your job

Access hire: Choosing the right access equipment for your job

 

Although ladders are useful for smaller jobs in and around the home or small residential jobs, there are times where using specialised access equipment is the smarter and safer option. At Hirepool we have the largest fleet of specialised access equipment in the country, serviced by the most experienced technicians. Our access fleet includes popular equipment like cherrypickers, scissor lifts, knuckle booms, telescopic booms and mobile scaffolding units, to more specialised gear such as truck-mounted boom lifts.

With such a wide range, it can be difficult to assess which type of equipment is best for your job. In this guide, we will cover our range of access gear and their uses, safety protocol for working at height, and what you need to know before you hire access gear at Hirepool. Let’s get started! 

 

Benefits of access equipment 

Simply put, access equipment helps give you access that you wouldn’t ordinarily have when using standard equipment. 

Access equipment can help you:

  • Gain access that is higher than standard equipment

Some access equipment can get you up as high as 43m which means unbeatable access on difficult sites. 

  • Reach around or over obstacles 

Access equipment not only gets you up higher, but it also helps with being able to  raise up and over, or get under something

  • Work safely at height 

Access equipment, when used correctly means workers on site are secured and safe when working at height, rather than balancing or working precariously.

  • Reduce time spent getting up and down to a work area 

Access equipment that is mobile helps to cut down on time climbing up and down a ladder or scaffolding.



Access equipment terminology

If you’re new to access hire or need a refresher, here are some common terms you may need to know before you inquire about gear. 

 

EWP

Elevating Work Platform 

AWP

Aerial Work Platform

SWL

Safe Working Load which can be put into the platform

Platform Height

Is the ‘platform’ height of the machine when fully extended

Working Height

Is the platform height of the machine extended plus 2 metres

Indoor Rated

Can only be used indoors on in non-wind areas i.e. 0 m/s

Outdoor Rated

Can be used indoors or outdoors, but should  not be used when the wind exceeds 12.5 m/s

RT

Rough terrain capable - able to be used outdoors or on rough terrain

Horizontal Outreach

The maximum horizontal distance is taken from the centre of the machine to the outer edge of the platform

Up and Over Height

Refers to articulated (knuckle) booms

GVM

Gross Vehicle Mass is the total weight of the machine.

Slew

Generally refers to boom lifts and relates to the position of the turntable and boom in relation to the base of the machine.

Static Wheel Load

Is the term that describes the maximum point load on a wheel or track when a machine slewed into its worst position carrying the SWL

Stabilisers

Jacks attached to the equipment that allow a scissor lift on rough or uneven ground to be levelled.

Gradeability

The maximum slope that a machine will hold on. Generally shown as a percentage (i.e. 45% which is approximately 22 degrees.

 

What access equipment do you need for your job? 

As there are many types of access equipment available it’s important to assess your needs before hiring to make sure you get the right type. 

 

Things to consider before hiring: 

The height you need to reach 

Be sure to scope your site beforehand to check the height you plan to work at or need to reach. You will need to think about if both the platform height and work height are sufficient for your project. 

 

Indoor or outdoor use

Will you be working indoors or outdoors? This will impact access machine selection when it comes to power (battery electric or diesel), whether the work surface is level or rough/ sloped and if gear needs to be outdoor rated to use safely in changing weather or wind conditions. 

 

Ground conditions 

If working outside, you need to know if you will be working on concrete or mud/soil. If your site or work area is on rough terrain your machine will need to be suitably equipped with levelling capabilities. Soft ground outdoors may also cause machinery to sink or tip. 

If working indoors, there may be restrictions on how much a floor can withstand, particularly on mezzanine and suspended floors. 

 

Accessibility on site 

Yes, you have to think about the accessibility of… access equipment when it’s being used on site. Before you book your gear you should have measured your site and thought about things like driveways or space between structures for outdoor jobs, as well as accessways and height restrictions for indoor jobs. Restricted access or space to position the machine may also help you determine if you need a straight or articulated boom. 

 

Weight

All equipment has an SWL or safe working load which can be put onto the platform. Make sure to consider the weight of personnel and equipment that you will need to lift as you want to ensure you choose equipment of the right lifting capacity.

 

Working horizontally as well as vertically

Will you need to work horizontally? This will assist in deciding if you require something like a boom lift or if a mobile vertical lift will do the job.

 

Our Hirepool access experts are always happy to talk through access equipment and suitability for your project, so you can feel confident that you are getting the best gear for the job. 

Scissor lifts 

Scissor lifts are a popular item to hire and move vertically to give you height access. They can move both people and materials, and are easy to operate so are ideal for jobs like painting,  signwriting or cleaning buildings, installing overhead lighting, plumbing and more. 

 

Key information about scissor lifts: 

Range of sizes 

Scissor lifts come in a range of sizes at Hirepool from compact 8-metre machines through to 18m machines. We offer a range of compact battery powered scissor lifts for use in warehouses or indoors on construction projects, as well as 4WD diesel scissor lifts for stability and use outdoors or in well-ventilated areas. 

 

A stable and safe workspace 

Scissor lifts offer a stable and safe workspace when you or your crew are working at height. 

Our Scissors lifts come in a range of deck sizes depending on whether you need something smaller for one person or large deck varieties to fit multiple people and equipment

 

Good lifting capacity 

Whether you need to lift only personnel or personnel and equipment, there are different lift capacity options available from 227kg up to 1134kg

 

Cherry pickers 

Cherry pickers are used for moving workers vertically and they also allow you to reach over obstacles. They are great for jobs where you need outward reach, for example when you are pruning trees or doing overhead line work. Cherry pickers offer access to some of the most difficult or narrow work sites, allowing you to get up and over obstacles and work safely at height.

 

Key information about cherry pickers:

Available in a range of sizes offering better access

We offer a range of towable cherry pickers in different sizes to help you work at heights 12m to 15m. Some models are fitted with a jib boom which gives the ability of up and over positioning capabilities allowing for access to the most difficult work sites.

 

Towable and easy to move to site

Another great benefit of using a cherry picker is that they are towable so you can get them to and from your property or commercial job when you need them with a compatible vehicle. Check your vehicle is compatible by calculating your max towing capacity

 

Bi-Energy options 

Bi-energy cherry pickers are low emission and are ideal for jobs that are in residential areas as they are very quiet. Check out our Telescopic towable bi-energy cherry picker for getting to hard to reach places with ease. 

 

 

Knuckle Booms 

Knuckle booms give you the best of both worlds with height and reach, as well as being able to lift people and materials up and over.  Similar to a crane, they are also mobile with 2WD and 4WD options so are ideal for jobs like warehouse work or construction jobs, or even working in sports, entertainment and film industries. 

 

Key information about Knucklebooms :

Range of sizes and heights 

Knuckle booms are available in sizes ranging from 11m through to 43m giving you maximum reach. For smaller jobs, the 11m, 2 wheel drive knuckle boom is a great pick. For larger jobs or jobs outdoors, consider the 43m 4 wheel drive knuckle boom

 

Compact, mobile platforms

Knuckle booms typically come equipped with 1.2m width, with varying sizes for a length up to 2.16m. They also offer the ability to drive while at full elevation for the ultimate efficiency.

 

Telescopic booms

Telescopic booms extend straight out and over with the ability to carry multiple people plus materials. As they are 4WD they are ideal for moving around construction sites when carrying a heavy load. They come in handy for use in a wide range of industries, from construction, mechanical, engineering, property development and other industrial projects. 

 

Key information about Telescopic booms:

Huge reach

Telescopic booms offer a huge amount of reach, our largest telescopic boom getting up to 28 metres high. We also offer more compact options for smaller projects too. Try  14 metre or 16 metre 4 wheel drive telescopic boom for your next job.

 

Rotation

For trickier jobs that require more mobility, telescopic booms are awesome as they rotate 360 degrees. This is particularly helpful when you need a wide access range but have limited ground space to move machinery. 

 

2WD and 4WD options

Telescopic booms come in both 2WD and  4WD giving you the ability to select the best boom based on your site. 

 

Mobile scaffolding 

Mobile scaffolding towers are a great alternative option if you need better access but don’t require a machine driven option. You may be working on a residential property without any access to drive your EWP on-site, so mobile scaffolding towers that can be broken down and assembled in place can save you in a pinch. Mobile scaffolds are on wheels, which make them a lot more convenient than moving ladders back and forth during your task and provide a flat and stable surface to work from. 

 

Key information about Mobile scaffolding:

Scaffolding towers come in a wide range of sizes 

Mobile scaffolds come in a range of sizes whether you are doing something small at home like painting and just need a 1.2m or if you are needing access at a job site and need something bigger like a 3m scaffold

 

Affordable option

Mobile scaffolds are the most cost-effective option when it comes to access equipment, starting at around $50 for a days hire.   

 

No special license needed

Anyone can use a mobile scaffold up to 5 metres as there is no mechanical element to them. Scaffolds higher than 5m require a certification of competence.   

 

Safe access

Mobile scaffolds are a safe access option whether you are working indoors or outdoors as the wheels lock in place to stop any movement, and guard rails to keep you securely in place. Scaffold towers are regularly checked and maintained and come with information for secure assembly. For more information check out our comprehensive guide on how to set up scaffolding

 

Mast lifts 

 

Mast lifts are similar to scissor lifts in that they move vertically to raise personnel and equipment, but are typically smaller. They are commonly used in warehousing jobs and by those in construction and are easy to operate. 

 

Key information about mast lifts :

Come equipped with high safety rails

Mast lifts feature guard rails that help keep both workers safe from falls and contain materials or stock whilst moving.

 

Battery operated 

All the mast lifts at Hirepool are battery operated making them especially suitable for indoor work. 

 

Auto brakes

Mast lifts are fitted with a function that auto brakes on elevation for safety to ensure the lift doesn’t move until you are ready.

 

Hirepool have the largest access fleet in the country and all equipment goes through rigorous safety checks to ensure the safety of our trade customers. Be sure to check out the full range of equipment here.

 

Speed up your jobs with access equipment 

There are plenty of jobs you can do faster and smarter with access to equipment both around the home and on a job site. 

 

  • Painting 

One of the most time-consuming parts of painting is having to move up and down a ladder with supplies. 

With access equipment you can have your supplies with you which saves a lot of time, and reduces the risk of falls should you become unbalanced. 

 

  • Window cleaning

Using extension poles to clean houses not only takes longer but the finish isn’t as good. Using access equipment allows you to complete the job faster and smarter as you can get up close to the windows. 

 

  • Tree cutting 

Tree cutting can take longer when using a ladder as it requires you to be very careful of not falling when making sweeping movements with saws or clippers. 

Equipment like mobile scaffold towers allows you to shift along as needed and concentrate on what you are doing. 

 

  • Signwriting 

Signwriting is often done over a large external building surface and requires a steady level surface to get the best finish. 

Using access equipment speeds up the job of moving across the building and can help you to navigate around obstacles at street level.  

 

  • Maintenance 

Anyone completing maintenance will likely have a lot of equipment that is needed from power tools to repair supplies. Time on the job can be shortened by having everything you need at hand and being able to get up close to the job. 

 

  • Construction 

Before construction even begins there is usually a timeline set in place for when things need to be done, so having access to equipment helps to save time on labour by moving materials via the equipment rather than by hand, such as timber. 

 

  • Warehouse work

A storage facility can quickly become overrun with supplies if they are not moved fast enough, which can also hinder the ability to navigate around the area. Using access equipment like a Mast lift is the smarter way to move items. 

 

Using access equipment safely 

As a lot of access equipment is machinery, there are some important things to do before you hire:

 

Look for a current ‘Six Monthly Certificate’ 

All elevating work platforms must display a current six monthly certificate, similar to what a Warrant of Fitness is for a car. All Hirepool access gear is certified, serviced and checked regularly, so you can feel confident in your hire. 

 

Understand how to safely work at height

It’s important to remember that although access equipment is fitted with safety features, the operator is still responsible for ensuring they understand the risks of working at such a high height. If hiring an elevated working platform or AWP you should have a working at height certification or training. 

 

Hire a safety harness

You can never be too safe when working at height so you should always look at hiring and using a safety harness. A full-bodied safety harness must be used in any type of boom lift. It is optional and site-dependent if a harness is used in a scissor lift. Check the operator and safety manual for specific safety requirements for your machine. 

 

Before you start

Before using access equipment you must get familiar with the controls and safety features to ensure you and any other workers are safe. You must read and understand the operator and safety manual of the make and model of the machine you are using, even if you have used one before. Always think about the site access and look out for hazards

 

Licences

While you don’t legally have to have a license to operate access equipment in New Zealand, Hirepool strongly recommend it. 

A lot of commercial job sites will require you to have one before you can complete the work, so ensure you sort this out beforehand to avoid delays. 

 

Make sure you have the right PPE gear

Using personal protective equipment is a key part of doing any hands-on work regardless of whether it’s at home or on-site. Ensure you assess what your risks are before starting, so you can decide what is necessary to have with you, for example, hard hats, hi-vis vests and steel cap boots. 

 

Get moving with Hirepool 

Feel confident that you can get higher with Hirepool? Inquire about access gear online or at your nearest branch now. Still unsure? Give us a call or swing by your local branch for a chat with our access experts.