New Qld Branch

New Queensland Branch

 

Marking a fresh chapter in the AAH Queensland story, we have opened a new purpose-built multi-bay facility in Crestmead Queensland. This opening is in line with our growth strategy, said Pat Italiano CEO AAH. We are passionate about being a specialist provider of elevated work platforms and our new branch will us to grow our fleet and better serve our customers.

 

AAH continually applies lean management tools to all aspects of the business, striving to continuously improve practices in order to increase efficiency and quality across the company, which ultimately means a better experience for our customers. The new branch is at 78 Platinum St, Crestmead QLD 4132.

AAH has extensive range of reliable and well-maintained EWP equipment for hire with the added flexibility to rent for a day, week, month or even by project, at the best rental rate for you. Rest assured, you can rely on AAH’s years of industry experience and expertise, competitive pricing and leading brands to give you the very best in access equipment. Call 133224 and one of our sales consultants will assist your EP requirements.

Safety tip : A stable base

 

 

Most elevated work platform accidents occur as the result of tipping. Preventing tipping requires an understanding of balance and constant vigilance; awareness is the first step to safety.

There are two types of elevated platforms: on slab unit and rough terrain. On-slab units, meant for indoor use such as warehouse work, normally have solid rubber tires and are equipped with a metal plate that can be lowered close to the ground as ‘pothole protection’. Rough terrain units have wider wheel bases, larger wheels and pneumatic tires. Some are equipped with outriggers for increased stability.

Manufactured with safety in mind

Modern elevated work platforms are manufactured to be stable and safe if used in the conditions they were designed for. Manufacturer’s manuals come with load charts showing safe operating configurations. Boom machines with long enough booms to cause tipping often come with radius limiting interlocks, which will prevent the boom from extending too far. Some machines are equipped with alarms that notify the operator when tipping is imminent. But, manufacturers can’t prevent everything.

What causes tipping?

To prevent tipping, you first need to understand why it happens. There are many specific causes, but they all have one thing in common: the unit’s centre of gravity moves. As long as the centre of gravity is over the undercarriage of the vehicle, it won’t tip. Once it moves outside that area, it’s dangerous. The tricky part is, the centre of gravity shifts as the platform or boom is moved. Other things that can change the centre of gravity are sudden stops, overloading, depressions or drop-offs.

What’s under your wheels?

Drop-offs, even on relatively flat concrete slabs, are magnified if the boom is extended. For example, if a boom lift with the boom extended 14 meters hits a 100 mm depression, the end of the boom sways 600 mm. This shifting of weight can cause the machine to tip, or worse, catapult a worker from the platform.

In Boulder, Western Australia in 2010, a worker was killed when his boom lift fell into a large drain that was hidden under the grass surface. In 2012, two workers in Lismore were almost killed when their boom broke through a steel grate holding telecommunications wires.

It is very important to examine the surface where the lift will be operating. Before starting work, always survey the ground, looking at soil type and locating debris and other obstacles. Even on a warehouse floor, there may be indentations, level changes or cracks that could cause an accident.

Other common issues include using an on-slab machine on rough terrain; using an undersized unit, either in weight or reach; extending the platform with planks or ladders because it won’t reach far enough; and failing to assess the needs of the job before starting it.

Trained operators are vital, and it’s the Elevated Work Platform Association of Australia that provides the proper training. You can even get a trained assessor to examine your work site to determine its safety.

AAH commitment to safety

 

You already know that AAH offers some of the best access equipment hire in the business, but did you know that our commitment to safety has led us to seek out certification in Workplace Training and Assessment? AAH is proud to offer in-house EWPA yellow card training on scissor and boom lifts. If you don’t know what a yellow card is or why it’s so important, keep on reading.

The EWPAA

The Elevating Work Platform Association of Australia was incorporated in 1998 to ensure the safe use and operation of a variety of elevated work platforms and aerial devices. There are hundreds of members in the EWPAA, and they include manufacturers, rental fleet owners and related users in the industry. The EWPAA is run through a National Executive, and it meets regularly with the support of State Committees to stay on top of safety.

The EWPAA is not just familiar with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, they work directly with the unique guidelines that are in place in every state and territory in Australia. The EWPAA developed the Yellow Card as a symbol of proper training that is nationally recognised. It motivates employees to take steps to create a safe workplace environment.

The Yellow Card

The Yellow Card came about through the hard work and collaboration of the EWPAA and industry members. It is intended to help maintain the highest of professional standards that ensure safety. A Yellow Card holder has received proper training on the operation of elevated work platforms and aerial work platforms. It is directly connected to the Unit of Competence RIIHAN301B Operate Elevating Work Platforms. Not all access equipment is identical, so having specific training that applies to the machine you’ll be working with and the environment you’ll be working in is very helpful.

In addition to providing evidence of proper training, the Yellow Card also allows employers or suppliers to maintain documentation on user training, and it is verifiable on the EWPAA website. This shouldn’t be undervalued; in an industry that carries such inherent risk, it’s important that all employees working on and near access equipment be properly trained and that the training be properly documented.

Getting a Yellow Card

If you’re interested in having AAH’s in-house trainers provide you or your company with Yellow Card training, fill out our Contact Us form on our website. We might be biased, but we think our trainers are the best. That’s why our value proposition is safe, available, reliable, engaged. AAH puts safety first—always.

If you work with access equipment, make sure you receive EWPAA Yellow Card training. Not only will it keep you and your workers safe, it’s a public symbol that you meet the high professional standards of our industry.

EWP Equipment and Chimneys

EWP Equipment and Chimneys

Chimneys, whether domestic or industrial, are notoriously difficult to access, and domestic and industrial chimneys are very different in terms of both access and maintenance. All chimneys need to be maintained, and the maintenance routine is different depending on their size and on what the chimneys are made of: reinforced concrete, steel or brick.

Domestic Chimney Maintenance

Regular maintenance of a domestic chimney includes sweeping, which is best done on the ground, through the fireplace damper. However, especially in brick chimneys, sometimes it is necessary to do a physical inspection, and oftentimes, bricks have to be re-pointed or replaced. The chimney cap and flashings occasionally need repair or renewal, too. Often, a cherry picker hire is just the ticket.

EWPs are faster and cheaper than scaffolding

There are companies that have specially designed scaffolding for chimney work, scaffolding that will conform safely to the slope of the roof. However, using access platforms for chimney work is usually faster, cheaper, and less intrusive than erecting scaffolding. If there is good access, a telescopic boom is often appropriate for work on large chimneys.

Demolition of chimneys creates special problems. Usually, domestic chimneys are demolished by hand, with sledgehammers. Without a stable platform this can be very dangerous. For safety, it is a good idea not to let any rubbish fall to the ground. An elevated platform makes it much easier to transport wreckage safely down, either by raising and lowering the boom or by erecting a temporary chute between the work area and the skip.

Specialised engineers required for industrial chimneys

Industrial chimneys are a science unto themselves, literally. Very well trained engineers and technicians are required for regular maintenance of an industrial chimney. Some of these are huge, over a hundred metres high, and they are often of very large diameter. Much maintenance is high tech, for example, ultrasound is used to test concrete strength; metal fatigue testing is used on joint bolts in steel chimneys; and chemical testing is used to determine if industrial chimneys have reacted with combustion gases. Recently, unmanned aerial drones have been adopted for big chimney inspections, but these are limited in their operation to line-of-sight. This means that inspecting the inside of the chimney is done the old-fashioned way, with steeplejacks on the end of ropes lowered into the chimney. The ropes are connected to electronic winches.

Knuckle booms fitted with hydro demolition lances

If the chimney is low enough, elevated platforms are very useful; articulated booms are  often used as they can reach greater heights. There also exist specially equipped knuckle booms that can be fitted with hammers, rock drills and hydro-demolition lances. For very high chimneys, the most common platform is controlled by ropes attached to hydraulic winches. There are specially fitted varieties of these that attach to a rotor that can move around the chimney.

Even with the most sophisticated equipment, chimneys can hold nasty surprises. They may be lined with asbestos, for example. As with most jobs using elevated platforms, specialised training is required.

 

 

 

 

Safety Tip : Never work alone

Safety Tip : Never work alone

The right elevating work platforms (EWPs) for the right job can seriously reduce your work hours. Not only do EWPs mean you have more space to take tools and materials with you (saving repeat trips) but they can also reduce the dangers to those on the ground. For example, tree surgeons may find they no longer need someone to stand at the base of a tree to pass up tools, reducing the risk of harm and cutting the number of workers needed. That said, of course, some pieces of access equipment require an extra person just to safely operate the machinery.

Current codes of practice for safe work make it clear that anyone exposed to the risk of a fall must be properly supervised by a competent person. Common sense must always be used, anyone using an elevating work platform is always at risk of a fall.

A Helping Hand

A recent study, or incident analysis, of accidents using elevated work platforms in the UK highlighted that lone working exacerbated the injuries sustained by workers using elevating work platforms. So, as a minimum common-sense safety tip, even if you are very familiar and confident with your machinery, having an additional team member close by means that if any accidents occur, help is available.

The analysis document concluded that working alone was one of seven key contributing factors for workers being crushed or trapped while using access equipment such as travel towers. In such cases, workers have just minutes to seek rescue before they fall victim to asphyxia.

Just having another team member nearby helps but, of course, even if help can be summoned, it would be better still if a competent person was on hand who could operate ground controls for the EWP in case their colleague gets into difficulties. In particular, being able to lower the platform from the ground makes it easier to both free and assist a colleague who has been injured.

A Different Perspective

Having a colleague at ground level can make a huge difference to how you operate your machinery, not only in terms of safety but also in spotting potential hazards or alternative ways of working. Let’s return to the example of a tree surgeon. While an elevated work platform gives a much better view of the tree you’re working on than can be achieved by simply climbing it, having someone on the ground while you work means they can make you aware of hazards you might not have noticed, or that have been caused as a result of your work.

A different view of the worksite and an awareness of ground conditions can mean safer operation of your access equipment and improved stability and manoeuvrability. A person on the ground can also enable you to tackle problems more easily if they arise. Always work in teams, with at least one person on the ground.

 

 

 

 

 

The right boom for the right job

The right boom for the right job

With the massive range of boom lifts on offer at AHH, there’s a suitable model for almost any use. The key to selecting the right boom lift is taking into account all of your needs, as well as your specific site arrangements. Any selection process must consider the following variables to come up with a machine that enables the work to be done as efficiently and as safely as possible.

Location, Location, Location

Load Limits may be required based on what’s underneath the access equipment as well as the equipment specs, so it’s vital that the machinery comes safely within restrictions, even once loaded with operators and materials. The second key location consideration is overhead restrictions, especially cable locations, not only on the worksite, but in any areas the machine may need to pass through. Thirdly, bear in mind whether there are places where swing may be an issue, as this will restrict the use of larger boom lifts. Diesel knuckle booms or electric knuckle booms may be more suitable for obstructed sites, as knuckle booms enable the platform to navigate up and over obstacles.

Working Surface

Whether a site is indoors or outdoors will affect the tyre used and the engine type. Pneumatic tyres are popular for outdoor locations, but specialist non-marking tyres can be used for indoor surfaces that benefit from protection. Noise may be a consideration, especially for outdoor work, in which case electric boom lifts or electric knuckle booms may be a better choice than a diesel boom lift.

The ground conditions any diesel boom lifts or electric boom lifts are operated on are crucial to choosing the right machine. Increased gradeability helps to tackle sloping sites, while high ground clearance will be useful if your boom lift has to negotiate debris. Ground that is soft and muddy, or indeed any outdoor site that may experience heavy rain, will require an elevated working platform with four-wheel drive or a crawler undercarriage.

Reach, Height, Size and Capacity

The distance from the platform base site and the work area determines the height and reach needed for the machine. This is often the starting point for choosing your machine, and as such AAH lists its boom lifts and knuckle booms by height and engine type.

What do you need to work on your boom lift? Do you need your platform to support the weight of several workers or just one? Are you loading it with heavy materials or tools? All Force’s boom lifts and knuckle booms have a total weight limit specified, but customers may also want to get a feel for the size of the platform, particularly if workers will be moving about a great deal or carrying out difficult operations.

Once you have your boom lift on site, regularly review the load and working space to ensure it still suits the job. Look for boom lifts or knuckle booms that offer additional tools that can be connected to the platform for maximum operational efficiency, too.

 

 

Electric Scissor Lift vs Diesel Scissor Lift

Electric Scissor Lift vs Diesel Scissor Lift 

Not only is a scissor lift one of the most versatile pieces of access equipment, AAH carries a wide range of scissor lifts that will meet the needs of just about every job out there. We know that in order to work safely with access equipment, your lift needs to be perfectly tailored to your situation.

There is such a variety of factors that go into determining what scissor lift is right for you. We have detailed tables and descriptions on our website to help you select the appropriate access equipment, and we’re always happy to give you a hand. Today we’re going to give you a broad overview of the differences between our electric and diesel scissor lifts.

They’re similar in that…

Scissor lifts are used to work in tight spaces. This is because they offer maximum manoeuvrability while also having a compact footprint. There are small differences in size between our electric and diesel offerings, but they all allow for easy navigation. Ofcourse, big jobs sometimes require big units, and our larger models come with extending deck options that can give you even more work space.

Let’s look at a few more similarities between the electrical and diesel. Both types of scissor lifts use self-propulsion and extendable decks, and these decks can allow you to work with overhead objects as well as objects at deck level. They all come with auto-self levelling and motion sensors for the utmost safety and stability.

They’re different in that…

There are some slight differences in noise level. Our electric models come with a silencing muffler and also offer zero emissions, making them the optimal choice for indoor use. The diesel scissor lifts are a bit louder, but they are best suited for use outdoors, where the noise would tend to dissipate.

We have a range of heights in both models. Overall, the diesel options are a bit more rugged. They all come with 4X4 drive, which makes working on uneven or rocky outdoor terrain easy. The electric models are 2X4, perfect for flat, indoor surfaces. This does mean that the diesel options are a bit bulkier than their electric counterparts, so if storage space is a huge concern, keep that in mind. However, a larger size means a larger platform surface, too.

Another difference is load capacity. Bottom line is that the diesel scissor lifts can accommodate heavier loads, whether we are talking about more people or heavier tools and materials. The diesel lifts also come in options that are bit taller than the electric lifts, going all the way to 18 metres versus a 14 metre maximum for our largest electric units.

Even if you follow all of the best safety practices, the wrong machine can still cause damage to people and structures. Helping you choose the right scissor lift is a top priority for Force, so if you’re still unsure after looking at the tables on our website, get in touch with a representative today.

 

 

 

The Right EWP Equipment for the Right Job

The Right EWP Equipment for the Right Job

AAH has a huge range of specialty lifts for hire, and picking the one that’s ideal for what you need done can be a little daunting. Here’s a quick guide.

Boom lifts

Our Boom lifts can reach heights up to 43 metres. Boom lifts are widely used by cable TV, telephone and electricity companies to work on utility poles. Arborists and window cleaners also use them for a variety of jobs.

Machines for tighter spaces

If you have to do a job in a tighter place, the answer is a knuckle boom. The boom is articulated with two ‘knuckles’ that can be bent like fingers. Knuckle booms are also great for moving around obstructions to get to the work area; they are often used to repair high rise buildings.

Indoor work and simple lifting

Scissor lifts are ideal for indoor work, These machines only lift vertically, the platform is supported by hinged struts in a criss-cross pattern, and the struts pull in and up to lift the work platform. They are very stable and extremely versatile. The platform can be held at any number of exact heights.

Scissor lifts also have large platforms, allowing a worker to take tools or boxes up on the lift. That’s not the case with vertical lifts. Very compact with a small platform, vertical lifts are also known as man-lifts. Some units can be pushed around a shop floor, while others are drivable. They are great for indoor work in tight spaces.

Moving Heavy Materials and Stock

Telescopic handlers, or telehandlers, actually look and function more like fork lifts than booms, but they can do things no fork lift can do. They’re not for lifting workers; they’re for lifting materials. They are most effectively used to load and unload high-sided trailers or hoppers that a forklift can’t reach, or to lift materials to height on worksites.

Telehandlers come with computer controls, because the greater the extension of the boom, the greater the chances of the machine tipping. The computers will warn of instability. Telehandlers are used in both indoor and outdoor settings; some are suitable for worksites and very rugged terrain applications.

These are just some general guidelines. Any of our staff can give you more guidance into the machine that is ideal for your job.

 

 

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