3 Major Critera to Getting the Right Access Platform
Your whole reason for buying an access platform to begin with is, I'm surmising, because you have a need to get a job done at height; so the first thing you need to consider is the maxium height you will need to work at. I have found speaking with other customers that taking some time to consider the future uses you're likely to have for you access equipment can prove to be beneficial, so please take the time to define the height you wish to work at as this will be one major critera of the buying process dealt with. The heights access platforms can reach range from just 3m to well over 100m and some specialist pieces of access equipment can reach 200m.
***Warning*** There are 2 heights used when discussing access equipment, one is the platform height, this is the height from the floor to level with the floor of the platform. The second measurement you'll often hear talked about is working height; this is the platform height plus 2m/6ft. You can get the working height mixed up with the platform height but please don't get that the other way around.
Another major critera you want to make sure you have covered is the number of people you need your access platform to get to and also the maximum weight of the materiel you need to take up with you to get your job done. Once you've got your answer to these 2 questions then you will know what lifting capacity you need from your access platform and this will have a major impact on the type of access equipment you'll ultimately end up buying.
When you are looking at which type of access equipment best suits your needs another important critera is where the access platform will be used. Inside, outside or maybe even in a sensitive environment such as a food factory, this becomes a deciding factor in what power source you choose. The most frequent options available are diesel or electric; occasionally you will come accross LPG models but this is quite rare. Which should you choose? Well if you will only ever use your access platform inside then you would be best to opt for a diesel engine model as charging an access platform in the field is often impractical. If you're going to be using your access platform inside then you would be best to go with the electric model, as these machines aren't going to be giving off dangerous fumes and if you, like a lot of people if you are going to be using your access platform inside and outside then you may wish to look at a bi-energy/dual fuel access platform as these then give you the ability to switch between diesel engine and battery power, giving you the versatility needed to get your job done.
There we have it, the 3 major elements to choosing your access platform, in the next part of this guide I will talk you through the different types of access equipment available and some of the applications they are put to.