Aerial Lift Maintenance

Aerial Lift Maintenance

aerial lift maintenance

When you need to reach advanced heights, work more efficiently and boost productivity, you want aerial platforms you can rely on, such as articulated and telescopic boom lifts as well as scissor, spider and cherry picker lifts. These machines can help you complete various jobs like servicing cables, maintaining homes, painting buildings or harvesting fruit.

No matter what applications you use with your equipment and how often you use it, aerial lift maintenance is imperative. In fact, it’s usually more critical to perform this with aerial lift equipment compared to other machines because of the heights you can reach — meaning your operations require the utmost safety. Whether you own or rent machines, you will want to keep your business compliant with federal laws as well as industry guidelines. Read on to find out how to do this.

The Importance of Aerial Lift Service

When working with any heavy equipment machinery, you run the risk of experiencing accidents that can lead to severe injuries, death or unnecessary downtime. Anything from a faulty outrigger and an oil leak to defective brakes and wobbly guardrails can turn your work into a disaster. But when you’re mindful of regular upkeep, you can avoid risky situations with your aerial lifts, such as falls, electrocutions and tip-overs:

  • Falls occur because workers lean too far over the guardrail. You may think you can reach the next window or cable, but instead, you misjudge the distance. You can fall from heights up to 150 feet. As a solution, you should know the risks of maneuvering at excessive heights and move the aerial platform to the correct position. One small correction can mean all the difference in your safety.
  • Electrocutions happen when operators run into overhead wires and power lines. Prior to starting your engine, be aware of your surrounding environment and notice any threats above you. Avoid unsafe areas or lower your aerial lift when moving beneath wires. Even if you think you can make it, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Treat every cable and wire as if it’s active.
  • Tip-overs transpire because of operator error when positioning the lift. They can also occur by running into stationary objects or because of equipment malfunctions. Make sure you place the machine on level ground away from divots, avoiding trucks and other objects, and ensuring your machine is running correctly.

Also, do not exceed the horizontal or vertical reach limits for certain capacities of your aerial lifts. Check your manuals and stay within limits to avoid tip-overs.

Your Aerial Lift Safety Checklist

Your aerial lift maintenance requirements standards should be up to par with both the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). If you are not compliant with their regulations, you run not only the risk of putting operators in unsafe situations but also incurring fines and legal consequences if an accident takes place. Refer to the following requirements when it comes to maintenance, operator training and inspections for your aerial lifts.

ANSI Standards

The A92.6 guideline from ANSI, effective on May 20, 2007, and Aug. 28, 2016, references changes that affect the remanufacturing, manufacturing, rebuilding, reconditioning and design of aerial equipment. The new standards and revisions compared to the previous version from the 1990s affect equipment owners regarding:

  • Operation
  • Inspection
  • Repair
  • Training
  • Maintenance

The guidelines provide frequency and annual inspection directions and conclude that repairs must be performed by a qualified technician or mechanic. The person must specialize in a particular make and model of machine or one of a similar design. The law also requires an inspection to occur at least every 90 days or after 150 hours — whichever comes first, depending on the frequency of use.

inspection time

Your yearly inspection cannot surpass 13 months from the date of your previous check. If you want to ensure regular maintenance, it’s a smart move to plan scheduled upkeep based on your hours of operation and the type of application in which you use your aerial lift. Access Lift Equipment delivers regular maintenance plans for your equipment, so you can rely on the experts to service your machines to the highest standards.

Whether you have a mixed fleet of lifts by different brands or various types by the same manufacturer, each may require different assessments. By checking the manufacturer’s guide and operator’s manual, you can view an outline of items to inspect. Testing different components depends on the requirements of the machine’s specific make and model.

OSHA Requirements

OSHA aerial lift maintenance requirements mandate that you keep up with a routine maintenance schedule for all your heavy equipment, including your cherry pickers and articulated boom lifts alike. OSHA puts stringent guidelines in place to not only help you remain productive but also to support your employees with safe operating techniques.

Aerial lift safe work practices mean your operators must abide by the manufacturer’s instructions. Different pieces of equipment engineered by a variety of brands can include operational variances. What works for one engine may not work for another and vice versa. OSHA provides information about aerial and scissor lift safety to help you understand proper maintenance and practices to prevent accidents.

Before using your equipment, OSHA suggests you follow its aerial lift pre-use inspection checklist. By performing pre-start inspections, it can help you catch potential dangers and allow a professional to fix any mishaps before a significant malfunction occurs. The pre-use examination should happen daily or each time you use the lift to highlight issues with different components. It’s also a way for you to give other operators and workers up-to-date info. Start by checking the following gears and features of the vehicle:

  • Air pressure in tires
  • Battery and charger
  • Brakes
  • Fluid levels — oil, coolant, fuel and hydraulic
  • Gauges, lights, backup alarm and horn
  • Leaks
  • Lower-level controls
  • Steering
  • Missing or illegible placards

Inspecting the Aerial Lift’s Mechanisms

equipment damages

If you notice damages throughout your inspections, place the equipment out of service and take it in for maintenance and repairs. Your safety and the security of others should never be compromised because of a faulty machine. Once your lift is ready to operate, you can move to the next step of inspecting the lift mechanisms of your equipment, such as:

  • Electrical, air, hydraulic and pneumatic systems
  • Emergency and operating controls
  • Guardrails
  • Insulation
  • Locking pins
  • Mechanical fasteners
  • Missing or loose parts
  • Outriggers
  • Protective devices
  • Wiring and cable harnesses

At this stage, you can review any written warnings from previous workers and leave instructions or advice as you see fit. Again, if you know your engine is not up to par with safety standards, fix all components before an operation. If you keep putting off minor leaks, faulty wires or loose guardrails, they can transform into massive and costly repairs that also decrease your protection.

Inspect the Work Zone

The final step in the pre-operation checklist is to review the work zone in which you’ll maneuver. It’s crucial to be mindful of the following:

  • Blind spots, high-traffic areas and narrow aisles
  • Dangerous weather conditions like high wind
  • Debris and other obstructions
  • Ditches, bumps and slopes
  • Low ceilings
  • Other workers and pedestrians in close proximity
  • Overhead cables and electrical power lines
  • Potholes, uneven surfaces and drop-offs

Is your work zone cluttered, or are there several potholes within the area? Are there any overhead wires or low ceilings? What about the weather? Will you have to deal with high winds or ice? Look at the big pictures and realize each work zone may have different obstacles. Correct any site hazards and treat all overhead wires as energized. According to OSHA, you should stay at least 10 feet away from overhead cables and power lines.

Tips for Lift Maintenance

Whether you’ve inspected hundreds of aerial lifts in your day or are a rookie on the job, figuring out a routine can help you check off vital components on your inspection list. It can also help keep you safe while maneuvering at extreme heights. Refer to our several lift maintenance tips:

tips for aerial lift maintenance

  • Regular fluid checks: Make sure your oil, hydraulic, gas, brake and other fluids are at the appropriate levels for efficient running.
  • Tire pressure: Check tire and wheel pressure, especially if you’re working outdoors in rough terrain. You don’t want to travel with underinflated tires that can compromise safety.
  • Personal safety equipment: Never neglect safety gear such as gloves, hats, harnesses and glasses, if necessary. Either one can mean all the difference when it comes to minor injuries and death.
  • Lift examination after every job: Make it a habit of performing a concise yet fast inspection before and after each task. It eliminates the possibility of small problems becoming more significant dangers.
  • Put it in writing: Keep detailed records of your inspections, maintenance and repairs. Your documents are vital if your equipment is involved in an accident, because if you’re unable to prove regular maintenance to OSHA, it can increase fines and legal action.

Your log books can include info ranging from a cylinder and valve assessment to checking pins and welds. It can even record assessments of boom wear pad fasteners, winch brake operation, driveline functions and other aspects of your equipment. By writing notes, specs and additional information in a log, it can act as a place for workers and mechanics to document problems, offer suggestions for solutions, and record maintenance and repairs.

Keeping up with the above maintenance tips can boost the longevity of your lifts. If you neglect upkeep and repairs, your machines can suffer and so can your business.

The Importance of Properly Trained Aerial Lift Operators

While aerial lift maintenance plays a major role in the safety and efficiency of your projects, the knowledge and training of your operators are also critical. Placing a random worker onto a scissor lift or telescopic boom can produce hazards for them, your other workers and your entire company.

But offering proper training can help improve the safety of the work area. It will enhance the maintenance of your lifts in accordance with OSHA standards, ANSI regulations and federal laws. In fact, training workers is one of the best ways to prevent accidents because injuries often occur due to personal errors.

Teaching your employees about how to work and maneuver an aerial lift can help them recognize and avoid specific hazards. When they learn how to implement thorough inspections, they will gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of the machine and notice when something is wrong.

If your employees don’t maintain their equipment, it increases the risk of accidents, injuries, equipment damage and even death in the most extreme cases. They should know about specific instructions for operating an aerial lift, such as keeping an eye on load capacity and maximum load weights. Operators should demonstrate the knowledge and skills to control a lift machine as well as know when and how to perform inspections.

Even though your employees may know how to operate one machine in your fleet, it doesn’t always mean they know how to work with other manufacturers and models. It’s imperative to retrain your workers each time they work with a new or unfamiliar machine. Retraining is also vital when a specific situation occurs, such as an accident, or if they operate around prevalent hazards.

Every operator should be trained on electrocutions, falling objects, tip-overs and fall dangers as well as how to recognize machines hazards. For those who don’t operate equipment properly, you should dismiss them from the line of work as to not compensate for the safety of your company and other professionals.

Check Out Our Inventory of Aerial Lifts

Access Lift Equipment specializes in offering used boom and scissor lifts to supplement your existing fleet. Each machine passes a rigorous inspection to ensure optimum performance as well as safety. Our trained technicians service and test every engine to help your business succeed whether you’re working at a construction site, fixing powerlines or conducting maintenance on a building. Access Lift has equipment that can lift operators and materials up to 150 feet.

boom lift inventory

While we offer an entire line of boom and scissor lifts, we also provide operator training and preventative maintenance along with other services.

Browse through our aerial lift inventory or contact us online for additional information. Our specialists can support you in determining which solution best fits your operation, and we can help you with regular maintenance to keep your engines working safely for long-term use.

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