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The Power in Access

The power in access

5 Must Ask Questions Before Hiring a Powered Access Platform


23 February 2024

So, you’ve got a job that needs you to ascend to new heights – literally! But before you can begin there’s a crucial step – choosing the right steed for your journey. No, we’re not talking about dragons or unicorns (as awesome as that would be!), we’re discussing hiring powered access platforms – the mechanical marvels that are the ticket to reaching these lofty goals. Whether you’re painting a mural, fixing a high rise, cleaning gutters or installing roofing in the clouds.

But before you leap onto just any old platform and rise above the world, there are five essential questions to ask – the keys to unlocking a successful, safe and cost-effective aerial venture, or job completion, anyway! Considering the mysteries of height and reach as well as site conditions and safety protocols, you will draw closer to selecting the right powered access platform to hire for your quest.

Buckle up future ‘skywalkers’ and let’s ascend into the realm of powered access platform hire and make an informed and wise choice with elevated knowledge – ensuring your task is a soaring success!

platform cherry picker working at heights

1. What is the specific task or application?

Proper and accurate consideration of the task or application you require the powered access platform for will help illuminate the pathway to selecting the right platform for the task. The vast diversity of design, functionality and abilities of these different platforms means each type can serve distinct purposes and offer unparalleled efficiency when the ideal type and model is selected. For example, hiring a scissor lift will offer stable vertical elevation and is ideal for tasks which require a direct lift – such as inventory management in warehouses or installing overhead structures, whereas articulated boom lifts offer much greater flexibility to manoeuvre around and over obstacles which is much better suited to complex construction sites or maintenance work where direct access is trickier. Understanding the amount of weight needed to be elevated in terms of personnel and equipment for the task will also indicate the right machine for the job.

2. What are the height and reach requirements?

The height and reach requirements of your task are not just numbers, they’re critical parameters that define the success of your aerial adventures. The working height, which is the actual height at which workers can safely operate, and the platform height are crucial to get right. The differentiation ensures you choose a platform that can comfortably reach the necessary working height without compromising safety or functionality. If your task also requires lateral or horizontal reach as well as vertical height then assessing the outreach of each type of platform is essential to guarantee the platform can not only reach up but also out to where the work needs to be done. A telescopic boom lift, or even a cherry picker hire, may be the most suitable platform for the task depending on these parameters, and the equipment and engineers needed to be elevated.

3. What are the site conditions?

Is the task you’re about to undertake indoors or outdoors? A simple question, you might think, but one with a huge impact on the type of Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) you will need. An indoor task, such as fixing lighting for exhibitions, painting or maintaining interior decorations for high-ceilinged buildings, will find an electric or low-emission scissor lift or cherry picker ideal – as ventilation is a concern. For smaller premises, Push Around Vertical (PAV) or even forklift hire might be the perfect solution for your indoor task depending on the job to be completed.

Outdoor work, especially where rough terrain has to be negotiated, will need to have platforms equipped with tracks or 4-wheel drive and depending on the task, might even require outriggers to stabilise the platform and safely elevate the materials and teams necessary for the duration of the work – and these are often diesel-powered platforms where the emissions are less of an issue to workers. Analysing the site conditions ahead of time will prevent operational hiccups and ensure the selected platform can safely and efficiently navigate and operate within the constraints of the environment.

4. How long is the platform needed for?

This is a significant question to ask as you need to ensure the total cost aligns with your budget and project timeline. If your project is a long-term one, you could consider purchasing a platform as being a more cost-effective solution and, at GTAccess, we offer very reasonably priced refurbished machines. However, if the task is short-term, then our platform hire services can ensure you’re fixed up with the perfect machine for the job at a price to suit your budget, and thanks to our next-day delivery policy and the vast fleet of available machines across our nationwide network of depots, you’ll be able to rise up to the task in no time at all.

5. What are the safety features and training requirements?

Leaving the most important until last, considering safety has to be the most vital question to ask. The inherent risks of working at heights make the safety features of MEWPs and the proper training of their operators the highest priority – no pun intended! Our platforms come equipped with a variety of safety features including guard rails, harness points and emergency descent mechanisms designed to protect operators from common hazards associated with aerial work. Read our blog on safety tips for working at height for more information.

Of equal importance is the proper training and certification for operators which covers working procedures, safety protocols and emergency responses to ensure engineers are well-prepared to handle the equipment safely and efficiently. There are many reasons why your staff need proper IPAF training (International Powered Access Federation) to ensure compliance with regulations and guidelines as well as simply guarantee keeping your employees safe while working at heights, which is why we offer IPAF and MEWP training from our depots across the nation.

How GTAccess can help with powered access platform hire

When you’ve considered all of these questions and have a better idea of which type of powered access platform you’re looking to hire, you should contact a member of our expert team, you can even call us to chat on 0330 333 4848.

Our team are always ready to help you find the perfect MEWP for your task to meet your budget and timeframe. With decades of experience in the industry, we are well-equipped to offer advice and knowledge on the equipment you’ll need. We also offer heaps more advice and tips in our blogs about the difference between types of lifts and the training available.