Industry Applications of Access Equipment

Access equipment is used in multiple industries. From construction tasks to warehousing, setting up events and tree trimming, the machinery used can make or break a project. This is why many industries call upon access hire equipment at times when other options just won’t achieve the results.

Using access hire equipment is a convenient option for businesses in a range of industries to approach complex height work on an as-needs basis, without investing in the equipment long term. Let’s look at the range of industries that require access equipment , the economic benefits of hiring this equipment to successfully complete work, and the kind of machines that may be relevant to your industry.

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The Versatility of Access Equipment

Whilst many think access equipment is typically used in construction and warehousing, the equipment has a far wider range of applications. Not only will you see forklifts used to haul pallets in factories and boom lifts used to elevate workers on building sites, but you’ll also see vertical lifts used in art galleries for installing work, scissor lifts used in theatres and concert venues to rig lighting, boom lifts used for large-scale signage installations, and cherry pickers used by arborists to prune out-of-reach tree branches. These machines are not confined to one trade; they’re used in a variety of sectors.

In each industry, the type of access equipment deployed serves unique needs. In construction, you'll often encounter heavy-duty access equipment designed to reach high elevations and comfortably handle rough terrain. Often these are diesel machines, since they need to be able to quickly refuel to avoid downtime.

In indoor warehouses and manufacturing settings, smaller-sized access equipment is generally used, as it can easily move through narrow corridors. Models tend to be electric, as this way they emit limited noise and fumes in confined areas where workers may be present. These indoor machines tend to also have smaller wheels than their outdoor counterparts, as they’re working on smoother, more level indoor surfaces.

Regardless of the differences between indoor and outdoor access equipment, their core function remains the same: to provide efficient access to areas that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach.

The Economic Impact of Access Equipment

When your business is looking to complete a job, you’re not only trying to get the task actioned, but you want it done efficiently. The right piece of equipment can save time, labour, and ultimately, money. For instance, a warehouse will dramatically reduce man-hours needed for inventory management if it uses forklifts, rather than more manual methods of material lifting. Similarly, using the right aerial lifts in construction projects can expedite work, meaning your personnel can move onto other tasks sooner.

Another example is using scissor lifts instead of scaffolding. While both options can offer maintenance workers access to the building’s facade at height, scaffolding takes much more time to construct, and takes up more space. A scissor lift, on the other hand, can quickly be brought in and easily raised and lowered to the level where work needs to be completed. For these reasons, hiring a scissor lift can be a much more practical and economical option.

Access Equipment and Safety

In many cases, jobs cannot be safely completed without the use of height access equipment. Additionally, many projects stipulate the use of access equipment as part of the work contract.

This is not to say that using access equipment eliminates safety risks. But it does mean that, provided the access equipment is used according to guidelines, and by a trained and licensed user, risks may be reduced.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of using access equipment, let’s look at what industries most commonly use access hire equipment, and what you need to consider when hiring access equipment in your industry.

Access Equipment in Construction

Types of Access Equipment Used

In the construction industry, there are a range of tasks that require specialised access equipment.

Scissor lifts offer height access for tasks like painting and electrical installations when the surface below the job is accessible. 

When you can’t park the machine directly below the job and you need to swing in, a straight boom lift (telescopic boom) will enable access. 

If you’re working in a location where you regularly need to readjust your access point, a knuckle boom lift will offer the articulation to help access tricky spots. 

Forklifts make material transport faster and easier.

Cranes enable the lifting of very heavy materials.

Each type of machine is designed to handle a range of specific tasks, which is why it’s important to choose the right machine when seeking out access hire equipment. Dealing with an experienced access equipment hirer can save you wasting time and money on choosing the wrong equipment.

Choosing the right equipment

When you consider how you will complete a job, you'll likely already have a piece of equipment in mind that you think will align with the project’s demands. However, there are still some questions to ask before you order your access equipment for hire

  • Firstly, you need to analyse the job site. Can you access the work location from beneath, or do you need equipment like a boom lift to swing into the job? 
  • Is there a level surface beneath the job, or do you need equipment with self-levelling capacity? 
  • Are there narrow passages to navigate at the job site? Will the equipment fit through? 
  • Is the equipment capable of being driven in, or does it need to be transported to the work location on a trailer or truck? 
  • What is the load capacity of the machine? Is it sufficient to make it an economical choice, or will you need to reload more than you wish to? Would a larger machine with more load capacity be viable?
  • How far do you need to reach and does the access equipment have the reach you require? 
  • Is the equipment diesel powered or electric? If it’s electric, how easy will it be to recharge the machine, and what will be the downtime? Will this be acceptable as part of the project’s timeline?
  • If the equipment is diesel, is it safe to use in your location, or will fumes pose a hazard to workers? 

Buying or hiring access equipment in construction is not optional; it's often a requirement. Choosing the right equipment can help to ensure a project’s efficiency. In addition, maintaining rigorous safety measures can help to mitigate risks. It’s important to make calculated decisions based on these elements, so that your construction project is set for success.

Access Equipment in Warehouse Management

Using access hire equipment is critical in warehouse management. It influences workflow, safety, and efficiency. Few warehouses could function and remain competitive without the use of access equipment.

Essential Equipment for Warehouses

In a warehouse, using the right type of access equipment can streamline processes and boost productivity. Forklifts, for example, are indispensable for lifting heavy inventory onto high storage racks. And in large warehouses, cranes may also be used to lift heavy materials. 

Powered access platforms like scissor lifts, cherry pickers, man lifts and boom lifts are also used in warehouses for maintenance and repair, as well as other tasks. The choice of access equipment is important, and can directly correlate with operational efficiency.

Inventory Management and Access Equipment

Effective inventory management in warehousing is crucial, and errors in inventory placement or counting can result in delays and financial losses. This is why access equipment is so vital for businesses in this industry. Stock location matters too, and high turnover items need to be accessed on a regular basis. This is where access equipment like pallet trucks come in handy, as they allow for efficient retrieval of goods, minimising delays. On the other hand, long-term inventory that is placed higher up can be retrieved with the use of a forklift or scissor lift, depending on the weight of the goods.

Efficiency Metrics

Measuring efficiency is essential. Metrics to consider include inventory turnover rates, order accuracy, and the average time required for inventory retrieval. Using access hire equipment impacts these metrics greatly. High-quality, reliable machinery contributes to greater speed and efficiency, and ultimately, better performance figures.

The journey access equipment takes in a warehouse can be tracked, and this performance data can provide insights into potential areas for improvement. For example, if the average time for retrieving items is high, a warehouse business might reassess whether or not their current lineup of access hire equipment is sufficient. They may look at hiring or purchasing new access equipment, or getting existing equipment repaired, as slow or malfunctioning equipment hampers efficiency.

Access Equipment in Event Setup

Access equipment hire is fundamental in the event industry. From staging to lighting, the right machinery is imperative.

Access Equipment for Staging and Rigging

Event setup often requires specialised equipment. Staging involves not just the surface you stand on but the entire structural setup. Scissor lifts and boom lifts are frequently employed to safely lift workers for tasks at height, such as rigging, and hanging lighting or speakers at unusual angles.

Each equipment type has specific benefits and limitations. Scissor lifts offer stable platforms for lifting between one and two workers, plus materials, vertically. When working on an uneven surface, a self-levelling scissor lift is required. 

Boom lifts can provide access to hard-to-reach places, as different models have capacity to swing into a job (telescopic booms), or to articulate (knuckle booms). Boom lifts may have a smaller load capacity than a scissor lift, however. Knowing which type of lift to use is crucial for both efficiency and safety.

Importance of Mobility

Mobility is key in event setup. Many venues are not designed with ease of access in mind. This is especially true for large events with multiple stages or for temporary setups like trade shows. In these situations, equipment like manlifts and scissor lifts can be highly useful. They offer easy manoeuvrability, while still providing the height and lift capacity required.

In event setup, time is of the essence. Quick setup and tear-down times are often required. Mobile access equipment allows teams to meet tight deadlines without sacrificing safety or quality. For example, telescopic boom lifts can extend and retract quickly, offering speedy access to various heights.

Hiring access equipment offers particular advantages to the event industry. As no two events are the same, (and often events may be spaced well apart), it doesn’t necessarily make sense to purchase access equipment. Access equipment hire is often the economical choice, as you can use the equipment you need, when you need it, without long term investment. In addition, access equipment hire companies usually deliver equipment to the event location, and collect it at the end of the hire period, meaning less headache for the user. Finally, hire arrangements are generally flexible, so if you need more time with a piece of access equipment than you planned for, this can be arranged.

Access Equipment in Tree Trimming

Access equipment is indispensable in the horticultural industry. Workers need more than just chainsaws; for large jobs, they may need scissor lifts or boom lifts to access high branches, and even cranes when trees need to be relocated or their heavy parts require lifting.

Types of Access Equipment Used

While for small-scale tree trimming jobs an arborist may use a ladder or ropes, for larger jobs, a more efficient solution is to use an elevating work platform (EWP) in the form of either a scissor lift or a boom lift. These machines allow for access to high branches, whilst providing the user with a stable platform to work from. 

A scissor lift can be easily raised and lowered as a job progresses, whilst a knuckle boom lift, with its articulated arms, offers the ability to move in and out to different parts of a tree with ease. Boom lifts also allow workers to access parts of the tree without damaging garden beds beneath, as the boom lift can instead swing into the job zone. Boom lifts can also reach up and over to access the work location, meaning jobs can still be completed despite obstacles like fences or hedges being in the way.

Others working in the horticulture or agriculture industries will also require use of elevating work platforms, as well as forklifts to transport materials. In some cases, it makes sense to purchase equipment, especially if it is likely to be used regularly and for a period of years. However if the access equipment is only used on an ad hoc basis, access equipment hire might be the most sensible option.

Environmental Considerations and Access Equipment

Across industries, the impacts of using machinery on the environment is an important consideration. This is why many electric and hybrid models of access equipment are becoming more sought after. Electric-powered lifts produce fewer emissions than their diesel counterparts, and when working in ecologically sensitive areas or indoors, emissions are an important consideration. In addition, electric powered EWPs tend to generate less noise, which is also important to consider in regards to worker safety, and the comfort of the general public.

In conclusion…

Access equipment is invaluable in multiple industries. Whether used in construction, warehousing, event setup, horticulture or other industries, access equipment plays a pivotal role in enhancing productivity, efficiency, and safety across industries. Whether it be heavy-duty machinery for construction, compact, electric equipment for indoor warehouses, and specialised lifts for event staging and horticultural jobs, access equipment for hire is a smart choice, saving time, labour, and money. 

For convenient access hire equipment in Melbourne and surrounds, contact Auslift Equipment today. We can match you with the right machine for the job, and can deliver equipment to your worksite.