Learn New Things and Change Your View: Heavy Construction Equipment

What to Ask When Considering an Access Equipment Hire

by Nisanur Kronenberg

Access equipment refers to equipment you use to access elevated surfaces and to work at elevated heights. This might include cherry pickers, scissor lifts, and the like. Not all access equipment is alike and you may not have much experience in renting it, either for a home project or for working on a construction site, so note a few questions to ask or factors to consider when you're ready to rent. This will ensure you get the right piece and nothing is overlooked in the rental process.

1. Ask if the equipment is for lifting equipment or personnel

Note that not all access equipment is meant for lifting personnel. Some pieces are designed to just lift items like ductwork or drywall. Thinking you can stand on a platform and be lifted by these pieces, even a short distance, can be a mistake. The equipment may not be able to hold your body weight and may not stay upright if there is too much pressure or weight on the platform or its arms. If you need to lift just equipment or tools, these pieces can suffice, but always note if a piece is meant for use with personnel as well if you need a work platform for yourself. 

2. Ask about trailers and towing weight

Most access equipment is not made to move speedily from one area to another, and it may not be good to even drive it over rough terrain or broken concrete so that you don't damage the tires. This is why a trailer is often used to tow such equipment around a jobsite or construction site. However, you need to know the towing weight of the trailer and the equipment combined so you know you have a vehicle that can easily tow that weight. You may also want to rent a larger, heavy-duty truck for towing the access equipment and its trailer while on your jobsite or working your home renovation project.

3. Ask how to operate it

Don't assume that all panels will be marked in a way that you know how to operate access equipment, even if you have experience with this equipment in the past. You should always ask how to operate the equipment when it's delivered, and ensure that you understand all safety features of the equipment as well. This can mean rigging or harness points for personnel, how to set brakes on the wheels, and the like. Since each piece is different, each of these safety features may be different as well.

If you're looking to hire access equipment, contact a construction equipment company in your area.