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[TowerTalk] Boom lift Re: Choice of aluminum

Subject: [TowerTalk] Boom lift Re: Choice of aluminum
From: Jim Lux <>
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2012 06:04:41 -0700
List-post: <">>

Re Boom Lifts:  I've had no difficulty renting 45' and below.  For a 90'
unit I did need to get a rider to my liability insurance with the rental
company as a named beneficiary for the $250,000+ machine, since I am not
a bonded contractor.  The rider was free IIRC.  I've rented several
times in two states from three rental yards without any more hassle than
that.  I did manage to get the 2WD 90' unit stuck, but that is another
story, and not uncommon.  No licenses needed other than a valid credit
card.  The OSHA placards say persons in the lift need full fall
protection so consider your choices even though IMHO the risks are a
fraction of those of climbing.  The computers in the lift constrain when
(wheelbase tilt & boom azimuth) you can elevate and when you can drive
with the boom elevated.  The (JLG and Genie) controls have "turtle" and
"rabbit" modes, almost always "turtle" for me.  STAY AWAY FROM POWER
LINES!  (which I think is the rental yard's number one concern - dead
operator, fried machine with boom up, and power outage)  The time saved
and pain avoidance vs climbing/tramming/hoisting and from retrieving
forgotten tools or dropped nuts was huge for me and I felt much safer.
My last 40' rental cost (10/2011) was about $420 for a weekend (no
charge for Sunday if the used engine time is less than 8hrs),  $300 for
the machine and $120 round trip on the delivery.  (Oh, I can work on
problems at the boom end or anywhere on any element - very cool.)

I'll second this.. they're pretty easy to figure out how to operate. The only thing is that when the boom is fully extended, it's pretty bouncy, because you've got a long lever arm to those rubber tires. It seems that about 1/3 the time, you get one where the boom controls are a bit "sticky", so you wind up sort of "bumping" it in steps.

As Grant noted, power lines are the big thing to watch out for. They show up in unexpected places, and you're so focused on where you are going that you sort of ignore stuff in other directions.

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