Safety

Boosting Efficiency: Tips for Maximizing Productivity With Spider Lifts

September 6, 2023

Spider lifts are platforms that can extend to complete aerial work. Aerial work is required in numerous industries, including construction, electricity, marketing, agriculture and emergency services. Spider lifts are used to reach heights up to 100 feet.

Choosing the right spider lift for your work is essential to ensure you can complete tasks quickly and efficiently. Below, you’ll learn everything you need to know about spider lifts and how to boost their efficiency.

Understanding Spider Lifts

Spider lifts help you reach heights unattainable by other equipment, allowing workers to complete different necessary tasks. You can find spider lifts in three different types:

  • Standard
  • Electric
  • Hybrid

Standard spider lifts run on fuel, while electric lifts run on electricity, making them a more sustainable option. Hybrid spider lifts use a combination of fuel and electricity. Different lift models also vary based on their capabilities, such as what heights they can reach.

Spider lifts are used in any industry where aerial work is required, from construction to aerial advertising. This design has many benefits over traditional aerial work platforms, including improved safety, higher efficiency and reliability.

Safety Considerations

While spider lifts are safer than traditional aerial lifts, they need to be operated by a trained individual. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that aerial lift operators undergo some instruction but doesn’t specify exact training standards.

At a minimum, you should ensure operators have a thorough understanding of how spider lifts work and how to use them correctly. Training your operators on the correct and safe operation of these machines can include:

  • Conducting preoperational inspections and maintenance to keep machinery in good repair.
  • Understanding weight capacities and load limits to ensure these are not surpassed during operation.
  • Using all safety harnesses, equipment and systems as intended to reduce risk.

Choosing the Right Spider Lift for the Job

Not every spider lift is made the same. You’ll need to consider various factors to choose the best model for your applications. Your job requirements and constraints will be the most significant factor when choosing which type of spider lift you need. Some elements to consider include:

  • Reach and height differences: First, you’ll need to consider how high you need to reach on your work site. Spider lifts may have limits anywhere between 50 to 100 feet, so you’ll need to choose a lift model that can reach as far and as high as you’ll need for your tasks.
  • Indoor vs. outdoor applications: Whether you work indoors or outdoors will also play a role in which spider lift you can use. If you’re working indoors, you only need a machine that gets you to the maximum interior height you need to reach, as any excess in size may make it difficult to maneuver the lift.
  • Narrow access and doorways: If you’re working indoors or in a tight-fitting work site, you’ll likely need a compact spider lift that can maneuver easily. You have more freedom when choosing a model if you’re working outdoors in a wide-open space.

Planning and Preparation

Planning and Preparation

Now that you understand what spider lifts are, how to use them safely and the factors involved in choosing one, consider how to improve your spider lift efficiency. The first step to making your spider lifts more efficient is to plan and prepare.

You’ll need to create a comprehensive work plan so your operators know when they need to use a spider lift, and clear communication and coordination are imperative to keep your site safe. Operators should also know how to identify, mitigate and work in different environmental hazards before using a spider lift. Taking the steps to plan and prepare ensures that operators can use your spider lift as efficiently as possible.

Timesaving Techniques

There are different ways you can save time while using a spider lift. For example, you can ensure your lift is positioned to maximize coverage, eliminating the need to stop and move it when it needs to be repositioned. Other ways to save time include:

  • Using multifunction features to complete more than one task at a time
  • Reducing downtime by using quick setup and teardown methods
  • Using strategies for smoothing movement and transitions from one task to the next

Timesaving strategies will make your work more efficient so you can take on more projects.

Maintenance and Longevity

Regular maintenance will help extend the life span of your spider lift while making it perform at maximum efficiency. Different ways to boost the efficiency and longevity of your spider lift through maintenance include:

  • Creating a routine inspection and maintenance schedule.
  • Learning the best cleaning and lubrication methods.
  • Learning how to identify signs of wear and tear for repairs.
  • Understanding how to properly store and protect your lift when it’s not in use.

All operators should know how to perform maintenance and inspections to help you maintain the equipment.

Training and Skill Development

While it’s true that operators need some training to operate spider lifts, their training shouldn’t end once they’re capable of handling the machinery. All operators and team members should have ongoing training to stay up to date with the latest information about spider lift safety and operation.

Ongoing training should focus on building operators’ skills so they can use spider lifts more efficiently and keep your projects moving. You should also encourage a culture of safety to minimize time lost due to accidents.

Other Benefits of Spider Lifts

Apart from efficiency, spider lifts have many other benefits for your operations, especially when you properly care for and operate these machines. Some of the most notable benefits of having a reliable spider lift on hand include:

  • Greater versatility for your crew since you’ll be able to take on a wide range of jobs.
  • Improved safety thanks to these lifts’ added safety features, such as stabilizers and auto-levelers.
  • Reduced downtime as a function of the increased efficiency and reliability you get from these machines.
  • Lower equipment costs thanks to this design’s simplified maintenance and repair needs.
  • Improved customer satisfaction arising from your ability to complete tasks quickly.

Partner With Wellbuilt Equipment Inc. for Your Equipment Needs

Partner With Wellbuilt Equipment Inc. for Your Equipment Needs

Having reliable aerial equipment like a spider lift is essential to complete jobs quickly and safely when working at heights. Still, even with the safest model on the market, it’s critical to train your employees so they know how to use the equipment and maximize its potential. Wellbuilt Equipment Inc. is ready to support you on both fronts.

We have a wide selection of new and used equipment for customers who need proven machinery for their work, plus training resources to ensure you’re prepared to use it to its best effect. You can also rent from us if you need a temporary solution for your business. Contact us today to learn more about our equipment or discuss your needs with our team.

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Illinois Arborist Association

September 21, 2022

The Illinois Arborist Association (IAA) is a nonprofit organization that educates its members about tree care. The association supports the education, research, networking and training of its dedicated members, which include climbers, ground workers, equipment operators, researchers, trainers, teachers, students, managers and more.

IAA is a chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The IAA links arborist professionals and those pursuing arboriculture careers to a statewide partnership of people and programs that can help.

At Wellbuilt Equipment, we understand the role of arboriculture and its importance in preserving the environment. We wholeheartedly support the IAA and its objectives by featuring a series of aerial spider lifts that makes an arborist’s job safer and more efficient.

Professional Practice of Aboriculture and Tree Biology

Arborists study how trees grow and react to their environments and the appropriate techniques required to cultivate them. The science of arboriculture involves putting those techniques into practice by selecting the types of trees to plant, applying fertilizer, spraying pesticides, bracing and cabling, diagnosing tree ailments, pruning and performing tree removal as needed.

Illinois Arborist Association Events

The IAA hosts an extensive lineup of events, including classes and seminars for specific certifications related to arboriculture. Among the events calendar are the Illinois Tree Climbing Championship in May and the annual conference and trade show in November. Other events include the following:

  • IAA Summer Conferences
  • Student events
  • Advanced arborist training programs
  • ISA-certified arborist programs
  • Annual days of service
  • NEMF and NWMF meetings
  • Annual golf outings
  • TreeBiz social events

How Wellbuilt Equipment Helps Arborists

When you choose Wellbuilt Equipment as your aerial lift partner, you’re teaming up with a company familiar with arboriculture. Our new and rental spider lifts allow arborists to perform tasks that might be unsafe when using other equipment like ladders or boom lifts. Spider lifts also move on tracks instead of wheels to add extra ground protection, specifically for wet lawns.

In addition, these lifts are compact, allowing them to move down sidewalks and fit through gates without the need of crossing property lines.

We offer arborists solutions for difficult-to-access areas that other equipment companies cannot provide. Our compact tracked lifts allow you to perform jobs faster while keeping employees safe. These durable aerial lifts have easy-to-use designs, offering smooth operation for jobs requiring elevations up to 135 feet. You can also depend on their heavy-duty components to deliver a long life span.

Some of the specific brands of spider lifts we feature include:

  • CTE: CTE originated in Italy in 1981 and has become a premier spider lift manufacturer known worldwide. Wellbuilt’s inventory includes the TRACCESS 230 lift, the perfect machine for hard-to-reach spaces at variable heights. This durable lift will provide many hours of reliable service in demanding work conditions.
  • Palazzani: With over 85 years of manufacturing experience, Palazzani is a global leader for spider lifts across various industrial sectors. Palazzani’s spider lifts offer more flexibility in demanding environments and can reach greater heights than many other models. They’re also easy to transport and use in confined spaces because of their compact size.
  • CMC: Wellbuilt Equipment’s new and rental spider lift inventory includes the CMC Arbor Pro, one of the most popular compact tracked lifts. The Arbor Pro offers a variety of unmatched benefits, including a turbo hydraulics system that operates multiple booms simultaneously and innovative safety technology for enhanced operator protection and comfort.

Wellbuilt is proud to offer the most comprehensive spider lift repair and maintenance services in the greater Chicago area. In addition to servicing CTE, Palanazi and CMC equipment, we can cover all your needs for other models like Easy Lift, Platform Basket and OMME. Our highly skilled technicians have more than 100 years of combined experience to keep your equipment running in peak condition.

We also provide comprehensive aerial lift inspections to meet all the necessary ANSI and OSHA compliances and regulations.

How to Donate to the Illinois Arborist Association

If you love trees and want to help the IAA’s endeavors, consider donating today. You can also learn more about how planting trees can fight global issues at the Arbor Day Foundation.

Contact Wellbuilt Equipment Inc. for more information about how our new or rental spider lifts can benefit your specific operation.

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Does OSHA Require Aerial Lift Training?

February 8, 2022

While OSHA has several guidelines in place to ensure a safe workplace, required aerial lift training is not among them. OSHA instead enforces standards set forth by the American National Standards Institute, which instructs all aerial lift operators to follow specific safety regulations. OSHA can issue costly fines on ANSI’s behalf if an operator or facility neglects to follow these, whether on purpose or accidentally.

What Is OSHA?

OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part of the United States Department of Labor. They implement, enforce and maintain various standards and restrictions for all national workplaces, regardless of industry.

OSHA’s formation resulted from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Since then, the administration has introduced rigorous training and education programs for employers and operators, plus safety assistance and access to helpful resources for ongoing learning.

While OSHA generally applies to private-sector entities, the law requires some public-sector employers and operators to follow OSHA standards.

ANSI

ANSI is an independent, nonprofit organization that oversees specific standards, systems and assessments across various industries. Other countries widely accept these, helping U.S. companies maintain consistency, safety and conformity to all relevant operation and production guidelines.
OSHA often adopts ANSI guidelines and incorporates them into overarching OSHA guidelines for specific industries. In the case of aerial lift operation, OSHA relies on the ANSI A92.22 MEWP Safe-Use Standard, which requires employers to take all necessary steps and precautions to ensure a safe workplace for employees.

These include:

  • Adequate operator training
  • Equipment inspection, maintenance and repair
  • Equipment replacement as needed
  • Enforced guidelines for safe aerial lift operation

Because each workplace has different needs and external factors to contend with, employers are responsible for adapting these guidelines to the best of their ability for each situation.

 

MEWP and Occupational Safety

MEWP refers to all mobile elevating work platforms, including aerial lifts, aerial work platforms, vertical mast lifts, scissor lifts, cherry pickers and similar equipment.
Each individual involved in the use and operation of MEWP should have the appropriate training and certification. Relevant parties to train include:

  • The person ordering the equipment and scheduling parts maintenance
  • The scheduling team
  • The on-site foreman
  • Anyone who may operate a MEWP or work closely with them in any capacity

No one should ever operate a MEWP without additional certified personnel available on the ground at all times in case of an emergency. This person should have the knowledge and experience to assist if the operator can’t lower themselves to the ground safely.

Does OSHA Require Annual Inspections?

ANSI 92.6-6.7 requirements require all MEWP owners to arrange annual inspections for aerial platforms no less than once every 13 months. You should consider implementing more frequent formal and informal examinations if the equipment experiences rugged conditions and extreme environments or if it’s an older model.

The inspector must be a certified, industry-trained, qualified mechanic with knowledge of your equipment’s specific make and model. The inspection should be thorough and follow all manufacturer recommendations.

Some areas of inspection might include:

  • Fuel and hydraulics systems
  • Electrical systems and wiring
  • Tilt sensors
  • Engine health
  • General wear and tear
  • Emergency controls
  • Instructions and signage
  • Steering and control mechanisms
  • Tires and wheels
  • Platform structures

According to OSHA, no operator or owner can use or promote the use of an aerial lift until they have corrected all noted concerns. A reinspection may be necessary. Keep a record of all inspection, maintenance and repair documents for each piece of equipment.

 

How to Obtain Training and What It Consists Of

Wellbuilt Equipment Inc. is a member of International Powered Access Foundation, which lets us offer aerial lift training for multiple MEWP types, including scissor, boom, mast and compacted track lifts. Aerial training is available at our on-site training facility for seven people per workday. Some parts of the training may also be online. Average class sizes range from one to 20 people, depending on your team, and we are happy to accommodate hands-on driving instructions.

Classes are about four to five hours long, and we can also bring them to your office, warehouse or shop if our on-site location isn’t possible for you. All classes end with a hands-on demonstration of proficiency for each operator.

Many IPAF members issue formal PAL Cards to prove the holder has completed MEWP training with an IPAF partner.

Industry Use Example

Correct MEWP use involves knowing how to raise, lower, navigate, maintain, inspect, operate and troubleshoot all lifts. Safely operating MEWPs is especially critical for arborists, commercial landscapers, contractors and others who work in the tree industry.

Accident statistics show nearly one in five of all MEWP-related deaths involve tree workers. Ensuring thorough and adequate MEWP training and safety standards is one way to combat these risks.

Some safety tips for MEWP operators in this industry include the following:

  • All operators must wear personal fall protection.
  • Never permit operation in low-visibility conditions.
  • Be mindful of environmental factors, like weather and wildlife, that could create a risk for operators.
  • Always have a trained MEWP professional nearby to aid in an emergency.
  • Perform a thorough risk assessment of the site and equipment before using a lift.
  • Train operators and ground workers on the correct way to avoid falling debris and safe positioning on the platform.
  • Know your lift’s specifications, including dimensions, load capacities and weight restrictions.
  • Check the MEWP regularly while in operation to confirm there is no ground sinkage.
  • Never operate damaged or malfunctioning MEWP.

Due to the nature of tree care work, your team may need supplemental or additional MEWP safety training.

Contact Wellbuilt Equipment Inc. to Learn More

Aerial lifts bring versatility to worksites and are an invaluable resource for multiple industries, including tree care. Regular operator training and equipment inspections are essential for the safety of your team and your investment.

At Wellbuilt Equipment Inc., we offer on-site or off-site aerial equipment inspections per manufacturer recommendations. Each inspection comes with a detailed report to help you keep your equipment operational.

You can also take advantage of our IPAF membership by enrolling your crew in an aerial lift training program. We recommend any individual coming into contact with a MEWP or working closely with its operation, including schedulers and inventory managers, take a training class to prepare for the risks of MEWP operation.

Contact a member of our team today to see how we can help your employees stay safe and productive.

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