As we are starting to see signs of the global markets returning to business as usual, there’s reason to be optimistic that 2021 will see construction activity begin to pick back up. And because boom lifts are common, highly utilized job site tools, we anticipate the telescopic boom lift market faring well in the economic recovery.
Below are insights on trends that we believe will drive this positive momentum…
Current trends in the telescopic boom lift market
The biggest trend in the telescopic boom lift market continues to be in compliance with the updated ANSI A92 and CSA B354 standards in North America. Based on the revised machine design standards in the US and Canada, we have seen increased demand for higher capacity machines* because of the required the addition of load sensing systems in compliant equipment. These systems prevent a machine from operating outside its allowable work envelope based on the weight in the platform.
At JLG, we approach compliance from the vantage point of not only meeting but also exceeding the requirements with innovative features that add value to the owner/operator. To meet the new load sensing requirement for example, instead of just modifying our existing models, we expanded the allowable work envelope through the introduction a new line of HC3 (High capacity, 3-occupants across 3-zones – 660-, 750- and 1,000 lb) booms. These JLG® boom lifts allow customers the ability to bring more people and more materials to the work area for greater productivity. HC3 models are heavier weight than their standard boom counterparts for added durability; however, they retain the same footprint for ease of transport and use
In addition to the higher capacity, the JLG load sensing solution is a zero-load calibration system. This means that customers don’t need any complex technical support or a 1,000-lb reference weight to load in the platform to set the calibration.
A bright spot for JLG telescopic boom lifts in 2021 is that we are seeing a lot of interest for specialty machines, such as the JLG® 670SJ self-leveling boom lift (a machine that boasts a very unique feature that allows the machine to automatically level on grades up to 10 degrees when in self-leveling mode), in the heavy/civil construction sector, which we launched at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in 2020. We anticipate this product, which will be available later this year, to really take off in the market. For more information
Driving the future trends for telescopic boom lifts
One of the biggest responsibilities we have today as the leading global aerial equipment manufacturer is the need to continually evolve and introduce technologies and features that will enable our customers to be more successful, safer and increasingly efficient on the job.
By understanding the needs of our customers and what they expect from us, we are able to focus on developing enhancements that make JLG equipment safer and more intuitive to operate. We do this by focusing on elevating the access industry in three key areas: Productivity, Safety and Technology.
The pain points we observe directly drive our innovation process. We like to call this “customer-inspired innovation.” And, our recent innovations have provided specific solutions for issues we discovered across multiple job sites around the world, including the need to:
- Reduce maintenance costs
- Address challenging job site ground conditions
- Increase productivity within space-restricted areas
- Work continuously, without interruptions
- Meet the requirements of indoor-only applications
- Mitigate job site risks
- Comply with industry standards and regulations
- Innovate to solve industry challenges
To this point, our customers have appreciated many of the new features and options that we have recently added that increase versatility or enhanced safety in our telescopic booms, such as LED displays for better visibility, external bolt on fall arrest for work outside the platform, a platform mesh kit to keep contents inside the platform without impeding the view of the work area, while permitting airflow, SkySense® enhanced detection system and SkyGuard™ Skyline™ and SkyGuard SkyEye™ enhanced control panel protection.
Changes coming in the telescopic boom lift market in the near future
We suspect many of the changes we see will be around technology and connected solutions will make these machines more intuitive to use and will drive safety and productivity gains.
For example, every job site has its unique specifications and requirements, which means that selecting the right boom lift for the application can often be challenging. Augmented reality (AR) technology can make machine selection more intuitive by offering machine visualization that enables users to place “to-scale” 3D machine models into the actual work environments the boom lifts will be used in, which can help determine if the particular machine can be used in the space it will need to maneuver.
Virtual reality (VR) technology will help advance boom lift operator training through life-like simulators that provide trainees the opportunity to improve controls familiarization and practice operating equipment long before stepping foot into a physical machine.
Technology like electronic detection systems can help make boom lift operators more aware on the job site by giving them a better sense of their immediate surroundings, increasing protection of people and property.
Building information modeling (BIM) with model specification information ensure that architects and design engineers are selecting equipment suitable for both the short- and long-term job site needs to efficiently, and effectively, complete the necessary work at height.
And, once a MEWP is selected, mobile apps can improve the operator’s experience with the machine before work begins, like accessing information on safety decals, such as current ISO symbols, as well as to see an overlay of a specific machine’s control panel with explanations of its functions prior to machine operation.
Because 2020 was an unpredictable year, we are cautious to make any predictions about the markets in 2021 — there continue to be so many unknowns. But in general, we are optimistic about the future and what is happening in the telescopic boom lift market.Want to stay up to date with industry news and trends similar to this? Make sure you subscribe below to receive monthly updates from Direct Access with newly posted content so you never miss important information.