Compact Equipment

JUN 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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36 Compact Equipment JUNE 2018 "We tend to have more indoor applications in the U.S. than in Europe for compact crawler booms," said Marzicola. "Over in Europe, they tend to be used on narrow, cobblestone streets where bearing weights are very critical, but we've adapted these machines to U.S. applications. So, you go into say a college or university, they've got these beautiful atriums with high ceil- ings, how do you maintain and service those areas? How do you work while protecting the flooring at major airports and museums? The low bearing weight of a compact crawler boom provides you with a solution." The Experience First off, in order to operate a crawler boom lift, operators will require ANSI A92 compliant training. Manufacturers like JLG and even select rental houses and associations can help you to get certified. Some of the things you'll learn as part of the certification are regulations, safety hazards, proper operation, use of safety harnesses and lots more. Luckily, the X430AJ is easy and intuitive to operate. The unit can be operated from ground controls or the basket. Thanks to a handheld unit with a wire, you can step outside the basket to operate it while walking next to the machine. "Non-marking tracks are standard on the unit," pointed out Marzicola as we inspected the X430AJ before operation. "They don't mark the floors which is important to a lot of customers. We offer an optional deep lug for outdoor use for customers who want it." The track undercarriage is nimble. It can spin with a zero-turn radius just like a skid steer, and like a mini excavator it can expand and retract those tracks to help fit through tight situations. With a stowed width of 2 ft, 5 in., the X430AJ easily moves through doorways, gates and garages. The basket will need to be popped off the boom to do that, but with two people it eas- ily comes off in seconds and has caster wheels for rolling separately. Addi- tionally, new designs allow these units to be transported by forklift or crane, thanks to pockets and lifting eyes. "This is the second generation of compact crawler machines," said Marzi- cola. "Along with the lift eyes, we added a 500-lb unrestricted basket capac- ity to this new generation, so we're market leading in that. We're the only company that offers that today. It allows two guys to go up and work in the basket or one with tools and materials." Marzicola and I put that theory to the test. We used three points of con- tact to enter the basket. We hooked our safety harnesses. I gravitated toward the easy-to-read buttons and toggle paddles on the portable controls, which locked into a box on the basket. We found a nice indoor spot in JLG's Cus- tomer Training Center and Proving Grounds and deployed the auto-level outriggers with just the push of a button. I then worked the knuckling boom and jib. The articulated column design gives operators the ability to go up and over and swing in nearly any direction. There's also a final extending orange jib that can articulate 89 degrees for precise maneuverability of the basket. Both the unit's travel and boom function are extremely slow, so oper- ators have plenty of time to observe and react while positioning the machine. While we inspected the ceiling of the Customer Training Center, Marzi- cola discussed the environmental halo of these JLG units. "This is like an electric sports car," he noted. "When we brought this to North America, competitive models offered gas and diesel, and while we do offer those options, JLG pioneered the lithium ion battery in its line of compact crawler booms. In this type of environment, with an engine, you'd have to hook up to those exhaust tubes over there. This unit is clean and quiet. The other thing we're very proud of is that we upgraded, on the second generation, to biodegradable synthetic oil." The X430AJ uses a Lithium-ion 2.0 power system for eco-friendly opera- tion indoors or outdoors. A Honda gas engine and a Kubota diesel power source are also available, offering customers the choice of exclusively diesel-electric or gas powered units. JLG Higher education. OPERATIONAL ADVICE By Randy Marzicola, Director of Business Development at JLG On a compact crawler boom, like any piece of aerial equipment, complete a daily walk-around before operating the machine. Make sure there are no obvi- ous leaks and that there aren't any loose or detached cords or hoses. Always re- member: A lot of aerial equipment is rented, so it's with new operators on an ongoing basis. You don't typically know how it got returned to the shop, so the required daily walkaround becomes even more important to maximize safe operation of the unit. When the machine gets delivered to the jobsite, make sure the rental company conducts machine familiarization with your op- erator. Then the obvious stuff — make sure you're tied off, that you're wearing safety gear and that you're certified to operate the machine. Always familiarize yourself with the operator's manual on the unit you'll be operating.

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