Large truck mounts - pushing the working range

Telematics and working ranges are top of the R&D list as the demand for large lifts grows.

According to Ruthmann, “Large truck mounted platforms are no longer niche products. They are now a fixed standard among customers.”

The company says its 51m working height Steiger T 510 HF was sold last year in the high double-digit range, while the 71m SteigerT 700 HF and 90m T 900 HF are also in high demand.

Roggermaier - Ruthmann Steiger T900 HF A Ruthmann Steiger T900 HF belonging to rental company Roggermaier.

“We see a growing worldwide market for large truck mounts, most driven in North and Latin America,” adds the company, which it serves through parent company Time and Ruthmann Reachmaster.

Ruthmann’s new 100m working height T 1000 HF was announced in June.

The official world premiere will follow at a customer event in 2024. The new advanced truck mount is based on Ruthmann’s existing Steiger T 900 H.

It features the manufacturer’s dual concept, which includes Sky and Height Performance modes, offering operators a wide range of options for different application scenarios. Built on a 53 tonne standard chassis, the platform will be up to 10 tonnes lighter than the competition and offers more outreach, claims the company.

As Ruthmann explains, safety and efficiency are at the centre of R&D, with one of the most significant developments being the integration of telematics.

The company recently launched Ruthmann Technology Connect (RTC), which makes it possible to monitor and manage machines in real time. “This contributes significantly to safety and maintenance, as potential problems can be identified and rectified at an early stage,” said the company.

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Operator aids

Another key element is the model’s Dynamic Reach System (DRS), which provides increased safety by allowing customers to continue working at a lower working height even in adverse conditions, such as strong winds or with a higher payload. The DRS dynamically adjusts the reach of the MEWP to the surrounding conditions.

Alternative drive systems, including hybrid, electric and hydrogen are an important trend in the sector, adds Ruthmann. “In view of increasing environmental requirements and solutions, more and more manufacturers are endeavouring to integrate alternative drives into their work platforms.

“However, conventional drive types are in particularly high demand in the large truck mounted sector. We have a great deal of expertise in the field of alternative drive systems and, thanks to our pioneering role, can react quickly to the opportunities offered by chassis manufacturers.”

A key area of concern is the difficulty in finding operators in the era of reduced labour supply. “It is therefore all the more important that new staff are trained quickly on large equipment and that they enjoy working with it,” says Italy-based Socage.

Digital systems such as the DRS or the RTC telematics systems have been designed to support them in their daily work.

According to Socage the world is changing and asking for new and better ways to communicate with user-focused interaction, this includes the previously raised telematics factor. “Customers deserve to find an answer to their needs in the simplest and most rewarding way.”

As such, the company is continually advancing its Socage Connect diagnostics system to offer fastest possible after-sales service across the world. It is a portal for remote connection with Socage platforms and it helps the diagnostic configuration, planning and update of the platform.

The biggest challenges are to produce higher platforms without sacrificing ease of use and operator safety. “The world needs higher and higher quotas- just think of the world of wind power, which is booming nowadays.”

Socage also offers truck mounts up to 100m working height. The forSte 100TJJ can be installed on trucks with a minimum 52 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW).

The model is equipped with a second jib that allows it to maneuver into positions that would not be possible with a basket, and just one jib.

It can provide up to 99.5m height and 43m of outreach, with 350kg in the basket. The maximum basket payload is 600kg.

As standard, the model is equipped with a 7-inch LCD display which, for example, shows a 2D working area, the status of the limiter, the status of the outriggers, etc. The forSte 100TJJ is also equipped with the multi-zone stabilization system: the operator can choose from a variety of options depending on the space available.

The company is now developing new products to meet the demands of non-European markets while continuing to improve ease of use in the current range.

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North American comparisons

Elliott E190 Elliot Equipment’s E190 carrying out hirewire maintenance in the US.

On the subject of the North American market Jim Glazer, president & CEO of Elliott Equipment Company, says the sector in the US is likewise demanding truck mounts that offer longer reach and higher capacity, but with reduced weight. Additionally, integration of smart technology and connectivity is paramount to streamline operations and offer remote monitoring capabilities.

“The sector is progressively leaning towards equipment that offers enhanced reach, payload capacity, and efficiency, all while maintaining a reduced weight profile. Furthermore, smart connectivity solutions are becoming indispensable, fostering real-time tracking and diagnostics.“

The challenges on the other hand is that upfront cost is a primary deterrent for many considering the use of large truck mounts. Glazer continues, “Some opt for cranes to lift personnel as a cost-saving measure. Although OSHA mandates several pre-lift requirements when using cranes in this manner, often equating to the truck mount costs in terms of time and money, this hasn’t dissuaded certain users.“

However, the size and number of large truck mounts will continue to grow in the future as alternative sources of energy continue to be deployed and utility structures grow taller to accommodate increased capacity.

The company’s latest product is the M87 introduced in late 2022, with a 26.5m (87 ft) aerial mounted on a 11,790 kg (25,999 lb) chassis.

The M87 brings several important features, particularly to users in the USA, including for licensing, material handling, reach and mobility.

Elliott M87 The new M87 aerial from Elliott.

In the US, explains Glazer, it‘s designed such that a commercial driver’s license isn‘t required, permitting anyone with a regular driver‘s license to operate it.

For material handling it supports weight capacities of 500 pounds in the platform and 2,000 pounds in the main boom, with an unrestricted 77ft side reach and 180-degree platform rotation.

In early 2024 the company will be introducing a new ‘max’ version of its E150i 500kV insulated aerial device with a larger work platform and greater platform capacity.

Hybrid plans

Palfinger P 250 BK eDrive Palfinger P 250 BK eDrive

Palfinger launched its all-electric truck mount, the P 250 BK eDrive at the GIS show in Italy during October.

With a maximum working height of 24.7m, and a 4.9 tonne GVW, it is hardly in the class of large truck mounts. However, the electric Iveco Daily chassis is just the first step, says the company, in a long line of green energy equipment to follow.

The manufacturer is now working on hybrid solutions for its truck mounts up to 64m working height.


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Euan Youdale Editor Tel: +44 (0)1892 786 214 E-mail: [email protected]
Lindsey Anderson Editor Tel: +1 312 929 4409 E-mail: [email protected]
Tony Radke Sales Manager Tel: +1 480 478 6302 E-mail: [email protected]
Ollie Hodges Sales Manager Tel: +44 (0)1892 786253 E-mail: [email protected]