One of the most indispensable equipment needed during the construction and maintenance of Metro rails is the Aerial Work Platform (AWP). This device is used to provide temporary access to areas at great heights. The old conventional ways of using ladders or scaffoldings are time consuming, and not convenient or safe. Aerial Work Platforms which are convenient and safe, are extensively used in Metro Rail Systems right from the construction stage to operation and maintenance.
Haulotte, France is a leading brand of Aerial Work Platforms. Gemini Power Hydraulics Pvt. Ltd. is their Authorized Distributors in India. Haulotte has different types of Aerial Work Platforms such as Push Arounds, Scissor Lifts, Vertical Masts and Telescopic & Articulated Boom Lifts.
Quick-up Series Push Arounds
These are available for working heights of 6.7 mtrs. to 14.3 mtrs. The up and down movement is either by battery or 230 V mains supply, while to & fro motion is by pushing manually. These machines are very compact when stowed and can easily fit into a lift for moving from floor to floor. They are suitable for indoor operation and with a lifting capacity of around 150 kgs.
These are self-propelled machines operating on 24 V batteries, for working heights of 6 mtrs. to 10 mtrs. Some models are provided with a small jib which permits a horizontal outreach. Lifting capacity of these machines is around 200 kgs.
These are very versatile self-propelled machines that are available for working heights of 8 mtrs. to 18 mtrs. These are either battery or diesel engine operated. Lifting capacity varies from 250 kgs. to 700 kgs. depending on the model, and for either indoor or outdoor operations. The scissor lifts are provided with extendable platforms.
Telescopic Boom Lifts
As the name suggests, the boom of these machines extends and retracts in a straight line like a telescope. The working heights of these machines vary from 14 to 42 mtrs., with a horizontal outreach varying from 11 to 20 mtrs. These are self propelled machines powered by diesel engines and are generally meant for outdoor operations. They have a lifting capacity of 230 kgs.
Articulating Boom Lifts
These machines are self-propelled units powered either by batteries or by diesel enigines. They are available for working heights of 11.5 to 41.5 mtrs., horizontal outreach of 7 to 20 mtrs, and up and over clearance of 4.7 to 17.3 mtrs. Lift capacity of these machines is upto 250 kgs.
Aerial Work Platforms can be used wherever there is a need to work at heights. In an underground tunnel, these machines are very useful for roof-bolting, guniting or shotcreteing and finishing works. For these applications, either Scissors or Booms are used. Similarly, in an Elevated Rail System, these machines are needed for working on the tracks on the elevated columns and other finishing works. The Push Around and Vertical Mast models are suitable in carrying out maintenance and house-keeping works at the stations, lobbies, concourses, and platforms.
Benefits of AWP in Metro Rail Systems:
- Productivity: Productivity achieved can be 4 to 6 times higher than that achieved by using ladders or scaffolds.
- Convenience & Operator Fatigue: There is no need to assemble and dismantle the equipment and also carry them from one location to another. You can simply drive it or easily push it.
- Safety: Operational safety is the biggest consideration in Haulotte Aerial Work Platforms. Various features include:
- Overload – Overload alarm and cut-off stops the machine in case of overload.
- Fall Protection – Anchoring points on the platform of the machine prevent any accidental fall.
- Brake Failure – The machine is in constant state of brake engaged which is only released on command. If the brake fails, the machine will not move and a manual brake release system will have to be applied.
- Higher Tilt Condition – All functions are cut-off and operation is prohibited if the tilt is more than 3 degrees.
- Electronic, Electrical & Hydraulic Failure – In the event of total failure of these functions, the machine can be retracted with the help of a manual hand pump, and operator will not be stranded on the platform.
- Speed Risks – In an elevated condition, the drive micro speed of the machine is activated to maintain safety of the operator and the machine.
All the above features make the Haulotte machine one of the safest machines for operation and use. Haulotte machines fully comply with CE requirements and regulations which is considered to be most stringent amongst all international regulations.