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Equipment

JLG Compact Crawler Boom Aces Tests at Michigan High Schools

Case Studies - Jan 18

JLG Compact Crawler Boom Aces Tests at Michigan High Schools

JLG Industries, Inc.
World-leading access equipment manufacturer
____
McConnellsburg, PA

When the JLG X550AJ Compact Crawler Boom left the pool deck at Walled Lake Western High School, Dave Watkins was all smiles. In just two hours, the Compact Crawler Boom solved a problem that had plagued the maintenance supervisor for the last five years. Earlier in the week, it produced similar results at nearby Walled Lake Northern High School.

Walled Lake Consolidated School District, headquartered in Walled Lake, Michigan, includes 24 buildings. Working closely with Watkins at the district, Dave Major, maintenance purchasing agent purchases supplies for all 24 buildings, assists district tradesmen with their purchasing needs and arranges for the rental of lift equipment used throughout the district. A recent search for a lift that could address a variety of challenges at Northern High School led him to Cloverdale Equipment Company, Oak Park, Michigan, and the JLG X550AJ Compact Crawler Boom. 


Compact Crawler Boom solves multiple problems

“We had several challenging projects at the high school that we couldn’t address with our scissor lift,” said Major. “As I went through catalogs looking for a solution, I saw a Compact Crawler Boom, which I thought might solve our problem, so I looked for a company that could supply it to me.”

Cloverdale Equipment Company signed a one-week rental agreement with Major, who used the lift to access lighting over a stairwell. “We had a similar situation in our media center,” he said. “We needed a machine that would extend out over tables, chairs, and computer stations and allow us to access light fixtures. The Compact Crawler Boom did just that.”

The third project also involved lighting, this time in the high school gymnasium. “The lights in the gym are about 40 feet off the ground,” explained Major. “In the past, we used a towable lift, which we had to bring in through double doors. Then, we laid pieces of plywood on the floor to support the lift and protect the gym floor. This operation required four men to operate the lift and play leapfrog with the plywood, moving it ahead of the lift each time we moved the machine across the floor. Using the Compact Crawler Boom made for a much more efficient and productive operation that required no plywood, fewer workers and took less time. We probably cut the time involved by 50 percent using this lift.”

Using the Compact Crawler Boom made for a much more efficient and productive operation that required no plywood, fewer workers and took less time. We probably cut the time involved by 50 percent using this lift.

That’s because the JLG Compact Crawler Boom features non-marking tracks, eliminating the need to lay plywood across the gym floor. The lift’s tracked wheel carriage can climb steps, and its narrow chassis provides access through doorways, gates, and yards. The machine’s environmentally friendly optional Lithium-ion battery ensures zero emission and quiet operation, making it a good choice for indoor work. But it’s the lift’s compact size and lightweight design that suggested to Major another use for the machine – this time at Walled Lake Western High School. 


Swimming pool presents challenge

Several ceiling tiles directly above the school’s pool were broken. Replacing them presented a challenge difficult for the district to overcome.

“Replacing the tiles required booming out over the pool,” said Major. “The problem that presents is twofold: space is tight around the pool deck, and the pool is built above a basement, which limits the amount of weight the pool area can support. It seemed any lift that could fit on the deck and get us to the tiles was too heavy.”

As an alternative, the district considered emptying the pool and erecting scaffolding in the pool area to access the broken tiles. According to Major, this approach proved to be cost prohibitive. “We got a quote to do this, and it was extremely expensive. It just wasn’t practical for the replacement of three tiles, so we were left scratching our heads and under increasing pressure from the Health Department to find a solution.”


Compact Crawler Boom to the rescue

Watching the Compact Crawler Boom at work at Northern High School, Major thought he might finally have the solution Watkins had been searching for. He invited Cloverdale Sales Representative Steve Wozniak to visit Western High School and assess the situation at the pool. 

“I measured the pool deck, calculated the distance to the ceiling and was able to assure Dave the Compact Crawler Boom had the reach, compact footprint, and lightweight chassis to get the job done,” said Wozniak, who then arranged to have the lift moved to Western High School as soon as the work at Northern was completed. “We were able to kill two birds with one stone. It worked out very nicely.”

Major agrees, pointing to the lift’s reach and light weight as keys to the successful completion of the job. “Until this lift came along, it was impossible for a piece of equipment to meet all three of our requirements,” he explained. “We needed reach that could articulate over the pool, dimensions able to fit through a single door, and weight the pool could support.”

Until this lift came along, it was impossible for a piece of equipment to meet all three of our requirements. We needed reach that could articulate over the pool, dimensions able to fit through a single door, and weight the pool could support.

Major was also impressed with the contribution the lift makes to safety and how easy it is to operate, thanks to one-touch outrigger leveling and an interactive display. “Safety was probably the number one reason we used the lift in the stairwell at Northern High School,” he said. “Without it, we would have had to set up an extension ladder with leveling feet, and in a stairwell, that’s not a real safe option.”


Bright future for versatile lift

According to Major, each of the projects that employed the Compact Crawler Boom presented a unique challenge the lift addressed. “It eliminated the need for plywood tracks in the gym to increase job site efficiency. It replaced a ladder in the stairwell for a safer working solution. And, the Compact Crawler Boom allowed us to do what – up until now – we hadn’t been able to do in the pool area, affordably and safely. The equipment worked beautifully, and the people at Cloverdale were fantastic to work with.” 

Major sees a bright future for the Compact Crawler Boom. “To a man, everyone involved with the pool project just raved about this piece of equipment. It’s an amazing lift, and I can tell you, based on our experience with it, I would say the number of tasks this lift is capable of accomplishing is endless. The Compact Crawler Boom is an extremely versatile piece of equipment that can handle a variety of projects efficiently and safely.”

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