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Equipment

JLG Lift Keeps Flagship Entertainment Venue Rockin’

Case Studies - Jan 18

JLG Lift Keeps Flagship Entertainment Venue Rockin’

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

When Rod Stewart fans flocked to the veteran rocker’s sold-out performance in Glasgow, Scotland, last September, they were among the first people to enjoy a show in the city’s new flagship concert arena – the SSE Hydro.

The SSE Hydro is part of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center (SECC) campus along the northern bank of the River Clyde. Designed by London-based architects Foster + Partners, the flexible venue hosts national and international music stars as well as global entertainment and sporting events. A combination of fixed, retractable, and removable seats enables a wide range of different staging layouts. The facility can accommodate up to 13,000 people depending on configuration. The roof of the arena spans 394 feet in a shallow dome of diagonally latticed steelwork. Inside the spaceship-shaped 148-foot-high dome, spectators at the Rod Stewart show were awed by panoramic views of the River Clyde, excellent stage visibility, high-quality acoustics and a stunning light show.

JLG 1500SJ is the right machine for the job

This venue that spectators find so spectacular presents special challenges to those charged with keeping the facility operational, including Building Services Manager Jim Milne. Even before the structure was complete, Milne knew he would need to purchase a new piece of equipment to access the ceiling and the arena’s lighting system. He carefully researched his options, asking representatives of Lend Lease, the company that constructed the arena, and others to help him identify the right machine for the job. In the end, Milne selected the JLG 1500SJ telescopic boom lift.

Milne was already familiar with JLG products because the SECC owns three JLG 660SJ boom lifts and several scissor lifts for servicing the SECC campus. Said Milne, “We have a 19-year track record with JLG that has always been good. JLG products can be trusted, which helped me make a decision as I shopped for a new, larger lift.” According to Milne, the 1500SJ “was the only piece of equipment that was self-contained and able to reach 150 feet. This allows us access to 90 percent of what we need to access in the new arena.”

We have a 19-year track record with JLG that has always been good. JLG products can be trusted, which helped me make a decision as I shopped for a new, larger lift.

Although arena employees were already trained to operate the smaller JLG boom lifts, they received two days of additional onsite training to operate the larger 1500SJ. Milne noted, “Our experience with mobile access equipment makes this machine relatively easy to operate. It just takes some adjustment to the added height.”


The 1500SJ is a “work horse”

In addition to accessing lighting fittings in the dome, the 1500SJ plays an important role in preparing the seating area for performances. According to Milne, when the arena does not sell out, the SECC is required to close off empty seating areas with black drapes.

“The drapes are suspended from trussing that hangs from the roof structure on motorized hoists. These are collectively operated from a controller on the lighting rig in the middle of the arena bowl. When not required, the drapes are tied up to the trusses and the trusses are raised out of sight above the bowl. When needed, the trusses are lowered, the drapes unfurled, and the trusses are then raised back up, leaving the drapes in place.” The 1500SJ is also used to service and maintain the truss motors, chains, shackles, and lifting eyes. 

Since purchasing the 1500SJ, Milne and his employees have found other uses for it, including loading and unloading equipment and materials for events. Outside, the machine provides access to high-level lights positioned around the circumference of the building. It’s used to clean the external surfaces of the translucent film that wraps the building, allowing sunlight in during the day and creating a glowing effect from the building lights at night.

When not in service, the 1500SJ is stored in the bowl or outside in the service yard, depending on activity in the arena. However, with concerts scheduled approximately every two days and an anticipated 140 events annually, the machine sees little downtime.

With concerts scheduled approximately every two days and an anticipated 140 events annually, the machine sees little downtime.

“On the contrary,” said Milne. “The 1500SJ is used whenever we have an event, and often in between events. It really is a workhorse that does everything we ask it to do.”


The JLG 1500SJ has a platform height of 150 feet and a dual 1,000/500-pound capacity. It’s ideal for general contractors, glaziers, window cleaners, and welders, as well as others who need to work higher and reach farther. It features a telescoping jib for greater work envelope flexibility and additional outreach at elevation.

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