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New Technologies That Will Impact the Access Industry in 2018

Expert Panel
Various industry experts share their insights
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Industry Trends

New Technologies That Will Impact the Access Industry in 2018

Expert Q&A - Apr 18

What technologies do you think will make the biggest impact in 2018?

One group of technologies that will undoubtedly have a big impact this year is the one related to the new ANSI A92 standards. Although most of the technology related to platform load sensing and tilt angle sensing has been in use in other areas of the world for years, it and its effects will take some getting used to in North America.

For example, operators are used to aerial work platforms that have a stated capacity but no monitoring system or a monitoring system that warns them when they are overloaded but does not stop operation. The new standard will require the safety system to stop operation when a platform is overloaded. The first time (or maybe the first few times) a lift stops working, users will not understand why. Experts predict that many service calls will turn out to be caused not by machine malfunctions but because the safety system was working properly and prevented operation when the platform was overloaded.

Experts predict that many service calls will turn out to be caused not by machine malfunctions but because the safety system was working properly and prevented operation when the platform was overloaded.

I think this year we may see more electronic anti-collision technology introduced. For example, sensors that provide warning and operational restriction to avoid potholes and ground obstructions, such as parking bumpers. Also, similar technology may be aimed at avoiding overhead obstructions.   

Telematics should also make strides this year, both in terms of fleet management and in terms of troubleshooting and preventive maintenance.

And although it’s not directly on-machine technology, I am certain that new technology and organization will result in faster parts delivery. Over the past year, several major manufacturers of aerial lifts have developed modern, technologically advanced parts distribution centers aimed at making ordering easier and delivering parts more quickly. The Amazon Effect has hit the aerial industry.

- answer provided by Mike Larson, editorial director of Lift and Access

 

Data, data, data. The more sophisticated and technology-focused operations become, the more information we have available at our fingertips. But how we utilize that information is vital. Rental software is becoming smarter and more embedded than ever before. Gone are the days when simple engine-hour monitoring and fuel consumption were of priority. Now, rental fleet owners can track driving routes, create job site parameters from a smartphone and even offer pre-start inspection directions (and verification of said duty).

Gone will be the days when a service person had to be sent to a site to inspect a machine; instead, we will remotely diagnose issues and know exactly what needs to be fixed before sending anyone anywhere.

I see companies become “smarter.” Gone will be the days when a service person has to be sent to a site to inspect a machine; instead, we will remotely diagnose issues and know exactly what needs to be fixed before sending anyone anywhere.

- answer provided by Lindsey Anderson, editor of Access, Lift & Handlers

 

Some of the usual suspects should continue to make an impact in 2018, such as hybrid and electric power advances, telematics and GPS. Using technology to improve customer relations is a focus of some of the national equipment rental companies, and other regional or local rental businesses are trying to do the same on a smaller scale. Using telematics, GPS and more to help rental customers better utilize equipment on rent is something we are likely to see offered by more rental companies.

Sensor technology also has made great strides, which helps with the safe operation of drones and brings us closer to driverless equipment and/or vehicles. Combining existing technologies also could make an impact as companies look for better ways to provide information. For example, Billy Goat Industries has moved to a text-to-video program that allows the user of a sod cutter to text “SOD” to a certain number and then receive an instructional video on how to operate the machine directly to the user’s smartphone.

- answer provided by Wayne Walley, editor-in-chief of Rental Management Group

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JLG Industries, Inc. is the world's leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of access equipment. The Company's diverse product portfolio includes leading brands such as JLG® aerial work platforms; JLG, SkyTrak® and Lull® telehandlers; and an array of complementary accessories that increase the versatility and efficiency of these products. JLG is an Oshkosh Corporation Company [NYSE: OSK].
An Oshkosh Corporation Company