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Innovations

A Look at JLG’s Boom Lift Load Sensing System

Blog Posts - Jun 21

A Look at JLG’s Boom Lift Load Sensing System

Nate Hoover
Director - Product Management, Boom Lifts
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JLG Industries

To be in compliance with updated ANSI A92 and CSA B354 industry standards, load sensing systems (LSS), also known as overload systems, are now required on all MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms) in North America. 

This means that every MEWP (formerly known as aerial work platforms), including boom lifts (articulating and telescopic), must include a load sensor to continuously monitor platform weight. 

The standards also stipulate that the load sensing system must disable machine functions if the load is above the platform load limit, within the respective work envelope.

These systems also need to include audio and visual warnings to help equipment operators remain within the capacity limits of the machine when working at height. It is important to know what these alarms mean, as well as what to do to resolve an overload situation.

With the addition of these new requirements to the standards, boom lift manufacturers, including JLG, have looked to incorporate technologies that will help operators determine if the platform has been overloaded beyond the machine’s acceptable operating limits — without sacrificing productivity.
JLG Boom Load Sensing System Features
JLG’s load-sensing solution
At JLG, we approached compliance from the vantage point of not only meeting, but also exceeding the requirements, with productivity features that add value to both the owner and the operator. Our solution is an innovative automatic load sensing system that not only enhances safety but eliminates guesswork for equipment operators. 

The JLG load sensing system is designed to keep the machine within the allowable work envelope by limiting range depending on platform load. It alerts an operator when the acceptable limit of the work envelope is exceeded and enables the operator to boom down or retract into a higher capacity zone to continue working.

To meet the new load sensing requirement for example, in additional to bringing existing models up to the new standards, we expanded the allowable work envelope through the introduction of a new line of JLG® Hi-Capacity HC3 booms. HC3 stands for hi-capacity machines that allow up to three occupants across all working zones — 660 /750 /1,000-lb (299.37/340.19/453.59 kg). These JLG boom lifts are designed to allow users the ability to bring more people and more materials to the job at height. 

The JLG load sending solution is a zero-load calibration system. The zero-calibration feature eliminates the need to use external weights to calibrate the load cell. This saves time and effort because the unit can be recalibrated to full capacity without using or storing a load weight.

How the JLG load sensing system works
JLG’s load sensor is located in the platform’s support structure, below and behind the operator controls, as illustrated in the images here.

When an operator, occupants and/or equipment is in the platform, the JLG load sensor recognizes the total platform load and sends a signal to the machine’s software system. The system then evaluates the platform load against the available platform capacity and determines if the machine can continue to operate.  

As the platform position changes, this signal is repeatedly compared to the rated capacity. If the platform is moved into a new position, and the platform load exceeds the new rated capacity, the system recognizes and responds to this overload condition with lights, alarm and potential function interruption. At this point to clear the overload condition, operators must remove weight from the platform at its current height, or they can boom down, into an allowable operating zone or to the ground to remove weight.

Advantages of JLG’s load-sensing solution
There are a couple of ways in which a MEWP (formerly known as an aerial work platforms) can be overloaded: Adding too much weight to the platform on the ground or adding weight to the platform while elevated. This means that operators need to pay close attention to what’s contributing to the boom lift’s load. 

For example, the machine’s load capacity is not just calculated by the number and weight of people on the platform — it also includes tools, materials and personal gear (hard hats, tool belts, jackets, boots, etc.). The machine’s load sensors will also capture any weight added by what the machine may come into contact with during work at height, such as ceiling joists, rafters, beams and window ledges. 

In all of these situations, JLG’s load sensor technology is advanced enough to allow operators to respond to an overload situation, quickly and easily. By simply removing or unloading items from the machine’s platform, whether at height or on the ground, a JLG boom lift will recognize when its back within its rated load capacity, enabling operations to resume without the need to recalibrate, restart or manually reset the machine.

For more information about how JLG MEWPs comply with industry standards, click here. To learn more about JLG electric- and hybrid-powered boom lifts, click here. And, for details on JLG engine-powered boom lifts, click here

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