Aerial Work Platform A Rising Industry
The Aerial Work Platform market is buoyant with demand outpacing supply, despite the rising prices and increased competition from second-hand imports. However, manufacturers, undeterred by the challenging situation, are bringing newer and more advanced solutions designed to meet customer requirements more ably. NBM&CW reports.

The fast-paced activities being witnessed in the AWP segment is indicative of the rising opportunities for this range of equipment. According to top aerial work platform (AWP) manufacturers, the current delivery lead time for their equipment is close to one year, and sometimes even more, compared to the lead time of 3 to 4 months a few years back. The offtake of all types of AWP equipment like scissor lifts, articulated telescopic boom lifts, telescopic boom lifts, and push-around trolleys has been firming up since October 2021. Demand is coming both from rental agencies as well as the end-users. The upswing in demand is due to work restarting on projects that were put on hold during the lockdown period.

With the increasing focus on safety at jobsites, the preference is shifting to safe working practices over traditional solutions, and customers are beginning to realise and appreciate the usage and importance of AWPs. Going forward, as customers become more well versed with the inherent safety and productivity of AWPs, this segment of machines is likely to grow rapidly, and manufacturers will have to gear up fast to meet demand.

The demand and supply situation has been further compounded by the fact that AWP manufacturers, both domestic and global, are facing a shortage of critical components like semiconductors, load cells, and hydraulic systems. This shortage has resultantly pushed up the cost of the AWPs whilst competition has increased with the continued import of second-hand AWPs.

Amidst the challenges, manufacturers are competing on various grounds like bringing cost efficiency and product support, and, most importantly, making advancements in their AWP’s structural design for better stability and safety, and integrating high-tech control systems and sensors, so that their customers can achieve higher productivity and get value for their money.

JCB India
Deepak Shetty, CEO & MD, JCB India
JCB India’s AWP machines, which were exported worldwide, are now also available in the Indian market. These Made in India AWPs conform to ISO 16368 Type-3 class and EN280 - EU’s highest product quality standards. “Our AWPs are built to one global quality and have proven themselves over the years in a variety of applications. Each product has been innovatively designed and built to international standards so that our customers can have a long and trouble-free ownership experience,” says Deepak Shetty, CEO & MD, JCB India. “Till recently, the demand in the Indian market for AWPs was catered through imports for both second-hand and new machines. But now, users can buy new machines like ours that are engineered and manufactured in India and come with the full support and services,” he added.

JCB’s self-propelled electric scissors provide safer access to personnel and equipment at heights. They have fully proportional raise and drive controls that allow easy loading and unloading. Easy to use spring clips allow the platform rails to fold down for manoeuvring in confined spaces. From a safety point of view, pivot bosses add stability and rigidity to the product and reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries and equipment damage. On-screen diagnostics, independent circuit protection, hydraulic and electrical accessibility improve the serviceability and reliability of the equipment.

Enumerating the benefits of AWPs, Shetty says, “AWPs have a variety of application uses and they can replace ladders and scaffolding and bring more safety and speed in completing jobs. At JCB, we are constantly exploring new applications and sectors for our AWP machines, which have better component protection like the wheel motor protection plate and have distinct advantages due to their sensors and control systems like tilt sensing, load sensing, pothole protection, and intuitive control system, which make them inherently safe. Features like ramp climbing up to 25% gradeability, easy tie-down points, good ground clearance and towing options make transportation simpler.”

“For market growth, the foremost requirement for companies is to have safety regulations for equipment usage at heights. We firmly believe that safety is paramount in any worksite and that complete adherence to safety regulations will accelerate demand and use of AWP machines.”

He informs, “As the markets develop, we will introduce more machines to meet specific customer needs. In fact, applications in the construction, rental and other industries are set to grow due to the Government’s focus on infrastructure development. The rental market for AWP equipment in India is largely an unorganised or a semi-organised sector, and is still developing, so there is a lot of growth potential both in terms of the number of companies and their size.”

JCB’s AWPs come with a one-year standard warranty and the company has the industry’s finest product support network, a 24x7 customer support centre that provides assistance in 12 languages, and 5 warehouses stocking spare parts. Shetty adds, “At the time of installing an AWP machine at the customer site, we train the customer and their team on daily maintenance and operations. Our dealer partners also provide on-site parts and maintenance.”

Haulotte India
HAULOTTE is a French MNC and one of the TOP 3 Full Range AWP manufacturers in the world. Way back in 1985 Haulotte was the first European manufacturer who got into the business of designing and producing AWPs. In the past 37 years, the company has taken successful rapid strides with its excellence to become one of the most popular brand of AWP in the world.

To improve upon its customers’ total cost of operations, despite the higher initial costs of its AWPs, Haulotte has been working on a strategy since 2018 to be more future-ready, by preparing for emerging application requirements of its customers.

Souma Ray, Director, Haulotte India
“We have now become a ‘Blue Company’ by virtue of our electrified and battery-driven solutions,” informs Souma Ray, Director, Haulotte India. “We are offering a Full range of AWPs of different variants for working at both higher and shorter heights and have been designed to give enhanced productivity, whilst maintaining the highest safety standards.”

“Our PULSEO range of 20m electric Rough Terrain articulated boom lifts and 15/18 meters electric Rough terrain Scissor lifts have been made for both indoor and outdoor use. Because of their silent operation they can be used even in silence zones for facility management services etc. and also put to rugged outdoor industrial use. What sets our PULSEO range apart from competition is that we offer a 5 year warranty on this range of machine. In fact Haulotte is the only manufacturer who provides such a warranty to its customers. Further work is on to add more machines to this range. Meanwhile in mid-2021 we also launched our new 16m Electric Articulating Boom SIGMA16 which supercedes our very popular HA15IP model. This new model is in line to our very popular RTJ range architecture and the best state-of-the-art machine in terms of features, specifications and very easy to use and maintain,” he adds.

Haulotte India

Haulotte's new generation AWPs come with Haulotte ACTIV SCREEN which is embedded on the lower ground control panel and it provides real time information of all parameters of the machine and also acts as the diagnostic tool for fault troubleshooting, identification and possible rectification process with exact location and pictorial description diagnosis of the equipment. Load cells provide tilt sensing for better stability. The telescopic, articulated boom and scissor lifts (PULSEO range) have active shield bars which is an anti-entrapment device for enhanced safety. Haulotte Booms come with many unique add on features like the ACTIV Lighting system, Stop emission system which automatically shuts down the engine when idling during work for over 90 seconds. Once the operator wants to restart the engine he has to just press the deadman pedal. "Our aim is to enable our customers to derive a better cost of ownership."

Electromech Material Handling Systems
Kedar Mehendale, Director, Electromech Material Handling Systems
Electromech is positioning itself strongly to cater to the diverse AWP application needs of the Indian market, with its wide range of products designed to work at various heights. Says Kedar Mehendale, Director, Electromech Material Handling Systems, “We have battery driven scissor lifts of upto16 meters workable heights and diesel power scissor lifts up to 18 meters. Our articulated boom lifts can cater to 26 meter working heights and our telescopic boom lifts can work up to 48 meters. We are also offering vertical masts up to 10 meter working heights. All our products have safety feature like biometric access, platforms with wire mesh, anti-collision device etc. We are confident of our products’ reliability, durability, and high performance as we have used components sourced from globally reputed vendors.”

Electromech Material Handling Systems
Our machines are configured using components from the top notch vendors world-wide as the product sell not just in India, but Globally in Americas, Europe & Asia.

Hence the maintenance of equipment becomes real easy. Furthermore, our own firm Cranedge is a renowned organization, providing high quality services in the material handling domain.

There is team of specialists in Cranedge, who not only ensures high uptime of the AWP’s through services & on-call support, but also deliver thorough operator training during the handing over of our equipment.

We do preventive maintenance visits during the warranty period, and offer lucrative annual maintenance contracts. This not only ensures uptime, but also helps project required parts as we maintain a healthy inventory of critical spares in our stock.

India is a market to various brands of AWP’s and is also quality conscious at the same time. The brands delivery ,value & total cost of ownership “Value delivered” by organizations will ultimately supersede the pricing barrier, if the total cost of ownership is seen by customers.

NB Equipments & Engineering PL
Nilesh Bhorkar, Chairman & Managing Director, NB Equipments & Engineering PL (NBEE)
Looking to offer more cost-effective AWP solutions to the Indian market, NB Equipments & Engineering PL has begun producing 25-meter truck-mounted articulated booms with carrier attachment, at its Thane facility, under the Make in India initiative. Informs Nilesh Bhorkar, Chairman & Managing Director, NB Equipments & Engineering PL (NBEE), “Our aim is to be a gamechanger in the truck-mounted AWP market of India by offering AWPs with advanced features like a Dual Operating option as Diesel Engine or Electric Motor with complete safety system such as moment limiter, load limiter and other components sourced from manufacturers of repute. Our equipment comes with a level sensor, which ensures higher safety, making the equipment highly suitable for construction and maintenance of elevated roads, Metros, Bullet Train, expressways, utilities in smart cities, and for municipal applications like trimming of tree branches.”

The NBEE 25A truck-mounted AWP with articulated boom lift can work at heights of 12-25 meters. It comes with four inclined outriggers, an automatic balance control system, and a vertical jacking control. NBEE 25A can be offered with the chassis of Ashok Leyland Partner, Swaraj Mazda, Eicher, TATA with a permissible mounting vehicle of minimum GVW 7200 kg. The company also provides the brackets and auxiliary systems for mounting the boom onto the truck chassis.

“We are targeting AWP rental agencies and end-users/contractors. We are confident that our truck-mounted AWPs for quicker redeployment will be seen as more commercially viable, especially for rental companies that have numerous jobs in hand,” says Bhorkar.

NB Equipments & Engineering PL

For applications at higher heights of its truck mounted AWPs, NBEE is making articulated boom lifts of 45-60 meters under a technical collaboration with Turkish company Hidrokon; and solutions of telescopic boom lifts 29-75 meters in collaboration with Korean company Jinwoo. Adds Bhorkar, “This equipment for use in higher applications will give better ease of operation, enable better maintenance and safer usage as per European standards, especially in cement, steel, and power industries.”

M. N. Engineering Solutions
Mohd Asif Iqbal, Managing Partner of M. N. Engineering Solutions
M. N. Engineering solutions entered in a tie-up with Zoomlion Heavy Industries Ltd. in January 2021 for distributing Zoomlion’s full range of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWP) i.e. Scissor Lifts & Self Propelled Boom Lifts in the Indian market, informs Mohd Asif Iqbal, Managing Partner of M. N. Engineering Solutions. Zoomlion was among the top 5 construction equipment manufacturer worldwide in Y’2021 and this association intends to replicate the success in MEWP range in India as well.

The CE/ANSI/CSA Certified Zoomlion MEWPs’ (available up to 68-Mtr working height range) score high on performance - their high quality rigid structure, advance hydraulics, use of reputed components and globally accepted safety features make them more reliable, productive and stable equipment.

Zoomlion range of Battery Scissor Lifts & Boom lifts is available with maintenance free Lithium-Iron Phosphate Battery option also, which means higher availability of the machine and peace of mind for the customer. He adds, “We are witnessing a major shift from diesel powered equipment to greener & environment-friendly electric equipment in India; Zoomlion’s initiative in this area will therefore help establish its MEWP’s in Indian market.”

M. N. Engineering Solutions

M. N. Engineering also exclusively distributes Liftmak range of Hydraulic Platforms for Fire-Fighting & Rescue operations of 22 to 62-mtr working height range. Liftmak Udyog is the only company in India manufacturing Truck mounted Hydraulic Platforms up to 62m working height - mounted on Tata, Mahindra, Bharat Benz or Volvo Eicher Chassis as per customers’ preference. He adds, “the availability of indigenously manufactured AWP’s upto 62-mtr height range will allow customers distinct price benefit and prompt service & spare parts availability, that has otherwise been a major concern for imported AWP users.”

Additionally, M. N. Engineering Solutions is North India distributor for BYD range of Li-Iron Phosphate based MHEs (Forklifts & Warehousing range) and for Escorts Construction Equipment’s new Whiteline range comprising of Mobile Cranes, Backhoe Loaders and Road Equipment like Compactors & Rollers for Delhi/NCR territory."
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