Aerial Lift Wisdom

decreppo

Member
Location
Charlottesville
I am looking for information and insights from aerial lift operators. I will be training some crew members on how to operate a CMC ArborPro 83HD+ and want to hear what YOU would warn them about. What tips do you have for new operators? These are professional climbers already who may also have experience with a bucket truck.

What close calls have you had? What tricks have you learned? What are some important ANSI standards? What mistakes have you made or heard of? Anyone ever tip one of these or a similar one over?

I’d like to gather as much wisdom on operating these machines as possible. They are a powerful tool but can also cause headaches if not used correctly so I’d love to hear your experience with them.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Set ups are what I find to be very very important

hoofs have to be level and center of sliding pads

Ground solid or Alturna Matt’s
Having all ground men keeping an eye on the pads

Aware of septic fields and tanks even if they have sewer if house is old enough may have abandoned septic tank and field

understanding the machine
Emergency let down(5 deferent ways on a 83hd)
All the movements and collision system
Properly folding the lift up

keeping the lift level in driving it before it locks you out

always keeping the tracks as wide as possible

try to only adjust tracks in and out up In the air

keeping the remote inside the truck if not being used $7000 mistake
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Location
Evansville
Be mindful of booming past your rigging point to the far side of the tree. I've had a log in this position not get run to the ground and the arc of the rigging sent it into the boom of the lift.

The solution:
1) make sure the piece runs
2)set a redirect to prevent a large swing towards the boom
3) move the lift for a better angle to finish the tree.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
Be mindful of booming past your rigging point to the far side of the tree. I've had a log in this position not get run to the ground and the arc of the rigging sent it into the boom of the lift.

The solution:
1) make sure the piece runs
2)set a redirect to prevent a large swing towards the boom
3) move the lift for a better angle to finish the tree.
I’ll second that one. I had a log wallop my boom a couple years ago hard enough to dent the boom. It was quite a shock to me up in the air, too!
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
keeping the remote inside the truck if not being used $7000 mistake
Wow that’s expensive! I wondered what those things cost. We demoed the new Bandit stump grinder, with remote control, and one of my fears was someone forgetting the remote and driving over it with a truck. I’m glad no one did!
 

decreppo

Member
Location
Charlottesville
Set ups are what I find to be very very important

hoofs have to be level and center of sliding pads

Ground solid or Alturna Matt’s
Having all ground men keeping an eye on the pads

Aware of septic fields and tanks even if they have sewer if house is old enough may have abandoned septic tank and field

understanding the machine
Emergency let down(5 deferent ways on a 83hd)
All the movements and collision system
Properly folding the lift up

keeping the lift level in driving it before it locks you out

always keeping the tracks as wide as possible

try to only adjust tracks in and out up In the air

keeping the remote inside the truck if not being used $7000 mistake
I am aware of the emergency let down procedures, but am not sure what “5 different ways” you are referring to. Can you elaborate on that for me?

Has anyone found any preventive maintenance tips that they wish they new beforehand that would have saved them big money? Anything that is prone to failure?
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
I am aware of the emergency let down procedures, but am not sure what “5 different ways” you are referring to. Can you elaborate on that for me?

Has anyone found any preventive maintenance tips that they wish they new beforehand that would have saved them big money? Anything that is prone to failure?
1 basket controls
2 remote
3 ground
4 electric (engine not working)
5 manual pump

Lube all micro switches
Grease tracks
Grease turret
Clean extension
 

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Frankkytree

New Member
Location
Covington
When the mechanic came to service our lift it was a great time to pick his brain on service and tips for maintenance. Because some things had changed since the machine was bought. Oddly some mechanics have different procedures for parts. We had to replace our remote because water had gotten into it, so one mechanic said to do it a certain way vs another. Not a huge deal. I’m wondering if anyone has a recommendation on rappelling out of the basket? There’s a place to connect the lanyard for the fall arrest harness, but I’m not sure how one would attach to it for a rappel out? I’ve not seen any videos or info on how to rappel out of it? Here’s a pic of the lift in action.
 

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VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
When the mechanic came to service our lift it was a great time to pick his brain on service and tips for maintenance. Because some things had changed since the machine was bought. Oddly some mechanics have different procedures for parts. We had to replace our remote because water had gotten into it, so one mechanic said to do it a certain way vs another. Not a huge deal. I’m wondering if anyone has a recommendation on rappelling out of the basket? There’s a place to connect the lanyard for the fall arrest harness, but I’m not sure how one would attach to it for a rappel out? I’ve not seen any videos or info on how to rappel out of it? Here’s a pic of the lift in action.
My crew and I have discussed it but I suppose never came up with a answer besides

5 different let down procedures on the lift

or hopefully tie into a tree

our tie in point is below our knees outside the bucket
 

Frankkytree

New Member
Location
Covington
My crew and I have discussed it but I suppose never came up with a answer besides

5 different let down procedures on the lift

or hopefully tie into a tree

our tie in point is below our knees outside the bucket
These are good points, and I suppose the likelihood of needing to rappel out tying off in basket is low. Our tie in point is inside basket and below knees. If I come up with something though, I’ll try to share it on here!
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
Today I ordered 36 x 36 DICA outrigger pads 1” thick
Our sliding pads on our 83HD do flex when setting up in wet or soft setups (been locked out once)
So normally we use Alturna mat 4 x 8
But we can store the 36x36 under the lift on our truck
 

decreppo

Member
Location
Charlottesville
We have never had to have someone rappel off the lift, but did have it lock out once, forcing the operator to rappel off a nearby tree (thankfully there was one right next to the lift to do this). I keep those same outrigger pads in the truck and several blocks of wood of varying sizes to make sure the pads are always flat. I set up on a hill once where the pads were slanted and as soon as the lift was off the ground, it slid a couple inches - yikes! Definitely always make sure your pads are level before picking up the lift.

If I were to rappel off the lift I would probably put a friction saver through each of the tie in points and rappel off of that.

@Frankkytree what model lift is that in your picture? I notice your feet are black and not red.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
We have never had to have someone rappel off the lift, but did have it lock out once, forcing the operator to rappel off a nearby tree (thankfully there was one right next to the lift to do this). I keep those same outrigger pads in the truck and several blocks of wood of varying sizes to make sure the pads are always flat. I set up on a hill once where the pads were slanted and as soon as the lift was off the ground, it slid a couple inches - yikes! Definitely always make sure your pads are level before picking up the lift.

If I were to rappel off the lift I would probably put a friction saver through each of the tie in points and rappel off of that.

@Frankkytree what model lift is that in your picture? I notice your feet are black and not red.
What model lift slid on you?
We had a nifty 34tn slide on us (scary) fortunately no one got hurt
Outrigger level and never go up with turret going downhill only going up uphill
 

decreppo

Member
Location
Charlottesville
the outrigger pads actually stayed firm on the ground, but the lift slid within the pads movement on the CMC 83hd. I used to run a Nifty Lift 70ft (can't remember model number). I found that machine much sturdier and heavy duty than the CMC
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
the outrigger pads actually stayed firm on the ground, but the lift slid within the pads movement on the CMC 83hd. I used to run a Nifty Lift 70ft (can't remember model number). I found that machine much sturdier and heavy duty than the CMC
Whoa
Never ran a nifty 64sd but heard a lot of positive reviews
Our 34tn is not very sturdy but very small machine and small setup
Very versatile
Only used it twice since April when we got our 83hd
 

Frankkytree

New Member
Location
Covington
We have never had to have someone rappel off the lift, but did have it lock out once, forcing the operator to rappel off a nearby tree (thankfully there was one right next to the lift to do this). I keep those same outrigger pads in the truck and several blocks of wood of varying sizes to make sure the pads are always flat. I set up on a hill once where the pads were slanted and as soon as the lift was off the ground, it slid a couple inches - yikes! Definitely always make sure your pads are level before picking up the lift.

If I were to rappel off the lift I would probably put a friction saver through each of the tie in points and rappel off of that.

@Frankkytree what model lift is that in your picture? I notice your feet are black and not red.
We have a Platform lift 72’. It came with pads. But would like to upgrade to some larger pads.
 

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