Within the last year, JLG fully redesigned its rough terrain scissor line, making the JLG models the most modern in the industry. Today, these scissor lifts now include many new features and technology that deliver enhanced versatility, greater productivity and intuitive data for improved performance on the job.
Here’s more about how our new and improved line are totally stacked to get work done at height, as well as how the market for these machines is expanding, whether being used on-slab or off.
What major innovations have occurred with JLG RT scissor lifts over the last few years? Why?
From JLG, innovations in our updated RT/ERT line include full drive at height capabilities, allowing the operator to continue working at a fixed height. This feature comes in handy when running cables inside or outside along the length of a building or when changing light bulbs across individual lighting units in a parking lot. Prior to this capability, the operator would need to ascend, then descend each time they needed to move the lift to the next work area. Drive at height eliminates the need to do this, and it results in a more productive workday.
Also as part of this redesign, we took a look at what customers were asking for, and due to an increase in demand for electric-powered lifts, we made the decision to offer both an engine-powered RT and electric-powered RT (model designation is ERT) model in each size class, providing buyers with a choice between an engine or electric powered unit.
JLG’s RT/ERT lines also both feature the industry’s first control box with an LCD display. This display offers LiftSense™, a standard and exclusive JLG feature, which shows operators the maximum work height you can achieve before you elevate based on side-to-side and front-to-back tilt, as well as the current capacity in the platform.
Another key new feature on our RT line is QuikLevel Advanced. This feature automatically levels the machine on side slopes up to 4.5°, while still allowing you to drive at full height under certain conditions.
And last but not least, we have two new features on our ERT line, regenerative braking, which actively recharges the battery, and our new Clean-Guard™ leak containment option, which provides an added safeguard against hydraulic leaks to protect sensitive flooring.
How has utilization of RT scissor lifts changed over the last few years?
Rough terrain scissor lifts are used in both on slab and off slab indoor and outdoor applications. Some of the applications where we are seeing increased demand for RT/ERT models include warehouse construction, maintenance and data center construction.
Going back even a few years, online shopping was not what it is today. With a larger percentage of purchases being completed online, warehouse space is in high demand and warehouse construction is on the rise. This type of construction oftentimes requires continuous placement of utilities at a fixed height along the length of a building. Our new RT/ERT line of scissors were designed with this capability at the forefront. We are also seeing narrow lifts being used between aisles for access to ceiling areas where lightbulbs and other maintenance requirements are necessary.
Data centers are also a growing segment of the market. Like warehouses, the growth in data centers to support our data driven world is growing demand for these types of products during both construction and longer-term maintenance work stages. Construction and maintenance are omnipresent at data center sites. As technology advances and some onsite facilities are up and running, others are undergoing upgrades, so there’s consistent work to be done. While we wouldn’t expect to find RTs near sensitive server racks or equipment, they are popular for construction and maintenance work at data center sites.
In any area where there are environmental sensitivities around fumes and noise, electric-powered products, like the new JLG ERTs models, would be more appealing than their diesel-powered counterparts. In general, electric-powered products are quieter and emit fewer fumes, making them ideal for use in space and noise restricted areas.
What can we expect to see happening in the RT market over the next year or so?
Urbanization is a trend we see impacting the RT/ERT scissor lift market. With less and less open space, buildings are becoming taller and the space between them narrower. With that, the demand for smaller machines with compact footprints and higher reaching equipment is growing. This will continue to drive growth in both the upper and lower end of machine categories, including RT/ERT lifts.
Also, Stage V engine regulations are accelerating the drive towards electrified products in regions impacted by these new requirements. On engine powered units, Stage V diesel engines become more complex and escalate in price. At the same time, lithium-ion battery technology is advancing, yet becoming more efficient and decreasing in cost. When taken into account together, these contribute to the accelerated adoption of electrified products.
While we don’t expect to see engine-powered models disappear altogether, we do expect to see electric models continue to gain in popularity. And, greater adoption and increasing customer demand are the primary drivers behind more and more manufacturers offering electric RT models.
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