Aerial Lift Maintenance Guide

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Aerial Lift Maintenance Guide

Aerial lifts are mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs) that ensure your team can safely operate in areas otherwise out of reach. They provide a controlled raised work platform that allows your crew can get the job done safely. As a result, aerial lifts need to work at optimal levels every time to ensure the safety of your team.

Regardless of the type of aerial lift you use, regular aerial lift maintenance is essential to the safe operation of the equipment. One of the best ways to do so is to create an aerial lift maintenance checklist for daily inspections and regular maintenance.

The Importance of Proper Aerial Lift Maintenance

Creating an aerial lift maintenance schedule benefits your crew and worksite in several ways. Having a set maintenance schedule can help streamline work, allowing for on-time job completions. Regular maintenance ensures the safety of your crew and helps reduce operating costs.

The Importance of Proper Aerial Lift Maintenance

Here are a few specific benefits of a maintenance checklist:

  • Improves safety: Safety is always your biggest priority on a work site. Well-maintained equipment is safer to use, as it works exactly as intended. It also has a lower risk of failing suddenly and causing accidents, increasing your team’s confidence.
  • Reduces downtime: Regular maintenance can reduce unexpected breakdowns due to faulty or damaged parts. It can also help pinpoint components needing repair or replacement, so you can order parts before a failure occurs, reducing the downtime you experience. The fewer interruptions you have, the more likely you’ll finish projects on time.
  • Increases productivity: A set maintenance schedule can help improve productivity, as crews can operate more efficiently. Regular maintenance can help you limit the need for time-consuming repairs. You can also create a job schedule that factors in certain repairs or required care for a more streamlined and efficient work process.
  • Lowers operating costs: Equipment failure often leads to expensive repairs and parts replacements. Preventative maintenance is a continuous investment that can help lower operating costs by avoiding unexpected, costly repairs.
  • Maximizes return on investment: Aerial lifts are a significant investment for your business, whether you rent or buy them. Properly maintaining them can ensure they operate safely and reliably for much longer. A well-maintained machine can also have a higher resale value when you trade it in or sell it when upgrading your equipment.

Aerial Lift Maintenance Checklist

When creating an aerial lift maintenance checklist, you must consider the type of aerial lift you have and the model. An electric scissor lift will need its battery checked regularly, while an internal combustion scissor lift will require engine maintenance. While many parts of a maintenance checklist can be used across aerial lifts, make sure to tailor your schedule to suit your specific aerial lift.

One of the best ways to do this is to check with the manufacturers operating guide. These guides will help you focus on the most important maintenance aspects so that your machine runs as efficiently and safely as possible.

When creating a checklist, there are three main aspects to look at: 

  • Operational: This focuses on the proper functioning of the equipment’s controls and electrical systems.
  • Structural: If there is any physical damage to the aerial lift exterior or its components.
  • Work zones: The potential hazards a workplace poses for aerial lifts.

In addition to these three aspects, operators should perform daily and visual inspections to safely operate aerial lifts.

Daily Inspections

Daily aerial lift inspection can help identify any issues early on before they become more costly and time-consuming to repair. This process ensures you take care of minor problems regularly rather than have them build up before a significant, planned maintenance break or service.

Operators should perform pre- and post-operation inspections for effective maintenance. The parts included in these daily inspection checklists may vary depending on the aerial lift model and the working conditions. The more challenging the terrain and the work, the more elements you’ll need to check.

Visual Inspection

A significant part of maintenance is visual inspection. Walking around an aerial lift and inspecting different parts can highlight damage or areas needing repair. When visually inspecting your equipment, look for the following:

  • Wheel and tire tread, pressure and structure
  • Visible leaks
  • All safety and warning decals are in place and readable
  • Any missing equipment or gear
  • Guardrails or entry gates are in place
  • Rust or other damage

Operational Checks

Operational checks ensure your aerial lift systems all work correctly. Refer to the operator’s manual for performing functional tests for the different systems as needed.

There are a few things you’ll need to check on every aerial lift before you start working, including the following:

  • Fluid levels including oil, fuel, coolant and hydraulics
  • Brakes
  • Battery charge
  • Lift and driving controls
  • Emergency systems like lights, horns and alarms
  • Steering wheel
  • Tires and wheels
  • Personal protection equipment such as harnesses and other fall protection

Structural Checks

Ensuring the structural integrity of your aerial lift can improve the safety of your operators and crew. Things like guard rails and platforms must be secure and stable when lifting workers in the air. Your structural checklist should include the following:

  • Pneumatic, hydraulic and electrical systems
  • Emergency features
  • Operating controls
  • Guard rail, platform and entry gate stability
  • Outriggers
  • Lifting accessories
  • Protective gear
  • Fasteners and lock pins
  • Rust and structural damage
  • Insulating components
  • Loose or missing parts

Work Zone Checks

Where you work plays a significant role in the condition of your aerial lift. Look for any hazards that can damage your equipment and threaten the safety of your crew.

Here are a few hazards to look for:

  • Unstable, uneven or slippery surfaces
  • Slopes, potholes, bumps or drop-offs
  • Overhead structures such as fan or HVAC systems
  • Power lines, cables and wires
  • Blind spots
  • Blocked off areas
  • Dangerous weather conditions such as strong winds

Aerial Lift Maintenance and Safety Tips

Ongoing maintenance can ensure the safety of your aerial lift operators and work zone while keeping your aerial lift in good condition.

The three main safety concerns when operating aerial lifts are: 

  1. Crew members falling from a height
  2. Aerial lift tip-over
  3. Crew and equipment electrocutions

Having a clear maintenance schedule in place can help you prevent these accidents. Here are a few additional maintenance and safety tips for aerial lifts:

  • Follow OSHA aerial lift safety requirements.
  • Understand the manufacturer’s unique aerial lift maintenance requirements.
  • Know OSHA maintenance guidelines for aerial lifts.
  • Create a yearly maintenance plan.
  • Hire trained aerial lift operators.
  • Provide continuous safety and operations training.
  • Have a plan for emergencies.
  • Keep a maintenance record.
  • Only use original equipment manufacturer parts when replacing or repairing components.
  • Clean your MEWP equipment to prevent rust, corrosion, and general wear and tear.
Contact GP Rental for Aerial Lift Maintenance

Contact GP Rental for Aerial Lift Maintenance 

Regardless of whether you’re renting aerial lifts or buying them, regular equipment maintenance can have a range of benefits for your workplace and your crew members.

At GP Rental, our trained technicians provide professional maintenance services. Our mobile field service team offers the same high-quality work as our repair facilities.

Contact us today for professional, quality aerial lift maintenance.