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Are Your Access Platforms Ready for Winter?

Winter is coming! It’s a stark warning, but no need to lose your head!

IPS and PSR have produced a guide to preparing your boom, scissors and personnel lifts for the cold and wet weather ahead.

 

Anti Slip
Attaching Anti Slip material to the steps and deck of an access platform can help protect operators from injuries and falls. If your machines are going to be used outside in the rain, or left overnight where they might be susceptible to frost, then we would recommend adding Anti Slip.

Flashing Beacons
With shorter daylight hours in winter, flashing amber beacons are invaluable in providing better visibility. They help to raise awareness in anyone working or passing nearby of when the machine is moving.

Tyres and Wheels
As with a car or van, low profile tyres have less grip so will not perform as well as new tyres in icy or wet conditions. In particular loading and unloading access platforms from a truck’s trailer can be dangerous if the machines do not have the optimum tyre tread. So investing in new tyres for winter can help prevent accidents.

Outrigger Pads
If you do not already follow IPAF guidance on using spreader plates then now is the time to start! Outrigger pads – and recessed pads in particular - provide extra stability and help to eliminate the risk of spreader plates slipping, particularly when deploying on wet or icy surfaces.

Batteries & Chargers
How you charge, clean and top-up your batteries has a massive impact on their life span. Our simple preventative maintenance programme will ensure your batteries last longer - and help keep your access platforms reliable over the winter months.

Here are some top tips from our product support team on maintaining your batteries

1. Age & Condition – Don’t go into winter with ageing, underperforming batteries or chargers. Lead acid batteries lose their energy storage capabilities over time - and they also do not hold their charge as well in cold weather as they do in milder temperatures. So if you want optimum performance, invest in new batteries before winter strikes. In the same way as your car battery wouldn’t properly recharge if your alternator was not performing 100%, don’t buy new batteries and then recharge them with an old, degraded charger! Invest in a new charger when you buy new batteries.

2. Water – For an extended battery life and to minimise any corrosion, your batteries need to be filled with distilled water. PSR advises you to check the battery cell water levels at least once every month and top up the fluid to the correct mark. Carry out this check and top-up before you start to charge the batteries.

3. Clean – Keeping your batteries clean improves their performance. PSR recommends that you wash your batteries with clean, lukewarm water. Pay particular attention to the terminals and electrical leads - if corrosion is evident, scrub with a bristle or wire brush to remove it.

4. Charge –Recharge all batteries after use. Before charging the batteries, PSR advises you to inspect all terminals for frayed, loose or damaged connectors, and ensure the terminals are clean and free from corrosion. Batteries will self-discharge when not in regular use. So if your machines are not being heavily used, best practice is to still recharge them at planned, regular intervals.

 

Platform Service & Repair (PSR) is the UK expert in powered access inspection, service and repair. Our team of 23 directly employed, fully equipped mobile service engineers covers the entire UK, supported by three workshops in the West Midlands, South East England and Scotland.

Want to know more about how our preventative maintenance programmes can help you save money and minimise down time? Contact our service support team on 0845 108 4000 or email service@iapsgroup.com. Alternatively, let us call you back!

IPS stocks and supplies high quality batteries for a wide range of powered access brands including Genie, Niftylift, Hinowa, JLG, Skyjack, Haulotte, Snorkel, Upright, Pop-up, Isoli, Manitou, Omme and Youngman BoSS. We're specialists in access parts, offering next day delivery, affordable prices and a great service.

 

Place your winter order online today at our new website www.ipspartsonline.com.

For our comprehensive range of spreader plates, visit www.outriggerpads.co.uk.

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