8/17/2022  George R. Lee

Understanding The Service and Support Process for Mobile Track Lifts
I think we can agree that the innovation which has brought us mobile tracked (or wheeled) aerial buckets has presented a new generation of lifts. These lifts have many uses in the construction industry such as for lighting, signs, painting, glass cleaning, and more more applications. Mobile lifts are also gaining great interest in the tree service and landscape industry. Their use for trimming and or removing trees or for hanging Christmas lights has presented a great feature by way of aerial work without the use and skills of manual climbing or rigging.
At BTS Equipment we service many makes and models of mobile lifts. This article does not represent our bias for or against any one manufacturer or model but rather is to help reads better understand some of the background of mobile lifts.
There are some mobile lifts made right here in the United States and perhaps even more are built outside of our US borders. This information may be important to some and mean nothing one way or another to others.
For those lifts manufactured in the USA, our experience so far (as we service them for customers) is they present a more durable constructed unit, are heavier in weight, and come at a higher price than those (being equal) coming from other parts of the globe.
Then there are many types of lifts built across the sea that are purchased and brought to US shores continually. Nice designs, often times lighter in gross weight, lighter manufacturing application, and perhaps more price friendly than those build in America.
Let’s say you’ve done your homework, you made your purchase and on any given day your lift breaks down. This breakdown may secure whether you’re still happy with your purchase or not. Now the strength or the weakness of your product shows up. The basket or bucket is damaged, can you get if fixed, get a new one, at what price and how long will it take to get one. Perhaps it’s simply a hydraulic hose that burst and it should be a quick fix only to find out it takes a special fitting which no one has in shock.
Your track lift is made up of much more than simply a motor, outriggers, cylinders, and a track, it’s brain function is all driven by something called chips, you know computer parts. It’s not “what wrench do I need" many times but rather do I have the right technical skills and systems to find and fix the problem? Are the parts I need within reach or am I waiting 10-12 weeks or more?
There’s some more homework to do before you make that purchase too. How and where does the manufacture support the service needs of my aerial devices? Technical support is great but what about liability support? Does the people who service your lift have the supporting insurance if (and we certainly hope it never happens to anyone) after service, the unit fails and an accident occurs?
We can’t speak about other states, but we did find as we renewed our insurance for BTS Equipment to work on any type of aerial devices which are either truck or mobile mounted that there are only a few correctly insured companies in the state of Michigan covered to perform such work. Large companies such as Terex, Altec, Versalift, Public or Sub-Contracting Utility operations typically carry their own coverage for such service needs. If you’re in the tree service business, (or other usages) and your lift needs work, you want to confirm the people working on your lift are correctly insured. A general garage keeper or auto/truck shop repair insurance policy does not cover an aerial boom service.
Track lifts are great assets and there are several manufacturers who are ready to assist you in any way possible. But, remember, it sometimes may take a wrench and/or other times a computer to get your unit back up and running. Parts may available quickly or you could be waiting months. In either case make sure you have your lift supported by the dealer you purchased it from as well as served by a proper service center.
Article Information Provided by:
George R. Lee
BTS Equipment
Romeo, MI