Wind turbines and power transmission towers are getting higher and so must the equipment that services them. That’s the reason for the Elliott E190 truck-mounted aerial work platform, which can put a two-man crew 200 feet in the air — the highest and longest reach of any American-made telescopic aerial work platform with a full power boom.
Of course, a work platform that tall needs a powerful, reliable truck beneath it.
“They’re an excellent heavy-duty truck designed for tough applications. I know it to be a very good product,” said Fred Ross, CEO of Utility One Source. UOS is a nationwide supplier of infrastructure equipment, such as cranes, diggers, boom trucks and other specialized machinery for heavy industry.
It recently added E190 aerial work platforms with the Western Star 4800s to its fleet for the utility and wind-power industries. They’re more mobile and easier to use than cranes, which require far longer to set up and are less suited for the job.
“One is designed to lift loads, the other is designed to lift people,” Ross said.
Since UOS added the E190s, they’ve been used to help erect new high-power transmission lines in Nebraska, upgrade transmission lines in New Mexico, and run power to wind turbines on a wind farm in New Mexico.
UOS and Elliott Equipment Co. collaborated on the design of the one-of- a-kind trucks, which take about 90 days to upfit. They chose the 4800 Twin-Steer for maneuverability around towers and windmills and tri-drive for power, since it’s usually used off road.
To save on weight and keep it bridge legal, they spec’d super single tires, aluminum wheels and single-channel frame rails. For stability, the six-axle truck has front and rear outriggers that, when fully extended, lift the truck off the ground and give it an outrigger span of 26 feet.
The standard Detroit DD13 engine provides more than enough power to reach the sometimes remote worksites. The workhorse 4800 is easy to upfit, even for such an unusual and demanding truck, said David Phillips, global sales and marketing manager for Elliott Equipment of Omaha, Neb.
“We know Western Star is a superior product, but the company goes out of its way to make the trucks simple to interface with,” he added.
Ross said the trucks are dependable, which is important because any delay on the job is expensive and there is no ready substitute for the E190. Some customers who initially leased the trucks have been so pleased that they later bought them, he said. “We’re really happy with them; they’re doing great,” he said. “This has been a fantastic investment for us.”
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