What is powered access?

A range of equipment designed to enable people to work safely, productively and efficiently at height. They are also known as aerial work platforms (AWP’s) or mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP’s) and offer an attractive alternative to older traditional access methods such as ladders, mobile access towers and scaffolding.

Types of powered access equipment

There are five broad categories of powered access equipment:

Low Level Access

Low level access platforms offer a quick, cost-effective and safer alternative to using aluminium towers, ladders and steps. Key features of low level access equipment, includes:

 - Light weight and ideal for finished flooring
 - Narrow enough to fit through standard doorways and passenger lifts
 - Well suited for indoor usage


Scissor Lifts 

Convenient, with a large work platform of up to 1 tonne capacity and a working height of between 3 and 32 metres. Scissor lifts only provide vertical lift with a range of different sizes for indoor and outdoor applications. Used in construction, maintenance and contracting. We have special narrow-width units for use where space is restricted, units with non-marking tyres for use on internal floors, and rough terrain 4x4 units for use on difficult ground.



Boom Lifts

Whilst scissor lifts can only move directly up and down, boom lifts also offer sideways outreach by means of a telescopic or articulated boom. The work platform can reach around and over obstacles. Boom lifts have a working height of 8 to 45 metres and can be rotated around 360°, controlled from the work platform. As with scissor lifts, there are a variety of power sources available.



Van Mounts

For access applications where mobility, security and the safe storage of tools, equipment and materials are an important aspect of your work, van mounted access platforms offer the perfect solution. A large fleet of road going and 4x4 vehicles provide safe working access to heights ranging from 9.2 metres to 16.5 metres that can be driven using a standard driving license.


Truck Mounts

Larger more sophisticated units, with working heights up to 100m. Being truck-mounted, they can get to and from the site quickly and are ready for use in minutes after arrival. Popular with local authorities, film and broadcasting, telecommunications and maintenance contractors.


Drivers of the use of powered access equipment

Safety: Increased focus on safety in the workplace, supported by ever more stringent Health and Safety legislation, accelerating the substitution of older traditional methods of access.

Efficiency: Escalating costs and shortage of skilled labour in the construction and refurbishment sectors, driving the need for tools to maximise productivity.

Construction processes: Commercial pressure to reduce project timescales, where speed, convenience, efficiency and safety are prime concerns. The increasing modularisation of construction processes, which tends to produce a greater demand for access equipment on construction sites.

Why is powered access equipment rented?

Cost: The equipment has a relatively high capital cost and there are also stringent transport and maintenance requirements.

Range: A range of equipment would be required to satisfy all applications.

Utilisation: The need for the equipment tends to be infrequent and inconsistent due to varying work schedules and applications.

In summary

The combination of the drivers of demand and the efficiencies gained from the rental of the equipment, should, we believe, continue to enable the market to grow in the coming years, subject to prevailing economic conditions.