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Aerial Work Platforms

23 Apr

Oscillating axle: a valuable feature for operations on rough terrain

The oscillating axle: a valuable feature for operations on rough terrain | Manlift
The oscillating axle is a special feature of Aerial Work Platforms (AWPs) that is most often integrated into scissor lifts and boom lifts that operate on uneven terrain or where the ground is boggy.

With an oscillating axle system, the two sides of the axle can pivot in response to the surface on which they operate so that all wheels remain on the ground when the equipment is moving, but lock into place when the boom is elevated to ensure stability. This ensures increased safety when operating the boom, and a smoother ride and greater operator control (and confidence) when moving the equipment. The system also reduces the risk that the AWP will get stuck because the wheels are always in contact with the ground so they can always be used to propel the equipment over the terrain.

Not all AWPs are fitted with the feature, as it requires a more complex mechanical system with more hydraulics and more electronics. Nonetheless, over the years oscillating axles have been offered as a standard feature on more and more AWPs produced by most of the leading manufacturers.

In general, if the platform is in the air, the oscillating axle feature is disabled because stability is reduced. Indeed, if ever there is any sort of equipment malfunction, one of the checks that we at Manlift run is to ensure that the oscillating axle system does automatically lock during operation and is only functional when the platform is in the transport position.

However, an interesting variation is the active oscillating axle offer by Genie. This system has the additional benefit of being able to drive the AWP even when the boom is elevated and while the axle is oscillating. This brings with it improved maneuverability over slightly uneven ground even when the access platform is elevated.

The use of the oscillating axle and its benefits are discussed in detail during IPAF training to give operators a full understanding of how this important feature works and how to use it to best advantage.

For increased stability on site, rent an AWP with an oscillating axle system today. Contact us now!

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