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Go 100% electric to generate big savings, says Riwal

Riwal says go 100 percent electric

Riwal UK is urging customers to take a new look at electric-powered booms now that four models have been converted from diesel – delivering big cost savings and sustainability advantages.

Riwal engineers in the Netherlands were the first to convert JLG super booms to 100 per cent electric power.

Now they converted the JLG 800AJ, the 860 SJ, 1200 SJP and the 1350 SJP, which allows customers to switch from diesel to all-electric booms with working heights from 26 to 43 metres.

Mick Ledden, Riwal UK Country Manager, says: “The whole industry is moving towards greater sustainability to comply with stricter fuel emissions regulations.

“Thanks to Riwal innovation, electric power is now a realistic option for our customers in the UK, even for the largest booms. There are demonstrable cost savings and all the benefits of using sustainable solutions.

“Customers can use electric powered access machines for applications, including outdoor work, with no impact on their performance.”

Proven cost-savings of electric power compared to diesel fuel

Riwal engineers measured the running costs of the converted boom lifts to make a comparison between them and the diesel-powered orginals. 

The converted JLG 800AJ and JLG 860 SJ booms showed a £7,800 per annum saving in energy consumption costs, and the converted JLG 1200 SJP and the JLG 1350 SJP resulted in an energy consumption cost saving of more than £10,800 per annum.

Gary Specht, Riwal UK Rental and Fleet Manager, says: “These are significant and proven cost savings for customers and end-users. 

“Because Riwal engineers have carried out the conversions, we can access these and a range of other electric powered machines for our customers very quickly.”

No noticeable difference in performance

The conversion of the boom lifts to electric power made no difference to their performance. The modifications had no impact on the working envelope of the machines -- working height, horizontal outreach and operating speeds were found to be the same as the diesel powered original. Platform lifting and lowering times have also been measured and are the same for both types of machine.

Because the electric booms are conversions from diesel models, they are wind-rated and come with tyres that are suitable for outdoor use. 

Riwal UK’s hire specialists will always be able to advise on the correct choice of model and specification.

Battery maintenance key for winter operation

The obvious difference between diesel and battery-powered booms is the need to recharge the battery. Staff at Riwal UK are redoubling their efforts to show customers that they can use clean machines in winter if they maintain their batteries correctly.

Craig Barrow, Riwal UK National Engineering Manager, said: “The batteries need to be charged to full overnight but if this is done correctly, customers experience very few issues with electric machines. In fact, in some respects they require less maintenance than diesel powered machines that need air and fuel filter changes and the oil changed and disposed of.

“The key thing is to use the correct KVA rating of transformer to get the correct amperage and use the shortest possible power cable from the socket to the machines. Riwal UK hires transformers as well as the machines themselves.

“Checking the water level in the battery as part of a daily operator check is also really important. But running electric MEWPS is really no more complicated than that.”

Electric performance in sub-zero conditions

Temperatures in the UK rarely reach extreme lows seen in countries like Norway or Sweden, where Riwal has large operations. 

Karl Oskar Fevik, Operations Manager for Riwal Norway, describes the practical ways he helps customers to keep their electric powered machines working in sub-zero conditions.

“The machines are always kept inside and on charge when they’re not in use. We have fitted oil heaters in the hydraulic tanks for all of our JLG 860 and 1200 electric booms to keep them moving.

“There is no problem with using electric machines outside.”

Complying to fuel and noise emissions control regulations

Although central London has some of the strictest emissions regulations in the world, other UK cities are rapidly catching up. The Greater Manchester Local Authority is working on an air quality action plan designed to reduce fuel emission levels, while the government has required Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Nottingham and Southampton to introduce clean air zones by 2020.

Riwal UK operates a young fleet, which is designed to comply to Greater London Authority fuel emissions regulations.  

Electric powered access machines operate quietly, so are suitable for night working, which increases productivity, and for working close to residents and office workers who are likely to be disturbed by the noise of diesel-powered aerial platforms.

All indoor work such as warehousing requires electric machines, and clean, emission-free machines are also required for specialist powered access applications in the oil refinery, aerospace, pharmaceutical and renewable energy sectors.

Contact Riwal UK for more information

Riwal UK staff will provide the latest expert advice on using electric powered booms and other electric powered access platforms.

Contact them on 0844 335 2993 or email