With its rubber non-marking tracks, variable widths, leveling capability and multiple power sources, you might be forgiven for thinking that the spider lift is a ‘jack of all trades’ platform, suggesting that it only does everything adequately but this could not be farther from the truth and is more than a little unfair as the spider lift is actually the best machine for so many applications and apart from the needs of its outriggers, has very few down sides.
Often the main problem for many mobile work platforms is getting close to the point of work. The spider lift’s compact dimensions and low weight not only helps make it easier to transport – with models up to about 22 meters able to be towed behind a 4×4 on a standard equipment trailer – but it also means that it is also able to travel down narrow aisles or passageways, through standard doors, up and down stairs and steep inclines and can cross some of the roughest terrain. And then once in position the outriggers can level the machine up even on very significant slopes. One of the spider lift’s few downsides is that while it can drive into very tight situations, it does need considerable space to deploy its legs, although models with variable leg positions help with this. Spider lifts are also among the first aerial work platforms to incorporate lithium ion battery power, often in conjunction with an internal combustion engine to create a type of hybrid machine.
When working indoors their relatively low weight and crawler undercarriage results in a low ground bearing pressure and the non-marking tracks allows them to operate without damaging delicate floors or surfaces. This go anywhere ability means that the spider lift is becoming the platform of choice for a number of applications from window installation to bridge inspection and tree care particularly with local authorities and public utilities.