Rental Equipment Register spoke with Corey Raymo, global category director, boomlifts, JLG Industries Inc. about the company’s wide range of new product, the worldwide state of the aerial market and how JLG is working to lower the cost of ownership of its machines.
RER: How do you assess the current market for aerial work platforms in North America and globally?
Raymo: Aerial work platform markets tend to follow pretty closely with the respective states of economies. Currently most global regions are enjoying a state of healthier economies than in the past, for example like we saw in 2009, hence the aerial work platform markets are currently relatively healthy. Some regions that might be exceptions and are experiencing some challenges would be some markets in Latin America and Europe including Russia.
Where is the market trending upwards and where is it trending downwards?
Certainly some regions that show positive signs of growth are those regions that are starting to show some signs of higher rates of adoption of AWPs over other access solutions such as ladders and scaffolding. Such regions would include China and parts of Southeast Asia, and Latin America where adoption has been relatively low in the past among these emerging markets.
Regions showing some downward trends would of course be regions that have typically had higher adoption and purchases in the past, but are now for some reason, experiencing a decline. Some reasons behind the decline could be economic, market saturation, fleet ages, any combination of these or other factors. A few markets that meet these types of criteria might be France and Brazil for example.
What is new with JLG in terms of products?
We are continuing to listen to our customers’ needs and provide them with the solutions to meet their challenges. 2015 has been a huge year for us in terms of new products. We’ve launched more new and redesigned products this year than we have in any single year in our history.
JLG introduced several new products at this year’s Rental Show, including three new boom lifts, our largest scissor lift, an upgraded line of SkyTrak telehandlers, and a completely redesigned line of JLG brand telehandlers. Some common themes that are showing up in the “new” JLG products is a focus on lower total cost of ownership, operator confidence and productivity.
The JLG telehandlers are not just tweaked to be somewhat better, they’ve been redesigned and re-engineered from the ground up. The launch includes five machines, and range in capacity from 6,600 to 12,000 pounds, and in height from 42 to 55 feet. Notable changes include a completely redesigned cab for improved operator comfort and control, a rear axle stabilization system, and improved serviceability. An array of options is available for the new machines, including the industry’s first reverse sensing system, a new integrated digital display with back-up camera and digital load charts, and a ride-control system to enhance operator confidence. The new JLG telehandlers all utilize Tier 4 Final Cummins QSF 3.8L diesel engines that are powerful, fuel efficient, and reliable.
We also launched many new and upgraded accessories for telehandlers, including a pipe grapple, a material handling arm and a trash hopper.
We launched a completely redesigned 400S and 460SJ telescopic (straight) boom lifts and the 450AJ articulating boom lift. All three machines offer class-leading platform capacities and lift times, which can improve operator productivity. Enhanced system designs and new, more durable, hoods to increase in-service time, which improves utilization rates and total cost of ownership.
We also introduced the 530LRT (formerly the 5394RT), a high-capacity, rough-terrain scissor lift, the biggest scissor in JLG’s line. It lets operators place more personnel, tools and materials in the platform for more productive shifts. The 530LRT lift has steel hoods for toughness and auto-leveling outriggers for rapid set up.
The updated SkyTrak® line of telehandlers feature single joystick control, a redesigned dash panel display, and optional air conditioning. Outside, boom functions are faster, the rear counterweight now includes an integrated tow hitch, and there is a new color scheme and new decals. The machines are now powered by Tier 4 Final Cummins 3.8L diesel engines.
JLG also introduced the LiftPod® FT140 and FT70 personal portable lifts. These are the newest products in the LiftPod line and provide working reach to 20 and 13 feet, respectively. LiftPods are easily operated by one person, easy to move in a pick-up, van or SUV, and require very little space to stow.
Regarding hybrid machines, we introduced the world’s first true four-wheel electric-drive hybrid boom, the H340AJ, in 2014. Combining diesel fuel and an electric power system, the JLG H340AJ provides the power and durability of a diesel-powered machine while saving operational costs. In fact, compared to an all-diesel machine, the H340AJ provides substantial fuel savings, in the range of 30 percent, is quieter (less than 69 decibels), and produces fewer carbon emissions.
Any particular technological trends you would like to talk about, now or future?
JLG is continuing to focus on innovation to deliver the best total cost of ownership in the industry. Doing so will help rental companies maximize their capital investments and help them achieve their profit goals. We will utilize technology whenever it supports our customers’ ROI.
How about after-market support and safety initiatives?
Most recently we introduced www.JLGUsed.com, a website where users can find, inspect and buy quality pre-owned construction equipment from JLG. The website, which will initially support equipment sales in the U.S. and Canada, features a wide variety of brands and machine types, as well as exclusive JLG factory-reconditioned machines and JLG-certified pre-owned machines.
Training is so important to our industry. When operators are well trained, when they fully understand how to operate a machine safely, they help protect themselves and others on the jobsite. Speaking for JLG, we have an equipment simulator that we introduced in October 2014.
Powerful learning tool remotely accessible to registered students with any laptop.
Simulates operation of the JLG 800S telescopic boom lift and the JLG G10 telehandler, and most recently the 1850SJ in a virtual environment that recreates the training center and proving grounds to scale.
Offers three training sessions on each piece of equipment, including controls familiarization, and two operating scenarios (beginner level- and more challenging tasks).
Provides two views: operator’s perspective and a side view.
All controls function as they do in the boom lift and telehandler.
Map in corner of screen helps with navigation and identifying location of boom lift or telehandler.
Features touch screen controls.
Decreases the learning curve when operators first enter a lift or telehandler.
We have also expanded our training center and added an all-new proving grounds course, which provides trainees with the opportunity for a hands-on learning experience that teaches driving and operating skills on telehandlers, scissor lifts, and booms in a safe, controlled environment.
Do you see any particular new growth markets, in terms of places and market segments where AWP usage is growing or has strong potential for growth?
As noted above, several key regions across the globe are starting to show some positive signs of adoption of AWPs over alternative working at height methods such as ladders or scaffolding.
What new trends of interest do you see in the equipment rental market?
In line with our focus on total cost of ownership mentioned above, our customers continue to get more in tune with their overall costs and cost structures, and are looking more and more beyond the initial acquisition costs. They are putting more and more value on the rest of the equation such as resale value, quality, productivity, service costs, etc. In line with this, there seems to be more and more of a look from the industry at hybrid technology and what that might be able to do for them with respect to not only TCO, but also for the environment.
New developments in telematics?
JLG is meeting the rental industry’s requirements with machine designs that simplify maintenance for maximum in-service time, with technologies - like ClearSky telematics - that enhance owners’ profitability, and with value-added offerings such as training and aftermarket support.