Genie’s electric trick: Aerial work platforms see lift in efficiency

The Terex-owned aerial work platform maker gives fleet owners and operators in the region new options with its versatile and powerful all-electric boom lifts

Time was when cleaner and greener technologies were not really things that overly concerned the Middle East’s construction equipment sector. The odd large contractor might include a one-off ‘green machine’ in his fleet as lip service to environmental concerns, but that was largely it. And with much of the construction boom concentrated on outdoor building activity as the region’s cities went about ramping up their infrastructure and erecting grand buildings, there was no practical need for cleaner machines.

All that is changing. The past decade has seen breakneck construction activity, and the transformative effects mean maintenance of the already built-up structures is now of as much importance as building new ones. In this scenario, machines designed for maintenance work, such as powered access equipment, aerial work platforms and hoists, have become as important as the big earth movers, excavators and cranes. And when that maintenance work has to go indoors, as it is naturally bound to, the only option is equipment with no emissions – in other words, all-electric machines.

Harnessing today’s latest technology to combine cost-efficient, cleaner and quieter continuous indoor and outdoor operation with improved robustness, reduced maintenance costs and increased versatility, the new generation of all-electric Genie boom lifts open the door to new opportunities for operators and rental companies. Keeping in mind the requirements of the rental sector, which requires machines that can service both indoor and outdoor needs, the Terex Group company has introduced new models that provide the power and performance of diesel in a zero-emission electric package fit for indoor use.

Charbel Kordahi, managing and sales director of Terex Middle East, says: “Representing as much as 80% of rental sales in some cases, business potential for indoor and outdoor applications in the 12-20m range is high, but the global product offering in this segment is limited to either heavier compact electric units adapted to indoor tasks or diesel machines for outdoor applications. This observation spurred the development of our revolutionary new generation of ‘2-in-1’ Genie machines that allow operators to work indoors and outdoors with a single unit without sacrificing drive performance to provide high rates of machine utilisation. Easy to operate, productive and cost-efficient to own, these machines allow operators to perform more tasks with one machine and offer rental companies the opportunity to rethink the way they manage their fleets.”

Insights into the Genie brand’s pioneering new all-electric Genie Z-33/18 and Genie Z-60/37DC boom lifts, and the new perspectives they offer rental companies and end users, reveal how customers in the Middle East have found the machines suitable for various tasks and applications.

Rental champion

In 2016, Dubai rental company AJI Heavy Equipment Rental received delivery of six Genie Z-33/18 booms lifts. Describing the benefits of the machine, Dean Jones, general manager of the company, says: “The Z-33/18 boom is so versatile that our machines are under constant demand and providing excellent returns of investment. One of the foremost features in the machine is the operating speed battery life, which is far superior over its competitors and sets this machine apart.”

“We also find the maintenance-free design of its power system, which integrates the motor, brake and gearbox all in one unit, very practical. And since there are no brushes to replace or commutators to service, time in the workshop is reduced. As a result it spends more time in the field. It is also simple to use and operators love it.”

Genie describes the Z-33/18 as a simple, robust electric unit powered by an efficient three-phase AC electric drive system. The company says it requires less energy while offering longer battery cycles, in addition to the benefits of quiet, zero emissions performance and ease of operation. It is able to drive longer distances, needs to be recharged less often and costs less to maintain than units equipped with a DC transmission. With its broad field of application, the Genie Z-33/18 boom lift combines all the benefits that rental companies need to boost rental rates and return of investment.

With the ability to perform a full day’s work – both indoors and out – on a single battery charge, the Genie Z-33/18 lift is significantly lighter than traditional machines in the 12m category. Weighing just 3,640kg, nearly 1,500kg less than other electric-powered units, this model boasts a total occupied floor pressure of only 991kg/sqm and a low tyre contact pressure of 483kPa.

As a result, the Z-33/18 boom is an ideal solution for applications on fragile indoor surfaces where reduced floor load is paramount, as well as for outside duties, even on wet grass or freshly stabilised ground. Further enhancing its versatility, to avoid damaging sensitive outdoor surfaces and turf, the Z-33/18 boom is available with standard solid rubber non-marking or optional multi-surface non-marking tyres.

According to Kordahi, it is well suited to an extremely broad field of routine outdoor maintenance and indoor applications, and ideal for industrial and warehouse facilities, airports, shopping centres and theatres, where space is tight and floors are fragile. Facilities management duties such as window cleaning, installation, replacement and verification of lamps, signage, electricity, sprinklers and security cameras are among the many other applications that make this multi-tasking machine such a profitable investment.

Kordahi adds that operators, including newly trained ones, find that besides being able to switch between indoor and outdoor duties all day long with a single machine, the fact that this simple, lightweight unit does not have a jib makes the Z-33/18 boom much easier and efficient to work with.

“Added to its short turning radius, zero turntable tail swing and FastMast system that reduces ground to top lifting time at the push of a button, operators find this machine better suited to many routine tasks,” he adds.

Resorting to all-electric

The Genie stable also includes the Z-60/37 DC boom, another model that has found favour in the region. Three of these machines are currently assisting in the extensive maintenance work required at one of the region’s biggest entertainment and leisure destinations, Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Comprising three theme parks and a water park over an area of 325,160.64sqm – equivalent to 420 football fields – Dubai Park and Resorts is set to be the largest integrated leisure destination the Middle East has ever seen. To handle maintenance duties, which are extremely varied due to the multiple themes and nature of the site, Al Mahroos, Genie’s authorised distributor in Dubai, recommended three all-electric Genie Z-60/37 DC booms, which were delivered in January this year.

Speaking about clinching the deal for the Genies, Nishad Abdulla, assistant fleet manager, Dubai Parks and Resorts, says: “We are always looking for new solutions that suit our needs in terms of productivity and the quality of work-site conditions. Thanks to its excellent range of motion, versatile, quiet, clean performance and four-wheel drive abilities, this new Genie model is an excellent and cost-effective alternative to separate diesel and electric powered units. For us, the Z-60/37DC boom definitely ticks all the right boxes.

“Offering the ability to adapt to our broad spectrum of architectural styles, its narrow footprint, four-wheel drive capabilities and all-terrain, non-marking tyres are an excellent match for work outdoors on rough ground and indoors on fragile surfaces where space is often limited. And since part of the resort is already open to the public, low noise levels and emissions-free operation are an absolute must-have that allow us to operate these machines all day without disturbing visitors.”

Offering the advantages of zero emissions and full workday operation on just one charge, the new articulating Z-60/37DC boom is ideal for indoor and outdoor applications such as industrial plants, malls, convention centres and construction sites, Genie says. Thanks to fast recharging offering a full charge from a 110V/220V wall power supply in less than 12 hours, operators have a very productive machine.

The zero-emissions capability of the Genie Z-60/37DC boom lift should by no means be underestimated. Powered by high-efficiency sealed three-phase fully enclosed AC electric drive motors and able to operate submerged in up to three feet of water, this robust 4WD drive machine is able to go 25% faster and climb slopes as well as its diesel-powered counterparts. Equipped as standard with all-terrain, non-marking tyres, it features the same active oscillating axle system as many other diesel-powered Genie machines to offer a similar all-terrain performance.

Adam Hailey, director of Product Management at Terex AWP, notes: “We thoughtfully designed this innovative all-electric boom to take advantage of the strengths and history of our boom lift product line, to offer customers the right equation of maximised range of motion, real four-wheel drive abilities, quiet performance, energy efficiency, job-site versatility and cost-effectiveness.”

“Weighing 2,268kg less than the Z-62/40 boom lift, the new Z 60/37DC enhances the efficiency of this new all-electric concept. This means that, while providing the ability to access many indoor and outdoor work environments that other models cannot, this boom lift is able to run all day. In addition, the torque and drive systems work together to perform more efficiently than a hydraulic powered machine, using 30% less energy than normally required.”


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