Arborist James Plaskett describes his Hinowa spider boom as the best access platform for tree surgery he has ever used.
He looked carefully at a range of tracked booms before buying a Hinowa Lightlift 20.10 Performance IIIS from Access Platform Sales.
Since that decision, three years ago, he has never looked back and says his Hinowa has helped him drive forward safety and productivity in his business.
James, who owns Access 2 Trees, based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, said: “The Hinowa is an exceptional spider boom for tree surgery.
“It can be moved through very confined spaces, which is essential for our back garden work, and the basket can be placed with precision to give us exactly the right position to work from.”
James used to operate a truck-mounted platform and a smaller tracked spider boom – but the Hinowa LL 20.10 has replaced both.
James Plaskett with his Hinowa Lightlift 20.10
The diesel-powered tracked boom has a maximum working height of 20.1 metres, maximum outreach of 9.7 metres and a basket capacity of 230kg.
A sycamore tree reduction job in a back garden at a house in Shrewsbury demonstrated the Hinowa platform’s capabilities.
The access boom could be moved into position along a narrow, cobbled street, then used to reduce the tree above two listed walls and a greenhouse in just half a day.
“The outreach of the Hinowa and the fact that it retains is 230kg capacity at maximum outreach is particularly helpful to us as arborists,” explains James.
“Using the Hinowa, we can be 60% quicker when carrying out tree reduction or dismantling works than using the conventional method, which was rope and harness.
“We are very hot on health and safety, as are many of our customers. If we don’t have to climb, we don’t want to.
“The Hinowa tracked boom is so agile and versatile that it has replaced climbing in almost all circumstances, which is best for productivity and safety.”
The additional cost of using an aerial platform is usually more than off-set by time saved in doing the tree surgery which keeps Access 2 Trees’ pricing competitive.
Customers also appreciate the speed of service tree surgery with the Hinowa tracked boom delivers. There is less disruption, and peace and quiet in the garden is restored in hours not days.
Using the Hinowa boom for arboreal work also supports service quality, allowing James to be confident his teams are meeting the BS 3998 British Standard for tree work.
Access 2 Trees operatives can quickly and safely reach the optimum point to make a branch cut, resulting in optimum pruning and tree shaping.
Hinowa Lightlift 20.10 Performance IIIS from Access Platform Sales.
“With climbing, it may be difficult or impossible to reach the optimum cut point, which may encourage some operatives to prune too hard. But that is never an issue when using the Hinowa LL 20.10 boom.
“Our customers appreciate that we are leaving them with a perfectly-shaped tree. This is good for regrowth and for supporting the wildlife that relies on the tree.”
The Hinowa LL 20.10 is towed to site in a trailer, also supplied by APS. Its speed and ease of use makes it ideal for carrying out pre-work tree inspections and surveys, for example to look for signs of wildlife, cavities in stems or defects within the crown.
The access platform’s main features and control systems also make it easier, safer and faster to work at height around what are, by their nature, complex objects.
Its exceptional working height and reach for such a light and compact boom – it has a travel width of just 790mm and weighs just 2,840kg – allows it to be used on the widest range of tree surgery project.
“The machine is fast to track, set up and operate, with excellent basket capacity and space to carry lots of tools. All this saves minutes with every job and hours every week,” said James.
“It has little design and operational touches that solve lots of problems for us. For example, the jib can be raised in travelling mode to lift the basket over obstructions, like gate posts.”
The Hinowa LL 20.10 has also delivered exceptional reliability and up-time and if Access 2 Trees needs support, its operatives know it’s always there.
James said: “The Hinowa spider boom is excellent, but what I also really like is the back-up we get from APS.
“Any time we have a question or need help, the APS technical team always quickly comes up with the answers we need.
“On one occasion, due to operator error, a hose was damaged late on a Friday, and an APS director came out to site with a new flexi-cable and helped fit it. That is impressive service.”