Power line maintenance gets boost with new Hinowa GRP bucket

A tree care specialist has become the first business in the UK to buy a Hinowa spider platform with a GRP bucket.

Access Platform Sales (APS) has supplied Arborite Tree Services with a Hinowa Lightlift 20.10 Performance IIIS fitted with the specialist bucket to work on trees adjacent to live high voltage power lines.

APS can now supply a range of new Hinowa spider lifts with the GRP (glass reinforced plastic) bucket, which can also be retrofitted to models manufactured from 1st July 2023 onwards.

Standard safety requirement

Working from access platforms with GRP buckets is a standard safety requirement when working on, or close to, high voltage electrical equipment or power lines.

It helps protect the operator if the bucket comes into contact with a power cable and reduces the risk of electricity arcing across to the machine.

Arborists working for Arborite Tree Services, in Woolton Hill, Hampshire, will use the Hinowa Lightlift 20.10 to maintain trees along power lines on behalf of distribution network operator (DNO) SSE.

Company owner Jon Challinor said: “We wanted a Hinowa because, being very robust and reliable, they’re the best platforms for tree work.

“Now we can have one with a GRP bucket we can work for SSE on trees adjacent to live power lines. This is something DNOs prefer because they don’t need to shut down power and hire in generators to maintain services to customers.”

GRP buckets – new opportunities

APS Regional Business Manager Jonathan Wiseman said: “Our customers have been keenly looking forward to the arrival of Hinowa spider lifts with GRP buckets and I’m very pleased Arborite has been the first to receive one.

“They open up new opportunities for our customers in the power generation sector and, of course, the platforms are fully capable of fulfilling all other working at height tasks.

“When combined with new Hinowa Lightlift spider lifts, they are fully CE-certified. They can also be retrofitted to platforms built from the start of July 2023, once Hinowa has gone through a confirmation process with each individual MEWP.”

Founded in 2007, Arborite delivers a comprehensive range of tree and woodland management services, with a strong focus on a sustainable approach to arboriculture. It had operated a Hinowa Lightlift 20.10 spider lift with a standard aluminium basket for three years.

Better off-road capability

The company’s teams could still work next to high voltage lines but only during planned shutdowns when the power had been switched off.

Having a Hinowa with a fully-compliant GRP bucket creates opportunities to do more work for SSE on live power lines with voltages ranging from 11,000v to 33,000v.

Arborite also operates a Land-Rover truck mount, which has a GRP bucket and a 14m maximum working height.

However, the Hinowa LL 20.10 has better off-road capability and, with a maximum working height of 20.1m and a maximum reach of 9.7m, can tackle more challenging tree maintenance tasks.

APS has taken back Arborite’s previous Hinowa LL 20.10 in part exchange. It has also supplied the company with a new 3.5t trailer to tow its new spider lift using a 4x4 vehicle or a van with a standard car driving licence.

Interchangeable with standard basket

Hinowa’s new GRP bucket has been launched after being put through a stringent design and testing programme to ensure it complies with all safety regulations, including passing flame retardancy tests.

Other key performance features include:

  • The GRP bucket can be lifted on and off the boom in the same way as a standard basket to aid tracking in confined spaces;
  • It can be used interchangeably with a standard basket with no adaptations to any platform equipment;
  • It has an equivalence in weight to a standard aluminium basket;
  • This means the spider platform does not need to be recalibrated when it is used;
  • The platform has the same unrestricted 230kg capacity and same wind rating as the standard basket;
  • As with the standard basket, water and compressed air lines can be accessed from the GRP bucket.

GRP bucket – six Hinowa platforms

The new GRP bucket can be fitted to the following Hinowa spider cherry pickers:

This means spider lift operators, including platform rental companies, can buy a limited number of GRP buckets and provide them for use across a fleet of Hinowa platforms with different working heights.

Find out more

Talk to APS about Hinowa spider lifts fitted with GRP buckets today. Telephone: 01480 891251. Email: sales@accessplatforms.co.uk.