The Best MEWPs For Working In Tight Spaces

If you're working at height inside a building where space is restricted it's essential that you use the right machine for the job in hand.

The weight of a machine needs to be considered if you are taking it into a lift or hoist, and fume free/low noise operation will be more important than ever when working in an enclosed area.

If you only need to reach up to a relatively low height, then a Push Around Vertical (PAV) will be the ideal choice. These machines are compact and easy to manoeuvre, but be careful if you have to negotiate up or down a gradient – some PAVs can weigh more than you realise so make sure that you do not lose control.

Where higher reach is required, consider mast booms such as the Haulotte Star 10 with its working height of 10m. This type of MEWP elevates with a telescopic mast and essentially climbs within its own space. With a weight of approx 2.8 tonne, it could be taken in a hoist.

If you need to work much higher, then a track mount could be considered. Machines such as the Teupen Leo 21 allow you to position the outriggers at different positions to avoid obstacles. Outriggers can also be narrow jacked, as long as you stay within the reduced working envelope. Some machines, such as the Falcon and Teupen ranges, also allow you to temporarily remove the platform so that you can position and manoeuvre the machine in a tight space.

Bear in mind though that some battery operated track mounts may need access to a mains charging point to provide mains power to the unit. In some cases charging leads may have a maximum length to ensure that power is sufficient and not lost with a longer power lead. Therefore always check that there are enough mains points available.

Some track mounts, again such as the Falcon range, can operate entirely from battery power, but it's not like charging a mobile phone – you will need to allow eight to 10 hours to charge the battery, and if you are operating in very cold conditions, such as a cold store, then the charge will not last very long.

When working in areas where access is tight, take into account the space you need to manoeuvre. For example few scissor lifts have four wheel steer options – so corridors can be very tight when moving around a corner because all four wheels need to be clear before you can make the turn.