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When you need to work safely at height consideration should be taken of not only where you need to get to at height to do your work, but also of how you are going to get there and the ground conditions where you are working. 
 
Tracked spiders are the most versatile forms of mewps (mobile elevated work platforms) as they can traverse and set-up on many different types of ground environments. The types of terrain that you need to consider are: - 
1. Sandy or other types of loose material, such as gravel, soft soil etc 
2. Boggy waterlogged ground 
3. Slopes 
4. Ploughed fields 
5. Restricted and narrow areas 
6. Obstacles in the way 
7. Uneven surfaces 
8. Internal, delicate floor surfaces 
 
The reason why spiderlifts can overcome these conditions is due to their design. They are light in weight and that weight is spread over the area of their tracks when moving, which reduces their ground pressure loading. The weight (point-loading) is then transferred and spread over a larger area when their outriggers (legs) are set, especially when using additional spreader plates at the ‘feet’. 
 
They say that a picture can save a thousand words, so please find below some examples of spiders overcoming the environments mentioned above. 
Sabrina the tracked spider cherrypicker crossing a mound of seaweed on a beach.
Sabrina the tracked spider crossing a beach
 
High Reaching Solutions were asked to supply a solution to an awkward situation in Leeds. Decorators needed to work safely at height, 11 meters up and in a relatively confined internal space. 
They needed Scarlett Grace, our Platform Basket 13.80 Hybrid narrow tracked spiderlift as she was small and able to set-up and operate in a confined area. With her outrigger footprint of less than 3 meters, both in width and length and her boom just short of 3.5 meters in length without the basket attached. She also had negative tail-swing and her lithium batteries kept noise down to a whisper and engine fumes were non-existent, which is ideal for working internally. 
Scarlett Grace going through offset doors
 
Internal view where Scarlett Grace needed to get to
 
 
High Reaching Solutions received a call from a property maintenance company who required a survey for a suitable cherry picker to carry out gutter repairs to a property on the North Yorkshire coast. The property was perched on a hillside, away from any road or hardstanding of substance and the driveway was steeply sloped and covered by low hanging branches from the tree lined route. These observations meant that truck mounted platforms and heavy mobile booms would not be suitable for the task, neither would scaffolding due to the vehicular access. 
Sophie spider reaching out toward damaged gutter
 
Sophie tracked spider set up at top of bank
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After measurements were taken and assessing the method of operation and risk assessment we established that Sophie, a Platform Basket 18.90 Pro tracked spider would be the most suitable cherrypicker for the task. Being easily transportable, light in weight and with low ground pressure combined with amazing working height and outreach capabilities made her ideal to get into positions needed to carry out the maintenance. 
High Reaching Solutions have given their 'Ladies' the weekend off. 
WHY? 
 
Because over the last 10 years they have been extremely busy helping people to work safely at height! 
 
Since we started on the First of September 2008 we can proudly say "WE HAVE A 100% SAFETY RECORD"! 
 
That's right, a 100% safety, with no near misses! 
 
Not only that, we also have a near perfect attendance record. We are always on site before the scheduled time other than the ONE occassion when our transport vehicle had a serious breakdown. Once in 10 years and covering the whole of the UK, that's not bad and I think you'll agree! 
Tracked spider booms arranged in an attempt to display the number 10
An attempt to display the number 10 using the booms of the tracked spiders and Sophie, although not a shy lady, is trying to stay out of the limelight. 
 
Selina, High Reaching Solutions Platform Basket 22.10 EVO Hybrid tracked spider cherry picker, was requested to assist with chimney inspections and repairs at various properties around York. Our clients own staff as well as their subcontracted chimney sweep, Trevor Lund, were very impressed with Selinas abilities. 
On the first property Selinas amazing outreach came into its own with Trevor Lund getting to where he needed to be to inspect the chimney for stability and condition. After the first stack had been inspected Selina was moved to the rear of the building so the second stack on the list could be reached. This involved Selina negotiating a deceptively steep grass bank, so having her tracks on wide setting for the additional ground clearance and stability and running on her Lithium batteries so as not to disturb the residence of the neighbouring properties, she was able to perform the task without issue (please watch the accompanying video). 
If you require an excellent chimney sweep in and around the York area then please get in touch with Trevor Lund on 01904 760075 or 07801 529952, I'm sure he'll be glad to hear from you. 
Tracked spider cherrypicker chimney maintenance
 
 
 
Our client of several years had a project in Leeds to decorate the exterior of an apartment block. Most areas were easy to gain access to via a mobile boom lift, however the rear created somewhat of a challenge for them due to the restrictive narrow access. 
 
On realising the difficulties of the task they gave High Reaching Solutions a call and ask for Selina, our Platform Basket 22.10 EVO Hybrid. Having used her before they knew her 10.5 meters of outreach at 11 meters up and multi positioning stabilizer settings ensured that their experienced decorator would be able to get to the furthest point they needed to from the restrictive setup space. 
 
They also knew that she was very quite when using her Lithium Ion batteries. 
The narrow start of Selinas, the tracked spider, journey to her work area.
This photo shows the narrow and awkward path Selina the tracked spiderlift had to take on the start of her journey to the work area. 
The next view of Selinas continuing journey down a narrow path to the work area
 
 
 
After negotiating the narrow start as shown above Selina would need to continue her journey down this narrow and restrictive path.  
 
Great care would also be needed so as not to damage the established vegitation in the garden, which at times would be very difficult and time consuming to do. 
High Reaching Solutions assist our arborist clients on a regular basis, especially when it comes to working on dangerous trees. Tree surgeons would much rather be safe and use one of our ‘ladies’ than risk injury or even death, and rightly so. 
What would constitute a DANGEROUS TREE? 
 
A dangerous tree is any tree (whether large or small) that is a hazard to people, property or facilities because of: 
 
• location or lean 
• physical damage 
• overhead hazards 
• ground deterioration 
• deterioration of limbs, stem or root system 
• or a combination of the above. 
 
And it’s not just the tree itself, it’s where it may fall if nothing is done that needs taking into consideration. 
Tracked spider cherry picker set in road helping tree surgeon to dismantle a dangerous tree.
 
 
High Reaching Solutions good friends at Tracked Access Platforms, based in Bradford, asked if we could assist one of their clients on a gutter cleaning and repair job in York. They needed Scarlett Grace, our Platform Basket 13.80 Hybrid narrow tracked spiderlift as she was small and able to set-up and operate in a confined area. With a working area of no more than 3 meters wide they thought Scarlett Grace would be ideal as they had taken into account her negative tail-swing, dual tracking speed, outrigger footprint of less than 3 meters and of course her lithium batteries to negate noise echoing between the buildings. 
Tracked spider gutter cleaning
 
Adam Smith, an excellent carpenter in Scarborough needed to work at height safely on one of his jobs in Scalby village. He needed to replace some rotten wood on a gable end of a house which entailed cutting out the old rotten wood before replacing it with new oak on this listed building. He didn’t want to use scaffolding as this was a straight forward and relatively quick job for him so decided on a cherrypicker for speed and security. 
 
He came to High Reaching Solutions through recommendation and after we surveyed the site we suggested that Scarlett Grace, our Platform Basket 13.80 Hybrid tracked spider would be the ‘lady’ of choice. Her light weight, easy manoeuvrability and quiet lithium batteries would be ideal in this peaceful village location. The house he was working on is opposite a local landmark, a K6 telephone box, newly refurbished by local decorating company J.W. Decorating - Scarborough which now contains a Defibrillator instead of a phone, great idea to conserve heritage and benefit the local community at the same time. 
 
History shows us that working at height had to evolve to become quicker, cheaper and more importantly safer. This entailed moving on from old wooden ladders, wooden gantries and trestles and of course, hanging from ropes. No…not the around the neck type but around the waist or siting on a sling. 
 
We have now progressed to strong alloy ladders, alloy or steel scaffolding, rope access technicians (with purpose made equipment) and of course access platforms. 
 
Most are self-explanatory, but what is an Access Platform? Simply put, an access platform is a temporary work platform attached to the end of a boom and is manoeuvred into position via a system of hydraulically operated arms/booms. 
 
They are known by different names, here are a few; 
• Cherry Picker - used by most as a basic description of all access platforms. 
• Scissor Lift – a four wheeled vertical platform known by some as a 'flying carpet'. 
• Boom Lift - a general term for four-wheeled self-propelled boom type machines. 
• Spider - a term used for a tracked access platform with outriggers. 
• Trailer Mounted – a road towable platform that can be towed behind a car. 
• Truck Mounted – a platform which is fitted to a vehicle chassis. 
• Vertical Boom - a term used for stock pickers or manlifts. 
• MEWP - Mobile Elevated Work Platform, the descriptive term. 
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