Hybrid aerial trucks are a fairly new type of lifting vehicle similar to a National crane truck. These newer types of lifting vehicles come equipped with an electric motor that serves as an alternative to the regular internal combustion engine; it operates the hydraulic pump that moves the vehicle components.
So what do the new electronic components bring to the aerial lift performance? While a hybrid feature may seem like a very appealing marketing consideration, there are also many practical benefits that hybrid attributes have to offer.
- Fewer Operating Problems – Aerial bucket trucks normally require the engine to remain idling while operating the lift. This is necessary because with conventional design, the engine is the power source for driving the hydraulic pump via a PTO. So if the engine isn’t running, none of the mechanical components like the boom and outriggers can function.
- Less Engine Wear – Because aerial jobs can take a long time, the engine has to remain idling for the entire working time. This means that the engine components are frequently experiencing heat and friction which would cause more wear and need replacement and maintenance more frequently. For example, engine oil would need more frequent replacement than normal; tuning would have to be more frequent to keep moving parts within tolerable limits.
- Less Maintenance – With a hybrid feature, the electric motor would take over the role of the engine during boom operation, allowing the engine to rest. The electric motor has very few moving components, making it almost maintenance free. With the electric engine taking over most part of the operation, the maintenance requirement of an internal combustion engine is effectively reduced.
- Reduced Fuel Consumption – Conventional aerial trucks have a high cost of operation due to high fuel consumption. Most aerial tasks take several hours to complete, which means the engine operates and consumes fuel the entire time. On the other hand, hybrid varieties can operate for many hours on battery power alone, sparing fuel for actual road driving. The battery charges whenever the engine runs as well as during regenerative braking. It can also be plugged into a standard AC outlet at its home base to charge.
- Fewer Working Restrictions – One of the problems in using conventional aerial lifts is the limitations where it can operate. Conventional engines are noisy; when left idling while operating the boom, the noise level can be bothersome to the surrounding area and complaints could arise from that issue alone. States with strict emission regulations may also limit the extent of engine usage, especially in confined areas, due to the accumulation of carbon monoxide which could cause asphyxiation. The electric motor on the hybrid aerial bucket truck does not have any of those problems. It can operate quietly and does not generate any noxious gases to cause the problems indicated. So it can work in places where conventional trucks would not be allowed.
- Safer Work Condition – Noise pollution affects more than just surrounding areas; the safety of workers using the vehicle is also compromised. The quality of verbal communication is greatly decreased due to the background noise from the engine. Because an electric motor is quieter during operation, workers can more easily communicate verbally and relay vital instructions and information without missing any important details.
Hybrid trucks are more than just a passing fad; they actually offer practical benefits that are not available from conventional National crane and bucket truck design. Hybrid trucks offer so many benefits that is is important to consider purchasing them to increase job performance as well as to save operational and maintenance costs – try one out today!
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