Pro Arb Magazine interview our Commercial Director

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Pro Arb Magazine interview our Commercial Director

There comes a time when an arborist with an expanding business needs to ask themselves an important question: Is it the right time to invest in an access platform? This is a topic CPL is well used to discussing, says commercial director, Mark Sawyer. Arborists form a significant part of the provider’s customer base and the company has a wide range of models available from top providers including Klubb Group, Palfinger, AlmaCrawler and Dinolift.


Mark says that as a rough rule of thumb, an arborist should be considering buying an access platform if it will typically be used three days a week or more. “If it’s less than that, you’ll probably find it is better to hire and wait and see if you win larger contracts.”

An access platform might cost an arborist in the region of £70k-£100k, and while finance is available, it will almost certainly be an arborist’s highest value item of equipment and so will be a considered purchase.

Choosing new over used

He comments: “We’ve seen many of our customers start out with a chainsaw and a van and then take ownership of an access platform because they have so much work on and have built up a team of employees. They are now working on bigger jobs and to the highest health and safety standards.”

Mark comments that many arborists will prefer to buy new rather than second-hand, as reliability is key and a good warranty matters. The use of access platforms is common in the utility arboricultural sector, but is also now becoming mainstream in the standard market. “A growing number of arborists choose to use an access platform for safety reasons,” says Mark. “There are many times when climbing is unsafe and is too time consuming.”

He adds with such as large scale ash dieback tree removal, clearing up after serious storms and cutting back trees close to powerlines are just some examples. However, he emphasises that owning an access platform brings its own set of responsibilities, including being properly certified. “It includes training and IPAF is generally considered the ‘golden ticket’ – courses cover areas like how to safely operate access equipment and carry out basic maintenance. That’s why CPL have started a training centre, to ensure the customer is ready to go to work in the safest way. But beyond this, you are also required to have a mandatory check every six months under LOLER regulations and we offer this facility too.”

Choosing the right model

CPL is able to advise arborists on what type of access platform will best suit their needs. There are various configurations such as telescopic, articulated, and scissor lift. Some are trailer mounted while others are self-propelled or boom lifts. There are also wide variations in height and outreach – guidance can be provided on what will be correct dependent on the work being undertaken. Models will also offer different platform area sizes – scissor lifts can be among the most generous. Arborists who want a compact option may find 4×4 or van chassis mounted platforms the convenient choice, while truck and tracked options are also available – CPL has many years’ experience in this type of conversion work, specialising in 4×4, LCV and HGV vehicles. Those who work on uneven terrain on a regular basis will favour a tracked model.

Get to know Palfinger

The Austrian manufacturer Palfinger is a popular choice for a number of arborists, which offer tall booms on a lightweight base. They offer a large working load in the basket of 250kg, and an outreach of 8.2m. The P280B has a telescopic arm, allowing the operator to reach areas from a distance and with a 17-metre outreach. The range also includes larger models up to 90m that can be suited to the forestry sector and largest projects.

Klubb Group – a safe choice in aerial platforms

The Klubb Group, which is headquartered in France – is a partial owner of CPL. It has one of the largest ranges of access equipment for arborists, with favourites including its pick-up mounted platforms. Converted onto the 4×4 Isuzu D-Max and Toyota Hilux base vehicles, these provide a 360° boom rotation system to ensure wide access. Customisation allows the arborist to choose from a range of accessories such as PPE lockers. CPL also offers the All Terrain Arb Truck, a chipper tipper conversion from CPL that is highly versatile and energy efficient – the chipper tipper variant can be driven on a standard licence and is based on a pick-up Isuzu or Toyota single cab with a four-cylinder diesel engine.

Tracked solutions from AlmaCrawler

These tracked platforms from the Italian manufacturer AlmaCrawler are spider lifts with a difference. The B1890 and B1570 Almac units are a combination of both a self-propelled tracked platform and stabilised tracked platforms. The one-of-a-kind Spiderboom technology allows the platform to be moved without stowing, which makes multiple tree maintenance highly efficient.

Future focus

Mark says the access platform of the future, or indeed in the next few years, is likely to be hybrid or fully electric; CPL is stocking the new Jibbi 1890 Primo, which is the first full electric, self-levelling tracked telescopic boom with electric drive and powered by removable battery power packs. It is also the first 18 metre product from AlmaCrawler. The user can choose between interchangeable AGM or Lithium battery packs, with the Primo automatically recognising the power unit. It also has an anti-entrapment system, which is designed to prevent serious injury by stopping the unit if the operator is crushed against it – the model will go back on its trajectory for three to five seconds, allowing space for the operator to safely remove themselves and there is also an ultrasonic anti-collision system.


Meanwhile, Dinolift from Finland is also appealing to the arborist market. CPL deals with supply and customer support of the Dino trailer-mounted MEWPs, lightweight 4×4 booms, and spiders in the UK. Dinolift machines include the Dino 280RXTE full electric battery-operated 4×4 self-propelled boom lift, which is equipped with an AGM or Li-Ion battery pack. The electric motor has a continuous power rating of 15kW while the peak power is 20kW.

The 220XTC II, a 22m spider lift, designed for challenging and demanding outdoor jobs, climbs a 43% slope and can be levelled for operation at 16⁰. Next, the Dino 210XTB is a light towable MEWP with hydraulic support legs, swivelling body, stepless control and a telescopic boom. Its new technology enables a longer working time and it can be used while its batteries are being charged.

For personalised sales advice and service, CPL is the expert many arborists are turning to and helping them reach new heights as they make the big decision: Is it time to buy an access platform? CPL help the arborist sector to buy, rent or lease the right access platform.

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