Aerial Work Platforms
The aerial work platform or AWP is a machinery engineered and designed to raise employees and gear to a certain height for the completion of tasks. The kind of machine varies with the specific make and unit. Before aerial work platforms were developed, all tasks requiring work at high levels needed to be done with scaffolding. Therefore, the invention of aerial work platforms has increased the overall productivity of similar jobs and kept many employees safe.
There are 3 key types of aerial work platforms. They are boomlifts, mechanical lifts and scissorlifts. These equipment can be operated with pneumatics, mechanically using a rack and pinion system or by hydraulics or with screws. These models may be self-propelled with controls at the platform, they may be unpowered units needing an external force to move them or be mounted to a vehicle in order to be transported.
The aerial work platform was created by John L. Grove, an American inventor and industrialist. However, in the year 1966, prior to JLG's first unit, a company referred to as Selma Manlift introduced an aerial lift unit.
John L. Grove and his wife decided to take a road trip in the year 1967. This was after selling his previous company Grove Manufacturing. They opted to stop at Hoover Dam. While the couple was there, Grove unfortunately saw 2 employees electrocuted while they were working on scaffolding. This terrible incident led John Grove to discover an untapped market for a new product that can safely lift employees in the air for them to do construction and maintenance jobs in a better way.
When John returned home from his vacation, he bought a small metal fabrication company and formed a partnership with 2 friends. They soon started designing ideas for the aerial work platform. The new company was named JLG Industries Inc. They proudly released their first aerial work platform during 1970 with the aid of 20 employees.