JLG Industries recently launched the world’s first all-electric scissor lift in Dubai. A game changer in the access industry, the DaVinci AE1932 is loaded with impactful features and an affordable price tag on purchase and throughout its operational life cycle. This compact workhorse ticks a lot of boxes for the Middle East region’s sustainability goals.
J LG Industries’ UAE branch organised an event for the media earlier this year to announce the launch of their all-electric scissor lift indoor crane. The DaVinci AE1932 scissor lift is built to be totally environmentally compliant, hence making it a valuable sustainability partner. It uses no hydraulics, meaning there are no leak incidents on the job site. As a result, customers do not have maintenance or cleanup costs which reduces their total cost of ownership and jobsite floors remain safe.
Over the last two years, the access sector saw some fluctuations through the Covid period as the construction industry had to negotiate lockdowns. The biggest impact, though, was on liquidity in the market. “Before Covid there was already a noticeable strain for creditors to pay on time and Covid exacerbated that situation,” says Ian Hume, Sales Director JLG, Middle East, India, Russia, Africa. This has meant cash flows for the industry have been under pressure. On an average, however, the sector has remained robust with rental companies’ utilisation of the scissor lift remaining strong.
JLG has a very strong presence across the Middle East region with the UAE and Saudi Arabia being their biggest markets. “We are the market leader across the Middle East with rental companies having JLG as their first choice for access equipment,” continues Hume. “We are very proud of this fact. Of course, it comes with a big responsibility to deliver quality machines and industry leading support from the regional JLG technical team and our distribution network.”
The UAE has been the strongest and most mature market from an Access point of view, but the Saudi Arabian market is expected to grow quickly in the next three years. “We see construction projects are starting to really ramp up in the Kingdom,” says Hume. “With the recent hike in oil prices, we are seeing an immediate increase in the interest and enquiries for our electric range.”
JLG has two rough terrain boom lifts that are fully powered by Lithium batteries that will be launched in the market this year. This is a result of how companies are recognising now that there is a choice to move away from diesel. As the oil price continues to be high, governments around the region will move swiftly into investing more in the oil and gas industry. “We are already seeing this with major projects especially in Qatar, Abu Dhabi and KSA going through tender processes faster and machine requirements being floated,” continues Hume.
At JLG, the environment is a major focus on the development of their machines. “The environment is absolutely critical to all of our futures and this is now being reflected in the regional government’s initiatives to build and grow in a more sustainable way. Projects such as Neom in Saudi Arabia where the sustainable choice is at the forefront of all the decisions will only encourage a bigger shift towards more sustainable building practices,” says Hume.
Companies are also being asked to submit sustainability audit reports and by them showing that they are aware of the impact they are making just results in smarter equipment choices. The DaVinci and JLG’s full electric range supports this, and the company has also recently launched its electric conversion kit that enables owners to convert their diesel boom lift into an electric one.
“We are seeing real interest and demand for the DaVinci All Electric scissor across the region. The core industries this product is demanded for are food manufacturing, data centres, airports, exhibition centres and anywhere which is a critical environment that requires the machine to operate with zero leaks,” adds Hume. Vertical farming is also a new industry that is expected to grow exponentially in the coming decade and the DaVinci scissor offers a solution on how to pick and maintain those environments. Currently the Electric Scissor lifts are in use for many applications – from indoor MEP, fit out and finishing work to maintaining aircraft, malls, hotels and oil and gas facilities. Diesel scissors can be used in rough terrain applications and are often seen to be used in combination with a boom lift for steel construction for example.
The fact that the DaVinci AE1932 has no hydraulics unlocks new possibilities and applications where in the past these types of machines could not be used due to concerns surrounding leaks. This machine’s Control System uses a distributed architecture where each system (lift, drive and steer) is connected independently, helping reduce voltage drops and latency, while enabling the control system on the scissor to connect and communicate directly with each system. Because the control system is fully connected to the entire machine, the DaVinci scissor can transmit data back to operators, fleet managers and service technicians via bluetooth and cellular networks. This sets the stage for new features like the DaVinciGo app.
The DaVinciGo App provides real-time machine health and battery status information and the ability for service technicians to perform remote diagnostics through a smartphone or tablet and push over-the-air software updates. The app, which comes standard on JLG DaVinci lifts, sets a new benchmark for the industry by eliminating the need for a separate analyser, or any other specialised tools, to run machine diagnostics. It enables users to get remote assistance using smart phone-enabled diagnostics. And when product support is needed, users can use the app to remotely engage with the JLG service centre. Users can also use the app to calibrate and configure their DaVinci scissor lift, adjusting inputs, outputs, and parameters in real-time. And it is also possible to use the app to reset a setting to its factory default value. The app is free to download and install via the App Store or Google Play
The scissor lift is powered by a single Lithium-Ion battery. The battery charges twice as fast as a conventional Lead Acid (flooded) battery or a sealed AGM battery. It can also do opportunity charging without damaging the lifespan of the battery. Thirty minutes of charge brings the battery up by 30-40% allowing users to charge the machine during their lunch break for example. This adds to the machine ‘uptime’ for the operator so they can get the job done faster. The Lithium battery is designed to last the life of the machine. “Through testing we expect the battery to last over 10 years and JLG gives the customer confidence by giving a five-year warranty for it from the beginning,” adds Hume. Traditional battery-powered lifts have hoses routed throughout the scissor stack, whereas the DaVinci lift has no hoses for a clean, modern appearance. Furthermore, the DaVinci scissor lift system is engineered to recover energy as the platform descends, sending it back to the battery to help maximise use between charges.
The all-electric DaVinci AE1932 scissor lift answers the industry’s expectation for performance and productivity in 19ft (5.79m) scissor lifts, including an indoor/outdoor 606lb (275kg) capacity rating. The DaVinci AE1932 lift has a four mph (0.80km) travel speed, which is up to two times faster than a traditional scissor lift. This enables the machine to move quickly around job sites. Another productivity enhancing feature is progressive elevated drive speed. This function slows the unit down as it is elevated, instead of defaulting to 0.5mph like a standard scissor lift, a JLG industry first.