Like many construction and heavy machinery items, EWPs in Australia require a 10 year inspection in order to keep operating. The Australian Standards of Safety, (EWPA Code of Practice for Power-Operated Elevating Work Platforms 6.4.5 of AS 2550.10), requires a major inspection for all EWPs after 10 years of service and every five years thereafter.
This includes the dismantling and thorough examination of the machines – a process that requires the skills of experienced technicians. If the decennial inspection is not performed and an accident occurs, the owner of the machine is responsible for the damage.
Service Manager for Haulotte Paul Barber explains why 10 year services are important.
“For us it comes down to safety. Haulotte machines feature some of the most innovative safety features on the market, so it makes sense that we bring that thought process into our service schedule,” he says.
“Our factory-trained technicians work diligently checking every element of a machine to be sure it is returned to the customer for another five to 10 years of life.”
Benefits of inspection
By completing a 10-year inspection, the owner has the benefit of knowing the equipment is safe, reliable and up to date. The machine is fully operational, ready for use and compliant with the existing regulations. It also enhances the life of the machine, especially when combined with preventative maintenance schedule.
Alfasi Hire Operations Manager Daryl Steer describes the benefits they see when completing a 10-year inspection.
“It is getting harder and harder to source new machines, so by renewing key items of plant we are able to increase fleet availability to the customer,” Daryl says.
What is involved?
Each inspection is unique depending on the machine type, condition and age. However, there are standard elements to every inspection that need to be carried out. As an example, a Haulotte 10-year inspection is conducted in 3 stages:
The machine is washed, and a full function test is performed, a visual inspection is made and a report on any abnormalities is written. Technical teams ensure that there are no leaks in the cylinder seals or counterbalance valves and test pressures.
The machine is dismantled, and all internal components are stripped to allow a complete and thorough inspection. Crack tests and magnetic particle tests, checks of all critical components are performed to detect signs of fatigue. All components are inspected, tested, cleaned, lubricated and the tolerance of all wear components is tested. Components are refurbished, systems repaired and upgraded if necessary. Only original spare parts are used to ensure optimum safety. Components that are heavily rusted are sandblasted and prepared for painting.
Once all components are cleaned and repaired, assembly begins, and a full service is performed. New decals and a compliance plate ensure the machine meets the Australian standards. The machine undergoes several functional tests before leaving the workshop. Haulotte provides a certificate confirming the completion of the 10-years test with a checklist of the work done certifying the machine conforms to standard.
How much does it cost?
The cost of an inspection depends on the type of EWP and whether the owner is looking for cosmetic improvements or solely operations and safety improvements.
Generally, it can be considered that the inspection cost is around 15-22 per cent of the purchase price of a replacement machine. Some owners use this as a chance to also repaint the machine and sell it second hand.
“With a fresh coat of paint and new decals a machine takes on an as new appearance, which can enhance the overall marketability of a machine with end users,” adds Paul.
It is always beneficial to use a manufacturer to complete a 10-year inspection because they have better knowledge of the machine’s specifications, even the oldest. Using the manufacturer’s recommendations and various R&D files at their disposal, they live evaluate the condition of the platforms with absolute precision. Thanks to their experience, machine downtime is reduced to a minimum.
In addition, manufacturer technicians are trained on the equipment and see them every day. With intimate equipment knowledge, they can often repair any faults quicker, as they have seen them before and know the solution. They are resourced to provide
initial technical support, right through to scheduled maintenance and breakdown service.
“When we look for a service provider, we look for someone that is reliable and gets the unit completed in a timely manner to minimise loss of income but most importantly a supplier that does a thorough job,” Daryl says. Haulotte standards are industry leading so we feel confident to send them any machine, from any manufacturer.”
“We are a complete service and maintenance solution. The industry is looking for suppliers they can trust and provide a total package. We have the availability and resources across our first class facilities in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth for any machine,” Paul adds.