Horizon Platforms Blog

A Closer Look at Future MEWP Innovations and Trends

Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs), also known as powered access or access platforms,  have significantly changed the landscape of working at height, providing a safer and more efficient approach. The future of MEWPs is characterised by practical innovation and emerging trends set to reshape the industry for the benefit of operators and businesses who rely on lifters to complete work.

In a world where demands for increased productivity are met with limited space, tight schedules, and budget constraints, the need for adaptable solutions in the realm of scissor lifts, cherry pickers, and other elevated work-at-height platforms is evident. 

This blog, Todor Ilinov, Horizon Platforms’ Aftercare Manager,  delves into the dynamic world of elevated access platforms, offering a comprehensive look at what lies ahead for those who aim to elevate their projects to new heights.

Horizon Platforms engineer operating a cherry picker

Notable Mobile Elevated Work Platform Trends

In the field of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, today there is a large focus on adopting and utilising connected and sustainable technologies. 

There is a large focus in the powered access industry on reshaping the landscape of elevated work solutions, which includes the following trends:

  • Rising demand for more sustainable and reliable equipment.
  • Escalating integration of technology to enhance product safety, quality and efficiency. 
  • Increased emphasis on digitisation, allowing for real-time monitoring and preventative maintenance. 
  • Compact, versatile designs are gaining traction, addressing the demand for manoeuvrability in confined spaces. 
  • Eco-friendly initiatives are driving the integration of sustainable materials and energy-efficient technologies.
  • Advancements in hybrid and electric power systems reflect a commitment to reducing carbon footprints. 

These trends signify a pragmatic evolution towards more practical, sustainable, and adaptable MEWP solutions for modern construction, installation, repair and maintenance needs.

Four Innovations Shaping the Future of MEWPs

Whether you work within the access platform field or simply want to better utilise MEWPs, understanding how they might change in the future is crucial. From new technologies to sustainable adaptations, we have shared four innovations shaping the horizon.

Electrification of Scissor Lifts and Cherry Pickers

As more construction, remodelling and maintenance tasks occur on live sites or in heavily populated, urbanised areas, by health and sustainability conscious businesses, compliance with ever-increasing noise and air pollution requirements is essential. 

In response, especially in sensitive areas and indoor settings, there is a discernible shift towards hybrid or exclusive battery-powered access platforms. 

This growing preference for electrification is evident in the rising demand for electric models, pointing towards a future where electric MEWPs may replace fuel-powered machines in all work environments.

Consequently,battery technology improvements are emerging as well as the need to maximise battery life through regeneration and repair rather than immediate replacement.

To learn more about harnessing MEWP electrification, read our blog, Steps to Sustainability: Top Environmentally-Friendly Tips For Hiring a Cherry Picker.

Regenerate Batteries with Horizon Platforms

At Horizon Platforms, we use battery regeneration technology to recondition batteries, reversing damage and prolonging lifespan. 

This work has contributed to a 30% reduction in lead battery waste throughout our business. It’s part of a range of sustainability measures we’ve put in place, such as sensor-activated lights in our depot to save energy use, using EURO 6 delivery trucks and stocking large number of electric-powered access platforms.

In our blog, MEWP Battery Regeneration: Increasing Battery Life to Support Sustainability, you can learn more about battery regeneration, how it works, and what Horizon Platforms is doing to help the environment.

MEWP Designs Going Beyond Compliance

Following the updated BS EN 280, Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) manufactured after June 1st, 2020 must incorporate enhanced safety features. These include platform load sensing, tilt sensing, increased railing height, and more. 

These regulations offer an opportunity to reassess MEWP designs from an operator’s perspective, integrating additional features to facilitate compliance with the updated standards. 

Unfamiliarity with the ANSI A92 standards may result in overlooking crucial aspects; for instance, the operation of new MEWPs can be restricted if platforms are overloaded or if tilt levels surpass specified limits.

More Steps Toward Job Site Connectivity

The MEWP industry is witnessing a significant move towards greater job site connectivity. Companies are transitioning from one-way connectivity in existing telematics to a fully integrated, two-way interactivity model. 

Typically, most projects run on tight margins, and MEWP operators must often complete one aspect of a project before they can start on the next. Therefore, if equipment breaks down or requires service while on the job, entire projects can fall behind or be cancelled. 

Telematics technology can help address these challenges by giving visibility to the equipment’s location and operating condition at any time of the day or night. As a result, it is easier to be more proactive and efficient regarding maintenance. For example, engineers can check the state of the issues remotely, speeding up the resolution of issues

What’s more, assessing the readiness of your electric scissor lift for a full shift’s work has traditionally been challenging. However, with the introduction of advanced battery monitoring system technologies, users can now access critical battery status information, charging cycle history, and maintenance alerts through a dedicated smartphone app.

Additionally, mobile control apps enable real-time assessments of operational readiness and, in certain instances, even remote operation of scissor lifts by operators.

Access Platform Providers Providing the Total Package 

Ultimately, the access equipment industry’s defining moment will be more than just offering a sustainable, safe and efficient MEWP. It will be about developing comprehensive resources for access equipment owners, operators and service providers that fix problems before they occur.

Consider these scenarios. 

  • You are working on a large site and determining the appropriate MEWP for a narrow entryway which is proving time-consuming. Instead, you could utilise our Platform Finder Tool through a smartphone to swiftly identify a suitable machine, streamlining the selection process for improved efficiency. 
  • You manage the hiring for multiple jobs across the country and need to quickly track what you have on hire or want to off-hire machines that have been on site longer than necessary? Then you need to turn to HireHub!

Reputable work-from-height access platform providers can also offer a comprehensive solution by focusing on several key aspects to provide the total package for their customers:

  • A Diverse Equipment Fleet: Provide various access platforms, including scissor lifts, boom lifts, and speciality equipment. This ensures that clients can find the right machine for their specific needs, whether for construction, maintenance, or specialised tasks.
  • Technology Integration: Incorporate advanced technologies such as telematics,  for real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and enhanced safety features, where possible. This improves equipment performance for specific requirements and contributes to a safer working environment.
  • Training and Certification: Offer comprehensive access platform training for operators, ensuring they are well-versed in the safe and efficient use of the equipment. Certification programs can further validate the competence of operators, enhancing overall job site safety. Looking for IPAF training? Read our Ultimate Guide to Access Platform Training
  • Maintenance and Support Services: Provide regular maintenance services to keep equipment in optimal condition. Quick response times for repairs and troubleshooting contribute to minimal downtime, allowing clients to meet project deadlines efficiently.
  • Customised Solutions: Work closely with clients to understand their project requirements and challenges. Tailor solutions, including equipment recommendations and operational plans, to meet the unique needs of each customer.
  • Environmental Considerations: Embrace eco-friendly practices by offering electric or hybrid equipment options. This aligns with sustainability goals and caters to projects with stringent environmental regulations. 
  • Online Platforms for Convenience: As stated above, developing user-friendly online platforms or mobile apps such as HireHub can simplify equipment rental, monitoring, and scheduling. This streamlines the rental process and enhances the overall customer experience.

By addressing these aspects comprehensively, work-from-height access platform providers can deliver the total package, meeting the diverse needs of their clients and establishing long-term partnerships based on reliability and customer satisfaction.

How Horizon Platforms are Helping to Drive the Future of MEWPs

Today’s biggest responsibility as a leading nationwide aerial access platform provider is the need to continually evolve and introduce technologies and features that will enable our customers to be more successful, safer and increasingly efficient on the job.

By understanding the needs of our customers and what they expect from us, we can focus on developing enhancements that make Horizon Platforms equipment safer and more intuitive to operate. 

If you have any questions on the topics discussed above, please get in touch. Alternatively, browse our extensive range of access platforms and more at Horizon Platforms today, or contact us if you have any questions.