Aerial Outlook 2013: What's the Direction of New Product Development?

Aerial lifts make up enough of the North American rental market that what happens in the segment has a large impact on the entire rental industry. Rental asked the leaders of Skyjack, Terex AWP, JLG, and Snorkel where the aerial market's at and where it's headed.

Q: What do you see coming in new-product development for aerial work platforms?

Dave Smith, president of Snorkel: We're going to have the prototype of a new line of big-deck rough-terrain scissors at Bauma. The one that we're showing is a 43-foot, 90-inch wide, dual-extension deck model. Initially, it will be produced in Kansas for the rest of the world, but we'll definitely roll that out to produce around the world for other markets. Europe and the Middle East are where the majority of that demand is. That's a complete line, we'll end up having a 35-foot lift and a 52-foot model as well -- three models in the same range. We'll also be completely finalized with our Polaris line of medium-size booms. That's in full production mode now.

Brad Boehler, president of Skyjack: Skyjack is renowned for its electric scissor-based designs and they are at the core of an expanding product line designed in keeping with rental company needs. That product line is expanding, and an important part of Skyjack’s offering today is in the form of telescopic and articulated boom designs.

As Skyjack looks to expand the product line further, 2013 sees the introduction of our new articulating boom, the SJ63AJ. With a platform height that rises to a maximum 63 feet and maximum outreach of 40 feet, the new SJ63AJ also has many best-in-class features such as the industry’s only true 4WD, axle-based drive system for unmatched traction and terrainability, exclusive direction-sensing drive and steer controls, low gross vehicle weight for ease of transport, and riser function that allows true vertical rise and descent of the platform.

Matt Fearon, president of Terex AWP: We just introduced our new Genie GTH-1544 telehandler which speaks to the trend toward larger telehandlers, not only at larger construction sites, but also for the burgeoning oil and gas industries, in mines and in ports. This product will offer a new standard for the industry by offering exceptional quality and sought-after features.

We also introduced our new Lift Pro online operator training at the Rental Show in February. This is positively groundbreaking for the industry. By offering this course online, a much broader range of individuals will have access to the opportunity to become a qualified operator, and a wider range of Genie customers who don’t currently offer this type of program will have the ability to provide high-quality operator training to their end users. By increasing the percentage of operators who have received quality training through this program, we are all contributing to the improvement of overall aerial work platform industry safety.

Plus, we will be announcing a brand new boom product at Bauma in Munich. There is nothing like it on the market today.

Frank Nerenhausen, president of JLG: We need to continue to expand with the market desires and continue our lead in access. We'll continue to invest in innovation. We've got very strong channels. We try to surround our customers with the best products and services and we focus on that each and every day.

But it's more than just product these days, it's total cost of ownership. If you produce the finest products but don't support them, you're not going to get the second deal. Our Ground Support team is best in class, the way we're coming up with new diagnostic options, the way our customers can order parts through multiple channels that serve them best, all this creates an environment that supports our products and supports our current growth plan.


Aerial Outlook 2013: Current State of the North American Work-Platform Market

Leaders of the big four aerial-work-platform makers assess the state of business today, and their outlooks for the remainder of 2013

Aerial Outlook 2013: How the North American Market Compares with the World

Leaders of Terex AWP, Snorkel and Skyjack discuss the direction of global work-platform business -- hot spots and cool -- with that of North America

Aerial Outlook 2013: Which Forces Will Most Impact the 2013 Work-Platform Market?

Leaders of JLG, Snorkel, Skyjack, and Terex AWP weigh in on the economic, political and market issues that will drive revenue and profit in work-platform rentals