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Electric scissor lift


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#1 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 01:34 PM

From my experience with electric scissor lifts, they are very sensitive to imperfections on the ground. I'm doing a shoot where I will have to place a lift on a slightly sloping surface. Do I need to get a diesel powered self-leveling lift? Or could I somehow level the electric one? Maybe with plywood?
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:04 PM

Probably better to rent a boom instead of scissors. There are electric ones, google JLG and Genie. You could also get a telehandler with an OSHA approved man basket. They're more expensive than the 500 pound limited booms, but carry much bigger loads. My hydraulics guy tells me they're much more reliable, too.

You could mess with leveling, but it'll take time, and it has to be absolutely solid.



-- J.S.
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 04:39 PM

Yeah, unfortunately, they don't have the money for a boom lift. It's going to be a scissor, if anything. Its not going to be carrying a lot of weight (just a 4K and a small person at most). I'd rather not mess with leveling, but I doubt the production has enough money for a diesel self-leveling scissor lift.
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#4 Jess Haas

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:30 PM

Small scissor lift on uneven ground is bad news. Talk to the place you are renting the scissor lift from and ask what they have that can be leveled and what they have to level them.

For what you are doing it really sounds like you need the bigger scissor lift anyway. Either convince production to pay for it or figure out another way to light it. No point in renting something that isn't going to work.

~Jess
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#5 robert duke

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 05:39 PM

Leveling a lift costs the difference in renting a bigger lift. You will find that the rental on a self leveling diesel lift is the same as renting a 40ft condor.

leveling a lift is a no-no according to Osha and the manufacturers. This is where you can either fight for the responsible safe choice of using the right tool for the job, or you can risk your future for a movie. Accidents do happen and death does occur.

Google leveling a lift or go to the JLG website.

CAL-OSHA allows condors to be level in accordance with the Local 80 and manufacturer's specifications. It is essentially a 3ft x 8 ft x 11inch block of plywood with a 6x6 stop on it. It is expensive to build.
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 06:38 PM

Yeah, unfortunately, they don't have the money for a boom lift. It's going to be a scissor, if anything.

Both JLG and Genie have these little boom arm trailer things that you can tow behind an ordinary car. You drive and then muscle them into position, set up the outrigger legs, and the arm runs on batteries. They go about as high as a small electric scissor lift, and are designed for ordinary urban outdoor terrain. Electric scissor lifts are for things like changing light bulbs in a warehouse, where you have limited room for the machine footprint, and a good hard level floor. Maybe we should have asked earlier, how high does this need to go?



-- J.S.
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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 06:50 PM

Here's the 35 foot one from JLG:

http://www.goldcoast..._Boom_Lift.html

They also make a 50 foot version of the same thing. Try construction equipment rental places, they shouldn't be too expensive.




-- J.S.
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#8 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 08:10 PM

In the low-budget world, the fantasy is that you can use your ingenuity and figure out ways to do things on the cheap. In this case, though, the ingenuity should not be how to make a 20' lift into a 30' lift; it ain't gonna happen. Either the producers figure out how to pay for a bigger lift, or shoot on a lower floor, or shoot it without the light. Maybe the DP can look at David Mullen's notes from "The Sophomore." We shot a lot of day interiors with an HMI Leeko shooting into a bounce set over a window, and it looked great.

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=25169
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#9 robert duke

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Posted 26 November 2007 - 10:23 PM

Producers are not bad people, but they push and push to lower costs and cut corners. We as techs try to appease them, we try to be ingenious and find better ways, cheaper ways, easier ways. We all do it. We want to save face and look good to the producer. The producer however when it comes to the aftermath of an accident, of any kind, steps back and lays the entire blame at our feet. Rightfully so. We know or are supposed to know the limits of the equipment we deal with. We are supposed to know how to operate and setup equipment so that it will function safely. We as Key grips, Gaffers , grips, electricians, are to blame when something happens. Legally in the case of an accident the producer knows that no matter how hard any of us fought to get the right equipment, if we faulter in our fight for the right equipment, if we take a shortcut and it works once, but not twice. The Producer is completely absolved of legal guilt. Morally is another matter. If an accident happens it becomes the producer not paying for the hospital, not paying for the funeral, not paying for the lost wages, because Legally we as the supervisors are responsible for the usage of the equipment. When the lawyers pony up it is us that pays, it is us that loses in the courts.

I have noticed that there are several times a month postings from people willing or asking if things work when you cross the line of safety. I know that the budgets are shrinking, the old timers are retiring or opting out of low budget shoots. I guess this is more for all the people who ask will it work or can I do this.
Think about what you are doing work through it completely in your head, look at what could happen, think of how to do it safer. Dont worry about the cost. Do it right, or dont do it at all. It is only a movie. It is not worth your life, your friends life, your ability to provide, nor anyones.

Producers make more than you, work less than you and are exempt when it comes to the legal responsibility of an accident. Producers look to you to have the knowledge to do the job in a manner in which is safe.

I applaud everyone who has asked what is right and what is safe. For every one of you though there is four who don't ask who risk it. I hear stories all the time.

sometimes you have to stand up to a producer and say no.
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#10 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 09:15 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies. They were all very helpful.

I think I'm going to try to convince the producers to go with a 26' diesel (self-leveling) scissor lift, and chain vise either a combo stand or a candlestick to it (I think with 26 feet, I'll have enough height to use a candlestick). If they say it's too expensive, then we'll have to come up with a scaffold or something else. I think that, for safety reasons, I'm going to nix the shorter electric scissor lift.

Again, many thanks. :)
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Ritter Battery

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Glidecam

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

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