Safety is a mantra at the Waterloo operation of Columbia Quarry Co. With blasting, giant trucks, crushers and elevated conveyors, the potential for danger is high. Superintendent Bill Groh insists that no one use a ladder when working overhead above 5 feet. Even though it is a highly automated operation, gravel is a low-margin business, so Groh must deploy his workers as cost-effectively as possible.
Groh recently replaced his obsolete boom lift with a new JLG 600SJ boom lift, featuring a Workstation in the Sky package that included a 7,500-watt generator, pneumatic compressor, plasma cutter, and a stick welder.
An air line, which runs through the boom from the 13-cfm air compressor to the platform, is ½ inch in diameter, sufficient to operate impact wrenches, a useful tool at the quarry when changing out bearings and gears that sometimes give way. Electric lines also run through the boom to a GFIC outlet on the platform so the generator can also provide power for either electric hand tools or the 250-amp Miller stick welder and Miller plasma cutter that are also mounted inside the platform. Add to these features a 500-pound unrestricted platform capacity, and the boom lift can be used by a single person to go to a site and perform the repair or maintenance.
"The whole machine with the Workstation in the Sky accessories is just a great idea," Groh says. "Now, one of my men can climb in the platform with a couple of [welding] 'sticks' and any other tools he needs and go right to work. No second person is needed to haul generators and welders to the site and no dangerous lines are hanging down from the platform. It saves time and it's safer."