Water Tower Inspection

Case Study:

How Alpha Platforms squeezed its 300-ft boom lift through a narrow mountain road to inspect a 200-ft water tower

What was the challenge?

Palmyra, PA’s 200-ft water tower is a part of the major water delivery system and sits atop a steep, narrow dirt road in a remote wooded area. The tower maintenance crew, subcontracted by the infrastructure owners, needed to inspect the tower’s wooden roof, determine the state of wear, remove unsafe material, and inspect the internal wall. In order to locate and remove fallen and rotting planks, the inspectors needed a full aerial view of the roof. The available fixed climbing ladders restricted the crew to just the wrap-around catwalk under the roof with no access or visibility over the roof to achieve their objectives.

The available self-propelled lifts could not provide inspectors with access up and over the roof at this height. Transporting a crane with a birdcage to this remote location would have cost tens of thousands of dollars. Also, it would have been dangerous as the dirt road leading to the tower was precariously narrow, barely wide enough to squeeze a firetruck through vegetation.

Hanging in a bird cage over the roof would not have allowed easy and steady access to remove the unsafe roof planks. It’s likely, given the tower’s enormous size, that only partial access to the roof would have been possible. Communication between the crane operator and workers in a birdcage is never ideal: it’s typically confusing because the parties don’t see each other.

After extensive research of potential roof access methods, the client called Alpha Platforms for an estimate. Our estimator came on-site to evaluate the approach feasibility and measure the tower using a digital rangefinder to match available boom lifts.

What was the solution?

After evaluating site drawings and measurements, the estimator assigned the tallest man lift on the market: a 300-ft giant aerial platform. Alpha’s A-300 has a vertical reach of up to 300 ft and up-and-over reaches of 200 ft and 100 ft, respectively.
Given the tower’s remote location, it was risky to drive the 110,000-lb truck on the twisting mountain roads, Alpha Platforms’ operated rentals team dispatched the most experienced, IPAF- and manufacturer-certified driver and operator for this project.
The parking area in front of the tower did not allow for u-turns. As a result, the A-300 had to drive backwards, almost 3,000 ft, all the way up to the tower site.
The specs of our state-of-the-art A-300 lift:

What was the outcome?

Our operator smoothly maneuvered the giant 300-ft aerial lift to the tower and quickly lifted the maintenance crew up and over the roof. Having a full-time lift operator allowed easy access to its entire surface from a steady, stable basket, where the workers could solely and safely focus on the job at hand.

Inspectors removed the rotten wood and lowered remote-access cameras inside the tower to complete the inspection report.

The project finished in less than a week, on time and within budget, saving the project manager tens of thousands of dollars.

Our precise German-made lifts have become the height access method of choice for those who try them, as they combine unmatched productivity, safety, and reach.
Notable 300 Foot Boom Lift Capabilities
  • 12-foot extra large cage
  • 1,168 lbs lifting capacity for crew, equipment, and materials
  • Cage rotation 2 x 84°
  • Side reach up to 106 feet
  • Unique "under and up" or "up and over and back" access
  • Smooth controlled motions to move close to and around glass and fragile structures
  • Jib length 31’6’’
  • Parking in tight spaces 8’6’’ wide

Alpha Platforms has helped hundreds of teams like yours

Customer Testimonials
from Case Studies

Carlos Honorio Jr.
Honorio Designs

Great experience! First time on the 300 foot boom for a Local Law Facade Inspection. Vadim, the operator, was in complete control of the equipment and made the whole process smooth. Flagmen secured the area below and allowed my Client to operate their hotel without any disturbance. Honorio Designs Architecture, PLLC

Brian Rosado Hernández
The Telecom Company Foreman

Excellent service, arriving on time every day, responsible with the load limit, very attentive to the lubrication and controls of the crane.

Thomas Inciarte
Telecom Company Representative

Excellent team working with us, always willing to do anything for the best

The Signage Company Owner

It was a pleasure to work with Alpha Platforms, the crew was skilled and helpful, the equipment was top-notch. Our installers appreciated the security of the platform vs working off of a swing stage, it made their job easier and more efficient. From the first meeting thru to the end of the work day everything ran as smoothly as it could. We will definitely be partnering with Alpha Platforms on future projects. Thank you for your help!

Ryan Hughes

I had an emergency project on a 140' high voltage tower and needed Alpha Platforms next day. They were so helpful and expedient walking me through the entire process so I was comfortable with the deal. They showed up to my site next day and cut about 2 days off of the project due to the safety, speed and efficiency of their lift and operators. I'll never rent or hire another lift company. I would recommend Alpha platforms for all your high reach needs.

Liz Jones

Jon told me that it was a pleasure to work with Alpha Platforms, the crew was skilled and helpful, the equipment was top notch. Our installers appreciated the security of the platform vs working off of a swing stage, it made their job easier and more efficient. From first meeting thru to the end of the work day everything ran as smoothly as it could. City Sign Service, Inc. will definitely be partnering with Alpha Platforms on future projects.

Justin N.

That is a fine piece of equipment! And the competent, professional group that goes along with it is just the cherry on top. I really appreciate everything. I'm sure we'll be able to use Alpha again in the future as we get these opportunities. In fact, it will only help our business knowing we have a safe, reliable solution to these over 50‘ height challenges.

Byron Nivelo

We had an exceptional experience with Alpha! They are professionals, great operator team. Overall reliable, recommended will certainly return for my future needs hands down.

Nick Muhlon

My company used alpha lifts to clean a 14 floor building and they were great. Very accommodating, always on time, and will work with you to get the job done safe and sound. The lifts they provide are state of the art and can pretty much reach any low rise building under 250 feet. I’d recommend them to anyone doing window cleaning or facade cleaning, or anything king of height access work!

Mike P.
Building restoration services family business owner

We wanted to give it a try and see what this boom truck could do. We loved the idea of a wide basket that could reach up to 30 feet and get to the brick wall over the roof. The main reason we loved the truck was how it maneuvered the boom to lower the bricks inside a dumpster, which was located behind the truck. It saved us at least one extra day of work. It all went great.

Jason A.
Director of operations, family-owned regional electrical services provider

Alpha has the most efficient and leanest site setup time I’ve ever seen. My brother, who is the top climber of our group, first struggled to understand how this cage could go around the tower better than the crane - and when it did the whole 360°, he became a believer. Also, each laborer said how incredibly safe they felt - very different from the small crane basket. We were able to secure and push back the panels in place without the basket ever moving.

Joseph A.
Head stone mason, national cathedral

The project was performed successfully, and we were really glad to have contactless means of reaching the building, as we all know that pipe scaffold might damage the structure, in this case, very very sensitive.

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