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Boom Lifts From AJ Access Platforms Are On Track For The Antarctic

Two boom lifts have been adapted and supplied by AJ Access Platforms to work in one of the world’s most hostile environments.

AJ Access Platforms have fitted snow tracks to the Genie Z60/34 articulating booms so that they can be used in Antarctica to carry out general maintenance and repair work at the British Antarctic Survey Halley V1 Research Station.

Typical winter temperatures are below -20°C with extreme lows of around -55°C, so AJ Access have provided special biodegradable hydraulic oils and batteries for cold weather starting, and British Antarctic Survey engineers have incorporated pre-heating technology. The Genie booms will run on aviation fuel because diesel would freeze in such temperatures.

Antarctic boomsThe two booms are ready to ship
The machines will set sail for the Antarctic on the research ship RRS Ernest Shackleton in October and are due to arrive around Christmas Day. 

There is 24-hour darkness for 105 days of the year and strong winds reduce visibility to just a few metres. The machines will remain outside all the time, so on many occasions the operators will have to chip off large quantities of ice before they can start them.

Conditions, which the Genie booms will endure
Ben Norrish, Vehicles and Plant Manager for the British Antarctic Survey, said: “We need reliable machines that are in good condition because we can only take a limited supply of parts with us and it would be very expensive if we had to have other parts flown out. AJ Access Platforms have supplied boom lifts to us in the past and have a good understanding of our requirements.”The British Antarctic Survey’s state-of-the-art research facility is made up of eight modules, each sitting on ski-fitted, hydraulic legs. These can be individually raised to overcome snow accumulation and each module towed independently to a new location.

The central module contains the communal areas for dining, relaxation etc, while the other modules provide accommodation, laboratories, offices, generators, an observation platform and many other facilities.

Halley V1 AntarcticaThe Halley VI Research Station sits on the same UHMW polyethylene outrigger mats that are widely used in the crane and lift industry