SINCE its launch in 2020, Platform Basket’s Spider 20.95 tracked platform has proved a huge success with UK tree surgeons who are benefitting from its impressive work envelope, unrestricted platform capacity and its range of features ideally suited to the arboricultural sector.

Shaun Day, managing director of UK distributor Promax Access, said: “Although we only took delivery of the first units in June, the amount that have been chosen by the tree-care sector is already into double digits. It has certainly raised the bar and expectation levels for tracked platforms in this working height range, offering operator benefits generally associated with much larger and more expensive machines.”

The Spider 20.95 offers a working height of 19.4 m and an outreach of 9.5 m while weighing just 2,800 kg. Its maximum outreach can also be achieved with an up-and-over height of 7 m, ensuring the machine can be set up over hedges and fences as well as clear of drop zones. Another important factor to its growing success has been its unrestricted 250 kg platform capacity, which allows users to reach more of the tree canopy without having to remove weight from the platform cage or reposition the machine.

Lawrence Thompson, owner of Thompson Tree Services, which recently purchased a Spider 20.95, said: “We originally looked at a few other spider lifts on the market, some of which offered slightly more outreach but with a reduced platform capacity.

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“The problem is that by the time one of our guys is loaded up with his kit and chainsaw, it will already be pushing the capacity well over 100 kg. On top of this, the 20.95’s boom movements felt a lot more steady and controlled than other models.”

Features being appreciated by tree surgeons include its width- and height-adjustable tracks for greater ground clearance and stability on challenging terrains, a 1.8 m jib with 180 degrees of platform rotation for greater control in and around tree limbs, and the ability to self-level on slopes of up to 17 degrees. All the machine’s hoses and cables have also been concealed within the heavy-duty steel boom to protect them from falling debris.

READ MORE: More options for John Deere booms

The 20.95 is powered by a reliable Z482 Kubota diesel engine that can easily cope with rugged and challenging ground conditions. It can also be supplied with a hybrid diesel/lithium-ion power source which allows for emission- and noise-free operation – ideal for any residential applications and for ensuring workers in the platform cage can easily communicate with those on the ground.

Chris Fouch, owner of arboricultural equipment rental company Cutting Edge Arb, said: “Up until this point, our spider lift fleet has been from another leading manufacturer, but unfortunately I have been let down too many times by both the product and customer support. The build quality and durability of our new 20.95 is very impressive and for a rental product aimed specifically at customers in the arb industry, it has everything you could want. In fact, I’ve already had a number of customers compliment it and request it on future jobs.”

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Designed with the operator in mind, the 20.95 comes with radio remote controls as well as automatic outrigger set-up and boom-stowing functions. A display screen also provides instant operating guidance, diagnostics and support. For residential applications, which often require access down side alleys, between houses or through gates, the platform cage can be quickly removed to provide an overall width of less than a metre and a height of under two metres.

Additional options available for the arb sector include a screen divider, a one-man platform cage and a 250 kg hydraulic winch which can be used in place of the platform cage to help lower and load larger tree sections.

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