Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) are a major part of the fleet at Badger Rental Service, Garden City, Ga. That is why Garrett Shurling, president and CEO, is doing everything he can to be in compliance, but he knows there is more he wants to do to be a complete rental solution for his MEWP customers. That is why he is excited about the new Certified MEWP Training program offered by the American Rental Association (ARA).
“We have around 40 MEWPs in our fleet, everything from a 30-ft. single-man vertical lift to an 85-ft. boom lift. They are a significant part of our rental offerings,” says Shurling, who serves on ARA’s Equipment Rental Shared Interest Group.
The MEWP fleet at Badger Rental Service is a mix of new units that have all the integrated safety features and some models that are a couple of years older that have been grandfathered in. Shurling has been relying on a local crane maintenance service that is certified to conduct inspections of his fleet and place the inspection decals on his machines. In addition to the decals, the owner’s manual and other required documentation always are on every unit for each rental.
Employees currently are trained by an outside certified trainer.
“We are looking forward to bringing that training inside the organization. We do not offer training to our customers, but eventually we will be able to do that as well,” he says.
With all the recent changes for standards for MEWPs adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), staying in compliance can be challenging.
“We have tried our hardest and have read all the guidance that we can find and everything that the ARA offers. Staying in compliance is a tough thing and is one of the things we have looked forward to most from ARA in developing the standard in training as a one-stop shop to go to for this information,” Shurling says.
“It is incredibly valuable for smaller operations like us that don’t have the manpower to have a dedicated person whose job is safety and compliance. We have a director of safety, but it is not a full-time position for him. We feel like keeping up with all the changes, the new standards and everything we need to be in compliance is a full-time job. We are grateful to the ARA for providing us with the extra help we need to get the job done,” he says.
The beauty of the ARA Certified MEWP Training program, which was launched last month, is “it is applicable across all brands and all different types of MEWPs. We are excited to have a standard set. Any time you can have a process standardized and followed by all is always a good thing, both for safety and ease of application on our end. I think it is a win-win,” he says.