How Do Cherry Pickers Work?

If you’re looking for a safe way to work at height, you need to look beyond ladders. Time and budget may also prohibit scaffolding. Nonetheless, there is an alternative solution - one that is highly mobile, with great reach and dexterity. Cherry pickers are a versatile solution favoured in a range of sectors, from civil engineering to agriculture, and even fire and rescue services. Here, we’ll take a look at how cherry pickers work so that you can make an informed decision as to whether they’re the best solution for your needs.

What is a Cherry Picker?

A cherry picker is a type of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP). They are used to access high and hard to reach areas for long periods of time. They are much safer and sturdier than using a ladder, and more mobile and agile than scaffolding. They are so-named because they were once used to collect fruit from tall trees. Yet while they are still used in agriculture, they have a wide range of other uses. From building maintenance and window cleaning to rescue services and infrastructure repair, they are very versatile machines.

Different Kinds of Cherry Picker

There are several different kinds of cherry picker/MEWP. Each is designed to lend itself to subtly different use cases. These include:
  • Telescopic boom - An extending arm used for vertical lifts to great heights
  • Articulated boom - An articulated arm that can be used to reach out horizontally to tricky places where a vertical lift cannot reach
  • Static vertical - A static scissor lift that facilitates stable upward movements. Some versions of this are called ‘spider lifts’ because they are stabilised by four spider-like legs
  • Static boom - A self-propelled hydraulic arm with a basket for personnel. This is designed to be mounted onto a trailer or the roof of a vehicle
  • Insulated aerial device - An insulated cherry picker that offers users a modicum of insulation from electrical discharge
  • Mobile vertical - A scissor lift or vertical arm with a wheeled base
  • Mobile boom - An articulated arm on top of a mobile base. This is the kind of cherry picker in which we specialise!

How Cherry Pickers Work

At Star Platforms, we specialise in hire, sale and training for mobile boom cherry pickers. These are extremely versatile with a robust build that makes them well suited to outdoor use without the need for outriggers in most ground conditions. However, their agility and small turning circles make them perfect for indoor use cases too (e.g. warehouse, factory, and industrial usage). Our mobile cherry pickers can be operated from within or outside the cage. This gives users complete control over their positioning and aids time-efficient operations. We offer both hybrid diesel/battery, and 100% electric options to help reduce the carbon footprint of your operations. Let’s take a look at how our cherry pickers work in this step-by-step guide. While steps may vary slightly depending on the model you use, the instructions below should hopefully give you a general overview of how cherry pickers work.

In-cage operation

Our cherry pickers are designed to be operated within the cage. Here are step-by-step instructions that will illustrate how our cherry pickers work. Operation is very straightforward and is designed to increase time efficiency without compromising safety or control.
  • First, insert and turn the base key into the ‘cage’ position
  • Climb into the cage, being sure to keep three points of contact at all times when getting into and out of the cage
  • Attach your safety harness by securing the clip to the circular port below the control panel
  • Press and hold the green power button or foot pedal
  • With the button or peddle held down, adjust your position using the 5 fully-proportional levers
  • These levers are used to control the first knuckle to determine height, tip and rotate the cage, and extend or contract the boom
  • Levers can be used individually or together to give the user greater control over their position

Base operation

As well as housing controls in the cage, cherry pickers also feature controls in the base unit. These can be used to operate the boom from the ground. This may be necessary for security or maintenance when the cherry picker is not in use. To operate from the base, simply turn the base key from the ‘cage’ position to the ‘base’ position. This activates the levers, which are the same as in the cage controls. Be sure to keep the green button pressed down when operating the levers.

In case of emergency!

In the event of an emergency, there is a red emergency stop button near the green power button. This will immobilise the cherry picker in the event of an emergency, preventing damage to the unit or its surroundings. There is an emergency stop button on the base unit and another one within the cage.

Cherry Picker Training From Star Platforms

A cherry picker can be an invaluable tool that lends itself to a variety of uses. However, to use one safely and effectively, proper employee training is needed. That’s where we come in! As well as providing flexible cherry picker hire and sales, we also offer comprehensive training solutions for clients. With our IPAF accredited training courses, you can empower your workforce with the knowledge and skills needed to safely operate cherry pickers. At Star Platforms, we’re here to help you to get the most out of your MEWPs - just get in touch with any enquiries.