The limitations of high reach, self-propelled aerial platforms are defined by only a handful of constraints. Two of these are the physics/kinematics of getting “up there,” and the transportation restrictions to get the machine “over there.”
In 2006, Genie launched a product that would address both of these road blocks head on, as well as allow us to set the stage to push the boundary on what was once an industry ceiling — the X-Chassis™ system. The innovative X-chassis system, introduced on the Genie Z-135/70 articulated boom, is designed to provide an exceptional base, meeting all of the machine’s needs for stability, transportability and maneuverability. The X-chassis system, operators are able to quickly increase the width of the machine from a very transportable 8 ft 2 in to the nearly 13 ft, which is required for stability. This means that owners could use their existing delivery trailers without incurring additional capital and operational costs. Coupled with the independently controlled drive wheels and four modes of steering, the versatility, maneuverability and transportability of this machine set new benchmarks in the industry.
For six years, Genie only offered the patented X-chassis system on its largest articulated boom offerings. Then at Bauma 2013, we took the X-chassis concept and used it to challenge the notion the market had for what a “Super” or “Ultra” boom really was with the introduction of the Genie SX-180 boom. The height, capacity and range of motion that the SX-180 model, without an X-chassis, would be cause for all sorts of headaches in terms of delivery, setup, maintenance and operation — and that is before you even consider the cost. But, the SX-180 equipped with the super X-chassis system became the one of the world’s highest reaching self-propelled boom, built to safely and quickly lift operators, opening up new application opportunities for our customers.
And, we didn’t stop there. The super X-chassis system in the Genie SX-180 boom was not a copy of the design found under the Z-135/70, it was totally new. Due to positive response from the market, Genie redesigned the Z-135/70 in 2013 to include the super X-chassis system. With an increase in maximum width to 16 ft, (still maintaining the 8 ft 2 in width in transport configuration) and the replacement of cast legs with welded box tubes, the redesign for the Z-135/70 allowed for a large range of products to make use of the innovative technology we had at our disposal. This update also provided us to take advantage of many manufacturing commonalities and efficiencies, necessary for meeting the market demands for production of three models utilizing this innovative technology.
The X-Chassis is certainly not the only technology that allowed us to push the limits of where self-propelled booms can reach, but this core technical advance allowed us break through the known ceiling and set the stage to take you even higher.