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Why Are Bronto Skylifts an Ideal Solution for Oil and Gas Refineries?

If you work at an oil and gas refinery, you’re no doubt are familiar with plant turnarounds and shut downs. And you know how chaotic they can be with hundreds often thousands of contractors on-site performing various tasks.. With all this additional personnel on-site the risk of an accident increases significantly.  These workers often do not know the safety protocols for your refinery, thus compounding the safety concerns. 

Regardless of what materials you produce—crude oil, gasoline, plastic, or methane—one thing is always true. A refinery gets paid for production, not downtime, so the longer the setup & tear-down and execution of these tasks, the less money the refinery makes. 

So how do you maintain safe working conditions during a turnaround or shut down, as well as on a daily basis, at your work site? If you’re feeling overwhelmed, we don’t blame you—but we’re here to help! Here are the top reasons why Bronto Skylifts are an ideal method of access for oil and gas refineries.

Bronto Skylifts Are Safer

View of Factory Against Blue SkyWhen it comes time for the turnaround or shut down of your refinery, you can expect anywhere from 300 to 6,000 new on-site personnel to help perform the inspection, maintenance, repair, and cleaning of all your equipment. With all this new on-site personnel comes an increased risk of accidents and injuries. That’s because the operators will most likely be using traditional equipment, and those lack the design and innovation to be truly safe—here’s why:

  1. Crane and man baskets are actually designed to handle materials, not people, which means they lack the safety standards to protect human lives. 
  2. OSHA recently announced new guidelines stating that a crane and man basket are the last method of access option aerial tasks should utilize.
  3. Even self-propelled AWPs such as Genies and JLG lifts are risky to use because they’re not truck mounted, which makes them unstable and more perilous the higher you go. 

So, having a critical lift plan absolutely essential for the safety of your refinery. But how do you know which equipment is safe to use? Here at Kardie Equipment, safety is our number-one priority, and that’s why we’re proud of the fact that the AWPs we rent, lease, sell, maintain, and offer training for are Bronto Skylifts, the safest and most reliable aerial work platforms on the market.

At the top of the safety features list is Bronto Skylift’s on-demand remote in-basket intercom. Because it’s voice activated, it will channel your intercom system to the ground below as soon as you speak. In the event of an emergency—an explosion or chemical leak, for example—this on-demand feature could make all the difference for someone who’s been injured.

Another advantageous safety feature is the in-basket air and water supply that is included in most of our units. When you work in an oil and gas refinery, you’re often wearing a bulky chemical suit and respirator, so having an actual air supply in the basket can act as a lifeline in the event of a catastrophe. This is especially true if you need to access these resources without turning off the processing plant. It’s not possible to do when you’re using a crane and man basket, because you’d have cables and hoses hanging from the basket interfering with work space or getting caught on structures below. You can’t do it with scaffolding either, because you’d have to weave it through the massive amount of pipes and racks you’re working with. With several of our Bronto Skylifts, however, you can access the water or air supply without turning off the processing plant, which makes it safer and more efficient.

Here are the rest of Bronto's innovative safety features:

    • Smooth boom movements and automatic leveling
    • Dual emergency descent systems
    • Multiple backup operating systems 
  • Rigid work platforms permanently attached to the telescopic boom
  • Bronto baskets that can withstand winds up to 31 mph
  • Intercom between the work platform and ground
  • Cage load sensor and overload alarm
  • Wind speed indicator and alarm
  • Emergency stop functions from the work platform, ground control, and outrigger control center

Bronto Skylifts Have a More Efficient Setup 

In addition to the fact that scaffolding, man baskets, and smaller self-propelled AWPs don’t have the same safety innovations as Bronto Skylifts, they’re also not as efficient. It takes weeks and even months to set up scaffolding—and this makes the process very expensive. Crane and man baskets aren’t much better, because it takes hours—if not days—to set up all the counterweights and the crane itself. 

A Bronto Skylift, on the other hand, can be driven on-site and up to working heights in as little as 15 minutes. And even though turnarounds and shut downs are typically scheduled months or years in advance, we can get you a Bronto Skylift on relatively short notice if necessary. 

Once on-site, we can provide access to a flare stacks, incinerator, cooling towers or hard-to-reach pipe racks—all things you can’t typically reach with scaffolding, crane and man baskets, or smaller self-propelled AWPs in a way that’s safe and efficient. Plus, unlike the massive footprint of a crane, Bronto Skylifts are designed to work better within limited space. Their outrigger half-jack ability even allows you to squeeze into tighter spaces and get closer to the object or tower you’re trying to reach. 

We know that during a turnaround or shut down, time equals money—and that’s why we’re able to help you greatly reduce or even eliminate your additional exposure hours.  Contact us for references at Shell, CITGO, Valero and Marathon for actual examples.

If you’re ready to rent, lease, or buy an efficient and reliable aerial work platform for your work site, we’re here to help you improve your work site safety conditions. Contact us at Kardie Equipment—we’ll make sure that you’re workers are protected, and that you get the job done right.


HOLT Aerial
Phone (888) 958-0499
Email: info@holtaerial.com

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We offer the largest fleet of self-propelled aerial work platforms above 150 Feet. Our units are located all across North America and allow us to provide better availability, lower mobilization costs and lower rates.

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HOLT Aerial believes in the safety of our employees, customers and job space above all. Already the industry leader in high elevated work platforms, we have also pushed ourselves to be the industry leader in the highest level of safety.

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