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A cherry picker (also known as an mobile elevated work platform, MEWP, boom lift, man lift, basket crane or hydraladder) is a type of aerial work platform that consists of a platform or bucket at the end of a hydraulic lifting system. It may be mounted on a truck or van or on a self-propelled platform.
It is often mounted on the back of a large vehicle such as a truck (in which case it may also be called a bucket truck or a "truck mount" or a "trailer mounted"), it can also be mounted on a flat bed or paneled van (often referred to as a "van mount"), or sometimes on a stand-alone trailer or self-moving platform (which is called "self-propelled cherry picker"). The bucket is designed for a person to stand in and work from. Often a duplicate set of controls that are used to manipulate the position of the bucket will be available to the person in the bucket, allowing the operator to position himself. The lifting arms of some cherry pickers are capable of telescoping to adjust the reach of the device, usually with automatic safety controls to prevent tipping over. Articulated boom lifts are more appropriate than stick booms when operating in tight spaces or when clearing nearby obstacles is necessary. Cherry pickers can either be electrically powered using batteries or powered with a diesel engine. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with both types of power.
Cherry pickers were originally designed[when?] for use in orchards (though not just cherry orchards) where they are still used frequently. It lets the fruit picker pick fruit high in a tree with relative ease. Similar devices, also known as 'cherry pickers', are used to service telephone, cable television, and electrical equipment on utility poles. Christmas light displays and banners can also be affixed with a cherry picker.
Some fire trucks have a cherry picker, known as a snorkel, instead of a ladder. Some window cleaners also use them. Cherry pickers are also used in mining, construction, exterior painting, and sometimes by arborists to work safely in otherwise unclimbable trees.
Cherry pickers were also used for the Mayor of London's "Hatwalk" in July 2012. Cherry pickers were used to put hats onto the heads of some of the city's most iconic statues, including the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson atop Nelson's Column in Central London's Trafalgar Square.
Cherry pickers are also used to rescue people from roller coasters if the cars are stuck.
In the film and television industry, cherry pickers are known as "condors" and are often used to suspend large lights above sets when not on a soundstage.
Some artists use cherry pickers on stage for effects, most notably Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber and Kanye West. Jackson would use one on his tours performing "Beat It" and "Earth Song" from above the crowd. Bieber used one on an acoustic set which featured Be Alright and Fall during his Believe Tour. West used one on his song "Dark Fantasy" which was usually the opening of his concerts. David Bowie claimed to be the first pop star who used a cherry picker on stage during his theatrical Diamond Dogs Tour which started on 14 June 1974.
Ceramic boom lifts can be utilised for specialised work in confined spaces, however, they are not as common as scissor lifts.
A rail car-based self-propelled cherrypicker, designed for railway maintenance. The platform is collapsed, allowing movement under overhead lines.
- "Reaching new heights in construction and horticulture" (extract). Safetyline Magazine. Government of Western Australia. Volume No. 20 (November 1993).
- [dead link] fire "Apparatus Terminology 4".
- Cairns, Alan (July 30, 2012). "Hats Entertainment – London Statues Get a Millinery Makeover". Digital Journal. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
Media related to Cherry pickers at Wikimedia Commons