Importance of a Tilt Alarm on Aerial Lifts

Every jobsite has its obstacles. Understanding the tilt limitations of your aerial lift can help you navigate any hazards for safe and proper operation in any environment.

The tilt limitations on boom lifts and scissor lifts could vary from model to model. Therefore, all operators should read and understand the operator’s manual to become familiar with the proper operation of each. 

Performing a site and environmental inspection is also critical in the safe operation of any aerial lift. Operators should be aware of any obstacles and hazards within and around the jobsite prior to operating any machine. 

The tilt alarm is intended as added protection and does not justify operating on anything other than firm, flat and level surfaces.

The standard tilt sensor on most Snorkel boom lifts manufactured from 2015 or newer is located integral to the controller in the lower control box. To meet compliance requirements in the new ANSI/SAIA A92.20-2020 standard, the tilt control must function in two ways.

If the machine is in the stowed position and the chassis exceeds the maximum allowable tilt setting, the controller will stop all boom elevating movements upon reaching the limit of the stowed position. At this point, the alarm will also sound, indicating a tilt condition. The operator can lower the boom back into the stowed position and then continue operation once the tilt condition is removed. 

Secondly, if the machine is out of the stowed position and being driven into a situation where the tilt sensor reaches the limit of the tilt sensor, the machine will cease all drive functions and only boom functions will remain. The alarm will be sounding in this condition, but boom functions may be utilized. To remove the tilt condition, the boom must be returned to the stowed configuration and then drive will be re-enabled and the machine may be driven onto a flat, hard, surface.

The Snorkel AB60J and AB80J/85J articulated boom lifts, and TB120/126J telescopic boom lifts are legacy machines with standalone tilt sensors. All other Snorkel boom models contain integrated sensors in the control systems. 

460SJ PG Controlled

460SJ PG Control

AB60 Tilt Limit

AB60 Tilt Limit

AB80/AB85J Tilt Limit

AB80/AB85J Tilt Limit

TB126J Tilt Limit

TB126J Tilt Limit

The standard tilt alarm on all Snorkel scissor lifts will sound an alarm and limit functions, including the lift, drive, outrigger, and platform extension functions.

Tilt Alarm on Scissor Lifts

If the aerial platform’s chassis is operating out of level more than what is allowed on the machine and in the operator’s manual, a tilt alarm will sound. When the alarm sounds on a Snorkel scissor lift, the only function available is platform lower for the operator to completely lower the scissor stack and then drive to a level surface. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Before operating an aerial lift, please read and understand the operator’s manual and obtain operator training from a qualified person. An aerial platform can tip over if it becomes unstable, which could result in death or serious injury. Do not drive or position the aerial platform for elevated use near any drop-off, hole, slope, soft or uneven ground, or other tip-over hazards. 

Learn more about Snorkel boom lifts and scissor lifts.