Photo courtesy of JLG
The JLG 1850SJ can reach more than 19 stories of working height.
Photo by Tony Illia for ENR
JLG has wrapped the 14-story Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel with a stunning image of the machine in preparation for CONEXPO 2014.

Boom lift manufacturer JLG Industries Inc. has introduced a new model that, at 185 feet, is now the tallest self-propelled boom lift. It beats its closest rival, Genie, by just 5 ft.

The JLG 1850SJ Ultra Boom, which will be on display at the March 4-8 CONEXPO-CON/AGG exhibition in Las Vegas, can reach more than 19 stories of working height and offer a maximum platform capacity of 1,000 lbs, the company says. It estimates that the machine can fully extend the boom in less than five minutes and reach a total work area of 3 million cu ft.

"From the larger work envelope and unprecedented access to the fastest lift speeds, telescopic jib and LCD displays, the JLG 1850SJ boom can allow customers to work more effectively and productively on the jobsite," says Jeff Ford, global product director.

In preparation for the show, the company has wrapped the 14-story Renaissance Las Vegas Hotel with a stunning image of the machine. The stories-tall ad displays the model 1850SJ with the words, "Go where no lift has gone before," and directs visitors to the JLG booth for more information.

The market for megatall boom lifts is becoming more competitive as construction users need to reach higher and more congested work areas. However, equipment designers must overcome the Achilles' heel of self-propelled boom lifts: ease of transportation. Making boom lifts stable at height requires a wide wheelbase, extra counterweight or outriggers, all of which can hinder efficient transportation. JLG says the 1850SJ features axles that extend or retract in less that one minute for this purpose.

Rival manufacturer Genie Industries last year introduced a 180-ft-tall self-propelled boom lift, the SX-180, previously the world's tallest. It uses a patented chassis that extends the lift's four axles hydraulically into an X shape to increase stability at height. JLG has a patent pending for a similar system.

Genie's unit, which will be on display at CONEXPO, retails for about $600,000 and requires no oversize road permits in the U.S. JLG has not yet disclosed detailed specifications or prices but notes that its machine also does not need an oversize permit, as well. Both machines require weight permits.