Canadian Rental Service

Mobile platforms to assist in bridge inspections

Brooke Shaw   

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SMS Rents is taking delivery of specialized trailer-mounted platforms that allow inspectors and contactors to get a close-up look under bridges and overpasses, quickly and safely.

In as little as five minutes, the tower separation system of the HP 35 mobile platform can position a 35-foot-long (10.7-metre-long) work deck along the side or below the bridge roadway.  

SMS Rents is taking delivery of specialized trailer-mounted platforms that allow inspectors and contactors to get a close-up look under bridges and overpasses, quickly and safely. 

With provincial and municipal governments set to take on urgent infrastructure projects throughout Ontario and Quebec, engineers and maintenance crews are facing busy schedules to assess the condition of their bridges and complete necessary repairs. A new fleet of trailer-mounted Terex HP 32 and HP 35 Hydra Platforms at SMS Rents will help inspection teams to deploy a guarded platform under their bridges in as little as five minutes. The compact telescoping platform then folds itself up again hydraulically to move on to the next bridge site, towed by a standard pick-up truck.

The first of the HP units has been delivered to the SMS Rents equipment rental store in Quebec City, the first rental store in Canada to offer equipment of this type. Additional units are on order for delivery to SMS Rents stores in both Quebec and Ontario. Each trailer-mounted HP unit is a self-contained system equipped with its own diesel engine and hydrostatic wheel motor for self-propulsion on the bridge.

The HP is a hydraulically operated, self-erecting unit specially designed to provide exceptional stability and safety for bridge inspectors, engineers and maintenance crews. Hydra Platforms, a Terex company, uses a patented, fully adjustable tower separation system for this tricky application. In the case of the HP 35, it is first positioned on the bridge, its outriggers are set, then the operator hydraulically deploys a lattice tower over the side of the bridge, from which the 35-foot (10.7-metre) access platform unfolds. The tower separation system allows the operator, stationed above, to adjust the tower position over pedestrian walkways and around structural obstacles without having to relocate the trailer.


A fully enclosed ladder within the tower provides a safe route for crews to climb down to the working platform, up to 18 feet (5.5 metres) below the roadway. The platform itself is 42 inches (1.06 metres) wide, with a weight capacity of up 1,000 pounds (455 kilograms). Control panels for positioning the platform are located on the platform and on the access deck. Crews have room to operate a wide range of equipment for bridge maintenance tasks such as painting and sandblasting, pipe and cable repair, expansion joint and bearing service, and stripping operations.

The whole operation sets up in as little as five minutes – ideal for inspectors who may be pressed for time to check and report on the condition of multiple bridges so repairs can be planned and completed effectively. The access platform is mounted on a turntable sub-frame so it can be positioned along the side of the bridge or lowered and extended beneath the roadway. With the HP 35, it occupies just one lane while in use, allowing traffic to continue over the bridge while work is conducted below.

SMS Rents has 14 locations in Ontario and Quebec.

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1 Comment » for Mobile platforms to assist in bridge inspections
  1. Omer Dube says:

    Need a tow able under bridge platform for work in Manitoba.
    Would appreciate rental rates, lease rates, purchase price options
    Unit required would be the HP35

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