The founder of Telsta Corp, Jay Eitel, died on June the 10th, aged 94. Eitel was widely regarded as the mind behind the original cherry picker work platform. He went on to found the Telsta Corporation, developing and producing a variety of powered access machines, including boom lifts and other truck-mounted aerial work platforms.
Eitel came up with the vision for the cherry picker after finding a need for a more effective method of harvesting fruit. As a young man he had worked as a manual fruit picker himself, using just a ladder, and in 1944 the design for a truck-mounted telescopic bucket lift was born.
The original cherry picker design comprised a bucket platform mounted on an extending steel boom. This structure was mounted on a truck and controlled by a single lever. This principle remains in modern cherry pickers and telescopic and articulating boom lifts.
The benefits of boom lifts include a wide range of movement – whereas the platform of a scissor lift can only move vertically, a boom lift can be moved laterally as well as vertically, and even extend up and over obstacles if the boom is articulating.
Shortly after his invention, Eitel founded the Telsta Corporation which went on to design powered access equipment that would be used by many large companies in many different applications, for example the Bell Telephone Company, PG&E, arborists and street light services. Telsta became part of General Cable, which was then incorporated into the American Financial Corporation. Later still, this company became Mobile Tool International and Telstra products are produced by Altec Industries Inc.
During his lifetime, Eitel patented 65 other designs, including the “Lamplighter Lift” which was unique in that it allowed operators to step from the driver’s seat directly onto the work platform.
In later life, Eitel used his passion for engineering to build hot rods, and on a number of occasions was brought in to consult on automotive development and problems with manufacturing in South Korea during the 1980s. Today, his legacy lives on in the popular cherry picker and boom lift aerial work platforms.
Boom Lifts are suitable for a variety of applications, from small compact machines to enormous truck-mounted platforms. Cherry pickers have working heights ranging from approximately 9 metres and 30 metres. This type of boom lift can have an arm that is both telescoping and articulating, providing the widest range of movement possible for an AWP.
Cherry pickers and booms are used in many industries, including construction, aviation, railways, factories, manufacturing, warehouse, facilities management, events, maintenance, repair and even firefighting.