Should I use a cherry picker or a drone for my aerial inspection project? This is a common question among people in the industry. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages. The fact is: it really depends on what you want to achieve from your project. In this article, we look at the key points that you should think about when considering using a cherry picker or a drone for aerial inspections.
The first consideration is cost. Renting a cherry picker is relatively inexpensive and provides good value for money. This is because cherry pickers offer the best of both worlds: access to the area for aerial inspection, and the human element for instant repairs and other on-site work.
Quality drones equipped with high-definition video equipment have many uses, but they can be costly to buy and maintain. There is also the labour aspect to consider. Training may be required to operate the drone, additional software might need to be installed, and extra personnel hired to perform image processing and editing.
The key consideration is value for money. Think: is a cherry picker more practical, economical, and viable? Or does my project need the type of imaging drones can provide. Then consider the further points below.
Efficiency of operation
The efficiency of operation is important to consider. You need to think about the limitations of drones. Bad weather can lead to poor visibility, severely limiting the means of operation and quality of imaging possible.
Drones are also more likely to crash into obstacles at height, especially without extensive training. This can restrict access, delay the aerial inspection project, and also cause danger. Cherry pickers do not have the problems associated with drones.
Means of access
There are limitations where drones can be deployed. This is especially the case in areas where there is a danger to life or airspace restrictions by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Once on-site, drones cannot remove debris, perform maintenance tasks, or install technical equipment.
Similarly, there will be situations when photography or video from a drone is simply not suitable for the task. When performing aerial inspections, there are many times when a human needs to inspect a problem close up. In fact, it may be the case that the problem is hidden beneath a cover, which requires removal before inspection. In these cases, a cherry picker is the obvious choice.
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This article has highlighted the key considerations to think about when choosing a drone or cherry picker for aerial inspections. In summary, it really depends on the type of aerial inspection and what you want to achieve. If the human factor is important for maintenance and repair work, a cherry picker is nearly always the best and most affordable choice. But drones have some uses and provide good post inspection analysis. For more information, please visit ACS Access for aerial inspection services and cherry picker rental.