Three days with a BIL-JAX 4527A #2 Articulating Lift

May 31, 2016


Without doubt the thing is the ultimate geezer gadget.  With excellent surge brakes the two-ton hoist can be towed behind a small pickup (or positioned by a garden tractor, it turns out), it doesn’t have an hour meter, and recharges its batteries from a regular household extension cord.


Les and I had our approved climbing harnesses on site, and we each tried them once in the basket,  then chose not to use them.

It enabled Les and me to climb to unapproachable places on a Victorian house as easily as I did when I was 16, and it was no more terrifying than that wobbly extension ladder my boss assigned me that summer.  The beauty of the thing was the 2.5X4′ cage which became  our workplace for the Victoria Day weekend this year.  It held paint tray, scrapers, nail gun, and whatever else we needed to repair and repaint the windows and soffits on this landmark building on Young’s Hill.  Painting became truly a 3D proposition as long as I kept one hand free of paint to span pairs of buttons on the touch keyboard.


The 2013 model’s internal air hose obviously hadn’t seen any use for a while, so I just used a 100′ hose from my portable compressor on the ground.  The electrical connection in the cage was fine.  It also has an internal garden hose, if you need water far above the ground.  It turned out that a compressed air nozzle was at least as effective as a hand scraper in freeing up the peeling paint on the fascia boards.


The photo above shows the hoist at almost its full extension:  not enough to get onto the roof of this very high building on a side hill, but high enough to do the job.  The unit had to be placed on a driveway well out from the wall and substantially below the level of the basement, about a 45′ lift, in total.  It was best not to look down.


World of Rentals in Kingston apparently knows how to deal with customers like me as   there were no additional insurance charges or other annoying surprises on the bill.  The weekend special normally involves a one-day fee of $295 plus HST for the interval from Friday at 3:00 until Monday at 9:00.  On the long weekend it became a 1 1/2 day charge.  When I returned the unit at 8:00 Tuesday morning,  I paid $500.03 CDN.




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