Updated Sep 16, 2010
 Snorkel is launching an updated version of an old favorite at The Rental Show in Las Vegas. The AB46 articulated self propelled boom was an innovative product in the UpRight range of aerial work platforms and a leader in its class. UpRight™s parent company, The Tanfield Group Plc, bought Snorkel in August 2007 and has integrated the leading UpRight products into the Snorkel line. 


Frank Scarborough, President of Snorkel, said: The AB46 is new to Snorkel customers, but this was an extremely popular model for UpRight, due to its class-leading specifications.”


“We have taken this excellent performer, reviewed all details of the product to ensure it lives up to Snorkel”s reputation for quality and reliability, and priced it very competitively. We are confident it will do extremely well in North America.”


The AB46 retains the most compact stowed dimensions in its class; the greatest up-and-over height in its class; and the exceptionally low profile turntable hood provides  best-in-class visibility. It is offered as either electric 2WD or diesel-powered, 4WD for rough terrain work.


The AB46 has a working height of up to 52ft 9in (16.1m) and 24ft 7in (7.5m) outreach , with a 5ft (1.52m),  140° jib. Maneuverabilityis key, with a multi-functioning boom operation thanks to two separate pumps an exceptionally tight inside turning radius of 1ft 11.6in (0.60m) 


The team of design engineers, led by Senior Design Engineer Gary Crook, has made a raft of further detail improvements to the AB46 which will be manufactured at the Snorkel factory in Elwood, Kansas. 


Gary, who designed the original AB46 for UpRight, said: The AB46 was a class-leading machine, but there is always room for improvement. We have taken on board feedback from our demanding customers to make the best even better.”


The Snorkel AB46 design improvements:  

  • Stronger jib weldment for greater abuse tolerance 
  • Traditional pinion and swing bearing for swing drive replacing integral worm drive 
  • Helac rotary platform actuator 
  • Continuous top rail platform, 72″ x 39″ floor area
  • Hand wired with relay logic control system for simple, low cost troubleshooting and repair
  • Fully proportional controls for all boom functions (previously riser and telescopic were not proportional) 
  • Electric emergency lowering unit replacing previous hand pump lowering 

4WD Diesel specific: 

  • Use of Kubota V1505T turbo-charged diesel engine for 25% more horsepower and 30% more torque 
  • Low sidewall wheels and tires for less deflection and lower volume for foam filling 
  • Larger displacement 2-speed wheel drive motors give 17% greater drawbar pull – resulting in improved gradability

Electric specific 

  • SEPEX (Separately Excited) drive motor controller that eliminates tachogenerators and forward/reverse contactors 
  • Fully automatic 30A battery charger with worldwide voltage sensing switching 
  • Larger diameter front stub steering axles for greater abuse tolerance
  • Solid, non-marking tyres as standard on CE models




The Tanfield Group Plc is the world”s leading developer and manufacturer of road-going commercial electric vehicles and aerial work platforms. Tanfield is headquartered in Newcastle, United Kingdom with operations in the North America, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. It has two main divisions:


Smith Electric Vehicles was founded in 1920 and acquired by Tanfield in October 2004. Following its acquisition, Smith is developing into a world leader in new technology electric vans and trucks with greatly enhanced performance, speed and range capabilities. This makes them attractive for all fleet operators in large towns, cities and closed industrial environment. For the first time, these fleet operators have economically viable, zero emission alternatives to using diesel vans and trucks. Smith has an unrivalled UK-wide service and support network, which already maintains over 5,000 vehicles for major fleet operators. This core element of the business is beginning to fulfil its potential in terms of addressing the requirements of large urban fleet operators, who want to reduce their operational costs and more importantly, greatly reduce their carbon footprint. Smith”s airport offering is complemented by two specialist airport vehicle sub-divisions; Jumbotugs and Norquip. (


Powered Access contains two of the world”s most established aerial work platform brands, UpRight and Snorkel International. UpRight is firmly established as the UK”s biggest manufacturer of self-propelled aerial work platforms (also known as “cherry-pickers”, “mobile elevating work platforms”, “aerial lifts”, etc). UpRight has assembly facilities in the UK and USA, with products sold through a strong network of over 180 independent, full-service distributors across Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. Snorkel, acquired in July 2007, has significant manufacturing capabilities along with strong sales and distribution, in the USA and Australasia. Tanfield has been successful in extending its powered access product range and is now one of only three “full line” aerial lift manufacturers to have a significant production footprint across the North America, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions, in what is a $7bn global market.







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