May 31, 2011 – Introduced in 2005, the 32-foot-tall, 46-inch-wide Snorkel S3246 features simple controls and a robust design that keeps maintenance costs low and utilization high. At the base of the machine, the ground control setup is straightforward, incorporating two toggle switches to select the ground controls or operation from the platform, an hour meter, and a push-pull E-stop.
Next to the ground controls is a steel swing-out tray that provides access to all major hydraulic components, including the hydraulic valve, pump, and motor assembly, which runs about 10 gpm of output; the hydraulic reservoir; motor controller; and pump contactor. The motor controller is manufactured by PG Trionic. A swing-out tray on the opposite side of the machine houses four six-volt, 220-Ah batteries, as well as a lockable battery disconnect switch. The battery charger indicates if the batteries are charging, and the rate the batteries are charged—either 50, 75, or 100 percent.
Snorkel’s S3246 is a front drive machine, so the front wheels are the drive motor. Spring-applied, hydraulically released brakes are located on the rear wheels. A hand pump on the machine will release the brakes in an emergency situation, allowing it to be moved even without power.
Pothole protection is mechanical, and the only electrical component is a limit switch that can sense when the system is deployed. As with other systems, when you elevate the platform an inch or so, the protector will deploy. The activator arm has a bracket in the middle of the scissor stack, and as the stack comes down, it pushes that bar into the base of the machine, applying pressure to retract the pothole protection. The unit will not be able to lift or drive if the pothole protection is not deployed.
The scissor stack incorporates maintenance-free bushings and bearings, and aside from the kingpins, there are no grease points on the unit. A safety prop lies in a cradle within the stack, and once the scissor stack is high enough, a technician can flip it up to hold the stack in place. It will self-center on the lower arm. Manual descent is cable actuated. If lowering the machine manually is required, pulling the cable will bypass the holding valves on the cylinder and allow the machine to slowly come down.
On the platform, the upper controls have a simple design. In addition to the emergency stop button, joystick for lift and drive, and thumb steer, Snorkel also incorporates a high-low range switch. High range provides higher drive speeds, and low range delivers more torque for traveling up and down a steep grade. Maximum drive speed is 2 mph and 0.5 mph when elevated. Gradeability is represented as 25 percent. A 36-inch extension deck slides out by pushing the handles, which release a pin and allow the deck to roll out. The extension deck has a 250-pound capacity.
The surface platform has guardrails that fold down completely by pulling out eight pins. Snorkel pointed out that the rails on a number of other products on the market only come down partially. When the rails are down, the Snorkel 3246’s stowed height is less than 6 feet.
The deck surface is made of a robust diamond-tread plate. A chain entry is standard, with a swing gate as an option.