How To Pick The Right Type of Aerial Lift For Your Project: An Ultimate Guide!

There is nothing convenient like aerial lifts to lift workers at heights and hard-to-reach places without having to erect a scaffold.

But, what type of aerial lifts is right for your business? This is an important factor to keep in mind as the ability to perform operations at heights can vary depending on the industry and its unique requirements.

For instance, construction sites often work on rough terrain; the aviation industry requires more flexibility in terms of reach; the facility management industry works indoors, and so on. So, to find the right type of aerial lifts, you need to identify which option will be suitable to improve your operational flow.

Ask yourself these questions- How high would you want to reach? Are your operations indoors or outdoors? How much weight does the lift need to carry? Or you want machinery that can carry multiple people at a time. All of these factors can influence your choice of aerial lift. We have noted down everything that will help you choose the right aerial lift.

Types of Aerial Lifts

The design of the lift plays an important role in performing various types of jobs. Following are some of the popular types of lifts:

Boom Lifts: A boom lift has many names – man lift, cherry picker, basket crane, elevated work platform– but what are they exactly? A boom lift is an AWP (aerial work platform) for workers to reach heights. It consists of a bucket platform joined with an extended arm and crane that is run by a hydraulic lift mechanism. Sometimes it is also mounted on a van or truck, while the platform is designed to carry a person safely.

Atrium Lifts: These can fold down to allow access to narrow spaces and offers a precise vertical movement.

Scissor Lifts: These lifts only move upwards and offer better stability than other lifts. They are best for indoor maintenance and some specific outdoor tasks. They can carry multiple workers at one time.

Personnel Lifts: These are usually good for small, indoor projects as they can carry one person at a time.

Rough Terrain Lifts: These are just like scissor lifts, but they are designed to perform outdoor operations in harsh environments.

Towable Lifts: These are often termed as cherry pickers, basket crane, hydra ladder, or tow-behind man lift. They are mounted to the back of the truck, which makes it easy to operate around pretty much any job site.

Identify Your Project Requirements

To pick the right aerial lift, you need to consider your unique project needs. Also, it’s crucial to understand the capabilities and limitations of every aerial lift. For instance, there is no need to splurge your money on the telescopic boom when a scissor lift can do the job. While picking the right type of aerial lift for your business is important; having the right skills to operate the lift correctly is also important. As an employer, make sure your employees have online training from a reputable organization. This will teach them how to operate lifts, but avoid risks that lead to life-threatening situations.

Besides, you need to know the exact “height” your workers need to reach. While scissor lifts and spider lifts can reach minimal heights, articulated boom lifts can reach greater heights.

Consider the “job location” as well. For instance, bucket lifts and large knuckle lifts might be inappropriate for indoor operations, while the scissor lift will be hard navigating through rough terrain.

Further, you need to consider the “ground conditions” as the terrain will identify the best-suited tires. Solid tires are ideal for indoor use, while rough terrain tires are ideal for outdoor, wet, and muddy conditions.

Next is the “power source”. What do you prefer, battery or fuel? If you have indoor operations, electric lifts are the best as they are clean and pollution-free. They usually are light and minimize wear on flooring, leaving no tracks behind. On the other side, internal combustion models are good for construction-oriented sites.

By simply choosing the right type of lift, you can save a lot of time and additional expenses down the line!


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