Aerial lifts overview
We walk you through the purchase process to help you get the Aerial Lifts you need.
You can choose to speak with one of our Purchasing Advisors who can walk you through the process and handle any issues or questions that arise. Our Advisors provide these services and more:
- Verify your information and give an overview of the purchasing process
- Provide purchasing tips and send buyer's guides
- Provide supplier profiles and ratings
- Mediate issues with suppliers
Quality, reliable equipment to get work done in hard-to-reach areas
Aerial lifts are valuable pieces of construction equipment that hoist employees and equipment in the air to do work above-ground. They are critical in warehouses, large retail stores, and manufacturing plants where workers need to access hard-to-reach areas.
There are two things to consider when shopping for aerial lifts – how high it needs to reach and how much it has to lift.
To get the height, start by measuring how high you need to reach. With aerial lifts, the height you’re most concerned with is platform height which is how high the lift of the machine can reach. When you get that calculation, add six feet to the maximum platform height to arrive at the maximum level you could do work at (for example, 20’ height allows you to work up to 26’.)
Aerial lifts have a lifting capacity of 300 to 2,000 pounds or more, but the average lift can handle 500 to 750 pounds, roughly the weight of two workers and their equipment.
In general, large capacity lifts are very hefty machines. Make sure the height and weight capacities can fit through tight spaces for both indoor and outdoor uses.
Other aerial lift considerations
- Power – Aerial lifts are generally powered by electric (indoor use) or gas (outdoor use.) You can also get a dual fuel lift that allows you to use either gas or electric depending on the job.
- Choice of lift – You have two main choices – slab and rough terrain. Slab lifts typically use electric power and work best in indoor environments and on flat surfaces. Rough terrain lifts need gas or dual-power to navigate over rocky, bumpy paths.
- Tires - You can select pneumatic tires (hollow rubber tires containing either air or polyurethane foam) or solid rubber tires. For riding on rough terrain, pneumatic tires are best (and the cheapest) but expect to blow out your tires frequently. If you work indoors and on flat and smooth surfaces, you can opt for pneumatic tires but expect to pay much more.
Types of aerial lifts
When it comes to selecting the type of aerial lift you can purchase, you’ll be faced with various options based on your needs. Consider what you will need the lift for, and then we can help you find the best one for your business with a free aerial lifts request for quote.
A boom lift features buckets that allow you to work around obstacles. If you operate a construction business and need to reach the tops of high buildings, you can buy a telescopic boom lift with long-reaching extendable arms that can work at various angles.
An articulating-boom lift (or knuckle boom lift) can work its way around objects to get into the perfect position for working outdoors under power lines, trees, and telephone poles or in manufacturing plants to work over stationary machinery.
A third type of boom lift is what is known as a trailer-mounted boom lift. These machines operate on batteries and can be towed to another worksite.
A scissor lift has a larger lifting capacity than other lifts and also allows for more workspace. It works on flat up and down platforms to move several people or pieces of equipment at once.
While scissor lifts can only move vertically, they do feature larger platforms to accommodate more material and personnel as well as greater lifting capacity.
A personnel lift is best for one person in single-user environments. Use these lifts to transport workers straight up and down. Personnel lifts usually have enough room for one worker and equipment for the job.
Here's a quick reference chart to determine which is best for the job you need:
|Boom lifts||Scissor lifts||Personnel lifts|
|Platform heights||20’ to 110’||19’ to 50’||12’ to 50’|
|Lifting capacities||500 lbs||500 to 2,500 lbs||300 lbs|
- ANSI safety specifications that detail appropriate lift use
- Operating manual and safety decals
- Guardrails and restraints
- High speed cutout to limit speeds at certain heights
- Pothole protection that prevents tipping when the lift is raised
- Level warnings which set off loud alarms and disables the boom if the lift isn’t level
- Static straps to prevent static electricity build up
- Descent valves that allow someone on the ground to manually lower the platform while a worker is raised during a power outage
- Visible LCD displays detailing lift diagnostics and other information