Scissor lifts are an inexpensive, reliable aerial work platform for many types of jobs. Boom lifts, on the other hand, are often seen as strictly limited to extreme heights — with an extreme price tag to match. However, there are many cases in which a boom lift — especially an articulating boom lift — can make your job easier, faster, safer and more economical. Here are a few scenarios:
Middle heights: Scissor lifts are an excellent choice for work at 20 feet. Boom lifts are the only choice for work at 100 feet. But when measuring the height of your jobsite, you might discover the work is near the extreme height range of your scissor lift. In cases like these, an articulating boom lift is the safer choice. An articulating boom lift has a smaller footprint than a telescopic boom lift. The extra height it provides versus a scissor lift will give you some room for measurement error and ensure workers are able to reach the task comfortably and safely.
Obstacles on the ground: Scissor lifts are only able to accomplish the job when you can get them directly below where you need them. For many tasks, this isn’t possible — even if the scissor lift is capable of reaching the height you need. Perhaps you are installing windows on a building with uneven landscaping around the base. Or, you need to service the lights in a gym directly above the bleachers. Boom lifts extend up and away from the base, allowing you to locate the machine near the work, but not directly below it. You’ll still have the ability to change heights as you work, with the flexibility of selecting the best place to park the base.
Obstacles in the air: Sometimes the task at hand requires you to get up and around something. Tree branches, utility lines, architectural features — all of these can present serious safety hazards for anyone using an aerial work platform. A scissor lift might give you the height you need, but it can’t go around anything. Boom lifts give you options to ensure your team stays safe and gets the job done. A telescoping boom lift can be positioned to extend over obstacles, and an articulating boom lift can extend over or around them. In either case, you’ll be able to safely put your team members precisely where you need them.
Horizontal movement: Imagine installing a drop ceiling in a tall conference facility with a scissor lift. You load up, lift up, install, come down, move the lift. How much time would you spend lowering, moving and reraising your scissor lift just because you can’t reach the next section of ceiling? Remember, most manufacturers advise against moving a scissor lift while elevated. How much would that extra time cost you? With an articulating boom lift, you have much greater flexibility to move horizontally, as well as vertically. Parking once, you can reach a much larger work area – only stopping when you need supplies. The same holds true for other types of jobs. Gutter installation, indoor and outdoor painting, wiring inspection — whenever you’d have to lower and move a scissor lift, a boom lift might be the better alternative.
The next time you need an aerial work platform, consider whether a boom lift might make more sense for your project. Your local EquipmentShare branch can help you select the machine that makes the most sense for your job and budget. And because our tech-powered rentals come with T3, you’ll be able to track your machine’s time and monitor performance. Get started with a rental today.