November 22, 2022

Helping Portland Hang a Shining Star Upon the Highest Bough

Boom lifts in front of large Christmas tree

Ryan Brownell has fond childhood memories of joining the crowd in downtown Portland, Oregon, on the night after Thanksgiving to watch the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. As the general manager of EquipmentShare’s Portland branch, he found a way to contribute to his hometown’s holiday tradition.

For the last two years, the branch has provided the boom lifts that help the organizers decorate the 75-foot Douglas fir with 14,000 lights, build the event stage and hang banners around Pioneer Courthouse Square.

“I’ve lived in Portland my entire life, and the ceremony has always been a big thing for the city,” Brownell said. “I thought it was a good way for us to give back and also get EquipmentShare’s name out there for doing the right things.”

Portland is one of many EquipmentShare branches helping their cities decorate for the holidays. It's one more way EquipmentShare is involved in making the communities we serve better. 

“We try to use the equipment we have for good,” Brownell said.

Aerial work platforms such as boom lifts and scissor lifts aren’t just for major civic holiday light displays — they are also a great tool for safe residential decorating. If you’re channeling your inner Clark Griswold, you can avoid the risk of falling off a roof or ladder while hanging holiday lights in hard-to-reach places. 

The “boom” in boom lifts refers to a hydraulically controlled arm that raises a platform. Boom lifts come in different sizes to reach heights of 85 feet or more. Scissor lifts use collapsible criss-crossing braces to raise and lower a platform vertically, usually with a maximum height between 20 and 50 feet. Depending on the particulars of the halls you’re decking, you might need an articulated boom lift (with multiple joints in the arm to maneuver into tight spaces), a telescopic boom lift (when you need a long reach and a straight angle) or a scissor lift (when you are going straight up). 

Aerial work platforms are available for rent at your local EquipmentShare branch. To find the branch near you, visit

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