Which Aerial Lifts to Rent / Buy?
Aerial lifts fall into three main categories – scissor lifts, boom lifts and telehandlers. Although they may seem very similar, each one serves a unique purpose and is best suited for different jobs and environments. Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about aerial lifts.
Scissor lifts are hydraulic platforms that raise and lower heavy loads and workers. The scissor lift design allows the platform to be raised directly above the base. This provides unique stability and distinguishes the scissor lift from other aerial lifts.
Scissor lifts serve the same purpose as ladders and scaffolding, but with more reliable reach and carrying capacity. More businesses are investing in scissor lifts to increase productivity and decrease cost.
In particular, a scissor lift is ideal for heavy duty loading and unloading or in permanent or semi-permanent installations where workers regularly need to raise and lower heavy equipment and materials.
Types of Scissor Lifts
There are three main types of scissor lifts: slab lifts, rough-terrain lifts, and single-man lifts and platforms.
Slab scissor lifts are mainly electric-powered equipment, best suited for smooth, paved, flat surfaces, with a load capacity of 500-1,200 lbs., and a reach of 25-46 ft.
Rough-terrain scissor lifts can be electric- or IC-powered. They are equipped with heavy-duty tires and four-wheel drive to maneuver off-road conditions. These have a load capacity of 800-1,500 lbs. and a reach of 32-59 ft.
Single-Man Scissor Lifts
Single-man scissor lifts and platforms are built for portability. They are designed for a single worker at a time and are often light enough to be pushed. These lifts have a load capacity of 300-500 lbs. and a reach of 17-46 ft.
Boom lifts are another type of aerial work platforms and are known by many other names including cherry picker, man lift and basket crane. Boom lifts are very similar to scissor lifts; however, they can typically reach higher heights and are equipped to maneuver around obstacles. Unlike most telehandlers, boom lifts are used to transport personnel and materials to high heights.
A basic boom lift consists of a grounded base, a hydraulic lift system powering a crane and a platform or bucket. Boom Lifts are sometimes attached to a truck or van, making them very easy to transport.
Boom lifts can extend anywhere from 30 to 170 feet and can either be electrically powered or powered by IC engines. They are especially useful for accessing hard to reach areas that could be potentially dangerous. Booms are often used by firefighters, construction, electricians and sometimes even window cleaners.
Types of Boom Lifts
There are two main types of boom lifts that you can use.
Straight booms, often called telescopic boom lifts, have a work platform that is attached to a telescopic extension arm. The arm does not have hinges, so it is limited in its ability to maneuver obstacles, however, it can reach the highest height of all the aerial lifts and is very stable. A hydraulically powered arm moves the bucket up and down. These can reach heights anywhere between 40 and 185 ft. and can carry anywhere between 500 – 1,000 pounds depending on the machine.
Articulating booms have multiple boom sections that articulate or “hinge.” This means that the articulating boom is able to bend the extension arm to get around obstacles. Although it cannot reach as high as a telescopic boom, it is perfect for hard-to-reach areas. Because of its design, the articulating boom is able to fold up more compactly when the machine is not in use. Articulating booms can be used indoors or outdoors. They can reach heights anywhere between 30 and 140 ft. and tend to have a load capacity between 500 and 1,000 lbs.
A telescopic handler, also known as a telehandler, is a rough terrain variable reach forklift. It is similar to a telescopic boom but is fitted with a lifting attachment. Telehandlers operate like a forklift, but at greater heights, and are most commonly used in the agricultural and construction industries.
Most telehandlers come with a 4-wheel drive chassis equipped with a telescopic boom that provides lift heights of 50 feet or more. The telescopic boom moves the load forwards and upwards.
Often times, telehandlers are compared to cranes because they both elevate loads. However, telehandlers are better at picking up loads from harder to reach cargo areas such as the inside of a trailer. Telehandlers are often more practical and efficient than cranes, because the ability to reach out in front of the telehandler gives the operator more flexibility in the placement of the load.
Types of Telehandlers
There are two main types of telehandlers.
This is the standard telehandler, with an arm that goes up and down and in and out. These telehandlers can reach anywhere from 18 to 55 feet and have rated load capacities anywhere from 5,500 to 12,000 lbs.
Similar to a standard telehandler, the rotating telehandler has the capacity to move the arm in the same motions. However, the rotating telehandler takes it a step further and enables the arm to swivel 360 degrees, allowing the telehandler to service a wide are from a single position.
In summary, here’s a comparison to the types of aerial lifts:
Article source – EQdepot.com
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