When it’s time to get to higher ground with an aerial lift, it’s critical to understand the different types of aerial lifts and the tasks they’re meant to perform. Aerial lifts enable work at elevated levels without the need to construct scaffolding, but that convenience sometimes comes at the cost of injury or even human life. The majority of these accidents are preventable through proper awareness and training, so it’s critical to follow proper OSHA regulations when operating aerial lift equipment. Regardless of the type of aerial lift, it is always important to wear personal protection equipment, to adequately maintain the aerial lift equipment, to inspect before each use, and to be familiar with the specific model being used.

The following is a brief, surface-level overview of the proper uses and characteristics of some of the most popular types of aerial lifts used across the country.

The Boom lift

There are two different types of boom lifts: articulating and telescopic. The articulating boom lift features multiple joints along the arm, which allows flexibility and precision for getting to just the right height and angle—perfect for getting over and under certain obstacles. The telescopic variant features a rigid extendable arm attached to a freely rotating turntable. These are best suited to highly specialized work like electrical repair or tree maintenance.

The Scissor Lift

Instead of having an arm like the boom lifts, the scissor lift features a wide platform supported by cross-brace supports—which is the main difference between the two. This type of aerial lift is only able to move vertically and is ideal for tasks that require multiple team members, such as exterior building repairs or window installation and cleaning.

This is not a comprehensive list of the different types of aerial lifts. There are a multitude of different variations on these popular aerial lift categories. Aerial lift equipment can be combined with trucks for greater mobility, and they’re available in rough terrain variants and types that can be towed behind a vehicle. Whenever using aerial lift equipment, it’s critical to consider space restrictions, weight capacity, the kind of movement required, power source compatibility, and job site conditions. For more specific information and training, contact First Quality Forklift Training and see how our expertise can serve you and your business.
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