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Scissor Lift VS Boom Lift: Which One to Choose?

Sep. 07, 2021

Construction and maintenance projects often take place in hard-to-reach areas far from the ground. Ladders are not sufficient to access work areas where you need to tackle challenging tasks. You need a stable platform to keep you safe while handling the job at hand. Both boom lifts and scissor lifts can help you reach high places, but the two types of equipment hire have very different functions. Read on to find out more about which type of rental is best for your job.

 

What is a boom lift?

Boom lifts are also known as man lifts and cherry pickers. This piece of equipment has a grounded base and a hydraulic lifting system. There are two primary categories of boom lifts: articulating boom lifts and telescopic boom lifts.


Electric Articulating Boom Lift

Electric Articulating Boom Lift     

The telescopic boom lift has a long straight arm. The arm is mounted at an angle to the base of the lift and can go over some lower obstacles, but has limited flexibility. The base rotates, but the arm itself is always straight. Telescopic boom lifts offer an impressive reach, usually up to 180 feet.

 

Articulating boom lifts, also known as articulated booms, have articulated arms. The joints allow the arm to bend at one or more points, so the lift has greater flexibility within its range. Articulated boom lifts are ideal for accessing those hard-to-reach areas as the arms allow you to move up, over, and into certain spaces. They have a slightly shorter working distance than telescopic lifts, usually up to around 150 feet.

 

What is a scissor lift?

A scissor lift is a large flat aerial work platform supported by a series of longitudinal braces. These brackets are squeezed together to propel the platform upwards. Scissor lifts move vertically. They must sit directly below the area the worker is trying to reach, which may limit their functionality somewhat. The base of the scissor lift needs to be placed directly next to the workspace on a flat, stable surface so that the personnel on the lift can access the project. Scissor lifts can typically reach heights of approximately 40 feet.



Scissor Lift

Scissor Lift     

What direction are you moving in?

When you are deciding between a scissor lift and a cantilever lift, it is important to consider the direction of movement. If you are lifting a worker to a place that is both high and tall, you will need a moving boom lift. They are ideal for electrical or plumbing repairs in hard-to-reach areas. If the worker is moving directly upwards, a scissor lift may be sufficient. This is a common choice for window or siding installation, cleaning, and repair.

 

How high do you need to go?

Consider the height of the project. A scissor lift will only lift your workers about 40 feet. This is sufficient for most residential projects and for interior tasks. However, if you are trimming towering trees or working on a high-rise building, 40 feet may not be enough. Articulated and telescopic boom lifts can reach more than three times that. If you need something high enough, these are the best option.

 

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