An Introduction to Boom Lifts

Comm 1500_MG_6398What is a boom lift?

Boom lifts are cherry pickers – also known as aerial work platforms (AWP); mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP), or powered access platforms – that provide safe temporary access to jobs sites at height.

Special attributes and unique features
While powered access equipment is generally and collective known as cherry pickers, boom lifts are unique in that these work platforms are raised not only vertically, as is the case with mast lifts or scissor lifts. Work platforms on boom lifts can be raised vertically, moved from side to side and offer the additional benefit of horizontal reach and the ability to manoeuvre up-and-over obstacles.

The work platform features guard rails, among many other safety features, and the boom lift can be operated by the worker on the platform, or by an operator on the ground.

There are many different configurations of boom lifts available to suit all types on applications. Telescopic (straight) booms extend vertically and move side to side, reaching dizzying heights, while articulated (knuckled) booms extend vertically, move sideways and offer up-and-over access thanks to elbow joints, allowing for manoeuvring around obstacles and accurate positioning of the work platform in the most hard-to-reach areas. There are also smaller booms that are ideal for maintenance, cleaning, painting and tree trimming, to mention a few, and that can be used indoors on sensitive floors.

Self-propelled boom lifts for rougher terrains are generally powered by diesel engines, while electric booms are ideal for sensitive environments and often very powerful too. These self-propelled boom lifts can be driven around the site, even by the operator on the work platform while elevated.

There are also towable boom lifts that can simply be hitched to a vehicle with a tow bar and compact spider lifts that can crawl up stairs and provide stability on the most uneven terrain. Boom lifts can also be mounted on trucks. You will also find compact, narrow boom lifts with non-marking tyres for use indoors.

For which applications is it most useful for?
Boom lifts are ideal for any application that requires one or two workers – along with their tools – to work at height, whether that work involves cleaning, maintenance, painting, pruning or inspections. Telescopic boom lifts will provide reach to extreme vertical heights, while articulating booms are ideal for hard-to-reach areas because of their ability to reach up-and-over obstacles.

What it can do for you…The right boom lift – whether telescopic or articulating – will take your workers and their tools to work at height safely and quickly, resulting in a significant improvement in site safety, increased productivity and reduced costs as more work can be done faster with fewer workers.

Check out JLG’s range of articulated, electric, telescopic, towable and mast boom lifts or contact us at Eazi Sales & Service for expert advice.

About the Author: Gary