Equipment and Solutions

AERIAL PRODUCTS AND THEIR BENEFITS

aerial lift completing framing

The ability to work effectively at height is of critical importance to construction crews, utility companies, landscapers and other professionals. Just as there are countless types of jobs, there is a large selection of aerial lifts and other equipment available to help workers get them done safely.

NMC is a longstanding provider of aerial products for customers throughout Nebraska and Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Through our various divisions, we offer sales, rentals, repairs and more. Most critically, we’re a dedicated partner to all our clients.

If you’re new to working at height, we’ve prepared a brief guide to some of the most popular types of aerial products on the market today and their core benefits.

GENERAL BENEFITS

Aerial lifts are vital pieces of equipment for any job that requires working at height. The obvious benefit is the ability to work safely in high up and hard-to-reach places. Aerial lifts get your team and their tools where they need to be to get the job done.

Compared to other methods of working at height, aerial lifts are safer and more stable. Because they allow your team to move freely and access different tools, they help drive productivity and reduce the amount of time needed to complete essential tasks.

BOOM LIFTS

Boom lifts feature a long boom arm that raises and lowers to lift workers to height. There are two main sub-types:

STRAIGHT BOOM LIFT

This type of boom lift has a telescoping arm that reaches upward and outward. The arm extends straight up and can reach higher than other types of lifts. Straight boom lifts are generally better for job sites with plenty of room for movement and space for extended reach.

ARTICULATING BOOM LIFT

An articulating boom lift (ABL) is also known as a knuckle boom lift. These lifts can bend for greater accessibility in tight spaces. ABLs have two hinged joints that give them more flexibility than other types of lifts.

You can conveniently reposition an ABL while keeping the basket at a steady height. These lifts also have full 360-degree rotation capabilities, making them ideal for construction, landscaping, maintenance work or any job that requires access to hard-to-reach areas.

Boom lifts have many benefits — they have a small footprint that’s great for job site maneuverability, and they’re capable of lifting to higher heights than other types of lifts. Select models have a vertical reach of up to 150′.

The main drawbacks to boom lifts are their limited capacity to hoist equipment — most feature a small platform big enough to hold only one or two workers and their tools. As well, boom lifts are generally more expensive than other models.

SCISSOR LIFTS

Scissor lifts are another type of lift used on construction job sites. They feature a pair of crisscrossing supports that raise or lower straight up. They are capable of supporting larger platforms and heavier loads than boom lifts — a fact that makes them great for jobs that require raising several workers or large pieces of equipment at once.

However, scissor lifts do have drawbacks. They are bulkier and more challenging to transport and maneuver, particularly in rough terrain. Because they can only go straight up, they are less flexible than boom lifts, too.

The main drawback to scissor lifts is their limited height — most can only lift between 20-40 ft. off the ground, depending on the weight of the load they’re carrying.

SPECIALTY LIFTS

Scissor and boom lifts are the two most common types of aerial lift, but they’re not the only option. There is a wide range of equipment available for specialized tasks and applications, including:

ATRIUM LIFTS

Atrium lifts, or spider lifts, are a type of boom lift that folds into a compact package capable of fitting through a doorway. These machines are ideal for completing work at extreme heights where space is limited, making them perfect for indoor use in large venues or stadiums.

Atrium lifts offer a convenient way to work at great heights in difficult areas to access.

PERSONNEL LIFTS

Personnel lifts are a type of aerial lift for raising one person to work at height. They are compact and often electronically powered for your convenience. These lifts are versatile and lightweight — some personnel lifts can even be loaded into a pickup truck bed by one person.

These lifts allow for easy navigation and have platforms that can rise up to 36 feet.

ROUGH TERRAIN LIFTS

These lifts are designed for use on rough ground where other lifts can’t go. Typical features include four-wheel drive and foam tires for added stability. Rough terrain lifts can easily transport heavy building materials over uneven grounds for long distances.

Each of these categories is large and, in some cases, vaguely defined. There are many manufacturers and many options available — beyond the specific type of aerial lift, there are models with gas, electric or alternative fuel drivetrains, wheels or tracks, truck-mounted and self-propelled lifts, and many other options. If you’re buying or renting from NMC, we can go over your choices and help you choose the best model for your needs and budget.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE TYPE OF AERIAL LIFT THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR USE

With so many types of aerial lifts available, consider these key factors to get the best lift for your project:

  • Location and shape of job site: Evaluate how much room you’ll have to navigate your aerial lift to determine the size lift you need.
  • Ground or floor of job site: Consider the terrain of your job site to decide whether you need a lift capable of traversing over rough terrain.
  • Maximum load capacity: Determine the weight of the heaviest item you’ll need to move so you can get a lift capable of handling your project’s needs.
  • Maximum height required: Consider the highest point you’ll need to access and choose a lift that can exceed that height to ensure you’ll be able to reach everything you need.

Genie and JGL are two of the most trusted aerial lift manufacturers working today. Both produce a wide range of boom lifts, scissor lifts, and specialty products.

CONTACT RAKA TO LEARN MORE

Whether you’re buying or renting, or need advice on the right type of lift for your project, we can help. Visit one of our locations for in-person assistance from our team or contact us online today.