Equipment and Solutions


articulating and telescopic lifts

The two main types of boom lifts include articulating and telescopic lifts. Both offer their own unique

Aerial lifts are important components of any job site. They enable workers to lift tools, materials and even themselves to great heights to complete any job. Because aerial equipment is necessary across multiple industries and project sites, there are multiple types to choose from.

The two main types of boom lifts include articulating and telescopic lifts. Both offer their own unique advantages, enabling you to finish your job on time and effectively. To decide on the best option for your specific project, it’s important to learn more about the differences and similarities between them.


Although there are benefits to using both types of boom lifts, each design has its own unique set of advantages that may be right for one job application but not another. Learning the strengths of each of these designs enables you to get the most out of your aerial equipment, creating a more productive environment and leading your workers to success on the job site.

The most defining feature of an articulating boom lift is its sections, which give the operator more control and direction. These different sections, or joints, give workers access to hard-to-reach areas. Operators can reposition the sections to avoid obstacles that are in their way. This versatile design feature makes articulating boom lifts ideal for use in confined workspaces.

Overall, the defining characteristics of articulating boom lifts are their ability to:

  • Be positioned multiple ways.
  • Allow access in blocked areas.
  • Avoid obstacles safely and effectively.
  • Provide maximum control for operators.

In contrast, telescopic boom lifts, also known as stick booms, expand telescopically. This straight extension offers a greater range of motion horizontally than any other aerial platform, giving workers maximum height and reach at any job site. Telescopic boom lifts allow workers to:

  • Utilize maximum horizontal reach.
  • Complete jobs even when working at a great distance.
  • Enhance their productivity even at smaller job sites.
  • Increase their rate of production and overall speed.


Because of their different strengths and unique design features, both telescopic and articulating boom lifts have applications that cater to their unique strengths. Articulating boom lifts are best suited for the following job sites and applications:

  • Confined work areas: As a result of their hinged design, these lifts can optimize just about any work area. Operators have more control, which means they can make the most of the space.
  • Projects with barriers: Articulating boom lifts can maneuver around physical obstacles at job sites that are crowded and cramped. Without the need to rearrange your facility, your team can stick to tighter project timelines.
  • Indoor settings: Because industrial models use clean-burning fuel and electric power, they are ideal for use in indoor settings. You can outfit your lift with non-marking tires to ensure the floor of your facility stays in optimal condition.
  • Areas with rough terrain: If you’re planning to use an articulating boom lift outdoors, you can choose a model that utilizes four-wheel drive and a diesel engine.

Telescopic boom lifts have different advantages, meaning that their design is best utilized for other environments. Settings that are ideal for telescopic boom lifts include work sites that require:

  • Significant height and reach: For projects that prevent close access, a telescopic boom lift can provide extra height to optimize workers’ abilities and allow them to complete any job on time.
  • Enhanced traction and drive: If you want to use a telescopic boom lift in areas with rougher terrain, you have options. Choose a model with oscillating axels, improved traction and four-wheel drive.
  • Maximum productivity: This design is simple and effective. It can quickly boost workers into the right position without wasting any work time.


RAKA is the Upper Midwest’s trusted source for quality material handling equipment. We have a wide selection of boom lifts and an experienced team of professionals to go along with it. We can guide you through our range of rentals as well as used and new boom lifts for sale to ensure you find the right fit for your project. We offer both articulating and telescopic boom lifts, and we can help you understand the ideal applications for each design.

Call us at 402.566.5764 or connect with us online to learn more about our boom lift options. When you work with us, you’ll get all the exceptional equipment solutions you need to make your upcoming project a success.