Finding the Right Aerial Lift

//Finding the Right Aerial Lift

Finding the Right Aerial Lift

Whether you are in construction, utilities, manufacturing, or even retail, you will probably have to consider investing in an aerial lift for your company at some point. Aerial lifts are very useful pieces of machinery which enable workers to reach and work on elevated objects or surfaces. Due to the fact that there are a few different types available, we have endeavored to put together a brief explanation of each of the different types in order to make it easier to determine which one will best fit your needs.

The three most common types of aerial lifts are telescopic boom lifts, articulated boom lifts, and scissor lifts. All three of these are designed to accommodate different workplace needs. The telescopic boom (pictured here) is made to extend to great heights with little flexibility in positioning, making it perfect for elevated construction or maintenance tasks in hard to reach areas. On the other hand, the articulated boom (pictured here) sacrifices a good bit of height in favor of extreme flexibility in positioning, making it perfect for lower elevated construction and maintenance jobs in areas with a good deal of obstruction needing to be evaded. Finally, the scissor lift (pictured here) has neither the height nor flexibility of either the telescopic or articulated boom. Instead, it is designed to be an affordable aerial lift for places and jobs which don’t require great height and don’t have any obstructions preventing the lift from being directly under the work space.

All three of these lifts can be found in both gas and electric models. If you plan on using your lift mainly outdoors for more rigorous jobs such as construction work, it would be wise to get a model which can take either gas or diesel. The gas and diesel engines are almost always more powerful than the motors found in electric versions. However, if you do not plan on using the lift for rigorous jobs, and instead intend to keep it mainly on flat surfaces or indoors, getting an electric motor version would make sense. Not only will the difference be almost unnoticeable in day to day work, but it will also be much better for the air quality, especially when in an enclosed space.

For more detailed information on the differences between the different aerial lifts and their power source choices, please check out the links provided in the resources section below!

Once you have chosen an aerial lift that fits your needs, check out our Industrial selection! The Outrigger R4 is our most popular tire due to its long history of excellent design and performance. It features a directional tread which provides good traction in many different ground operating conditions, a heavier construction that most similar tires, a flat profile, and more. Purchase a set today!


Equipment World has a helpful article comparing Scissor, articulating, and telescoping aerial work platforms in greater depth! Check it out!

Certify Me Online also has a helpful guide to the differences between all the main different types of lifts. Be sure to give it a look!

Finally, For Construction Pros published an article detailing the differences between dual-fuel (liquid propane and gasoline) lifts and electric lifts, and why you should choose one or the other! It is very helpful and definitely worth reading!

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By | 2017-03-01T13:31:24+00:00 July 1st, 2016|Blog|6 Comments


  1. Sandra July 29, 2016 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your information on lifts. I like what you said about a scissor lift being affordable. My husband was wanting to do some renovating on the roof so that’s perfect. He hates ladders. Would you recommend the scissor lift or would a boom lift be better? Thank you in advance!

  2. James Bergman October 4, 2016 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    Of all of these lifts I think that scissor lifts are the most common. Rather, they are the lifts that I have come into contact with the most. I think you can find one in almost any building with high ceilings so the lights can be changed safely.

  3. Leviticus Bennett March 1, 2017 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    I’ve seen all three of those lifts before, but never knew their names, so thanks for explaining. I’ve seen scissor lifts being used in warehouses full of pallet racks. I can imagine they would be the most beneficial for such an environment.

    • Cole Pearson March 2, 2017 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the comment Leviticus and thanks for reading!

  4. Jim Haigh September 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    A great article Cole, I think alot of people have problems understanding the differences between the various lifts and don’t really know which one they should be using for a specific task.

    • Cole Pearson September 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm - Reply

      I would certainly agree with you. Thank you for reading and commenting Jim!

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