What Size Aerial Lift Should I Rent?

What Size Aerial Lift Should I Rent?

Aerial lifts encompass a range of equipment types that enable crews to work productively and safely at heights. These versatile machines consist of a platform and a lifting mechanism that performs the raising and lowering functions. 

Depending on the nature of your projects, you'll need one of these aerial lift types:

  • Boom lifts: These machines are a good choice when a worker must reach extreme heights. Options include a telescopic version that extends upward and outward in a straight direction and an articulating style with a bendable arm for reaching around obstacles. 
  • Scissor lifts: A scissor lift consists of an enclosed platform resting atop a crisscross lifting and lowering mechanism. These machines provide excellent stability for jobs that require working at lower heights and accommodating an assortment of tools, materials or supplies.
  • Material lifts: This aerial lift platform version offers a portable, compact solution when lifting, positioning and installing materials, typically in indoor environments.
  • Vertical personnel lifts: Consider these lifts for elevating one worker in light-duty construction or a similar work environment.

Choosing the Right Size Aerial Lift for Your Projects

Each aerial lift listed above offers a wide selection of sizes and height capacities. When selecting a machine, it's crucial to know the maximum height your crews will be working at and the lifting capabilities of the various models. You can then make the appropriate match for your projects. 

Selecting a Material Lift

Material lifts are perfect for situations where you need to elevate a heavy part to a specific location. For example, if you're replacing a pipe in a ceiling, the machine can hold and raise the piece of piping to the desired location. These machines are easy to use and can fit through a standard doorway. However, material lifts cannot reach higher elevations — even models with the greatest capacity typically do not exceed 26 to 30 feet. 

Selecting a Vertical Personnel Lift

Vertical personnel lifts provide another compact option for working safely and efficiently at lower heights. They include a basket-type platform that protects the worker while providing the mobility to perform tasks like picking freight in a warehouse environment, general maintenance and inventory management. The height range of these machines runs from approximately 16 to 50 feet. 

Selecting a Scissor Lift

The large, stable platform of a scissor lift is perfect for accommodating heavier loads consisting of one or more workers and the items they need to complete the project. However, because they need to handle substantial weights, these lifts feature a relatively low lift height capacity — models rarely exceed 60 feet, and 20 to 40 feet is the average. 

Typical scissor lift applications include reaching high ceilings to perform maintenance, repair or installation work, hanging signs or completing electrical projects. Specialty versions are available for specific jobs and environments, such as electric models that generate no emissions and rough terrain machines that provide extra stability when working outdoors on uneven surfaces. 

Selecting a Boom Lift

Do you need to reach the top of a 100-foot church steeple for repairs or maintenance? Does your job involve repairing damaged utility lines? Are you attempting to trim tall trees? These are just a few of the many purposes of boom lifts. These machines typically offer the most extensive height capacity of any aerial lift equipment. Their general range is 30 to 100 feet, although some models can safely extend to 150 feet. 

The boom lift type you choose depends on the situation. If you have unobstructed access to your work location, a telescopic model will meet your needs. Meanwhile, an articulating boom lift is the better option if there is an obstacle or two in your path, as the articulating arm will give you the flexibility to maneuver the bucket around them. 

The Cat® Rental Store Has the Right Aerial Lift

The Cat® Rental Store near you can provide a wide selection of aerial lift rentals that enable your crews to work efficiently and safely at heights, regardless of the nature of your project. When you source equipment through our dealer network, you'll get a well-maintained machine you can trust when working at elevations. Our rates are competitive and you'll find a flexible rental program that fits the way you work. 

We also make choosing the right size aerial lift a fast, easy process. Our expert staff will ensure you find the best equipment for your specific function so you can work with confidence and peace of mind. 

Connect with us at 1-800-RENT-CAT to speak to a rental specialist or reach out to our team online for a fast quote today.

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