5 Common Questions About Using an Aerial Lift


If you’ve never hired an aerial lift before, you probably have several questions about the process and the lift itself. We’ve collected the most common questions from our clients to help you make the right decision about the upcoming rental.

What Is an Aerial Lift?

An aerial lift is a machine that allows the worker to achieve safe access to heights. Boom lifts, cherry pickers, scissor lifts, and many other types of aerial lifts exist. They have different height-reach mechanisms, extension distance, and operation nuances. Depending on the project requirements, you can find a suitable aerial lift for rent.

How High Does an Aerial Lift Reach?

The majority of aerial lifts can extend the platform to the height between 20 and 60 feet off the ground. However, special lifts can reach beyond 100 feet. Before choosing the lift based on its extension distance, it’s important to consider the project requirements. For example, for indoor projects, you rarely need a lift that extends over 40 feet. Meanwhile, height-access projects, such as window cleaning or façade repair often require lifts that can reach beyond 200 feet.

Do You Need Special Training to Operate an Aerial Lift?

Operating an aerial lift can be complicated. The operator is responsible for the lives of workers up on the platform and the safety of the passerby and surrounding buildings. OSHA requires that only specially trained operators get access to aerial lift controls. That’s why it’s vital to complete the required training before trying to operate height-access equipment. When you are renting an aerial lift, the majority of companies provides services of their experienced operators. At Alpha Platforms, we offer extensive aerial lift operator training that complies with all OSHA requirements.

What Projects are Aerial Lifts Used For?

Anything that requires accessing heights can be achieved by using an aerial lift. From painting facades, washing windows, and pruning trees to roof repair, security surveillance, and cable line servicing. Whenever you need to ensure the safety of your employees while enjoying easy access to high objects, aerial lifts can do the job.

Can You Use an Aerial Lift as a Crane?

OSHA doesn’t allow using aerial lifts as cranes. Lifts aren’t designed to handle tasks commonly completed by cranes. If you try to use an aerial lift as a crane, you could be risking the safety of workers while hindering the quality of work. If you have any other questions about the way aerial lifts work, at Alpha Platforms, we are ready to provide extensive information about each lift in our fleet.

About Alpha Platforms



The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
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