Aerial platforms perform a huge variety of tasks both in an urban environment and beyond. These working horses imperceptibly make our life convenient, warm, clean and comfortable. Most of them feature an aerial platform lifted up by a certain type of extension and mounted on a vehicle. They can reach high waters tower or power lines for maintenance, move materials on a construction site, lift working crews to the areas that cannot be reached otherwise, pick fruits, trim trees and many more.
United by the similar goal, these vehicles considerably vary in their functions and characteristics. And when choosing one, it’s important to be aware of their functionality and basic features. When you need to manage a number of tasks on the site of your project, you should choose the appropriate vehicle for each task of yours. Proper choice saves time, nerves and money.
This article compiles TOP 8 Best Aerial Work Platforms chosen by industrial companies more often than any others.
# 8 Cherry Pickers
These are highly maneuverable truck-mounted machines to lift one worker or a crew for maintenance operations at height, for installation or remodeling. The standard height reached by cherry pickers is 30-230 ft.
Truck mounted cherry pickers are often called bucket trucks. They feature a railed aerial platform connected with a hydraulic crane. The height reached by cherry pickers is suitable for accessing utility lines, various systems, lights, warehouse racks, windows and facades.
# 7 Spider Lifts
Spider Lifts easily maneuver in narrow spaces and set up on rough terrain. You may fit them in a tight place or move them on any uneven terrain and grassy slopes. They are perfect for forestry, operations inside buildings, works in a yard etc. You may see them working in an atrium, shopping center or even a church. But when you don’t have conditions that seriously complicate your work, you may choose an ordinary cherry picker instead of a spider lift.
# 6 Industrial Forklifts
With an upward lift these vehicles can move items vertically. Industrial forklifts normally have durable pneumatic tires to support heavy loads of up to 36 thousand lbs. Such lifts are suitable for internal building working and at warehouses. They successfully deal with many industrial projects. You may also rely upon industrial forklifts when you need to do some finishing touches in a building.
# 5 Rough Terrain Forklifts
These vehicles are highly demanded on construction sites – they ideally manage to reach height and lift heavy loads while operating on rough terrain. Rough terrain forklifts are trusted to move building materials even for long distances.
They both feature great balance qualities and powerful lifting, the mass of loads carried by rough terrain forklifts may be as heavy as 8,000 lbs while the height reached is as high as 21 ft. Besides, you may adjust the vehicle to your needs and ensure support for items of any size.
# 4 Telescopic Forklifts
These ones are equipped with an extendable boom lift and a lifting attachment. In fact, telescopic forklifts feature all the same advantages of traditional forklifts but they have an additional one – capability to work in tricky locations when you need to move items even at extreme height – both forward and upward. Telescopic forklifts represent a popular choice for construction sites.
# 3 Scissor Lifts
Scissor lifts are divided into two basic categories: rough terrain scissor lifts and electric ones. Let’s find out which one is the best for your project.
Rough terrain lifts feature a brace-supported aerial platform and huge tires. They can reach height of up to 60 ft. The functions they perform are basically the same as performed by electric scissor lifts. But there is an important difference. Their tires are more stable which makes them more suitable for work in an exterior environment or at rugged conditions. Compared to an ordinary scissor lift that requires a flat surface to work on, a rough terrain scissor lift can overcome a rough terrain while moving to your worksite. It can also bring several crew members to an exterior site at once.
Electric Scissor Lifts are successfully used in small and tight spaces, often working indoors. They can also fit multiple personnel on one platform just like a rough terrain scissor lift. An arm is replaced by a wide platform with cross-brace supports. This is actually the main difference of this vehicle compared to a boom lift.
An electric scissor lift can move straight up and down, but you have to place it beneath the area you are operating on. This feature makes the use of electric scissor lifts limited to a certain degree. At the same time, it has a big advantage represented by a large platform that takes a whole crew to the project site at one time.
Electric scissor lifts are widely used to repair building facades, to install cladding and to clean windows.
You should also know that scissor lifts can be pneumatic, hydraulic and mechanical. Choose one depending on your goal. Ask for professional advice while choosing the proper vehicle. If you hire a wrong machine, it may cause an incident or even a fatal outcome.
# 2 Telescopic Boom Lifts
These big machines are normally used outside to reach different heights including enormous ones. The main feature of a telescopic boom lift is an extendable arm which is attached to a freely rotating turntable. This feature makes a telescopic boom lift different from articulated one.
The bucket of the vehicle is usually too small to hold several workers at one time. Telescopic boom lifts participate in highly specialized works including power lines repairs, trimming of trees etc. where only one person accesses the required spot. Compared to other vehicles, telescopic boom lifts have a much longer reach. Electric models with solid tires are appropriate for interior operations, those having inflated tires are perfect for rough use outdoors. When you choose a proper vehicle for your project, always consider the lift height of the boom. The largest boom lifts can be found at Alpha Platforms.
# 1 Articulating Boom Lifts
This is a type of an aerial platform that features a bendable, jointed arm mounted on a turntable that makes a full circular rotation. The height reached by an articulating boom lift is actually the same as with a telescopic one.
The arm of the boom lift has many joints which help it to bend and access different spots at height. It easily overcomes obstacles while bringing a worker up to such spots that cannot be reached with any other means.
This type of machine is suitable for piping and electrical repairs, for window cleaning and various maintenance works. There is a special type of the vehicle which is called a spider lift. It is lightweight and compact – perfect to operate in tight spaces. Such aerial lifts are supported by 4 legs to ensure great elevation even in confined places.
Now we are going to give you a tip to determine which boom lift is better for your project – telescopic or articulating one. Both are highly demanded and both are good in performing challenging tasks. The first thing to consider is the environment of your project.
If you deal with a small space and need a highly maneuverable machine, hire an articulating boom. If the main challenge is to reach ultimate height, the best will be a telescopic boom. The latter is more stable and more efficient on rough terrains.