Aerial work platforms, also known as AWPs or simply boom lifts, are essential equipment for tasks that require workers to access elevated areas safely and efficiently.
These platforms come in various types, each designed to serve specific purposes and offer unique capabilities, depending on what each team requires: protection from loose electrical wires, the ability to reach “hidden” areas or extreme heights, move vertically or horizontally, and more.
Depending on their uses and features, there are different aerial work platform types, including telescopic and articulated boom lifts, towable boom lifts etc.
Let’s get to know more about each type of elevated work platform and see where it’s best used.
What is a boom lift?
Also known as “cherry pickers” or “basket cranes”, boom lifts are used to transport personnel and materials to great heights and are typically equipped to maneuver around obstacles, such as tree branches.
Used by firefighters, construction, electricians and sometimes even window cleaners, a basic boom lift consists of a base which can be either grounded or on wheels, a hydraulic lift system powering a crane and a platform (the “bucket”).
Did you know that GEPALIFT’s aerial work platforms are attached to a truck, making them very easy to transport?
What are the most common types of boom lifts?
Depending on the specific model, AWPs can extend to more than 20m vertically and 14m horizontally, which is especially useful for accessing hard to reach areas that could be potentially dangerous.
Generally speaking, there are two primary types of boom lifts:
Telescopic Boom Lifts
Telescopic boom lifts are equipped with two or more extendable straight arms, which allow them to reach great heights with precision. These lifts are commonly used in applications where a long horizontal reach is necessary, like trimming trees, installing and maintaining HVAC systems, accessing multi-story buildings from the outside, painting, performing fire rescues, and even assisting stranded riders on roller coasters.
Articulated Boom Lifts
Articulated boom lifts have 1 or multiple articulated sections, which enable them to bend, rotate, access hard-to-reach areas with flexibility, and avoid obstacles (e.g., parked cars). These lifts actually combine articulated and telescopic movements with their multiple articulated sections, meaning they are excellent for tasks that require a combination of vertical and horizontal movement, such as maintenance work, construction, landscaping, installing of overhead signage and more.
Combined Boom Lifts (Double Articulated and Telescopic)
Double articulated and telescopic lifts have two articulated sections, which allow them to rotate and access hard-to-reach areas with flexibility, as well as avoid high obstacles on the ground (e.g., signs, traffic lights). These types of lifts are excellent for applications that require a combination of vertical and horizontal movement, such as maintenance work, construction, building repairs, etc.
Towable lifts are mobile aerial platforms that can be easily transported to job sites and come in various styles, including trailer-mounted and self-propelled models.
GEPALIFT, for example, features TK-S, a towable lift for special purposes that combines a boom lift with a vehicle mounted wood shredder, perfect for trimming trees.
Boom lift uses and what to choose for your case
As discussed, there are several types of elevated work platforms, all incredibly versatile and with applications in a wide range of industries. Here are the most common boom lift uses and what type of aerial work platform you can choose for your needs.
- Construction: Boom lifts are used for tasks like structural installation, exterior finishing, and roofing work, where workers need to access elevated areas safely. If you own a construction company, opt for combined articulated and telescopic boom lifts, which can be used both vertically and horizontally and allow workers to reach every space with ease.
- Tree Services: Companies use boom lifts to prune, trim, or remove trees, especially in hard-to-reach locations. GEPALIFT also features some state-of-the-art mobile shredding trucks that include both a telescopic boom and a shredder, allowing 2 people (a driver and a worker) to shred up to 20 tons of wood in a day.
- Maintenance: Industrial maintenance, facility management, and equipment servicing often require boom lifts for access to machinery and building structures. Municipalities can make excellent use of telescopic boom lifts to hung decorations and signage, prune trees, maintain bridges and much more.
- Film and Photography: In the entertainment industry, boom lifts are used to get aerial shots or position lighting equipment. Towable boom lifts are perfect for this use, since they can be moved around easily, making the work of cameramen easier.
What types of aerial work platforms will you be using?
Aerial work platforms come in various types to cater to the diverse needs of different industries.
Whether it’s reaching great heights with a telescopic boom lift or accessing tight spaces with an articulated boom lift, the choices are plentiful.
What you need to do when selecting an aerial work platform, is to consider the specific task, the height and reach needed, and the work environment to ensure the safety and efficiency of the operation.
No matter what type of elevated work platform who choose, GEPALIFT has a wide range of AWPs for every use. Get in touch and our experienced team can recommend the best option for you and your needs.