Boom lifts are a staple in many construction projects. Used in both landscaping and industrial construction, this machine allows workers to reach incredible heights. Today, there are several boom lift sizes and heights available for use.
When using boom lifts, size and height are very important factors. Choosing a boom size that is too high or too low puts workers at risk of injury. This means it is best to exercise due diligence when buying or selecting your machines via power equipment rental.
Learn how to choose the correct boom lift height and size for your construction projects and how to use them safely in this article:
Understanding Boom Lifts
Before you decide on the size or height of your equipment, it is important to ask yourself what a boom lift is.
A boom lift is a type of heavy equipment used to access difficult to reach vertical and horizontal spaces. Simply put, it is an aerial lift that allows workers to reach extended heights. Boom lifts are used in various construction projects, ranging from installing scaffolding and signages to lighting works.
There are many types of boom lifts, but the two most commonly used are articulating boom lifts and telescopic boom lifts. Among the two, telescopic boom lifts are regarded as the more practical choice. While it doesn’t have the mobility of articulating boom lifts, its stability makes it a prime choice for outdoor projects or construction projects that require an extended vertical reach.
How do I choose a boom lift?
The process of selecting any equipment for your construction projects can be quite overwhelming, especially with something as important as a boom lift. However, having a checklist of considerations makes things easier. When choosing between boom lift sizes or heights, knowing what your project needs will also help with the selection process.
If you’re unsure of how to choose a boom lift, consider the following factors in your selection process:
Carrying Capacity and Weight
Boom lifts carry many things in a construction project–which is why it’s important to consider the carrying capacity of your equipment.
Before you choose your lift, make a note of the things that it will need to carry. Some boom lifts can carry very light loads only, such as two people, while others can support heavier construction equipment. Using a boom lift that cannot support the weight it is carrying is extremely hazardous and will cause more problems in the long run.
Aside from carrying capacity, you should also consider the weight of your equipment when it is fully loaded. A boom lift that’s too heavy for the terrain can cause serious damage. If your equipment is too heavy, terrain such as asphalt or concrete may be damaged.
Another risk of having a boom lift that is too heavy is that it can become stuck on the site. This is a huge hassle for any project and can further pose a hazard as it becomes an obstruction. This is a particularly important point to consider if you’re using bigger boom lift sizes.
Carrying capacity, weight, and size are closely related important factors. Consideration of one requires a consideration of the other two. This is why having a clear idea of the required tasks for your boom lift is absolutely crucial when choosing your equipment.
Type of Boom Lift
Each construction project requires different specifications. This applies for the type of boom lift needed. Depending on your project, you might need more mobility or vertical reach–this is what determines the type of lift you need.
As previously discussed, there are two types of boom lifts commonly used in the industry:
Telescopic Boom Lift
The telescopic boom lifts, also known as stick or straight boom lifts, are tall and versatile lifts. If you’re searching for a boom lift that gets you to extended heights, then this is a more viable option. Telescopic boom lifts aren’t as mobile as articulating lifts, but they are good choices for outdoor projects or projects that require reach.
A huge drawback of telescopic lifts is that it can be quite heavy. However, this is made up for its stability, reach, and versatility. This particular lift can have a vertical reach up to 56 m (185 ft).
Telescopic boom lifts are ideal for the following projects:
- electrical works
- outdoor construction projects
- construction projects that require accessibility to high places
Articulating Boom Lift
The articulating boom lift, also known as the cherry picker, is characterized by the multiple hinges found within its body. These hinges allow it greater flexibility. Articulating lifts make maneuvering around obstacles and crowds much easier, making it a good choice for projects that require agile boom lifts.
While articulating boom lifts are less versatile, their agility makes up for it. They are highly flexible and much lighter than telescopic lifts, making them an incredible option for indoor work. They aren’t able to reach the heights that telescopic lifts can, but they can provide a decent elevation for smaller projects.
Considering its height and size, these boom lifts are best used in any of these projects:
- ceiling and roof maintenance
- warehouse maintenance
- indoor work
- plumbing maintenance
- house repairs
Knowing how your boom lift heights operate is an important factor when choosing your equipment. Certain power sources are more suited to specific projects. Generally, boom lifts, regardless of height or size, use electricity or diesel as is fuel.
Electricity or Batteries
Electricity and battery-powered boom lifts are usually those smaller in size. This is more common for articulating boom lifts, especially when it is for indoor use. Since these power sources emit no fumes, electricity and battery-powered equipment are suitable for indoor projects.
Diesel-powered equipment is more ideal for outdoor projects. Boom lifts that use diesel usually reach greater heights and are bigger. On average boom lifts that use diesel reach up to 185 ft for telescopic boom lifts and 150 ft for articulating boom lifts.
Boom Lift Height and Range
The appropriate boom lift height and sizes depend on your workspace. Height, of course, refers to the vertical space available in the area, while range refers to the horizontal space a lift can maneuver. Knowing the measurements of these two spaces makes choosing your boom lift easier.
Take telescopic boom lifts from Genie Boom Lift as an example. Their S-40 Trax and S-45 models have a 44-foot platform height. These have a working height of 46 ft (14.20 m) and a horizontal range of 31 ft 8 in (9.65 m). Meanwhile, a taller model like S-105 has a platform height of 105 ft (32 m). Its working height is 111 ft (34 m), and its horizontal reach is 80 ft (24.38 m).
Knowing the range and height of a boom lift is helpful when choosing the one for your projects. However, these measurements are not the only factors you should check to determine which boom lift suits your job site. Another thing you also need to consider is the platform size of the boom lift.
Aside from carrying capacity, platform size determines what your boom lifts can carry. When selecting a boom lift based on size, a good rule of thumb is to note what materials you’ll be making it lift. Carrying materials larger than the dimensions of your boom lift can be disastrous, even if the materials are lightweight.
Platform sizes influence the center of gravity of a lift. Without considering this factor, your operations may face serious hazards–especially if materials fall during operations! Avoid such risks by ensuring that you get an optimal boom lift for your project.
Look at the boom lifts from Sinoboom Boom Lift as reference. Their TB38J has a 300 kg unrestricted platform capacity for its length of 2.44m, a width of 0.9m, and a height of 1.1m. A smaller model, GTZZ18J, has a length of 1.83 m, a width of 0.85 m, and a height of 1.1 m. It has an unrestricted platform capacity of 250 kg. Take note of similar measurements when you’re working out how to choose a boom lift for your construction projects.
Safety is of utmost importance in any construction project. This is because you are dealing with workers during the project, as well as infrastructures that will be used in the future. While considering the factors above are already steps toward ensuring safety, assessing the safety components available should also be a prime factor.
Aside from the appropriate boom lift height and size, maintenance of the existing components should be considered. Before you use your equipment, make sure that all components are working properly. This is especially important if you’re buying a new machine.
Make sure to check the following parts when assessing for safety:
- Operating Controls
- Oil/Fuel/Hydraulic Fluid Level
- Emergency Controls
Renting or Purchasing: What is more practical?
In an industry where boom lifts are constantly used, renting or purchasing these machines are frequently debated.
Purchasing a boom lift may seem like the most convenient option, but it is important to consider the kinds of projects you handle. If you need several boom lift heights and sizes to properly accommodate your construction needs, then consider renting equipment instead. Rentals are a good way to minimize cost, especially if you do not want to continuously pay for maintenance or storage for your machines.
Choose the Perfect Boom Lift Height for Your Projects with Hastings Motor
Boom lifts are critical equipment in the construction industry. Almost every major project requires the use of boom lifts. This is why properly maintained machines are necessary to ensure the success of your project.
Find the perfect boom lift in terms of height and size with Hasting Motor. Our selection of well-maintained equipment is perfect for a variety of needs and projects in construction. Check out our offers and contact us to learn more about the best boom lifts in the Philippines.