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- SafetyJune 29, 2023 EquipmentShare
13 Ways to Use a Boom Lift
13 Ways to Use a Boom Lift
Reading time: 5 min
Boom lifts are one of the most common types of heavy equipment, and they’re used in a large variety of applications.
The most popular types of boom lifts are articulated and telescopic boom lifts. While both lifts feature stable work platforms that can be elevated high in the air—articulated boom lifts have jointed boom arms, while telescopic boom lifts do not.
Boom lifts come in a range of sizes, with common models ranging from 40’ to 120’ of reach. Although boom lifts are commonly associated with construction, they are also used in many industrial and non-industrial applications.
In this article, we’ll go over 13 different ways to use a boom lift, as well as the situations in which their use is not recommended.
Tasks That Can Be Accomplished With a Boom Lift
1. Cleaning Gutters
Boom lifts can provide access to elevated areas like rooftops, making gutter cleaning safer and more efficient. They offer a stable platform for workers to reach gutters without the need for ladders or scaffolding.
For example, a boom lift can be used to clean the gutters of multi-story apartment buildings or tall storefronts. Using a boom lift is likely safer than less stable alternatives, like ladders, and can help minimize the risk of falls.
Boom lifts are incredibly valuable in roofing projects for tasks like installation, repairs or inspections. A boom lift can be used to transport materials, tools or workers to the roof. This makes it easier to install or repair shingles, perform maintenance and inspect the roof.
Compared to scaffolding, boom lifts require less setup, are easier to transport and are more versatile. For many roofing projects, telescopic boom lifts are preferred due to their height and reach capabilities.
3. Electrical Work
A boom lift can be used to repair overhead power lines, install or maintain telephone lines or perform electrical inspections. Using a boom lift enhances safety, reduces the risk of electrical accidents, increases productivity due to improved access and provides stability for delicate electrical work.
Articulating boom lifts are a popular choice for electrical and telecoms work, as they offer greater flexibility and maneuverability around obstacles like trees or buildings.
4. Scaffolding Work
Boom lifts can replace traditional scaffolding systems, providing a versatile and efficient alternative. They can be used in construction projects for tasks like bricklaying, painting or window installation, eliminating the need for stationary scaffolding.
The advantages of using boom lifts instead of traditional scaffolding include increased mobility, adjustable height and reach, reduced setup time and enhanced safety.
5. Painting (Walls and Ceilings)
Compared to ladders or scaffolding, boom lifts offer a safer and more stable elevated platform for painters to access walls and ceilings, making painting projects safer and more efficient.
Boom lifts can be used for painting large walls, ceilings and high-rise exteriors. They are commonly used in situations where scaffolding cannot, due to taking up too much space. For example, boom lifts can be used to paint shopping centers without the need to erect bulky scaffoldings that would make buildings inaccessible during renovation.
6. Fire and Rescue Services
Boom lifts are essential in fire and rescue operations, enabling personnel to reach elevated positions quickly and safely. Specialized boom lifts are designed to transport firefighters, equipment or victims during emergencies.
A boom lift can be used to rescue people trapped on the upper floors of burning buildings or assist in accessing elevated areas for firefighting operations.
7. Light Post Maintenance
A boom lift can be used for changing light bulbs, repairing electrical connections or installing new light fixtures on street lamps or high-rise buildings.
Using a boom lift can improve the safety, efficiency and speed of electrical technicians working on light posts. Cherrypickers, which are a type of boom lift attached to a trailer, are the preferred type of boom lift for light post maintenance tasks.
8. Sign and Installation Maintenance
Boom lifts are commonly used for maintaining, repairing, or installing signage, billboards and storefront installations.
A boom lift can be used to change light bulbs in high signage, repair or replace damaged signs or install new billboards on tall structures.
9. Building Inspections
A boom lift is incredibly helpful for conducting building inspections, especially in multi-story structures. They allow inspectors to access different levels and examine facades, roofs or other structural components efficiently.
Articulating boom lifts are commonly used to perform inspections, as they can maneuver more easily over stationary obstacles, such as parking structures.
10. Warehouse Tasks
Boom lifts play a crucial role in warehouses for tasks such as stocking, retrieval or maintenance of inventory stored on high shelves or racks.
A boom lift can be used to transport goods to high storage areas, retrieve inventory for order fulfillment or perform maintenance on warehouse equipment.
11. Picking Fruit (Cherry Pickers)
As their name implies, cherry pickers are a specific type of boom lift commonly used in orchards for fruit picking. They provide a stable and adjustable platform for workers to reach and harvest fruit from tall trees.
For example, cherry pickers can be used in apple orchards to reach the higher branches, allowing workers to pick fruit without the need for ladders or climbing.
12. Piping Work
Boom lifts are valuable for pipe installation, maintenance or repairs, particularly when working with overhead or elevated pipes. They allow workers to access piping systems easily.
13. Sports/Entertainment Events
One surprising use for boom lifts is in the sports and entertainment industries.
Boom lifts are commonly used in sports or entertainment events for tasks such as installing lighting rigs, positioning cameras for broadcasting or setting up concert stages.
Tasks That Should Not Be Performed With a Boom Lift
While boom lifts are safe to use in a variety of contexts, there are certain tasks that should not be performed with a boom lift.
In particular, boom lifts should not be used on rough terrain or uneven surfaces, which may result in tipovers. They should also be used cautiously in indoor settings, and should not be operated under overhead hazards, like ceiling joists or power lines.
Boom lifts should not be used in inclement weather, such as heavy rain, wind, lightning or snow. It’s important to understand the height limitations and load capacity of your particular boom lift to avoid exceeding its capabilities.
Boom lifts continue to be popular machines on job sites due to their versatility and usefulness. Understanding the potential uses for your boom lift can help you get the most out of your heavy equipment fleet and maximize your team’s efficiency.
If you’re looking to rent or buy a boom lift for your next project, EquipmentShare can help. Our nationwide team of heavy equipment professionals can assist you in finding the right machine for your particular application. Click here to get started with your rental experience. Or, click here to view our selection of used equipment for sale. Additionally, the EquipmentShare Shop carries OEM and aftermarket boom lift parts from popular brands like JLG, Skyjack, Haulotte and more.
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