Aerial Products and Their Benefits

Category: Uncategorized

The ability to work effectively at height is of critical importance to construction crews, utility companies, landscapers and other professionals. Just as there are countless types of jobs, there is a large selection of aerial lifts and other equipment available to help workers get them done safely.

NMC is a longstanding provider of aerial products for customers throughout Nebraska and Pottawattamie County, Iowa. Through our various divisions, we offer sales, rentals, repairs and more. Most critically, we’re a dedicated partner to all our clients.

If you’re new to working at height, we’ve prepared a brief guide to some of the most popular types of aerial products on the market today and their core benefits.

General Benefits

Aerial lifts are vital pieces of equipment for any job that requires working at height. The obvious benefit is the ability to work safely in high up and hard-to-reach places. Aerial lifts get your team and their tools where they need to be to get the job done.

Compared to other methods of working at height, aerial lifts are safer and more stable. Because they allow your team to move freely and access different tools, they help drive productivity and reduce the amount of time needed to complete essential tasks.

Boom Lifts

Boom lifts feature a long boom arm that raises and lowers to lift workers to height. There are two main sub-types:

  • Straight boom lifts, with a straight arm
  • Articulating boom lifts, or knuckle boom lifts, which bend for greater accessibility in tight spaces

Boom lifts have many benefits — they have a small footprint that’s great for job site maneuverability, and they’re capable of lifting to higher heights than other types of lifts. Select models have a vertical reach of up to 150′.

The main drawbacks to boom lifts are their limited capacity to hoist equipment — most feature a small platform big enough to hold only one or two workers and their tools. As well, boom lifts are generally more expensive than other models.

Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are another type of lift used on construction job sites. They feature a pair of crisscrossing supports that raise or lower straight up. They are capable of supporting larger platforms and heavier loads than boom lifts — a fact that makes them great for jobs that require raising several workers or large pieces of equipment at once.

However, scissor lifts do have drawbacks. They are bulkier and more challenging to transport and maneuver, particularly in rough terrain. Because they can only go straight up, they are less flexible than boom lifts, too.

The main drawback to scissor lifts is their limited height — most can only lift between 20-40 ft. off the ground, depending on the weight of the load they’re carrying.

Specialty Lifts

Scissor and boom lifts are the two most common types of aerial lift, but they’re not the only option. There is a wide range of equipment available for specialized tasks and applications, including:

  • Atrium lifts, a type of boom lift that folds into a compact package capable of fitting through a doorway. They are ideal for indoor use.
  • Personnel lifts, a type of lift for raising one person to work at height. They are compact and often electrically powered for convenience.
  • Rough terrain lifts, designed for use in rough ground where other lifts can’t go. Typical features include 4WD and foam tires for added stability.
  • Telehandlers, which combine the features of a boom lift and a forklift, excavator, loader or another type of heavy equipment. Some machines have removable attachments that allow you to switch between buckets, augers and other tools.

Each of these categories is large and, in some cases, vaguely defined. There are many manufacturers and many options available — beyond the specific type of aerial lift, there are models with gas, electric or alternative fuel drivetrains, wheels or tracks, truck-mounted and self-propelled lifts, and many other options. If you’re buying or renting from NMC, we can go over your choices and help you choose the best model for your needs and budget.

Important Manufacturers

Genie and JGL are two of the most trusted aerial lift manufacturers working today. Both produce a wide range of boom lifts, scissor lifts, and specialty products. Cat® manufactures versatile, dependable telehandlers as well as a range of work tools that are compatible with them.

Contact NMC to Learn More

Whether you’re buying or renting, or need advice on the right type of lift for your project, we can help. Visit one of our locations for in-person assistance from our team.

For our customers, we remain open to serve you; however, we are temporarily limiting access at all locations to employees only.
We encourage you to call your local RAKA location or use our online services to contact us. While these are challenging times, we’ll continue to make the decisions that best support you and our team.

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