What is a Boom Lift? Basic Guide

What is a Boom Lift Basic Guide

Ready wants to know “what is a boom lift”? Boom lifts are used by lift operators to increase their horizontal or vertical reach as well as to work obliquely in challenging workspaces. Please read on.

A boom lift is a specific type of aerial lift used to lift workers on farms, construction sites, utility lines, and other locations. It consists of a moving, grounded base and a platform or bucket connected to a hydraulic arm.

Boom lifts can lift workers up to 210 feet in the air. While height and platform capacities vary by model, the tallest boom lift, 2100SJ, can lift 770 pounds 210 feet high, and 115 feet horizontally.

The Boom Lift: the Basics

A platform or bucket with a long arm attached to a grounded base is the basic building block of a boom lift. The arm’s ability to extend out and up to lift objects or people to greater heights is controlled by a hydraulic lift system.

Boom lifts come in two main variations: articulating boom lifts and telescopic boom lifts. Telescopic boom lifts have straight arms, while articulating boom lifts have bending arms. While articulating boom lifts’ ability to bend makes it simpler to maneuver the bucket around objects, telescopic boom lifts have higher weight capacities.

Common Uses of a Boom Lift

Contractors use a boom lift whenever a project necessitates working at a greater height. A project can be made both safer and more efficient by improving stability, mobility, and capability for workers who must work at heights.

Boom lifts are a useful tool when working in the air. These projects include but are not limited to:

  • Erecting scaffolding
  • Fruit picking on farms
  • Painting walls and ceilings
  • Lighting work
  • Hanging signs
What is a Boom Lift Basic Guide
What is a Boom Lift? Basic Guide

Boom Lift Advantages

Extended Lift Heights

All elevating work platforms except boom lifts offer the highest lift heights.

Workers can access even the highest work areas thanks to the extended lift heights provided by boom lifts.

Increased Flexibility and Manoeuvrability

When carrying out work, articulating boom lifts offer greater flexibility and maneuverability.

The operator platform and basket can be precisely moved thanks to their multiple arm design, enabling them to finish tasks in tight or difficult-to-reach areas.

Easy Size Adjustment

Boom lift joints enable the boom to be extended or retracted as needed.

It is simpler to maneuver the boom lift into any work area, no matter its size, thanks to its adjustable size.

Single and Double Operator Buckets and Platforms

Boom lift buckets and work platforms can be rated to carry a single operator or a pair of operators, depending on the job’s requirements, to enable the work to be done.

Multiple Fuel Types

Boom lifts can run on a variety of fuels, including diesel, battery power, and even hybrid models.

Diesel lifts are best used outdoors on construction sites because the extra power from the diesel engine makes it simple to move the unit over uneven terrain.

Battery-powered devices can be used safely indoors because they emit no exhaust fumes.

Hybrid units offer the ultimate flexible lift solution as their fuel source can be switched based on the work area allowing the same unit to operate in all
conditions indoors and outdoors.

Move Around Obstacles

The operator platform or bucket of articulating boom lifts can move over, under, or around obstacles thanks to their numerous hydraulic arms.

Operators are now able to reach any location, despite barriers.

What Questions Should You Ask before Renting a Boom Lift
What Questions Should You Ask before Renting a Boom Lift?

What Questions Should You Ask before Renting a Boom Lift?

You can discover the ideal lift for the task by posing a range of questions. A few examples of questions to ask and things to consider are:

  • What kind of movement do you require?
  • How far up must you go?
  • Do you need to move how many people and how much stuff?
  • What’s the state of the jobsite?
  • How many different types of power sources are there on the premises?
  • What are the limitations on space at the jobsite and in the workspace?

These questions’ answers will indicate the platform height, boom type, and whether it should be tracked or wheeled with two or four wheels of drive. This makes it easier for contractors to choose between renting a boom lift or a scissor lift.

Which Type of Boom Lift Should I Rent?

You should choose the most appropriate model once you’ve decided a boom lift is the right tool for the job. Is a machine with a higher lift height, a heavier weight capacity, or a longer horizontal reach necessary? How much does price play a role? Which is better for an indoor job—a diesel man lift or an electric boom lift?


What kind of lift you require will depend in large part on how high you want to go.

  • Articulating boom lift:Knuckle lifts have a maximum height range of 30 to 150 feet.
  • Bucket truck:The range of a bucket truck is about 30 to 160 feet.
  • Telescopic boom lift:From 30 to 210 feet, this straight boom has the greatest range of extension.


When attempting to access an elevated work site, various lifts provide a variety of directionality options.

  • Articulating boom lift:As an added bonus, these machines’ arms can bend so that their buckets can be moved around obstacles while still extending their arms vertically or horizontally.
  • Bucket truck:Bucket truck arms have a single joint that enables horizontal and vertical movement.
  • Telescopic boom lift:Despite the fact that telescopic lifts lack joints, their hydraulic arm is mounted on a rotating base, allowing it to extend up or out in any direction.


Boom lift buckets typically fit one or two people, though some have a little bit more capacity than others.

  • Articulating boom lift:For one-person jobs, these lifts work well.
  • Bucket truck:In accordance with the requirements of the job, bucket trucks can hold one or two people, giving them flexibility.
  • Telescopic boom lift:One or two workers can be accommodated by telescopic lifts as well.


In addition to whether they are powered by electrical or diesel fuel, different boom lifts have different configurations that make them more suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

  • Articulating boom lift:Although these can be used both inside and outside, their jointed arms make them best suited for confined spaces inside.
  • Bucket truck:These are vehicles that are only intended to be used outside.
  • Telescopic boom lift:Although telescopic lifts can be used both indoors and outdoors, their straight arms are less compact than articulating lifts, making them slightly less likely to fit comfortably indoors.


Your choice of boom lift may also be influenced by the type of terrain you’re working on.

  • Articulating boom lift:In order to prevent instability and potential tipping, some models perform best on flat, firm surfaces. There are, however, also articulating boom lifts designed for rocky or uneven terrain.
  • Bucket truck:It is well suited for uneven, rough terrain because of its low center of gravity and heavy-duty tires.
  • Telescopic boom lift:Similar to articulating lifts, some rough terrain lifts can access uneven, rough terrain but perform best on flat, stable ground.


Another critical factor is the amount of money you have to spend. If you’re renting a lift, here are some price ranges to help you with the boom lift rental process.

  • Articulating boom lift:It is possible to rent these from BigRentz. About $212 per day, $520 per week, or $1,331 per month can be spent on a 30-foot articulating narrow electric boom lift. A 125-foot diesel dual-fuel lift can cost as much as $1,196 per day, $2,600 per week, or $7,280 per month at the high end of the spectrum.
  • Telescopic boom lift:A 40-foot diesel dual-fuel lift can be rented for around $248 per day, $572 per week, or $1,456 per month. An equivalent 120-foot telescopic lift would cost about $1,129 per day, $3,227 per week, or $7,600 per month to operate on the same fuel.
Scissor Lift
Scissor Lift

Boom Lift Vs. Scissor Lift

Boom lifts are different from scissor lifts, which feature accordion-type legs that expand to lift a platform straight up and down. A scissor lift’s platform is larger and has a higher lift capacity than a boom lift’s bucket, but it only moves in one direction and is unable to reach the same heights as the larger boom lifts.

You might want to use a scissor lift rather than a boom lift in situations like these:

  • lifting containers to a higher shelf or removing them from a warehouse (in this case, electric scissor lifts can be used).
  • cleaning the windows on a building’s side.
  • lifting workers on rocky construction sites.
  • elevating a large number of workers and heavier materials.

How Do Boom Lifts Get Their Name?

Originally called a Giraffe and then a cherry picker, the term “boom lift” is derived from the resemblance of the machine to an arm on the human body. A “boom” is a term used to describe a variety of long beams that extend outwards or at an angle. A “boom” is a beam on a sailboat’s mast as well as a term used to describe a movable arm on a tv or movie set that carries a microphone or camera.

The term for TV and the boom lift most likely has sailboat origins. Midway through the 16th century, that phrase was coined. Most likely, a moving and rotating beam or arm’s function was carried over from sailing ships to everything else. In 1928, Beggars of Life was where a boom mic was first used. The transition from sailboat boom to boom mic to a boom lift can only be surmised because the boom lift wasn’t created until after this.

Boom Lift Safety Tips

Whether using a skid steer, excavator, forklift, or telehandler, safety should always come first. Boom lifts are no different. Here are some tips for maintaining safety while operating a boom lift.

Select the right boom lift

  • Ask the professionals at BigRentz for advice if you’re unsure of the equipment you need.
  • Make sure you are aware of and abide by the OSHA requirements for the equipment you select.

Check the equipment before use

  • Check the wheels, batteries, controls, brakes, steering, and levels of all fluids before every shift.
  • Make sure electrical components are functioning properly and check for worn parts.
  • Before you use the equipment, fix any issues.

Operate the equipment safely

  • Boom lifts should keep a minimum of 10 feet clear of any dangers, such as live power lines.
  • Consider the combined weight of the worker(s), tools, and equipment when calculating loads, and watch out not to overload your platform.
  • Utilize safety gear, such as gloves, hard hats, body belts, reflective vests, eye protection, face masks, and body belts.
  • Boom lifts and other MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms) should not be used in wind gusts greater than 28 mph.

When you’ve committed to a project and chosen your budget, you’re ready to consider the types of equipment you’ll require. You can find rental options that will suit your needs and budget whether you’re searching for a telescopic boom lift, an articulating boom lift, a bucket truck, or a scissor lift.


What Are Boom Lifts Used For?

Boom lifts are employed to raise both people and objects into the air. It can also be used to maneuver over obstacles and around corners, depending on the type of boom—straight or articulating. Unlike scissor lifts, which are primarily used to lift up, boom lifts are used to reach out and over.

What Size of Boom Lift Do I Need?

Boom lifts are divided into groups based on platform height and boom style. The “size” of the boom lift will be determined by how high a platform should reach and whether a straight or articulating boom is a better fit for the job site.

Can Boom Lifts Tip?

Like any other large machine or vehicle, a boom lift is susceptible to tipping. To ensure that the machine is stable and safe at all times, an operator must always take the appropriate precautions and adhere to safety protocols.

How Long Can I Rent a Boom Lift For?

Boom lifts are available for rental for periods ranging from one day to several months. Boom lifts can essentially be rented for as long as you require one.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Boom Lift?

Boom lift rental costs vary depending on the rental company, the location where the equipment is needed, and the duration of the rental. Use the DOZR search platform to view all price options in one location and with a single search. Or give our sales team a call at 1-844-997-0150 to get some help finding the best boom lift for your project

Last, What is a Boom Lift?

Boom lifts are an example of an aerial lift that can reach both horizontally and vertically. They are useful pieces of machinery for outdoor work, industrial tasks, and construction projects. While typically having a smaller work platform, boom lifts offer a higher reach than scissor lifts.

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