Do I Need To Hire a Scissor Lift or Boom Lift?

Boom lift hire brendale

Two heavyweights in the lifting game are the scissor lift and the boom lift, both pivotal tools for safely elevating personnel and materials. But which is the right partner for your next project? In this quick guide, we’ll examine the similarities and differences of each lift to help you decide, ensuring you get the right lift for your project.

Understanding the Differences Between Scissor and Boom Lifts

Operational Mechanisms

Scissor lifts operate on the principle of linked, folding supports, known as a pantograph mechanism, that can be extended upwards to lift the larger platforms. Think of a concertina or an accordion—when they expand, they lift. This makes scissor lifts adept at vertical movement, with the weight of the machinery moving upwards and downwards with minimal lateral shifting.

In contrast, a boom lift is all about the articulation. Its jointed design not only allows for upwards and downwards movement but also outward extension, articulating around obstacles and reaching over them. It’s the crane of the powered access world, providing smooth, momentous rotations.

Height and Reach Capability

Scissor lifts typically offer a vertical lift that can range from low-level access at around 10 meters to impressive heights of up to 18 meters. They’re commonly used for electrical and lighting installations, especially indoor use, because of their compact footprint.

Boom lifts, on the other hand, offer a more extensive range, with heights reaching anywhere from 10 meters to a staggering 70 meters. This reach is especially valuable on large-scale construction sites and projects where obstacles prevent direct access.

Versatility and Limitations

While scissor lifts excel in vertical movement, they are limited in their horizontal reach, mostly offering a stable platform once elevated. This is not the case for boom lifts, which are the go-to for working at height where horizontal extension is vital. However, boom lifts tend to have specific requirements in terms of space and trackage, making them less suitable for certain indoor use or confined spaces projects.

Choosing the Right Lift for Your Needs

Factors to Consider

When deciding between a scissor lift and a boom lift, several factors should be at the forefront of your decision-making process. Consider the nature of your project — scissor lifts are excellent for maintenance jobs where height is required but little horizontal mobility is needed. Whereas boom lifts are the pick for construction jobs that demand both height and reach, such as roof work or painting large structures.

Terrain is crucial too. Scissor lifts can typically handle rough terrain models, but boom lifts need solid ground to ensure safely occupy and stability. Will your complete work site have multiple obstacles or will the job require the lift to move while extended? These scenarios can heavily influence which type of lift is best for your job.

Safety Considerations for Both Types of Lifts

Training and Certification Requirements

Safety should always be the priority when operating any type of lifting option equipment. Proper training and certification are mandatory for anyone using a scissor lift or boom lift. Training courses cover operational controls, access equipment needs characteristics, hazard recognition, and more.


Choosing between a scissor lift and boom lift requires careful consideration and planning. By taking into account project needs and safety measures you can make an informed decision that will ultimately contribute to the success of your projects. So whether it’s a short-term task or a long-term project, remember always to prioritise safety and practicality when choosing the right lift for your needs.

If you need assistance in identifying which lift is right for your specific needs, our friendly team of experts are here to assist. Give them a call today!

If you would like to speak with one of our expert team members, they are looking forward to chatting with you!

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