Telescopic boom lifts, also called straight mast boom lifts, are types of aerial work platforms attached to extension arms. They work like telescopes to extend to heights that would be difficult to reach otherwise. Many people use them for landscaping and industrial construction.
However, a telescopic boom lift doesn’t have the hinges of an articulating boom lift. In other words, a telescopic boom lift can’t reach over or around objects or obstacles, but it’s more stable at great heights than any other type of aerial lift. A telescopic boom lift also works better in rainy or windy conditions, and it offers plenty of horizontal reach.
This extended reach makes a telescopic boom lift a popular option for outdoor projects. The right telescopic boom lift height is essential for the safety and efficiency of your workers. The following are some factors you should consider to choose the best boom lift for your company.
Determine the Weight Capacity
Make sure the telescopic boom lift you choose can support enough weight for your task. It could have to carry one or two people, heavy equipment such as saws, and raw materials such drywall or tile.
You should also think about the weight of the fully loaded machine. The ground can’t always support large equipment, and machines that are too heavy could become stuck or damage asphalt or concrete. If you need different weight capacities for different projects, you can rent the ideal boom lift for each project. That way, you won’t have to spend more on fuel or rental fees than you need to. By renting instead of buying, you can also avoid paying for maintenance or storing large equipment when you’re not using it.
A boom lift often has a smaller, lighter body than a larger boom or bucket truck. Some bucket trucks are 320 feet tall, taller than telescopic boom lifts. However, boom lifts are larger and heavier, so they’re more stable than the bucket or boom trucks. However, boom lifts could be too large to access some work sites. Bucket trucks aren’t as maneuverable as boom trucks, and they usually have a smaller platform height and weight capacity. Make sure that the telescopic boom lift you choose has the right tires for the terrain you need to travel over as well.
Calculate the Telescopic Boom Lift Height and Range
A range is the amount of horizontal space that telescopic boom lifts need to move. Before you rent this type of lift, measure all parts of the place where you’ll be working.
For an exact measurement, use an ultrasonic distance meter. You want to make sure you have enough room to turn your telescopic boom lift, go through doorways, and avoid obstacles. The smallest models are 40 feet tall, while the largest telescopic boom lifts are 180 feet tall. A 40-foot machine has a maximum range or horizontal reach of about 34 feet, and a 120-foot boom lift has a range of 75 feet.
Assess the Size of the Platform
You shouldn’t try to carry anything on a telescopic boom lift that’s larger than its platform, even if what you have is relatively light. Without looking at the dimensions of the platform, you won’t know if the tools or equipment that you plan to lift can fit there safely. Try to choose a telescopic boom lift with a platform that’s big enough to fit all the items you need on it at once so that you won’t have to waste time raising and lowering the platform to switch equipment.
For example, a telescopic boom lift that’s 120 feet tall will have a platform that’s 96 inches long and 36 inches wide or about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. Wider platforms usually have lower weight capacities because they’re heavier. The shape of the platform can also have an impact on the telescopic boom lift’s center of gravity. The different telescopic boom lift height the different weight capacities and platform sizes.
Consider the Work Area
Telescopic boom lifts usually run on diesel or dual fuel. You shouldn’t use a telescopic boom lift indoors without plenty of ventilation. The fumes from the exhaust could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or other health problems. Electric telescopic booms are usually quietest and best for working indoors. However, they’re not as powerful as most gas, diesel, or propane motors.
No matter what fuel type you choose, make sure the surface of the floor or the ground can support the weight of a telescopic boom lift. Check the grade rating for the boom lift that you’re interested in. Without the right rating, you may not be able to climb or descend hills near your job site safely.
You should also make sure the telescopic boom lift you choose has a stable base and tires that are correct for the terrain. Many telescopic boom lifts have wide bases for extra stability and four-wheel drive. Additional stabilization is available for rough areas, but it will increase the footprint of the telescopic boom lift you choose.
Many telescopic boom lifts are available with electrical outlets in the platform and generators in the base to run a variety of equipment. These generators can offer AC or DC power for many applications. Air and water lines can also run to a boom platform for activities such as pressure washing. If you think you’ll need to navigate with many tools or debris, look for a boom lift with high ground clearance. Some models have crawlers instead of tires to help them get through mud or snow.
Review the Safety Components
Choosing the correct telescopic boom lift is essential for your safety. A lift that’s too big could bump into power lines, low roofs, and other obstacles, but a lift that’s too small won’t bring your equipment and workers where they’re needed. Make sure that you’re familiar with safety laws and regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces United States safety laws, including telescopic boom lift safety. Only trained, authorized people should operate telescopic boom lifts. If an accident takes place, if you discover new workplace hazards, or if you decide to use a different type of aerial lift, you should retrain your workers.
Before every shift, make sure that your equipment is in safe operating condition. Check oil levels, fuel levels, hydraulic fluid levels, the horn, the battery, backup alarms, lights, steering, brakes, operating and emergency controls, protective equipment, and all other main parts of your boom lift.
You should also watch for hazards near your work area such as power lines, potholes, or sinkholes. Make sure the power supplier in your area cuts off power lines near your work. A boom lift with an insulated platform will also help prevent electrical shocks. When you’re using a telescopic boom lift, keep a body harness or restraining belt attached to the platform to prevent falls. Guardrails or handrails on the platform can help prevent accidents as well.
You can operate most boom lifts from the platform, and they can carry one person at a time.
Other Types of Boom Lifts
Many other types of boom lifts are available as well, including articulating boom lifts and scissor lifts. Articulating boom lifts are shorter than telescopic boom lifts, but they’re more flexible. They’re best at reaching over or around buildings or other obstacles.
Scissor lifts are shorter and less expensive than other boom lifts, and they’re not flexible. They’re often used in warehouses to help move heavy items to high shelves. A scissor lift is best when you need to lift something higher than a forklift could reach but not as high as an articulating or telescopic boom lift. Many boom lifts, including telescoping boom lifts, have self-leveling capabilities so that operators can set them up and start using them in only about 30 seconds.
Why a Telescopic Boom Lift Rental Is More Economical Than Buying
The largest telescopic boom lifts cost more than $50,000 and paying that much money for a piece of equipment you’ll need only occasionally is impractical. You can get great advice on exactly which piece of equipment you should use from BigRentz, and equipment renting also makes trying a new model of the machine easy. Many options are available, including platform-mounted lights and onboard welders.
Choosing a boom lift for a project is an important task, and the wrong size of the telescopic boom lift or the wrong type of boom lift can cause severe damage and injuries that can cost you much money. The wrong boom lift could delay your project, injure an employee, or cause you to have to deal with other complications.
With BigRentz, you can enjoy the flexibility to use the best boom lift rental for every job. Many companies don’t have the budget to buy a custom boom lift every time they start a new project, but they can rent a telescopic boom lift for a lower price. With renting, you also won’t have to worry about transporting, storing, or maintaining large, heavy, and expensive equipment. Call BigRentz at (888) 325-5172 for more information about telescopic boom lifts, forklifts, scissor lifts, and a variety of other useful equipment.