What Is the Difference Between Push-Around and Atrium Manlifts?

Atrium manlifts and push-around manlifts are two common varieties of industrial lifts. Both of these lifts are used in a range of industries including construction, maintenance, and tree service. However, there are some key differences between these two lift types. You should consider these differences carefully to make sure you choose the right lift for your job.

Atrium Manlifts Have a Greater Reach

The standard horizontal reach of an atrium manlift and a push-around manlift are similar. Atrium manlifts, also called compact crawler lifts and spider lifts, have a horizontal reach of 22 to 47 feet. Push-around manlifts also called personnel lifts and single-man lifts, have a similar reach of 15 to 50 feet.

While the standard reach is comparable, atrium manlifts are extendable. This gives them a much greater potential reach than a push-around manlift. When fully extended, an atrium manlift can reach a much greater height of 40 to 99 feet. If you need to get to an especially high place for your job, an atrium manlift may be the best choice.

Atrium Manlifts Have Versatile Lifts

The lift parts of an atrium and push-around manlifts make them quite different. Push-around manlifts simply go up and down. You must push a push-around man lift directly below the place you need to work. This can be difficult if you’re trying to access tucked away spots or places that don’t have flat ground underneath.

The lift of an atrium manlift is much more versatile than that of a push-around manlift. Atrium manlifts go up and down just like push-around lifts, but they can also rotate a full 360 degrees. Atrium manlift booms are articulated. They can move on S and Z knuckles, allowing you to access hard-to-reach places more easily. They can reach out over the top of obstacles and terrain that isn’t safe for push-around manlifts, like a sloping or uneven ground.

Push-Around Manlifts Weigh Less

Atrium manlifts and push-around manlifts both weigh a lot less than many other types of lifting equipment. That’s why they’re so popular for inside lifting jobs, especially in spaces with weight restrictions. However, push-around manlifts tend to weigh the least. People often choose push-around manlifts instead of other aerial manlifts for jobs inside rooms with floors that can crack or damage easily, like tiled surfaces and wooden floors.

Push-around manlifts, on average, weigh between 720 and 870 pounds. That’s far less than atrium manlifts which usually weigh somewhere between 3,600 and 13,200 pounds. Push-around manlifts must be very lightweight so they can be easily pushed around from jobsite to jobsite. With far less weight behind them, you’re even less likely to face floor damage working with a push-around manlift.

Push-Around Manlifts are More Compact

In comparison to other types of aerial lifts, both push-around and spider lifts are considered compact. That’s why you’ll often see them used on urban jobsites where businesses don’t have space for very large lifting equipment.

Since push-around manlifts need to move easily around a jobsite, they must be compact enough for your site workers to maneuver them from one place to the next easily. They’re small in size, usually measuring 2 to 3 feet wide and 4.5 to 5 feet long. In fact, push-around manlifts are some of the smallest lifts you’ll find.

Outriggers, which help stabilize push-around manlifts’ loads and improve lift safety, make a push-around lift a little larger. However, the outriggers move back into place when they’re not in use for easier storage. You can also move push-around manlifts through hallways and doorways that are narrower than your intended workspace when the outriggers are folded away.

Atrium manlifts take up much more space than push-around manlifts, especially with their legs extended. With their legs out for stability, you’ll often find atrium manlifts measuring 11 by 10 feet, 12 by 12 feet, and 10.5 by 14.5 feet. These manlifts are a little smaller with the legs are tucked away. This makes it easier to drive them through doorways for indoor work, for example.

The more compact design of push-around manlifts is a real bonus for many types of jobs. For example, you can use a push-around manlift to stock high shelves in a grocery store or a warehouse. An atrium manlift may not be able to fit between the aisles of these work environments and in other tight spaces.

A push-around manlift’s more compact design is also preferable for storage. You can store a push-around manlift in small places where an atrium manlift won’t fit. That can be a real plus for businesses short on storage space, like small schools, community centers, and start-up companies.

Atrium Lifts Have Greater Lifting Capacities

When it comes to being a lifting heavyweight, the atrium lift wins the contest against the push-around manlift hands down.

Push-around manlifts have an average lifting capacity of 200 to 400 pounds, depending on their model. This means many push-around manlifts can only raise a single person. That’s why push-around manlifts have relatively small aerial work platforms.

In contrast, the average atrium manlift’s capacity is a beefy 440 pounds. This greater lifting capacity means atrium manlifts can comfortably elevate two people and their equipment. Keep in mind, though, that the lifting capacity does not just limit you. You should also consider the size of the lifting platform. If an atrium manlift’s aerial work platform or basket is small, it won’t be able to carry two people, even if it has the power to hold them.

Atrium Manlifts Have More Power Options

Atrium manlifts have many more power options than push-around manlifts. There are atrium manlift models with electric, diesel, gas, or battery operation to drive the lift sections and move atrium manlifts from one jobsite to the next. Electric and battery-operated atrium manlifts don’t emit chemicals, so they’re perfect for indoor use. Gas build-up indoors can be hazardous to workers’ health, so look for electric and battery atrium man lifts for inside jobs. Diesel and gas-powered atrium manlifts can work more efficiently outdoors.

As their name suggests, push-around manlifts are usually pushed around or towed between jobsites. Battery power raises and lowers a push-around manlift’s lift section. As mentioned above, battery-powered manlifts are some of the safest lifts for your employees working indoors. You recharge a push-around manlift’s battery by plugging the machine into a wall socket, much like plugging in your smartphone to recharge it.

Atrium Manlifts Can Handle Diverse Ground

Both atrium and push-around manlifts can handle the even surface of an indoor floor with ease. Smooth ground suits any lift type and neither lift is heavy enough to damage most indoor floors. Many atrium manlifts and push-around manlifts also have solid rubber non-marking tires that won’t leave scuffs or stains on tiles, wooden floorboards, and other flooring materials. That’s why you’ll see atrium manlifts and push-around manlifts used for interior jobs.

However, atrium manlifts typically have heavy-duty tires that push-around manlifts don’t. This helps atrium manlifts work outdoors as well, even on rough or sloped ground. Also, atrium manlifts also have legs that can extend and lock into place. These legs help stabilize atrium manlifts on sloped outdoor ground with gradients between 21 and 40 percent. A push-around manlift could never cope with this kind of steep slope or uneven terrain. You can use a push-around man lift outdoors, but only on smooth, flat surfaces like concrete paths.

Different Jobs Need Different Manlifts

There are some similarities between atrium manlifts and push-around manlifts. However, they also differ in many ways. The differences between them may make one lift more suitable than another for your jobs.

Versatile atrium manlifts suit both indoor and outdoor jobs. Since they can reach up very high, they’re often used for construction projects, safety inspections, and maintenance jobs like cleaning windows and trimming trees. They can also help you access high ceilings for cleaning, painting, or changing light bulbs.

You’ll often see atrium manlifts used inside in buildings with high ceilings and skylights, like shopping malls and airports. You might choose an atrium manlift over a push-around manlift when you can’t position a lift directly under the place you’re working on indoors. New businesses often hire atrium manlifts to hang signage. Many businesses also rent atrium manlifts ahead of the holiday season to easily hang decorations inside and outside their buildings.

In contrast, push-around manlifts should only be used indoors. They’re a great choice for smaller-scale indoor construction jobs and renovations. Schools, community centers, hospitals, and a variety of other businesses often use push-around manlifts for their maintenance tasks. Their compact size is more appealing for these organizations than a larger aerial lift.

Since they can hold tools and equipment as well as people, they’re a more convenient choice for many maintenance jobs than ladders. Warehouses and retail stores often use them for tasks like stacking shelves as these lifts are small enough to fit in between aisles. Their lightweight design is also perfect for working on fragile floors, like tiled surfaces.

As a business owner, you should carefully consider how atrium manlifts and push-around manlifts differ when you need lifting equipment. Thinking about the individual strengths of each type of lift will help you choose the best industrial manlift for your business needs.