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How to Select the Correct Rental Aerial Equipment for Your Needs

Category: Equipment and Solutions

Aerial lifts are safe, reliable and convenient solutions for lifting workers, materials and tools to heights. Providing a stable aerial platform, aerial lifts offer workers a range of capabilities, each designed for a certain type of job.

If you’re looking to rent aerial equipment, it’s important to know your full span of options. This guide to choosing the right aerial lift rental will cover the different types of aerial lifts as well as the top seven things to consider before you sign the rental agreement.

Types of Aerial Equipment

If you’re wondering how to rent aerial equipment, then the first place to start is understanding the type of job you want to accomplish. Before you can choose the right aerial lift for the job, you need to know what types of aerial equipment are available and the scenarios each are used for. That way, you can narrow down your selection by application, getting you closer to the perfect rental choice.

Here are the four main types of aerial lift rentals and what they’re used for:

  • Boom lifts: Boom lifts are designed for heavy-duty applications, capable of lifting hundreds of pounds materials to extreme heights — sometimes over 120 feet. Different types of boom lifts offer greater reach capabilities, including articulated boom lifts, which have extended jibs to achieve up-and-over reach.
  • Scissor lifts: For light-to-medium-duty jobs, scissor lifts are ideal for indoor construction and maintenance tasks, similar to scaffolding. Scissor lift rentals will help you lift personnel and their tools and equipment safely to heights without complicated controls and operating procedures.
  • Personnel lifts: Vertical personnel lifts help workers access heights in tight spaces and only lift straight up, without additional outward reach. Designed with a smaller footprint, personnel lifts are stable, portable and safer than ladders.
  • Telehandlers: Telehandlers are similar to conventional boom lifts in that they have a telescopic arm for extension and reaching heights, but they’re also highly versatile machines. Telehandlers can be outfitted with numerous attachments, including buckets and forks for heavy-duty construction capabilities and operation across rough terrain.

7 Things to Consider When Renting an Aerial Lift

Knowing the different types of aerial equipment is only the first step. Within the main categories of aerial lifts, different models have different capabilities and limitations.

This guide to aerial equipment rentals has you covered. Here are seven things you should think about when renting the right aerial lift.

1. Lift Height

The most important step in learning how to rent an aerial lift is understanding your height requirements. Think about the specific job you have in mind, whether that’s fixing overhead lighting, installing electrical or HVAC equipment or raising materials on a construction project. What is the maximum height needed to reach the workspace? Boom lifts and telehandlers offer height capabilities of over 100 feet, while scissor lift rentals will give you heights of 20-40 feet.

In addition to height, you’ll also need to consider outreach. Telescopic boom lifts and telehandlers offer the most horizontal range of any type of aerial lift, while articulated boom lifts give you the ability to reach up and over obstacles.

2. Equipment Size

Your work area will also determine any limitations you need to consider with equipment size. For tight spaces where you need vertical reach, consider a scissor lift or personnel lift that takes up less space. Personnel lifts are also easy to maneuver through doorways and aisles, such as in warehouses and other indoor settings. If the overhead area is tight, consider compact lifts with narrower baskets and platforms.

For outdoor settings with wider work areas, boom lifts and telehandlers give you height without restriction.

3. Lift Capacity

Lift Capacity

Every model of aerial lift comes with a lift capacity — the maximum amount of weight the lift was designed to hold safely. Boom lifts have weight capacities of up to 1,000 pounds, while scissor lifts typically hold between 500 and 800 pounds.

Personnel lifts, designed to lift workers and tools, typically have lower capacities between 300 and 500 pounds. Always err on the side of caution when choosing aerial equipment based on lift capacity to prevent overloading it.

4. Environment and Terrain

To ensure you’re renting the right aerial equipment, consider your work environment. Scissor lifts and personnel lifts are best suited for indoor environments, and can easily be set up and stored inside. Boom lifts and telehandlers are better suited for outdoor jobs, where there’s more space for larger equipment and room to operate.

If working outdoors, consider what the worksite terrain is like. If you’re dealing with rough, wet and muddy conditions, you’ll need an aerial lift designed for heavier duty applications, such as telehandlers or certain models of boom lifts. Always consult an experienced aerial equipment rental dealer who can advise on the safest aerial equipment for rough terrain.

5. Personnel Requirements

If you’re using an aerial lift to move people, consider how many workers you’ll be lifting at once. Personnel lifts are typically designed to lift one person at a time. Scissor lifts with wider, longer platforms can lift two workers at a time, allowing a safer way for multiple people to work together.

Considering how many people will be using the aerial lift will allow you to choose one with the correct capacity and the right size. Keep in mind that the larger the dimensions of the platform, the larger the equipment, and the less suitable it will be for tighter overhead spaces.

6. Power Needs

Aerial lifts can be powered by battery, electricity, propane, diesel or gasoline. For indoor use, battery, electric and propane are the best power options because they’re safer and healthier to operate where there’s limited ventilation.

For outdoor use, it’s better to choose diesel- or gas-powered lifts, as you don’t need to worry about a power supply, and ventilation isn’t a concern.

7. Safety and Storage

Before you can rent aerial equipment, you must commit to the safety standards required to operate any aerial lift. Find out about any required safety training before you operate any type of aerial lift. Training programs equip operators with the necessary skills and knowledge to work efficiently and safely.

If you plan to rent aerial equipment for an extended period, it’s also important to consider how you’ll safely store the equipment. Personnel lifts and scissors lifts are easy to store and take up only their footprint. Boom lifts and telehandlers are larger and take up more room when stored.

Find Aerial Lift Rentals Near You at NMC The Rental Store

When you need to rent safe and reliable aerial lift equipment, it’s critical to choose a trusted local dealer who can help you select the right model. There’s no better aerial lift rental guide than the expertise of the equipment rental professionals at NMC.

NMC The Rental Store is part of the trusted Cat® Dealer Network, and provides high-quality rental equipment that’s been well-maintained and guaranteed to perform. Find aerial equipment rentals near you at one of NMC’s nine locations in Nebraska and Iowa.