Types of Aerial Lifts
Aerial lifts come in three main designs.
Offering the best combination of horizontal and vertical flexibility, boom lifts have platform heights that range between 20 and 120 feet and average about 500 pounds of lifting capacity. They come in two styles:
- Articulating boom lifts: Also known as knuckle booms, articulating boom lifts have arms that bend, allowing them to reach around and over obstacles to position the bucket. This style is commonly found in the utility industry for working on power lines to avoid trees and other obstacles. Articulating boom lifts often come with four-wheel drive to increase maneuverability.
- Telescopic boom lifts: Commonly called stick booms or straight booms, telescopic boom lifts have a long arm that can extend up to 120 feet at nearly any angle. Telescopic boom lifts are often used in the construction industry to reach upper floors, as they provide the highest and longest reach.
Though scissor lifts, unlike boom lifts, can only travel vertically, they provide greater lifting capacities and larger work platforms. This allows for more space for material and workers, as well as a larger work area that does not require repositioning the lift. There are also platform extensions available that increase flexibility. Scissor lifts have lifting capacities ranging between 500 and 2,500 pounds and platform heights between 19 and 50 feet.
Vertical Personnel Lifts
Vertical personnel lifts are some of the least expensive lifts on the market. They are used to move workers up and down, often able to pass through a standard doorway in their fully collapsed state. Vertical personnel lifts have an average lifting capacity of 300 pounds and platform heights ranging between 12 and 50 feet.
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Aerial LIft Power Sources
When looking at aerial lifts, you need to determine what type of power source you want your lift to have. The choice depends largely on whether your worksite is indoors or outdoors. Aerial lift power sources include:
- Diesel: The most powerful option is more commonly found in rough terrain models. Diesel aerial lifts easily move across uneven land and provide increased weight capacity.
- Electric: An ideal choice for indoor lift use, electric-powered aerial lifts have no fumes or emissions to worry about and are easier to maintain. Electric aerial lifts have lower associated costs over time, as there are no fuel costs (simply recharge the battery) and require less maintenance.
- Hybrid: Many aerial lift manufacturers are producing hybrid options that offer increased flexibility. You can operate them indoors using electricity and then switch to diesel or propane for outdoor, heavier duty applications. This allows for better fuel efficiency and functionality of the lift.
- LP and propane: Highly portable and easy to store, LP and propane gas provides higher power, though for a shorter amount of time than diesel. The gas comes in canisters, which provides quick and simple refueling and less hassle.
The power source of your aerial lift affects the cost. Over time, electric lifts are typically cheaper due to recharging being cheaper than refueling. LP and propane-powered lifts are usually more expensive, but offer enhanced capabilities. Diesel, LP, and propane lifts all have higher long-term maintenance costs than electric lifts due to engine maintenance needs
How Much Does Leasing an Aerial Lift Cost?
Exact pricing is impossible since the total price depends on the lift type and value as well as your credit rating and lease terms. The following is is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay when leasing an aerial lift with good credit:
- For an aerial lift with a retail value of $20,000, a 5-year lease has an average cost between $450 and $500 per month.
- A 3-year lease for the same $20,000 lift has an average cost between $700 and $750 per month.
- For an aerial lift with a retail value of $30,000, a 5-year lease has an average cost between $675 and $725 per month.
- A 3-year lease for the same $30,000 lift has an average cost between $1,000 and $1,050 per month.
There are three main leasing types:
- Finance leases: Ideal for those looking for the benefits of ownership, a finance lease has a lease-end purchase option. This can be a good idea if you want to own the machine eventually but don’t have the capital for outright purchase.
- Municipal leases: Used by local and state governments, municipal leases are tax-exempt lease-purchase contracts that offer more financial flexibility. Municipal leases have competitive rates and flexible payment structures.
Operating leases: With an operating lease, the lessee agrees to fixed monthly cost for the use of equipment. Extended warranties, insurance, and maintenance may be included in that monthly cost. Operating leases are perfect for those looking to regularly replace or update their equipment or simply don’t want to keep it long-term.