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Highlighting the Differences Between Articulated Boom Lifts and Vertical Lifts

Aerial work platforms have become an essential tool in various industries, revolutionising how taks at height are accomplished. Among the diverse types of aerial lifts available, articulated booms and vertical lifts stand out as popular choices. While both serve the purpose of lifting personnel and equipment to elevated areas, they possess distinct features and functionalities that make them suitable for different applications. In this post, we will explore the key differences between articulated booms and vertical lifts, helping you make an informed decision when selecting the right equipment for your specific needs.

Articulated Boom Lifts; Versatility in Motion

Articulated boom lifts are designed for versatility and flexibility. Their unique design consists of multiple hinged sections; or ‘knuckles’, that enable the lift to articulate and extend. This articulation allows for a wider range of motion, making it easier to access tight or obstructed spaces. Here are some notable features and advantages of articulated boom lifts.

  • Manoeuvrability; The ability to bend and rotate at multiple joints allows articulated boom lifts to navigate around obstacles, making them ideal for tasks in confined or complex work environments, such as construction sites of maintenance projects.
  • Outreach; Articulated boom lifts offer impressive horizontal reach, making them suitable for reaching over obstacles or accessing distant areas that may be difficult to reach with other types of lifts.
  • Elevation and Reach; These lifts often provide substantial working heights, allowing workers to access elevated areas with ease. This makes them suitable for tasks like exterior building maintenance, tree trimming and installing signage.
  • Stability; Articulated boom lifts are equipped with stabilising legs that provide enhanced stability when the lift is elevated, thus ensuring the safety of workers at height.

Vertical Lifts; Straightforward Elevation

Vertical lifts as characterised by their straightforward vertical lifting mechanism. These lifts use a scissor-like mechanism to raise and lower the platform. While they may lack the articulation of boom lifts, vertical lifts offer distinct advantages including simplicity.

The uncomplicated vertical lifting motion of vertical lifts makes them easy to operate and maintain. They are often preferred for tasks that require repetitive up and down movements.

They also offer plenty of space available on the platform itself. Vertical lifts feature a larger platform in comparison to many articulated boom lifts, therefore providing more space for workers and equipment. This is advantageous for tasks that require multiple workers or larger tools.

Additionally, they provide decent weight capacity capabilities. Vertical lifts typically have higher weight capacities compared to articulated boom lifts, thus making them suitable for tasks that involve heavy equipment or materials.

Finally, there are their abilities to operate indoors. Vertical lifts are often used indoors for tasks such as facility maintenance, warehousing and installation work due to their compact design and vertical lifting motion.

Choosing the Right Lift for Your Needs

When deciding between an articulated boom lift and a vertical lift, make sure you consider the following factors;

  1. Your work environment; Assess the layout, obstacles and space constraints of your work area. If you require agility and manoeuvrability, an articulated boom lift might be the better choice, for straightforward vertical access, a vertical lift may be more suitable.
  2. The required working height and reach; Be sure to determine the height and reach that is required for your tasks. Articulated boom lifts are excellent for accessing elevated areas with horizontal reach, while vertical lifts are better for vertical elevation.
  3. Your weight and capacity requirements; Remember to consider the weight of personnel, equipment and materials that need to be lifted. Vertical lifts often have higher weight capacities, making them ideal for heavier loads.
  4. The complexity of the task in hand; For intricate tasks that involve reaching over obstacles or navigating around obstacles, an articulated boom lift’s versatility might be invaluable.

Which Lift Will You Choose?

Articulated boom lifts and vertical lifts each offer unique features and benefits that cater to different work scenarios. By understanding the difference between these two types of aerial work platforms, you can make an informed decision that aligns with the requirements of your specific tasks. 

Whether you need the agility of an articulated boom lift or the straightforward vertical elevation of a vertical lift, both options are designed to enhance safety, efficiency and productivity for tasks at height.

Now that you have a better understanding of what lift may be more beneficial to your specific task, why not speak to the experts at Cherry Picker about hiring the relevant lift? This can be done by giving us a call on +353 1 835 4788, by emailing us at or by completing our online contact form.