Choosing the right type of lift equipment can be a difficult and important decision, especially when it comes to deciding between similar machines.
Often, we get asked what’s the difference between a spider lift or an articulating boom lift.
While both types of lifts make projects easier and more efficient, each are suited to different tasks and job conditions.
To help you decide between the two, we’ll define each type and when they are commonly used.
What are Spider Lifts?
Spider lifts are nimble, versatile aerial lifts that are suited for many uses, with working heights from 49 feet up to 160 feet. They are available with tracked or wheeled chassis and capable of 360-degree rotation.
A spider lift has “legs” that lock into place, guaranteeing stability on a wide variety of terrain. The legs can be safely positioned on steps, multi-levelled platforms, and gradients from 25% to 45%.
The are easy to maneuver to the exact position you need them with the use of articulating booms and jibs. They enable a single operator to easily complete an endless range of jobs in about the same amount of time it would take several people just to construct the scaffolding.
Where are Spider Lifts Commonly Used?
Spider lifts simplify tasks associated with everything from building maintenance, tree trimming, construction in rugged locations, and many other uses.
They are ideal for interior jobs due to their compact dimensions, allowing them to be rolled through most standard doorways and fit into narrow aisles and corridors while taking up minimal space in storage.
Telescopic models are often used to clean windows and decorate at great heights within office complexes, cathedrals, and synagogues. They’re also frequently used by arborists to trim and maintain trees. The extended-reach boom and bucket provide reach capabilities from 18 to 160 feet.
Best used for jobs that require:
- Movement on delicate areas such as lawns or interior flooring
- Set up on uneven terrain
- Indoor use
What are Articulating Boom Lifts?
Articulating boom lifts have long, extendable arms that reach up to 140 feet. It’s also common for them to offer a 360-degree to 400-degree continuous or non-continuous rotation with zero tail swing.
Often simply referred to as articulating booms, lifts within this category are available in two different types: standard and telescopic.
Standard articulating booms feature two or more hinged boom sections. These lifts are nicknamed “knuckle booms,” for their ability to position an operator over and around obstacles. They are popular among utilities companies where service technicians must navigate power lines, trees, and other obstacles.
Telescopic booms provide the greatest horizontal reach of any other aerial lift. But, like a telescope, the boom itself is usually designed without the hinge points found on an articulating model. This makes the articulating variety better suited to applications that require a combination of reach and awkward positioning. But for heights, nothing beats a telescopic boom.
Where are Articulating Boom Lifts Commonly Used?
Articulating booms provide safe work access to the side of a building or aircraft, the top of a tree, and the interior peak of a cathedral, among countless other unreachable places.
Also designed for heavy-duty applications, many articulating and telescopic booms are engineered with a rear axle hydraulic differential lock that protects the machine’s stability on rough terrain, with 4-wheel drive capabilities available for added power and maneuverability.
Many boom lifts are also designed for narrow alleys and tight work areas. In fact, some models are only 4 feet wide, easily rolled through narrow aisles while taking up minimal space in storage.
Best used for jobs that require:
- Accessing awkward and hard-to-reach places
- Heavy-duty applications such as those requiring 4-wheel drive
- Outdoor use
Choose Momentum for your Next Lift
We’re here to help find the right equipment for your job. Contact our knowledgeable sales team to choose your next rental, new or pre-owned lift.
We are an authorized dealer of the leading-edge Platform Basket Spider Lifts and Almac Crawler Scissor Lifts. Our spider lifts and scissor lifts are compact, light and versatile machines that enable you to work on exteriors or interiors safely and effectively.