We’ve gathered some of the best information from multiple experts and resources that we could find, including direct advice from product managers at industry giants Genie and JLG.  We’ve compiled the best most useful gems into a list of things you’ll want to think about so that you can make the most educated decision possible.  Before renting a boom lift, fork lift, or scissor lift, going over this “checklist” will help make sure your next rental is as smooth and cost effective as possible.   

So let’s jump right in!  Here they are…

10 factors to consider before renting a lift:

  1.  Working height  Where will the work be performed?  This will determine the height requirement and model needed.  For overhead work, a vertical lift is best.  For outreach applications, you’d want a telescopic lift.  For obstructed work areas an articulating boom would be the best choice. Know the definition of working height.  You may need to reach a 25-ft working height, so you’d think you need a 25-ft scissor lift, but actually if you have a 19-ft lift with a 6-ft tall person in the basket, you get the same reach and it’s 35% less expensive.
  1.  People/Tools/Equipment  Knowing  the amount of personnel needed and the required equipment and tools for the job will reveal the platform capacity you’ll need and also if you’ll need AC power.
  1.  Outdoor/Indoor  Is the job indoors or outdoors?  For indoors, an electric or propane power source is used.  For outdoors, you’re generally going to want a diesel or gas power source.  
  1.  Jobsite Terrain  For muddy or soft conditions, a four wheel drive unit or one with a crawler undercarriage would be well-suited.  For sloped terrain sites, a machine with more gradability is helpful.  For scattered debris, you’ll want your machine to have higher ground clearance.
  1.  Tires  Depending on the conditions, you have many options here.  Jim Hindman (spokesperson for JLG Industries) informs us, “You can select traditional pneumatic tires or go with foam-filled tires to avoid flats. High-flotation tires work best in certain turf situations, and solid, non-marking tires are designed for use on wood flooring or tile and marble surfaces.” Frank Schneider, Terex AWP product manager for Genie Booms says, “Indoor jobs call for fixed-axle or 2WD units with non-marking tires.  Outdoor jobs generally call for oscillating axles and 4WD, with rough terrain tires.”
  1.  Available power  You’ll want an electric powered scissor lift to have enough battery power to last an 8- to 10-hour day.  Keep in mind, though, that to fully recharge the unit, the batteries need 8 hours of constant electricity while the unit isn’t in use.  New jobsites often have temporary generators that only run during working hours, which gives little to no opportunity to charge the lift.
  1.  Working Area Access  Consider the total work area.   If you’re working in a ceiling grid or in between piping or other obstacles or fixtures, a full-length scissor might not be able to fit into the working area overhead.  In this case, a single-person personnel lift that has a narrower, smaller basket would be better.  
  1.  Lift Weight Jeff Weido, Terex AWP product manager for Genie Scissors adds, “Look at lift weight, as well.  Since contractor weight estimates will likely be low, if the job calls for lifting 1000 lbs., then a contractor should consider a machine that can lift 1200 to 1500 lbs.  This ensures maximum performance.”
  1.  Bulky Basket Items   Eric Eccles, general manager of RSC Equipment Rental explains, “Mechanical contractor customers, for example, often have large, bulky items in their baskets.  This application requires a wide scissor rather than a 32-in. narrow unit that would normally be used for getting into confined areas.”  He goes on to say, “Similarly, insulation contractors often want rough terrain scissors even though they are working inside.  This allows workers to store large bundles of insulation in the basket.  The more they can carry means fewer trips to the ground to reload and ultimately more productivity.”
  1.  Building Access  A standard door is 34 – 36 inches wide.  Electric scissor lifts usually come in 32-in and 46-in widths.  If there isn’t a double door, there won’t be access for the operator to fit the wider lift into the building.


Renting a boom lift, fork lift, or scissor lift should be easy and painless.  Taking all of the above factors into consideration before your next project will ensure that you’re able to make the best-informed decision for your equipment needs and not spend more money than you have to.

P.S.  You can quickly and easily start renting by clicking here.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *