Fancy a ride on a flying carpet? Or maybe you prefer the term access platform? In any case, CMME looks at the rising market.


Fancy a ride on a flying carpet? Or maybe you prefer the term access platform? In any case, CMME looks at the rising market.

Powered access equipment, also known as access platforms, aerial lifts, flying carpets or aerial work platforms, and most commonly cherry pickers, get workers up high and up to inaccessible areas quickly and safely.

You’re not spoilt for choice in the hire and sales market, and the list of options can be quite daunting. Do you go for vertical lifts, boom lifts, scissor lifts or truck-mounted lifts? This guide will give you an introduction to the types of cherry pickers out there, and help you decide which is right for your task.

There is a huge choice of kit available in the cherry picker market, which is good news because it means whatever the job, there should be the perfect machine to fit.

While there is a healthy choice of product in the market, JLG, remains the name many people associate with the products. The company is currently preparing its Intermat line-up, including the launch of the 1500SJ, the first straight boom lift that elevates operators to 45.72m and requires only a weight permit for transport.

Xenia Kolijn, marketing communications manager, JLG says that the prospects for powered access are bright.“We’ve got a long way to go economically and recovery is fragile. But we think the overall trend is going to be positive for the next few years. ”

Kolijn says that 2011 saw its plans in the region affected by the Arab Spring.

“Within the Gulf region our politically stable core markets were largely unaffected. That was countered by the slow down in North Africa which affected development plans, and this is still the case in most of the Maghreb region today.”

Overall however the Middle East still has a great deal of potential.

“Despite this being a period of consolidation in some established markets, particularly in rental, there is a huge potential for growth in developing territories.”

Boom Lifts

Boom lifts come in all shapes and sizes, from self-propelled to truck-mounted. The main feature of a boom lift is that it is jointed, meaning it can move out sideways as well as straight up and down, making it ideal for extending up and over objects to reach hard-to-get-to areas like roofs.


Self propelled boom lifts

A self-propelled boom lift is usually a smaller unit that can be moved from place to place by the operator from the basket. This means they are quick and convenient for reaching more than one tricky spot without having to stop work and re-set the unit. They are ideal for hire on a long-term project on a site, where a cherry picker may be needed for a variety of work at height.


Truck mounted booms

A truck-mounted, or van-mounted boom is the ideal choice for work which requires access to numerous high work areas in a short space of time. For example, machines such as the Ascendant 12.5VM is often used for working on street lighting. Great for short term hire on jobs where you need to be in and out quickly, truck-mounted booms offer speed and mobility.

They can come with larger platforms which can carry several workers and heavy equipment. Truck mounted booms can be hired on a self-drive basis – those under 3,500kg can be driven on a standard driving license. Larger HGV truck mounted booms are supplied with a fully trained operator.

Trailer mounted booms

Working on the same principal as a truck-mounted boom, a trailer-mounted boom lift gives you the option of collecting and moving the lift using your own vehicle to tow. Lightweight and versatile, they are a good low-cost option, often used by builders on smaller jobs.

Specialist boom lifts

In recent years boom lift manufacturers have developed some very specialised pieces of access equipment designed for particular working conditions. Rough terrain boom lifts are designed to be used on uneven ground outdoors, and others can feature caterpillar tracks and even non marking tyres for internal work.

Scissor Lifts

Mobile, practical and versatile, scissor lifts use a mechanism to lift a caged platform vertically. This might be a criss-cross scissor mechanism, or one of several other designs.

Battery powered scissor lifts

Powered scissor lifts are usually self-propelled, meaning the operator can drive them from the basket and can be either battery powered or diesel powered allowing them to be used both internally and externally.

These are ideal for indoor commercial use, Several models offer a narrow working width which allows them to travel along warehouse aisles making them ideal for carrying out task’s such as stock takes within a warehouse. They are also ideal for work where equipment is needed at height, such as electrical engineering. Because scissor lifts are compact when they are lowered, they can be easily stored on site.

Diesel Powered scissor lifts

These come in varying sizes from with some ideal for smaller building sites where space is at a premium to the larger equipment which are ideal for workers who wish to fix large pieces of cladding to the side of a building.

Scissor lifts can offer a low-cost solution for working at height, with push-around models at the lowest end of the price range.

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