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Boom Lifts and Telehandlers: Similarities and Differences

Boom Lifts and Telehandlers

Aerial lifts come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and functions. Two of the most common types of aerial lifts include boom lifts and telehandlers. If you use aerial lifts and aerial work platforms (AWPs) on a regular basis, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve already used boom lifts and telehandlers.

What are the main differences between the two types of aerial lifts, and how are they the same? Our training team here at has trained thousands of employees, safety supervisors and others on this equipment, so we thought it would be a good idea to go in-depth on this widely –used equipment.

Before we look into the similarities and differences between telehandlers and boom lifts, here’s something that’s the same for all types of AWPs: the need for thorough, OSHA compliant training. The U.S Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that all employers provide training for any AWP worker, which includes both telehandler operators and boom lift employees.

Whether you use a telehandler or regular boom lift, or if your company hires AWP workers, here’s the bottom line: you need training. ALC offers a great selection of compliant training courses to handle all of your company’s training requirements. Check out our courses and get started today!


Boom Lifts vs Telehandlers

So what is a boom lift? Essentially, it’s any elevated work platform that holds workers, material or other job essentials. In a general sense, a boom lift is the actual AWP. Thus, a boom lift includes all different types of aerial work surfaces and equipment, including:

-Scissor lifts

-Cherry pickers


-Articulating boom lifts (jointed, flexible mechanism for custom positioning)

-Telescopic boom lifts (straight-line boom lifts, with custom height options)

-Telescopic forklifts

-And similar equipment

A telehandler, meanwhile, is a specialized category of boom lift. Basically, a telehandler has multiple moving joints and can be moved both horizontally (side to side) and vertically (up and down).

On top of that, a telehandler has customized attachments for more versatility on a variety of job sites. Just some of the common telehandler attachments include:

-Forks (which turn an aerial lift into a forklift for uncommon height requirements)

-Lifting/rigging hooks

-Buckets (great for construction work, moving earth, etc.)

-Swivel hooks

-Spreader bars

-Standard work platforms (probably the most common type of telehandler attachment used today)

-Lifting jibs (a versatile accessory for rigging and heavy loads)

-Trash hoppers

-And many more

The attachments are really what separates a regular boom lift from a telehandler. You can think of a boom lift as a “typical” AWP, while a telehandler offers premium versatility.

Sometimes, both types of these AWPs overlap; whenever a telehandler has a work platform as the attachment, it’s another kind of boom lift!

Regardless of the type of aerial lift you use on the job (telehandler, boom lift, cherry picker, etc.), training is required for every employee – and it’s the employer’s responsibility to provide this training. But how can companies handle their busy schedules AND get their workers trained? With!


Boom Lifts, Telehandlers and Everything in Between: Get Training for Any Aerial Lift!

It’s against the law to hire any aerial lift operator, boom lift worker, or telehandler employee without the proper training. Thanks to AerialLiftCertification, your company has a flexible, affordable solution to stringent OSHA training requirements.

We offer two popular training courses (Train a Trainer and a Training Kit), each with OSHA compliant training content, workplace safety guidelines and much more. If your company needs comprehensive training assistance and you can’t decide between our two main courses, no worries – we have a value-added Bundle Package, which includes both courses at a special discounted rate.

You can’t afford to skip your aerial lift training. Give all your employees the operational expertise they need – along with some safety peace of mind for your company – with AerialLiftCertification today. Get started today! If you have any questions about your telehandler or boom lift training needs, give AerialLiftCertification a call today at (888) 278–8896. Thanks for visiting, the leader in online OSHA aerial lift training!

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