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Types of Construction Lifts and Their Uses

types of lifts

Aerial lift is an all-encompassing term for the various types of internal combustion, battery powered and hybrid aerial work platforms. Each of these variations comes with its own strengths intended to help boost your business’s efficiency and productivity. Regardless of the type lift used in your business, you, as the employer are responsible for providing the training your workers need to operate the different kinds of lifts and create a safer, hazard-free workplace.  is the number one source for comprehensive, OSHA-approved worker training and certification for all different types of man lifts, aerial lifts and scissor lifts – any brand, any function, any type of job. If, as with many employers, you need to arrange for your employees to become OSHA compliant as soon as possible, enroll them in ALC’s lift operator training today! We’re the first choice of businesses throughout the country for training and certifying workers to operate all types of construction lifts.

Different Types of Aerial Lifts and Scissor Lifts

The various types of aerial lifts have been designed with specific types of jobs in mind. Some are made for working indoors, while others are made for handling extremely heavy loads. There are also types of man lifts that can travel over rough terrain. Once your workers receive their aerial lift certifications covering these different types of construction lifts, they’ll be ready to get to work and operate the type of aerial lift that’s best for the job at hand with confidence.

Major Types of Aerial Lifts In Use Today


 Cherry Pickers

Originally named for lift equipment used in orchards to harvest fruit too high on the tree to pick from the ground, cherry pickers are the type of aerial lift most commonly found in general use today. They’re mounted on vehicles and have an aerial platform supported by a boom, from which workers complete their tasks. Cherry pickers are still used today for picking hard to reach fruit, as well as accessing overhead utility lines, trimming trees and a wide range of construction and maintenance work.

 Personnel Lifts

Sometimes called people lifts, these mechanical ladders are among the most popular yet somewhat different types of man lifts in use today. Personnel lifts offer greater stability than regular ladders, are easy to set up and store and can reach heights approaching 50 feet. Although personnel lifts may seem like simple pieces of equipment, aerial lift training is still required for them to be used properly and

 Articulating Boom Lifts

An articulating boom lift, or ABL, is a type of crane that can be repositioned while keeping the basket at a steady height. Designed for working above ground, articulating boom lifts have two hinged joints, which give them greater flexibility than other aerial lifts and cranes. With full 360-degree rotation capabilities, ABLs are ideal for maintenance work, construction, landscaping, and other jobs that require accessing hard to reach areas. There are, however, certain risks inherent in operating or working from articulating boom Because they’re often used to access reach work areas up against the sides of buildings and other fixed objects, the risk of being crushed or struck by falling objects increases dramatically. ALC’s aerial lift training will prepare your employees to safely handle ABLs and other types of construction lifts to help prevent these types of accidents.

 Telescopic Boom

As the name implies, the work platform can be extended and retracted with tubular sections that slide in and out much like a hand-held Telescopic boom lifts, which are usually more expensive than other types of aerial lifts, are capable of reaching heights of up to 100 feet. They’re used for trimming trees, HVAC system installation and maintenance, working on bridges, accessing multi-story buildings from outside, painting, fire rescues and even helping stranded riders on a stalled roller coaster!. To avoid serious damage to the lift, the workplace and the operators themselves, thorough operator training is needed before workers can operate them safely. training will ensure your employees know how to properly operate a telescopic boom.

 Scissor Lifts

Reaching heights of up to 60 feet, scissor lifts have an accordion-style mechanism to elevate workers for construction work, painting, window washing, HVAC system installation and maintenance, and other overhead Rather than being true aerial lifts, they’re considered to be a form of scaffolding. Regulated by OSHA, scissor lifts come with their own unique set of safety requirements. Typically used for indoor construction and maintenance tasks, scissor lifts are just one of the many types of construction lifts covered in our OSHA-compliant training and certification programs.

 Towable Boom Lifts

Lightweight and portable, towable boom lifts are great for working in yards, gyms, and light industrial jobs. As the name suggests, they can be towed just about Being one of the most convenient types of lift, safety protocols are often skipped over, and workers tend to operate towable boom lifts with a more casual attitude, which can lead to accidents, injuries and property damage. Towable boom lifts need to be operated just as carefully as other types of construction lifts and man lifts.

Why It’s Important to Receive Training for Different Types of Lifts

Regardless of which of these different types of man lifts or brands are used in your business, the key to safety and success is having your workers complete ALC’s aerial lift certification training. Our programs have been designed to equip operators with the necessary skills and knowledge to properly operate the various types of lifts, perform safety equipment inspections, recognize and avoid hazards, and prevent workplace accidents.

Untrained or improperly trained operators simply don’t understand the dangers and hazards involved in working with different types of construction lifts, which include:

Falling from the lift

Being hit by objects falling off the lift

Being ejected from the work platform

Lift tip-overs

Lift collapses


Collisions with nearby and overhead objects

OSHA requires all aerial lift operators to receive proper training before they can legally work on or with aerial lift equipment. Although there are several different types of man lifts, aerial lift certification training such as provided by will help keep your workers safe, prevent damages to property and equipment and avoid hefty OSHA fines and penalties for noncompliance.

Get Your Aerial Lift Certification from ALC in as Little as One Hour!

As the country’s number one online provider of aerial lift certification training will provide your workers with top quality, comprehensive training for the various types of construction lifts. Through our OSHA compliant training, your workers can be certified in as little as one hour. Our programs include the use of all different types of man lifts with a minimal investment of time and money.

Here are ALC’s training courses for various types of construction lifts:

Training Kit

This is a comprehensive certification training course for all types of lifts that’s affordable, practical, and ideal for improving workplace safety. Regardless of the types of construction lifts your company uses, this course is perfect for completing OSHA compliant training. A one-time payment of just $299 will train and certify all your current and future employees!

Train A Trainer

Our self-paced Train a Trainer kit teaches and certifies one or more of your workers to train and certify your other workers and future hires. For just $149, you’ll have the convenience of your own in-house trainer on hand at all times!

Bundle Package

Can’t decide between the two? Then our Bundle Package that includes our other two programs is for you! The Bundle Package is value priced at just $349, which is a savings of $50 over purchasing the two courses separately.

Regardless of the types of lifts used by your company, it’s absolutely essential that your employees are OSHA compliant and prepared to operate all types of construction lift efficiently and safely. Sign up your employees now for training and you’ll be on your way to a safer and more productive working environment!


Here are some of the questions we’re frequently asked at ALC, along with our answers:

Q. What’s the difference between an aerial lift and a scissor lift?

A. According to OSHA, an aerial lift is a vehicle-mounted platform that‘s capable of moving vertically, horizontally or both. OSHA classifies a scissor lift as a type of scaffolding with a work platform that can only be moved vertically.

Q. Why are some lifts called cherry pickers?

A. Cherry pickers got their name from aerial work platforms that were used in orchards to harvest fruit too high on the tree to be picked by hand from the ground. Still used in fruit orchards today, cherry pickers are also used for working on overhead utility lines, cleaning and painting tasks, fire rescues, as well as filming sporting events and other competitions from above.

Q. What are the different types of aerial lifts?

A. The types of aerial lifts commonly used today are Cherry Pickers (boom supported work platforms mounted on a vehicle), Personnel Lifts (mechanical ladders), Articulating Boom Lifts (types of cranes that can be maneuvered vertically, horizontally and rotated 360°),Telescopic Boom Lifts (retractable, single-boom work platforms that can reach heights of up to 100 feet), Towable Boom Lifts (lightweight, portable lifts that can be towed behind a vehicle and Scissor Lifts (a type of scaffolding with a scissor-like mechanism that can raise the work platform up to 60 feet).

Q. Do aerial lift certifications expire?

A. Aerial lift certifications generally expire three years from the date of issue or the last renewal. Exceptions are when a worker is involved in an accident while using a forklift or when a new type of lift is brought into the workplace, aerial lift refresher training may be required sooner than three years.

Still have questions or need more information about our training for different types of construction lifts? Call us today at (888) 278-8896 – we’re here to assist you with all your aerial lift training and certification needs!


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