Beginner Aerial Lift FAQ’s

aerial lift frequently asked questions

Are you new to aerial lifts? Looking to get a job in the industry? We’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for anyone curious about these essential maintenance and construction machines.

What is an aerial lift?

An aerial lift is a bucket truck, cherry picker, or other lift that is used to access elevated areas. Aerial lifts are supported by a boom, which is different from a scissor-type lift mechanism. A boom can either be a telescopic lift, which is a straight arm or an articulating boom lift, which is able to bend, making it useful for jobs that require extra movement to avoid hazards or provide better accessibility.

How high do they get?

Most aerial lifts are typically designed to lift workers anywhere from 20 – 60 feet off the ground. However, there are some aerial lifts that go hundreds of feet up in the sky! An aerial lift’s range in height depends upon the type of work being done. For indoor construction projects, an aerial lift may only be required to reach 30 – 40 feet. But for large-scale projects which require extensive range, it’s not uncommon to have an aerial lift extend 100, 150, or 200 feet and beyond. Regardless of how high an aerial lift goes, provides complete OSHA compliant training for all aerial lift operators.

Is any special training required to operate an aerial lift?

It is recommended that anyone looking to work on an aerial lift has the most recent OSHA compliant instruction. is a great place to get started.

What jobs are aerial lifts used for?

Basically, anything that involves an elevated workspace. Painters, maintenance workers, construction personnel, even security (police, surveillance, etc.) use aerial lifts on a daily basis.

Can a boom lift be used as a crane?

OSHA guidelines prohibit the use of a boom lift as a crane. A boom lift and crane are used for different jobs and are designed to handle specific tasks. If you use a boom lift as a crane, you’re putting personal safety at risk – and the safety of your co-workers.

Doesn’t it get windy up there?

As a matter of fact, it does! Dealing with the wind, weather and other special circumstances are just some of the things an aerial lift worker is faced with. Our training material at is designed to give workers the skills and knowledge necessary to deal with all sorts of hazards and difficult working conditions while on an aerial lift – including dealing with windy conditions.

When should an aerial lift be used instead of a ladder?

There are many different circumstances where an aerial lift is preferable over a ladder. Aerial lifts are more mobile than ladders and can hold more weight. What’s more, they can also accommodate fall protection equipment. Plus, aerial lifts are stronger and more stable than ladders. For a variety of on-the-job tasks, recommends aerial lifts instead of ladders.

when to use an aerial lift or a ladder

Does an aerial lift worker make good money?

Because the job has risks from falling and other hazards, aerial lift workers usually make a higher hourly rate than other workers. Of course, it depends on the employer, type of work, union considerations and other factors. Perhaps the biggest factor that determines an aerial lift worker’s pay is the local job market. Generally, the larger the market (for example, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc.) pays more than other job markets (Omaha, Jacksonville, Columbus, etc.).

Can aerial lifts hold more than one person?

The larger lifts are built to accommodate multiple workers. But usually, they hold a single person.

Can aerial lifts tip over?

Yes. This is one of the most common types of aerial lift accidents. Properly trained aerial lift operators are aware of the different hazards that can cause an aerial lift tip over. The main causes of aerial lift tip overs include uneven surfaces, unstable and / or heavy loads, and failure to properly understand the operational requirements for the equipment. With aerial lift training from, you’ll have the knowledge necessary to avoid aerial lift tip overs.

What is a boom lift?

That’s just another name for an aerial lift. You’ll also see elevating work platform (EWP), mobile elevating work platform and aerial work platform (AWP) used, as well. All boom lifts fall under two different categories: articulating or telescoping. Boom lifts are not scissor lifts, which have their own type of lifting mechanism. Boom lifts are able to reach much higher than scissor lifts.

what is a boom lift

If you have more questions about aerial lifts, talk to the experts today. offers great training for AWPs, aerial lifts, scissor lifts and other elevated work platforms. What’s more, we also supply top-flight fall protection courses and other training for aerial lift workers. Companies all over the United States depend on CMO for their aerial lift training. Call us today!

You can reach us at (602) 277-0615, or check out our contact page for more info. Thanks again for reading the CMO blog!

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