Anatomy of an Aerial Lift | Interactive Content

anatomy of an aerial lift

Aerial lifts come in many different types and sizes, including boom lifts, scissor lifts, bucket lifts and more. The designs of aerial lifts can vary widely, but they all have certain basic components and functionalities. Understanding the anatomy of an aerial lift can help you:

  •  Use it more efficiently and effectively
  • ✓ Keep it better maintained
  •  Know what to look for during daily inspections
  •  Make cost-effective decisions about whether to repair or replace parts
  •  Detect minor issues that could become major problems
  •  And much more!

Articulating Boom Lifts

An articulating boom lift is also called a knuckle boom. The articulated aerial platform is made up of multiple sections with systems that act as joints in between. This type of boom unfolds, so that the person on it can go around obstacles. It is designed for tight spaces and can have up to a 150-foot lift height.

The articulating boom lift provides access to otherwise hard-to-reach areas. Its main benefits include:

  • Good stability when working at high elevations
  • Some of the highest vertical reach of all aerial lifts
  • – Great mobility – can move up, out, over and around the work areasan diego aerial lift certification

Let’s look at the aerial lift parts.

  • Steer wheels: The front wheels attach to the steering axle and are used primarily to steer the lift when in motion. They also help support the weight of the load that is being moved. In two-wheel-drive models, the only job of these wheels is steering, but they also drive in four-wheel lifts.
  • • Chassis/frame: One of the main structural design components, the frame provides support for the rest of the lift.
  • • Drive wheels: The rear wheels attach to the driving axle and provide the power to drive the lift. Some lifts come with 4-wheel drive, in which case the front wheels are still used for steering.
  • • Ground console: This unit holds the controls for driving and operating every aspect of the lift. The console is located on the ground rather than on the lift and is operated by a second person as the first person is lifted.
  • • Jib: This consists of a projecting arm attached to the platform to extend the reach of the boom. It also increases the range of motion for the lift, moving up and down or from side to side, which helps when working in a confined space.
  • • Rotator: A small cylinder connecting the platform to the jib, the rotator allows side-to-side movement of the platform. The rotator can tip the arm of the platform to one side and rotate 360-degrees in each direction.
  • • Platform control console: Located on the platform, it provides all the controls the operator needs to control the lift while in the air. This console is controlled by the person in the air and allows them to move certain components.
  • • Platform: Similar to a gas pedal on a car, the footswitch is used to position and drive the lift. It also operates the auxiliary controls from the platform.
  • • Tower lift cylinder: uses hydraulics to raise and lower the two main boom sections.
  • • Upright level cylinder: Works with the main cylinder to control the movement of the main base and fly sections.
  • • Jib lift cylinder: Controls the movement of the jib.
  • • Slave cylinder: Works with the jib lift cylinder to raise and lower the jib.
  • • Main base section & main fly section: These two sections are adjoined to each other to provide the height and extension for the platform.
  • • Tower base section and tower fly section: Together, these provide the structure and support for the main base and fly sections and the platform
  • • Guardrails: These are designed to keep workers from falling. They also contain anchor points for attaching lanyards. The guardrails help prevent other objects from falling off of the platform, which as tools and materials.

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Why You Should Choose

Understanding different parts of a boom lift and what they do will make you a better operator. To become a safer operator, get trained and certified at! We offer classes to get all your workers certified and OSHA compliant.

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