What Is a Boom Truck, and Can a Boom Lift Be Used as a Crane?

boom lift vs crane

For many years, boom trucks, lifts and cranes have been used to lift and lower heavy loads and reach otherwise inaccessible heights. Dating back to ancient Greece, lifting mechanisms and crane-like structures have helped people build multi-story buildings and amazing structures. One example is the Colosseum, which still stands today.

A boom lift or truck used in construction offers many advantages. Boom trucks, lifts, and cranes may be used to lift and lower heavy loads. Plus, they can help workers reach otherwise inaccessible heights.

Boom trucks and cranes may be used for similar tasks, such as lifting, hoisting, and elevating workers. Yet, many people wonder how safe it is to combine the two.

Although boom lifts and cranes may seem to be exactly the same, there are many differences between them. If you are uncertain about whether you need a boom truck or crane, you need to learn about the similarities and differences between the two. That way, you can find the right equipment to safely and efficiently perform your work task.

How Are Boom Lifts and Cranes Similar?

Boom lifts and cranes are both used to perform industrial tasks across a variety of areas, including:


✓ Maintenance

✓ Painting

✓ Electrical power line work

✓ Window glazing

Clearly, there are some similarities between boom lifts and cranes. But, beyond the function and design of boom lifts and cranes, the similarities end.

What Is a Boom Lift?

Boom lifts are used for lifting workers and their equipment to worksites at heights. They are used to help build and maintain structures, in addition to power line work, window washing, and tree care.

A boom lift may be used at construction sites, maintenance sites, and in both rural and urban areas for reaching power lines. If a height is unsafe for reaching with a ladder, a boom lift may be used as a substitute.

Boom lifts are used for many types of jobs, including any situation that requires safe and stable elevation of workers and materials. Some boom lifts can even extend hundreds of feet into the air.

Also, boom lifts are classified as vehicle-mounted devices used to lift people. The base of the boom lift rests on wheels or stabilizing “feet.” Workers are lifted and lowered while standing on a bucket platform attached to the boom lift’s arm. This is the base mechanism that allows this type of aerial lift to be used in construction and a variety of other industries.

Boom Crane Definition

Boom cranes don’t have a bucket platform for holding workers. They are only used for lifting and moving extremely heavy loads. Unlike a boom lift, boom cranes use a series of chains, cables, pulleys, and concrete blocks to lift a crane arm and counteract its weight.

Cranes are often used to lift and move building materials and heavy equipment like trucks and forklifts at construction sites. Specialty models can be used to move trains as well.

In addition, cranes are used to lift materials, equipment, and other objects. But unlike boom lifts, cranes are never used to move workers.

Can You Use a Boom Lift as a Crane?

Boom lifts and cranes are made for different jobs, and therefore, not designed to perform the same tasks.

A boom lift does not have the same lifting and moving power as a crane, and a crane is unable to accommodate workers. When looking at a boom lift or crane, a boom lift can be overloaded and damaged when used as a crane, potentially causing injuries or fatalities.

OSHA guidelines prohibit the use of boom lifts for cranes, and vice versa. So, when you use boom lifts, cranes, or other industrial equipment, consider the equipment’s purpose. Then, you can use the equipment for its intended purpose.

Is Boom Lift and Crane Safety Training Necessary?

OSHA has standards in place for safe use of boom lifts and cranes.

According to OSHA, workers need to be trained to operate boom lifts and aerial lifts. Boom lift and crane safety training must cover how to avoid myriad hazards, such as:

✓ Falls

✓ Falling objects

✓ Ejections

✓ Electrocutions

✓ Structural failures

✓ Entanglement

Any of the aforementioned dangers can cause immediate and long-lasting problems. In addition to putting workers’ health and safety at risk, these hazards can result in compliance fines and penalties. They can also lead to revenue losses, brand reputation damage, and other issues that hamper business growth and productivity.

If you plan to use a boom lift or crane, invest in boom lift training to learn how to use your equipment safely. With this training, you can gain the insights you need to operate a boom lift or crane without putting yourself or others in danger.

Sign Up for Boom Lift and Crane Safety Training from CertifyMeOnline.net

CertifyMeOnline.net is proud to offer comprehensive boom lift and crane safety training. Our training program teaches workers about boom lift and crane accidents and how to avoid them. It also enables workers to get information they can use to safely perform boom lift and crane tasks day after day.

Don’t wait to get started with boom lift and crane safety training from CertifyMeOnline.net. To learn more or to sign up for our boom lift and crane training courses, please contact us online or call us at (602) 277-0615.

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