Evolution of the Cherry Picker / Aerial Lift


You know those evolutionary progression pictures, the ones that show our early predecessors on all fours, then a few knuckle-dragging creatures, finally culminating it an upright, modern human being?

Kind of like this:



Well, that’s sort of how today’s heavy-duty aerial lifts “evolved.” But instead of natural selection, the aerial lift’s current attributes are more due to the old adage, “necessity is the mother of invention.”

So, the evolution of the aerial lift is a little less Darwin, and a little more design innovation.

From Cherry Pickers to the Age of Aerial Lifts – A Quick Trip Through Time

The first aerial lift actually wasn’t an aerial lift. In the early 20th century, when the agricultural boom was happening all over America (the Dust Bowl era of the 30s notwithstanding), devices called cherry pickers were used to elevate fruit harvesters high above the ground, with the idea of getting a better overall crop yield.

From there, typical ingenuity and innovation kicked in. By mid-century, the first aerial lifts were widely in use. And not just for orange groves and other similar environments – they were used for accessing anything from power lines to upper-floor windows to bridge spans. The aerial lift had truly arrived.

And just by following the product history of a company like JLG, it’s easy to see how seemingly small advancements – oscillating axles in the 80s, fuel-cell powered aerial lifts in the 90s and the first 150-foot lift just a few years ago – culminated in the sleek, dependable aerial lifts on the market today.

What does the future have in store for the aerial lift? We can’t wait to find out!

The history of the aerial lift is certainly interesting. And it’s hard to believe, but safety standards were just as “primitive” as the aerial lift itself back in the day. But since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created, workplace safety standards are more regularly enforced.

And you can’t “enforce” something without fines, penalties and legal action. That’s just what will happen (and maybe worse) if your company slacks in the safety department. CertifyMeOnline.net offers practical, universal pass-rate training material for your entire fleet of AWP, aerial lift and scissor lift workers.

We’re a preferred training partner for thousands of companies and individuals across the country. With affordable rates, effective & proven learning methods and lifetime support, why would you go anywhere else for aerial lift and fall protection training? To get started today, please visit the CMO contact page, or call our aerial lift OSHA consultants at (602) 277-0615.

Thanks for reading the CMO blog!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *