Everything You Need to Know about a Knuckle Boom Lift

learn what a knuckle boom lift is

There are about five main types of aerial work platforms in existence. Each are designed for different applications with different strengths. The knuckle boom lift is one of these, and is built to be extremely versatile and flexible for worksites.

Learn exactly what makes a knuckle boom lift and what types of jobs it’s used for to help all kinds of worksites.

What is a Knuckle Boom Lift?

Aerial lifts are a standard piece of equipment in many industries. Also called aerial work platforms, there are five main types of lifts. These include articulated boom lifts, telescopic boom lifts, cherry pickers, scissor lifts, and the spider. (The spider has four legs to support the boom, hence its name.)

The knuckle boom lift is a type of articulated boom lift. It gets its name from the jointed boom arm that enables the boom to bend. It has many features that make the knuckle boom truck very flexible and versatile.

Once in the air, the knuckle boom crane can extend as well as bend. It has a work platform rather than a bucket, giving workers more room to perform their job tasks. The lift also comes with a turntable at the base that allows the boom to swivel. This allows the operator to shift the platform to different areas of a worksite. As a result of these features, the knuckle boom lift can be used in many different types of jobs.

Brands that make knuckle boom lifts include Snorkel, Genie, JLG, NiftyLift, Teupen, MEC, and Haulotte Group. 

What Types of Jobs is a Knuckle Boom Lift Used for?

Knuckle boom lifts are ideal for jobs where the work area is hard to access. Examples include ductwork that is partly hidden and other structures high up on a building. With the ability to reach over and around obstacles, these lifts can be positioned right in front of the hard to reach the work area. Knuckle boom trucks can often be found on job sites involving:

  • Construction projects
  • Maintenance and cleaning work
  • Electric wiring or piping work

Small knuckle boom lifts provide a safer alternative to ladders and scaffolding. They allow lift workers to easily navigate through doorways and in tight spaces. Electric knuckle boom lifts are quiet and don’t emit harmful fumes They work well in airports, shopping centers, and other sites where loud noise can be a problem. Mobile boom lifts are designed for jobs that require mobility around the worksite.

What Makes a Knuckle Boom Lift Different from Other Lifts?

Other types of aerial work platforms aren’t designed with the jointed boom arm. The biggest difference is that a knuckle boom truck will have a bend towards the middle of the boom arm.

Cherry pickers, bucket trucks, and telescopic boom lifts have extended boom arms. This allows them to reach various heights both vertically and horizontally. But they can’t reach up and over structures. Scissor lifts are even less versatile because they only raise up and down above the base. They must be positioned directly under the work area.

Why Would You Choose a Knuckle Boom Lift?

Common reasons for using a knuckle boom lift include:

  • The work takes place in a confined area. Knuckle boom lifts are specially designed to work in tight, confined areas. Also, their small base can fit within congested areas.
  • You need to reach over obstacles and structures. Knuckle boom lifts can’t reach as far horizontally as some lifts. Yet, they can reach up, over, and out better than most.
  • The work area is indoors. Electric knuckle boom lifts do not emit toxic fumes. They also use non-marking tires so they don’t mar indoor floors.
  • The work area involves outdoor rugged terrain. Rough-terrain articulating boom lifts can safely handle uneven terrain.
  • The work requires extra reach from the platform. Some knuckle lifts have a boom extension, also called a jib. This adds another point to move the platform up and down.


More Advantages of Knuckle Boom Cranes

Knuckle boom cranes can also be used to move heavyweights from one location to another. That’s one reason they are so common in industrial and construction zones. Due to its great lifting capacity, growing numbers of companies rely on this lifting machine. The ability to move weight can also improve warehouse management and complete tough lifting tasks on time.

Despite being smaller and lighter than most weight-moving machines, knuckle boom lifts provide great payload space. The small base doesn’t take up a lot of space. Yet, the platform has room to load and carry a lot of materials. It can do jobs that would often take two or three machines.

Thanks to their design, knuckle boom cranes also offer superb control. They are easy to operate. They are highly maneuverable, even in tight spaces. And they can easily switch from one task to another. It’s no wonder they are one of the most popular types of aerial lifts in use today.

Do I Need Knuckle Boom Lift Training?

All types of aerial lifts require training and certification for safe handling. Every operator should be trained on the model of lift they use on the job.

CertifyMeOnline.net teaches workers the skills they need to safely use a knuckle lift. These skills include how to:

  • Handle the lift’s many capabilities
  • Inspect the equipment prior to each shift
  • Recognize and avoid hazards that can lead to accidents
  • Assess the work site for potential hazards

Are you looking to start working with knuckle boom cranes? Are you an employer looking to train or re-certify your workers? Look no further than CertifyMeOnline.net. Our online training classes are easy, convenient and affordable. They also comply with all OSHA guidelines.

With a total cost of $299 for the entire training kit, there’s no reason to skip this crucial part of the worker and knuckle boom lift safety.

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