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A Comparison of Forklifts, Boom Lifts, Scissor Lifts

Are you in the market for heavy equipment rentals but not sure which one to choose? This article will provide you with a detailed comparison of forklifts, boom lifts, and scissor lifts, specifically answering the question, "What is the difference between a boom lift and a forklift?"


A forklift is primarily used for lifting and transporting heavy loads, while a boom lift and scissor lift are used for elevating workers to higher heights. However, there are significant differences between these types of equipment beyond just their lifting capabilities.


If you're looking for more information about these types of equipment and their specific uses, keep reading for a detailed comparison of forklifts, boom lifts, and scissor lifts.


What is a forklift and when should you use one? A forklift, also known as a lift truck or fork truck, is a type of industrial vehicle used to lift and move heavy loads. Forklifts are powered by an internal combustion engine or an electric motor, and they are commonly used in warehouses, construction sites, and manufacturing facilities. They have two forks at the front that slide under pallets or other heavy loads, and the forks can be raised or lowered to lift or lower the load.


Forklifts are essential equipment in industries that require the movement of heavy materials, products, and equipment. They are useful for tasks such as unloading deliveries from trucks, stacking and moving pallets in warehouses, and transporting construction materials around a job site. Forklifts come in a range of sizes and load capacities, from small electric models used in retail settings to large diesel-powered models used in heavy industrial settings. When deciding whether to use a forklift, it's important to consider the weight and size of the load, the height and distance the load needs to be moved, and the type of terrain or surface the forklift will be operating on.



What is a boom lift and when should you use one? A boom lift is a type of mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) that uses a hydraulic arm to lift workers and equipment to high elevations. They are commonly used in construction, maintenance, and repair projects for tasks such as installing electrical wires, painting buildings, or trimming trees. Boom lifts come in various sizes and types, including telescopic and articulating booms, which allow for a greater range of movement and flexibility when working at height. They are often used in situations where a scissor lift cannot provide the necessary reach or flexibility.


Boom lifts can be used indoors or outdoors and are ideal for tasks that require vertical and horizontal reach. They are often used in large construction projects, such as high-rise buildings or bridges, as well as in industries such as telecommunications, where workers need to access hard-to-reach areas. When deciding whether to use a boom lift, it's important to consider the height and reach needed for the project, as well as the weight capacity required for the equipment and workers. Additionally, safety precautions must be taken when using a boom lift, such as proper training and the use of personal protective equipment.




What is a scissor lift and when should you use one? A scissor lift is a type of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) that uses crisscrossing metal supports, or scissor arms, to raise and lower a platform. They are commonly used for tasks that require workers and equipment to be lifted vertically to high elevations. Scissor lifts come in various sizes, weight capacities, and types, making them a versatile option for a range of industries and applications. Scissor lifts are a safer and more efficient alternative to ladders or scaffolding, and are commonly used in construction, maintenance, and repair projects for tasks such as changing light bulbs, installing HVAC systems, and painting walls or ceilings. When deciding whether to use a scissor lift, it's important to consider the specific needs of the project, including the height needed, the weight capacity required, and the environment in which it will be used.

Differences In Height and Reach Capabilities Forklifts are designed for lifting loads and transporting them short distances. They have a vertical mast that can lift loads several feet off the ground, but they typically do not reach very high.


Boom lifts, on the other hand, are designed for reaching high places, often above ground level. They have a long arm, or boom, that extends upward and outward to reach high elevations. Boom lifts can reach heights of up to 185 feet, while forklifts typically only lift loads a few feet off the ground.


Scissor lifts, another type of aerial work platform, have a larger platform that can lift workers and equipment to higher elevations than a forklift, but they have a smaller reach than boom lifts.


Indoor VS. Outdoor Use

Forklifts are commonly used indoors in warehouses and manufacturing facilities, where they can maneuver through narrow aisles and tight spaces.

Boom lifts are more commonly used outdoors, where they can reach high elevations on construction sites and outdoor events. However, both forklifts and boom lifts can be used indoors or outdoors, depending on the specific needs of the project.


Scissor lifts are also commonly used indoors for tasks such as ceiling repairs or lighting installations.


Load Capacity

Forklifts have a much higher load capacity than boom lifts or scissor lifts, making them more suitable for heavy-duty lifting and transporting. Forklifts can lift loads ranging from several hundred pounds to over 30,000 pounds, depending on the model.


Boom lifts, on the other hand, have a smaller load capacity, typically around 500-1000 pounds.


Scissor lifts have a similar load capacity to boom lifts but are designed for vertical lifting rather than reaching high places.


Cost and Availability

Forklifts are generally less expensive to rent than boom lifts or scissor lifts, and they are also more widely available. Forklifts are a common type of heavy equipment used in many industries, and there are many rental companies that offer forklifts for rent.


Boom lifts and scissor lifts, on the other hand, are typically rented for specific projects that require high-reach capabilities, and they may be more expensive to rent. Availability may also be an issue, as there may be fewer rental companies that offer boom lifts or scissor lifts compared to forklifts. Conclusion Choosing the right heavy equipment rental for your project depends on a variety of factors, including the type of work you are doing, the height and reach requirements, indoor or outdoor use, load capacity, and budget. Forklifts, boom lifts, and scissor lifts all serve specific purposes, and understanding their differences is crucial to making an informed decision. With this comparison, you now have a better idea of what each of these machines does and when it's best to use them, making it easier to choose the right equipment for your next project. Royal Services, LLC has been proudly serving Artesia and its surrounding areas for years. We are proud to offer our equipment rental services, which include drill-outs, flowback, well-testing and operating production facilities, all at competitive rates. For those in need of reliable and efficient rental services, Royal Services, LLC is the clear choice. Contact us today for a free quote and let us show you why we are the best in the business.

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