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aerial work platforms

Types, construction and use of aerial work platforms

What is an aerial work platform? 

The aerial work platform is a machine needed as a support when working at heights and beyond. It is a type of mobile platform that is subject to technical supervision. If you want to use it, you need a specialised vocational qualification; more specifically, you need to complete a course to become an aerial work platform operator. 

Of course, the name aerial work platform is a colloquial term. In reality, this machine is a lifting device with a hydraulic arm with an adapted platform with a basket mounted on its end. This allows work to be carried out safely and comfortably at heights. Such aerial work platforms can be stand-alone machines or ones that have been positioned on vehicles, railway wagons or even car chassis. They are divided into diesel and electric. 

What are aerial work platforms used for? 

aerial lift basket

First and foremost, they are used to work at heights, but also to help workers get to high places for their duties. They replace ladders and scaffolding, among other things, because they are much more comfortable and therefore safer. It is therefore not surprising that they are increasingly common on construction sites and are used to help workers reach the upper levels of structures (housing, offices, etc.) that are under construction. 

It also happens that fruit growers reach for the help of basket lifts. It is definitely more convenient to work from a basket platform near tall trees. Above all, it saves time, because instead of climbing a ladder with one basket, you can take more than one such item with you. The fire brigade also uses it during rescue operations. They are an indispensable part of red wagons on a par with folding ladders. 

What types of aerial work platforms are there? 

There are many types of aerial work platforms available to us. When choosing the one we need, it is worth paying attention to its unique design, as not every lift will be suitable for a particular type of work. 

We therefore list the following types of aerial work platforms: 

  • those with a telescopic boom - The arm of this lift only moves in an up-and-down direction, however, giving a better perspective on the lateral reach, 
  • those with an articulated boom - has considerably more room for manoeuvre than the previously mentioned one, as its arm moves both vertically and horizontally, so it definitely makes work easier, even if there are obstacles nearby, 
  • fitted with tracks - allow work on bumpy and even muddy ground, and the fitted tracks give the lift additional stability, 
  • self-propelled aerial work platform - is ideally suited for use in warehouses or halls of all kinds, its main advantage being that it has its own drive, 
  • electric basket lift - Above all, as the name suggests, it is electric, so it does not emit fumes, and on top of that it is light and manoeuvrable, ideal for indoor work, 
  • with internal combustion 4×4 drive - Above all, it can work on uneven terrain, but it also has a considerable working range. It is also distinguished by the fact that it has a fairly high lifting capacity and has the ability to work for a considerable number of hours. 
small aerial lift

The above list is non-committal when it comes to the classification of aerial work platforms. There are others such as mobile, fixed, stationary and even suspended or mast lifts. 

Before choosing which aerial work platform to use, it is worth considering the type of work you will need it for and the location or terrain in which you will be using it. 

We recommend checking reviews and looking at customer reviews. This always makes it easier to choose. 

Questions and answers

What is an aerial work platform? 

The aerial work platform is a machine needed as a support when working at heights and beyond. It is a type of mobile platform that is subject to technical supervision. 

What are aerial work platforms used for?  

First and foremost, aerial work platforms are used to work at heights, but also for employees to get to high places of work with its help. 

What types of aerial work platforms are there? 

There are many types of aerial work platforms available. When choosing the one we need, it is worth paying attention to its unique design. Not every lift will be suitable for a particular type of work. 

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