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Avoid Common Challenges by Choosing the Right Lift

Tech Tips - Mar 20

Avoid Common Challenges by Choosing the Right Lift

JLG Industries, Inc.
World-leading access equipment manufacturer
McConnellsburg, PA

When you’re selecting a lift at the beginning of a project or job, it’s important to consider everything from your budget to the specific tasks you need to accomplish. See why having too much or too little machine can present challenges on the job site, and learn what questions to ask when choosing a lift.


Too Much Machine

Having too much machine for the job may not seem like a big deal, but rather than allowing you to do what you need to do and then some, using an oversized lift may restrict your access unnecessarily. For example, if you need to work indoors—particularly in narrow hallways or other tight spaces—a small low-level access lift or lightweight electric scissor lift is more effective than a large scissor.

Smaller lifts are designed specifically to fit through standard doorways, operate quietly and have minimal impact on the surrounding environment. This makes them a better option for indoor jobs. On the other hand, if you need to work outdoors or on rough terrain, a larger, more powerful machine might be a better fit.

Choosing a larger machine than you need may also increase your costs unnecessarily, due to the price of buying or renting a larger unit or the fuel and other maintenance costs that go along with it.


Not Enough Machine

On the flip side, not having enough machine may extend your timeline because it takes longer to accomplish the tasks you need to get done. Make sure you consider how many workers and what kinds of tools and materials you need to carry to height before selecting a machine. An appropriately sized machine will allow you to carry everything you need in fewer trips compared to a machine that’s too small.

For rough terrain equipment, it’s important to ensure you have the right amount of horsepower and the proper tires to handle any ground conditions you may encounter. If you need to traverse especially soft or sensitive ground conditions, you may even consider a crawler-type machine. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough power to last an entire shift, so if you select an electric machine, the runtime on a single charge should be a crucial factor in your decision.


How to Choose Just the Right Amount of Machine

So, how do you ensure you’re using the most appropriately sized, cost-effective machine for the job? Ask yourself the right questions before you decide to buy or rent a machine—and then communicate these needs to the sales rep or rental company you’re working with. Get started with the list below.

  1. What is your budget? If you’re buying, be sure to consider both purchase price and overall total cost of ownership.
  2. At what height do you need to perform most of the work?
  3. How much weight do you need to carry to the work area?
  4. Are there space limitations to consider? Narrow doorways or hallways the machine needs to fit through?
  5. What type and size of material or tools are you working with?
  6. Will you be working inside, outside or both?
  7. What types of surfaces and ground conditions will you need to navigate?
  8. Will you have access to a consistent power source to charge a machine?
  9. Are there diesel or propane requirements for indoor use at your facility?
  10. How long do you need the machine to run based on shift schedules?
  11. Are there specific accessories that would be useful, like plumber’s or electrician’s racks?
  12. Are there any environmental or surrounding area regulations—like noise, emissions, etc.—that you need to comply with?

Once you’ve determined your answers to these questions, a sales rep will be able to guide you to the perfect machine for your application.


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