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Advice on boom lift

Discussion in 'Forklifts/Telehandlers' started by josephny, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. josephny

    josephny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    I'm in the market for a boom lift for occasional personal use to access tops of trees, high windows, roofs, antennas, etc.

    I don't understand the pros and cons of diesel vs. electric well, but it seems electric would be fine for a once in a while use.

    the unit will always be on rough ground (dirt, lawn, gravel, forest).

    I found this which looks interesting.

    https://www.haulotte-usa.com/product/6543

    Used would be preferable (to keep cost down).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jose
     
  2. DirtyHoe

    DirtyHoe Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2016
    Messages:
    158
    Location:
    Albany, Oregon
    Jose,

    Most users choose the battery model for inside work so no worries of carbon monoxide poisoning. The down side of batteries is they don't last for ever. At work we have an electric forklift that the batteries are losing the charge after a few hours. The cost to replace them is about $5,000.
    If you go electric get the cost to replace them down the road so will know your maintenance costs.

    Steve
     
  3. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    5,879
    Location:
    WI
    A towable electric lift like that will be fine for most uses. Most of the time you don't go up and down all the time, you go up and move a little to the left, then a little to the right while you're working. That thing probably has 2 or 4 marine cranking batteries that you can replace cheap enough, or use good used starting batteries if you don't need as much run time, or can plug it in while working.

    Lifts are required to be recertified every ten years, and it's not economical below a certain size. This is way below that size so I would assume all of these have a ten year life for rental, or osha jobs. Then they'll be sold to the market that doesn't care about osha where they'll be used for the next 20 years or so. I'm guessing you'd pay as much for a towable unit like that as for a similar truck mounted one with the truck, the towable is popular and easy to use. The truck ones don't have that much market compared to the available used supply (older than ten years).
     
  4. josephny

    josephny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    DirtyHoe: Thanks for the insights into electric vs. diesel. Is there a downside to using electric outside (other than battery life/cost)?

    Delmer: That's very interesting information about the recertification. I don't think I understand what the smartest plan would be in my case. I don't need OSHA certification, just a safe, reliable way to get up high every once in a while. Should I look for one coming off a rental company? Does the best bang for the buck come from a towable electric? Towable Diesel? Self-propelled? Truck mounted?

    Thanks!
     
  5. Delmer

    Delmer Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    5,879
    Location:
    WI
    Aren't there safer, legal-er ways to get high in your state? who am I to judge?

    A self propelled battery lift is going to be slow, they don't make them for off road use (much or at all, don't really know), mostly meant for pavement use. Or some crossing lawns.

    I don't know what would work best for you or what you'll find closest to your needs. Here in the midwest, when looking for something cheap, what comes up for sale determines what the best deal will be. I was pointing out the market dynamics I've seen in lifts, kind of like excavators past a certain age and condition don't increase much, if any from 2-40 tons. If a truck mounted lift will not do what you want, then you should be able to find a towable electric one like that without too much trouble, might take a little time though to find the right one at the right price.
     
  6. Patricia Margaret

    Patricia Margaret Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Florida
    In this type of equipment electric is quite new to the game. It sounds like you wouldn’t use it that often…are you certain you wouldn’t just be better renting it when you need it?

    The link you shared is showing a towable lift. Towables have their own pros and cons. Are you married to the idea of the towable concept vs trailer it?

    I would avoid Haulotte, made in France, hard to find parts. Stick with JLG or Genie.
     
  7. josephny

    josephny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    Thank you so much for help!

    The question of renting vs. buying is a tough one. The analysis, for me, requires including the time/hassle of picking up and delivering the unit. A 45' towable boom lift cost $250/day in my area. Approximately $300 for delivery and pickup unless I do it myself. So, a quick tiny job would cost $550 (plus tax), and most projects would cost $700. It's a tough analysis because, I think, like most pieces of equipment, the need increases when it's readily available (i.e., when it's right in the back yard).

    I am not at all married to a towable. I was drawn to them because they are less expensive and the stabilizing feet extend nice and far. Almost all my work will not be on concrete or asphalt, but rather on dirt or lawn. Not sure if that makes a towable better/safer. And, the trailerable ones are over 20,000lbs, which is more than my capacity.

    JLG or Genie it is!

    Still haven't gotten one, so I'm still open and appreciative of suggestions.

    Thanks!
     
  8. tractormech

    tractormech Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    126
    Location:
    florida
    I,personally would think you'd be better off renting when you need it. You'll use it,then it sits. The next time you go out there it won't crank,battery is dead or all of a sudden it has a problem-won't boom,or won't swing left,or now a cylinder is leaking. Seems like a lot of money tied up for occasional use. By you anyway-everybody you know will want to borrow it. Or say they'll rent it-and want it for the "buddy price" Then it comes back broken and when you ask about it prepare to hear crickets-or get lied to.Then you have no "buddy" and a broken machine. That's the way that goes I vote rent as needed.
     
  9. southernman13

    southernman13 Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    593
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Florida,Ga,Tn
    I’d rent fosho. I was in the aerial lift rental business. I still own a couple lol. It’s cheaper to own for the small jobs but not in the long run fosho. Towables are good but very shaky as well. They’re safe though I’d used properly. Very slow if you have to make many moves to get the job done. They’re all very expensive to repair and it’s hard to get a qualified mechanic to even look at one for liability reasons. Plus rental companies will make sure they fix their own before assisting customers. Rent and be done!
     
  10. josephny

    josephny Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2015
    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Sullivan County, NY
    Thank you guys! I very much appreciate your experienced advice.

    I have a much better understanding now.

    World is way too unstable to make any big purchases anyway.