Important Questions to Ask When You're Ready to Hire Access Equipment

Hiring access equipment can allow a contractor to work safely at elevated heights without having to actually buy and then maintain that equipment. Hiring equipment also lets you choose different pieces for different uses and different job sites, giving you the variety you need for the work at hand. When you are ready to hire access equipment, note a few questions to ask, so you're sure you get the right piece and know that it will work safely for you.

Ask if the lift will work in your expected weather.

Some lifts work with hydraulics, and these can allow for a very easy lifting motion; hydraulics also means that you don't need to worry about filling an engine with petrol or running down the battery of an electric lift. However, hydraulic lifts might get jammed in very cold or very damp weather, as the cold and humidity can both interfere with the air pressure needed to create the hydraulic lifting motion.

Also, an electric lift might not be good in very damp weather, as that dampness can interfere with the operation of the electrical wires. If you will be using your access equipment in any type of extreme weather conditions, always ask if it's the best choice or if something else would be more reliable.

Ask about the clearance needed.

Getting a lift with a knuckle, meaning an extra hinge in the arm of the lift, can allow you to be lifted up and then also forward, which can be necessary when there are obstacles in the way of your work. These lifts might need extra clearance for that arm to work. Scissor lifts will lift you straight up, but they too may need added clearance for the cab of the equipment, and they may not easily fit around corners and in tight spaces. Always ask how much clearance is needed if you'll be working anywhere other than in an open, outdoor area.

Know the difference between personnel lifts and equipment lifts.

If you need to carry any equipment with you when reaching elevated heights, you need to ensure you get a lift that will manage that added weight and that has a solid floor that won't allow tools and other pieces to fall through. Some access equipment may have a slotted floor that is good for ventilation but that isn't meant for lifting tools or heavy buckets of equipment. Always ask if you need a lift for your equipment other than just for personnel.