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If one plans to buy aerial lift equipment, there is a key factor involved in buying any construction equipment that applies. It must do the job it is intended to do. Dealers can easily distract thinking when conversations begin. Discussion of specification details can sidetrack the purpose of the purchase. Do not be swayed by unneeded extras, or bullied into spending more than necessary. Stay focused on a factor or two that are at the core of decision making.

Capacity is the factor most commonly considered when a business owner wants to buy aerial lift equipment. The amount of weight and the height that can be lifted are needed pieces of information. When the weight is established, several models can be investigated. Then secondary factors can be considered.

The factors that should be taken into consideration by business owners who plan to buy aerial life equipment are visibility, ergonomics, physical size and fuel-type. Visibility should be such that obstructions can be avoided. All the machine parts should be visible to the operator. The controls should be in logical locations and easily used. Sometimes control patterns can be switched to suit operator preferences. Seats should be supportive and comfortable.

A storage garage or a narrow gate may be concerns when choosing a lift of the appropriate size. The weight has to be supported by trailers and access roads. The largest machines use diesel as fuel. Small or mid-size models may use LPG or gas. “Dual fuel” engines can be switched back and forth.

A five or six figure price tag many make purchasing used equipment tempting. This could or could not be a wise financial decision. The amount of use required by the machinery may be a deciding factor. If equipment is going to be used full-time, the extra investment that yields warranty protection, reliability, and a longer life for the machine is money well spent.

High-quality used equipment may be an excellent choice and offer good savings for equipment that is used occasionally. Buyers should be able to get a minimum 30-day guarantee for major parts. “As is” aerial lifts are the cheapest. Expectations should not be high for those kinds of purchases. Businesses that have a sporadic use of aerial lifts may fare better by renting a lift and relieving themselves of long-term ownership responsibilities like repairs and maintenance. Examples of sporadic use are inventory or a specific job.

The structural elements, engine, and transmission are extremely stressed when the equipment is under ordinary use. Being able to withstand thousands of hours of stress is part of the design. Still, wearing down begins on day one. Purchases of used equipment should be from a dealer that has gained the buyer’s trust.

No matter what assurances are made by a dealer, a buyer should personally inspect all components Look for hidden rust, oil, leaking hydraulics, and other trouble signs. Test-drive the machine. Use all tools that are part of the intended purposes. Do real loading, lifting, and digging to be comfortable with the machine performance. Here is a comparison of the three types of aerial lift prices.

Aerial Lift Prices

19’ Scissors Lift

  • New - $11,000 - $12,000
  • Used - $3,000 - $6,000
  • Rental - $100/day or $350/week

30’ Scissor Lift

  • New - $19,000 - $20,000
  • Used - $7,000 - $9,000
  • Rental - $150/day or $500/week

Cost of Boom Lift that is 30’-40’

  • New - $25,000 - $40,000
  • Used - $10,000 - $30,000
  • Rental - $300-$350/day or $1,000-$1,400/week

Cost of Boom Lift that is 100’

  • New - $100,00
  • Used - $70,000 – $80,000
  • Rental - $500/day or $1,500-$2,000/week

Personnel Lift (Various Sizes)


  • New - $10,000
  • Used - $4,000 - $5,000
  • Rental - $75/day or $200/week

(Low end) Personnel Lift (Various Sizes)

  • New - $2,000
  • Used - $500
  • Rental - $50/day or $150/week

Four wheel drive will add $4,000 - $6,000 to the cost. Rough terrain lift options will cost even more.