Boom lifts are most ideal for construction projects that require aerial lifting, such as metal building erection. If you find the purchase cost of a boom lift to be too high or just want to use it for a limited period, you should consider renting one.
Expect to pay around $250 per day for a small boom lift that can reach up to 30 feet and up to $400 per day for larger models. However, Boom lifts come in a couple of different sizes. A lift for a high-rise will cost you an average of $1200 per day.
The total cost of renting a boom lift will depend on the type and size of the machine. There are also some regional differences depending on your location and the availability of equipment. To get the best pricing, plan ahead for your project and reserve equipment in advance. Typical rental agreements include rates for full-day and half-day rentals, as well as weekly and monthly rates for longer projects. Try to avoid renting the equipment for longer than is needed.
An average daily boom lift rental runs between $205 and $400. There is a pretty wide range in pricing compared to the strength or weaknesses of local economies. For example, it will always be more expensive to rent a boom lift in sunny California than it will be to rent one in the Dakotas.
A 30-foot articulating electric boom lift is typically the least expensive option, with rates around $200 per day. A 45-foot telescopic boom lift will rent for a little under $300 per day. And a 60-foot lift will rent for about $400 per day. The big boys reaching up to 120 feet rent for more than $1200 per day.
- 1 Boom Lift Rental Costs
- 1.1 Types of Boom Lifts
- 1.2 Other Types of Aerial Lifts
- 1.3 Indirect Costs of Renting a Boom Lift
- 1.4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 1.5 The Bottom Line
Boom Lift Rental Costs
|Average Boom Lift Rental Prices|
|30-Foot Boom Lift||$205 per Day||$400 per Week|
|60-Foot Boom Lift||$401 per Day||$971 per Week|
|120-Foot Boom Lift||$1200 per Day||$2900 per Week|
In addition to the rental fees, pickup and delivery charges are also common. Accessorial charges can add another few hundred dollars to the bill, ranging between $80 and $150 per rental for each fee.
Types of Boom Lifts
Not all boom lifts are created equally, and the differences will be reflected in the costs to rent each one. But at the end of the day, you want to choose the right equipment for the job. Jobsite conditions and the type of work that you will be performing will affect your choices when it comes to choosing what type of boom lift to rent.
An articulating boom has a jointed arm that can reach over and around obstacles. These are sometimes called knuckle booms. These booms work best when maneuverability is important. They are also good for precision and indoor work because of their ability to work around objects.
A stick boom or telescopic boom has a straight arm that extends between 30 and 120 feet. Telescopic booms are the most common type of lift used for tall buildings and construction. Telescopic booms can reach vertically or horizontally and are typically a better choice for greater distances.
Typically smaller, a trailer-mounted boom is not affixed to a truck. Instead, it comes on a trailer that can be towed to the worksite and operated from battery power. These booms are perfect for small jobs and everyday tasks. Many users prefer the ease of towing these to job sites overhauling heavy machinery around. You will likely be able to hitch one of these to your work truck and skip the delivery and pick-up fees to save a little more money.
Other Types of Aerial Lifts
Boom lifts are best suited for jobs that require significant heights or horizontal reaches. For more modest elevations, there are other types of aerial lifts that may be a better choice. For example, if you need a larger working platform at a height of 20 feet or less, a scissor lift is a good option. And, if you are only looking to lift a single laborer without materials, there are more compact personal lifts available for lower costs.
Scissor lifts are elevated work platforms that are generally between four and six feet wide and extendable to heights up to 20 feet. In most cases, these lifts only move vertically. However, they do offer a larger platform and significant cost-savings over boom lifts. Scissor lifts typically rent for prices between $100 and $150 per day.
Personal lifts are also called man lifts, and they consist of a small bucket that can hold up to 300 pounds, or approximately the size of one large man. Personal lifts are only good for lifting workers — they won’t help with moving materials. They are much safer than ladders and are great for maintenance work. Personal lifts rent for around $100 per day.
Indirect Costs of Renting a Boom Lift
The first steps to renting a boom lift are to determine your needs and look for rental providers that offer the equipment that you are looking for. Once you have collected a few prices to make an apples-to-apples comparison, there are a few more costs that are going to come up and potentially throw a wrench in your plans.
Training and Safety Certifications
You might have guessed that machinery capable of lifting workers and materials a couple of hundred feet into the air is also capable of serious injury and death. Every year, around 26 deaths and many more injuries result from accidents involving aerial lifts. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides regulatory guidance on aerial lifts in the workplace.
Hazards associated with aerial lifts include:
- Falling Objects
- Contact with Objects
- Structural Failures
- Electric Shock
All employees working with or around aerial lifts must be trained in the hazards and safe operation of the equipment. Training should occur initially, before work begins, and again at least annually or when an employee is observed violating precautions.
If you thought that the cost of the equipment was high, OSHA fines for violating standards could be higher — especially when a workplace accident occurs. Minor OSHA fines have been levied around $10,000, and since the risk of serious injury and death is higher with aerial lifts like cherry pickers, the fines are likely much higher. In 2020, aerial lift-related infractions were in the top ten OSHA violations cited with an average six-figure fine.
You have two options for satisfying training requirements. You can conduct training in-house if you have the resources. Or, you can outsource training to a third-party provider. Typical prices for online training programs range from $75 – $300 per participant. And, the average cost of instructor-led training at your facility is around $1000. Most providers are willing to train smaller groups of less than 20 participants for a flat fee. Larger groups or multi-day training will cost more.
Some boom lifts are operated by diesel power, and others are electrical. Before renting equipment, take into consideration the type of power source and if it will work for your application. For example, a diesel lift produces exhaust and is better suited for outdoor work. Similarly, with electrical equipment, you will need a way to provide power or recharge the battery. There may be costs associated with electrical supply or diesel fuel to factor in as well.
Equipment Rental Insurance
Can your business afford to replace damaged or stolen equipment? Before you sign on the dotted line, check with your business insurance agent to see how you are covered. Like moving truck companies, some vendors will offer additional rental insurance for a small fee. While the rental insurance policy might give you a piece of mind, it may or may not be necessary depending on what your existing business policy covers.
Take these risks into consideration:
- Hoisted materials can blow in the wind and become unstable.
- Equipment is on uneven ground and tips or becomes stuck.
- Operator accidentally damages a public utility.
- Vandals cause damage to machinery at the job site.
- Operator accidentally damages adjacent structures.
- Equipment catches fire during use.
- A subcontractor operates the machinery without permission and has an accident.
Equipment rental insurance provided by the vendor will only cover some of these scenarios and is typically available for $15 – $20 per day. In most cases, your business insurance agent can provide pricing for more comprehensive liability coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Renting a boom lift can be a cost-effective choice. When it comes to the utility of choosing the right equipment, you might still have a few questions before taking the plunge. Let’s address some common concerns.
Can a Boom Lift be Used as a Crane?
With the different types of boom lifts available, you may be wondering if it is necessary to rent two different pieces of equipment. The short answer is no; you cannot use a boom lift as a crane. While they can reach similar heights, boom lifts are not designed to carry the same weight capacity as a crane. It would be dangerous to use the equipment for heavy loads.
Is it Better to Rent or Buy a Boom Lift?
Many contractors face this question at some point. If you find yourself frequently renting equipment, there becomes a point where it is more economical to buy it. However, for most applications, there is a different need for each project. In that case, it doesn’t always make sense to own a fleet of boom lifts if each one only gets occasional use.
Cost of Buying a Boom Lift
Even a relatively small lift will run at least $10,000 with larger, more capable models reaching upwards of $60,000 – $85,000. And that’s just the sticker price. In addition to purchasing the equipment, you will have to provide your own storage and transportation in between jobs.
You will also be on the hook for all maintenance costs. And, it will take some time for that equipment to pay for itself — meaning that you may not be able to get newer equipment as your business needs change.
Compare those costs to typically rental costs around $400 per day. Even if you rent the equipment for an entire week, the cost is between $1000 – $4000, which is a fraction of those purchase prices.
The cost-benefit analysis is unique to every company and the projects that require a lift, so it is not possible to make a blanket statement here. However, for many situations, the perks of renting equipment outweigh the financial burden of purchasing it.
Benefits of Renting Aerial Lift Equipment
Aerial lifts like cherry pickers (boom lifts) may get infrequent use, making it hard to justify a price tag in the tens of thousands. Unless the math clearly shows a benefit to support purchasing or you are a frugal-minded business owner with the cash on hand and can make the justification, the perks of renting equipment make a stronger case. These benefits include:
- Access to Modern Equipment
- No Maintenance Costs
- Safer Equipment (newer models with routine maintenance)
- No Storage Between Jobs
- No Transporting Equipment to the Job Site
- No Depreciation
- More Flexibility (choose the right equipment for the job instead of using what’s available)
It is hard to deny that the key benefit of renting is that you will always have access to new equipment models equipped with the latest technology. This can be safer for your employees and more productive for your labor costs. And if that isn’t enough, you also won’t be shelling out additional cash to perform maintenance on equipment that will quickly become outdated and unsafe.
The Bottom Line
Often, the true cost of renting a boom lift will be more than the tag price. By the time that you add the costs of delivery, insurance, taxes, and training, the budget could be double the original estimate. However, that doesn’t mean that renting a boom lift is a bad idea.
Most often, renting heavy equipment is more cost-effective than purchasing the equipment. Once you get past the sticker shock of the rental prices and consider the additional costs of ownership like maintenance and storage, the price of renting a boom lift looks a lot better.
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