Buying an aerial or boom lift isn’t something you get to do every day, so make sure that you do it right the first time you go. Asking the following questions about these lifts can help ensure that you get exactly what you’re looking for.

Before you Buy, Ask Yourself:

  • At what height will I need to land my load?
  • Will I need attachments for the machine?
  • What is the weight of the materials I will be lifting?
  • How are the materials packed?
  • What are the ground conditions?

General Operation Tips:

  • Make sure the tires are inflated at the recommended pressure.
  • Know the heights and clearances you are working with.
  • Level the machine before raising the boom.
  • Operate hydraulic functions at low rpm when small, precise moves are required.
  • Fully insert the forks when picking up a load.
  • Travel at the lowest speed possible while carrying a load over rough terrain.
  • When transporting a load, keep the forks tilted back to hold the load in place.
  • Secure loose loads to reduce the chance of spilling during transport.
  • When traveling on a hill, keep forks pointed uphill at all times.
  • Do not drive the forklift with the boom elevated or extended.
  • Adjust fork width to balance the load.
  • When preparing to unload, drive as close as possible to the landing, put the forklift in neutral (or park) and set the parking brake.
  • Retract forks gently after placing a load.
  • Check all fluid levels including engine oil, hydraulic oil, brake fluid and coolant.

General Safety Tips:

  • Check the forks for cracks or fractures.
  • Do not attempt to lift loads beyond the unit’s capability.
  • Do not add counterweight to the machine.
  • Do not lift double-tiered loads.
  • Use stabilizers before picking up a load.
  • While transporting a load, avoid jerky movements or sudden stops, as this may spill the load.
  • To reduce the risk of spilling the load or tipping over, avoid driving over curbs, ditches, ruts, etc.
  • Identify potential site hazards such as overhead obstructions and power lines.
  • Make sure the horn and reverse alarm are operational.
  • Wear a safety belt at all times.
  • Never leave the machine with its engine running.

Machine is Not Up to the Job If:

  • Rear wheels lift off the ground when attempting to lift a load.
  • Front tires appear to flatten when lifting a load.
  • Boom is sluggish when lifting a load.
  • There is excessive downtime.
  • Instrument panel does not indicate correct readings.