20 February 2024 Article

Articulating vs. Telescopic Boom Lift: Spot The Differences

What are the differences between articulating and telescopic boom lift? Those of you who are still relatively unfamiliar with heavy equipment may not really understand these differences. Perhaps, the information below will help you in better understanding!

Understand First about Boom Lifts 

Boom lifts are aerial devices that functions for elevating workers and materials to challenging heights and locations, ensuring access to difficult-to-reach work areas. Not just limited to large-scale projects, boom lifts are also incredibly useful in tasks like roofing, tree trimming, residential construction, and electrical work. 

For your information, the flexibility of boom lifts is impressive! Some models are capable of extending upwards of 56 feet or more.

Now, the most commonly used boom lifts are the articulating and telescopic types. Each is equipped with a hydraulic arm capable of extending a considerable distance. When selecting a boom lift, the primary factors to consider are the required height of the work platform and the necessity to maneuver around obstacles.

What is an Articulating Boom Lift?

Artikel traknus jlg articulating vs telescopicartboard 2

Articulating boom lifts are specialized aerial devices designed for accessing challenging and remote areas. The standout characteristic is their articulated arm and segmented boom sections. They feature multiple joints, usually two or three, akin to the flexibility of a finger, which is why they are often referred to as "knuckle booms."

The majority of these models are equipped with a 360-degree base turntable, allowing them to pivot in any direction. Such feature allows the arm to maneuver the work platform around and over obstacles effortlessly. It finds application in situations where workers must access confined or challenging-to-reach areas or need to frequently change their position.

Now, the tallest articulating boom lift available today boasts an impressive lift height of 150 feet and a reach of 75 feet.

  • Suitability

This kind of boom lift is suitable for these points:

  • Inaccessible regions of the location
  • Positions that necessitate frequent adjustments to the lift position
  • Operating within a reduced or congested area
  • Repetitive task areas
  • Advantages of Articulating Boom Lift

Below is the lift of articulating boom lift’s advantages:

  • Effortless Maneuvering in limited spaces, especially beam effortlessly in tight spaces.
  • The telescopic sections are adjustable to accommodate various heights and duties.
  • It exhibits versatility in its applications, including internal use in airports and malls, electrical restorations, and building maintenance.

What is a Telescopic Boom Lift?

Artikel traknus jlg articulating vs telescopicartboard 3

A telescopic boom lift, alternatively referred to as a straight boom or stick boom, comprises a boom that extends in a linear trajectory from the boom hoist, an attachment made to the lift chassis. While some models have a maximum height capability of 185 feet, the average maximum range is approximately 150 feet.

These mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs), often referred to as aerial lifts, find utility when work crews need to operate at significant heights or access areas obstructed by rugged terrain. 

They are well-suited for a wide range of tasks, including industrial maintenance, electrical work, painting, glazing, bridge inspection and construction, tree trimming, and any job that necessitates access to multi-story buildings.

The telescopic boom extends rapidly, and in some configurations, the lift can be driven with the boom fully extended.

  • Suitability

This kind of boom lift is suitable for these points:

  • Maximum distance reached during particular tasks: 210 feet
  • Operating in challenging terrain
  • Utilizing elevated work platforms to raise materials to upper levels
  • Advantages of Telescopic Boom Lift

Below is the lift of telescopic boom lift’s advantages:

  • Telescopic boom elevators are capable of functioning in confined spaces due to their minimal tail motion.  
  • They provide maximum operating heights of 43 meters. Depending on the model and manufacturer, lift capacities can range between 250 and 340 kilograms. 
  • At elevated heights, telescopic boom elevators provide exceptional stability and protection. However, it is recommended that the operator exercise caution and observe all safety protocols while running a telescopic boom lift. 
  • They are transportable from location to location and are compact. 

Key Differences between Articulating vs Telescopic Boom Lift


Articulating Boom Lift

Telescopic Boom Lift


Inaccessible and congested areas

Maximum height tasks, challenging terrain, material lifting


Maneuverability in tight spaces, adjustable for various tasks

Function in confined spaces, high maximum height, stability, transportability

How to Select The Right Boom Lift

The initial phase in the process of selecting a boom lift involves evaluating the job site. It's essential to ascertain which type of boom lift aligns most effectively with the demands of the task and the necessary reach.

Additionally, it's crucial to consider any obstructions present in the work area. Nonetheless, the process of choosing the most suitable boom lift can sometimes be daunting. Thus, "refer to this boom lift checklist for making the right choice:

  • Vertical or Horizontal Need? Consider It First

You have to consider what kind of boom lift is needed, by understand the key difference of two types. If the needs are more into horizontal and specific, you can choose articulating boom lifts. Because it is suitable for maneuvering around specific locations or obstacles. 

While, if the needs are more into vertical or horizontal but less obstacle, the best choice is telescopic boom lifts. Because the maximum horizontal and vertical reach of telescopic boom lifts is 185 feet.

  • Indoor or Outdoor Usage

Do you encounter challenging outdoor terrain or operate within an indoor warehouse? Outdoor construction locations with ample space and reach would benefit most from telescopic boom lifts. While, if you encounter an indoor usage, the articulating boom lift is the best choice. 

Articulating boom elevators are highly suitable for indoor tasks due to their ability to traverse confined pathways and spaces. They can be employed for surveillance purposes within warehouse environments characterized by the presence of piles of inventory, as well as for maintenance tasks including plumbing or ceiling repair.

  • Consider about Worksite Environment and Requirement

The conditions of the job site alongside location have a significant impact on the boom lift you choose. Additionally, the type of labor that will be performed will influence the boom lift you need. Additionally, accessories are critical to the operation of the boom lift.

  • Type of Engines - Electric or Diesel

When selecting a crane lift, the power source becomes a critical consideration. A diesel engine may be more suitable for outdoor tasks, whereas an electric lift is more suitable for indoor operations.

  • Agility and Versatility Aspect

When considering this aspect, you should know that the articulating boom's form is the most conspicuous distinction between these two categories of lifting equipment. 

The pivot points of these devices enable both upward and downward movement, facilitating access to confined areas or difficult-to-reach surfaces. In contrast, telescopic platforms extend transversely.

  • Tracks vs. Tires: Which One Do You Prefer?

This aspect of selection is in line with how you choose a lift for indoor and outdoor needs. If you prefer indoors, then it is better to use a lift with a track. If you prefer to be outdoors, then you should use a lift with tires.

  • Lastly, Think about The Place for Storing The Boom Lift

Consider the stowed height when deciding whether or not to store the lift. Whatever your choice, you must adjust the storing place.

Accesories and Attachments of Boom Lifts 

Various attachments are compatible with boom platforms, depending on the task at hand. Below is the list:

  • Arrest bar
  • Swing gate
  • Pipe cradle
  • Panel cradle
  • Tool ray

Safety Considerations when Using Boom Lifts

Boom lifts, like all other types of aerial lifts, can be risky if not operated properly. In order to mitigate the likelihood of accidents as well as injuries, abide by the subsequent seven guidelines:

  • Utilize a harness at all times. 
  • Properly adjust the harness. 
  • Examine the container prior to entering. 
  • Examine each tie-off point. 
  • Avoid contact with electrical sources. 

So, those are the differences between articulating and telescopic boom lift! For consulting more about aerial device, perhaps it is better to rely o TRAKNUS. Contact us here!

Read Also: JLG 450A and 450AJ: Specifications and Features

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