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How Much Does it Cost to Buy a Used Aerial Lift?

Aerial lifts are valuable, versatile tools used across multiple industries for a broad range of purposes. Construction, maintenance, and service workers use them often to access high and hard to reach areas safely. With a number of add-ons and accessories available, an aerial lift can help in a variety of applications.

Aerial Lift Power Sources

There are different power sources available for aerial lifts, with the power source that is best for you being dependent on your work environment (i.e., indoors or outdoors). Power sources for aerial lifts include:

  • Diesel: The most powerful of the power source options available, diesel engines are primarily used in larger, rough terrain lifts that need to navigate across uneven surfaces and provide high lifting capacities. It is best to use diesel-powered lifts outdoors to avoid the buildup of any harmful emissions.
  • Electric: Ideal for indoor applications (there are no emissions to worry about) electric-powered lifts offer high power and performance. Since electric models are battery-powered, simply recharge the unit and it’s ready to go.
  • LP or propane: Like diesel, LP or propane-powered lifts should be used outdoors. Refilling the fuel is as simple as swapping out a canister or tank, both of which are also easily transported.
  • Hybrid or bi-energy: There are also dual-powered lifts available, which allow you to use both electric power and fueled power. This gives you the option of running the unit as electric for indoor applications, and as diesel, LP, or propane for outdoor applications.

It is important to note that the power source of your aerial lift does affect your overall costs. While electric lifts are often more expensive upfront, they require less maintenance and have no fuel costs. Fuel-powered lifts tend to have higher maintenance costs over time, but offer more power. Carefully consider your needs and weigh them against the costs before making your final decision.

Aerial Lift Drive Systems

Just like the power source, the drive system you need is determined by your working environment. Drive systems for aerial lifts are:

  • 2-wheel drive: Though not well equipped to handle significant sloping or grades, 2-wheel drive lifts can operate on most uneven surfaces. They often have additional storage in comparison to other drive systems.
  • 4-wheel drive: Able to handle nearly any surface no matter how rough, 4-wheel drive aerial lifts offer increased lift height and carrying capacities. These drive systems are heavy duty and meant for intense applications.
  • Towable: These drive systems make lifts highly portable and able to reach tight spaces. The legs of towable lifts fold up, reducing storage space. While not as powerful as other drive systems, they still offer high performance for their size.
  • Tracks: Ideal for outdoor use, track systems are able to navigate just about any grade or surface, handling obstacles with ease. Track system lifts typically have higher horizontal reach, vertical reach, and weight capacities.

How Much Does a Used Aerial Lift Cost?

Providing an exact cost for used aerial lifts is difficult, as the age of the lift, type of lift, size of the lift, add-ons, brand, and the dealer you purchase through all impact the final price. Here is a general pricing guide to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay for your used aerial lift:

  • Boom lifts: There are three types of boom lift: articulating boom lifts, which can move side to side once the boom has been extended, telescopic boom lifts, which have high horizontal reach, and trailer mounted boom lifts (or “Z booms”), which can reach up and over obstacles. Used boom lifts have an average cost around $20,000 – $25,000.
  • Scissor lifts: The platform on this type of aerial lift moves workers and equipment vertically, but has no horizontal reach. They are commonly used by construction workers, painters, and service workers. Used scissor lifts have an average cost around $10,000 – $15,000.
  • Spider lifts: This specialized lift uses legs to stabilize the platform as it rises. Spider lifts are used for interior projects, landscaping, and window washing. Used spider lifts have an average cost around $10,000 – $20,000.

Tips on Buying Used Aerial Lifts

Buying used is a great way to get a quality piece of equipment at a low price. However, before you purchase a used aerial lifts, there are some things you need to keep in mind.

For starters, be sure to look at the odometer and any modifications previous users may have done. The odometer will tell you the real age of the machine; you want to see how much it has been used, not just the numerical age of the lift. As for the modifications, it is important to ensure that any previous mods fit your specific needs. A previous owner may have modified the lift to suit them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to suit you.

You should also measure the aerial lift to be sure that it fits your size requirements. There is nothing worse than buying something, only to find out it is too large for your workspace or too small to perform. And remember, aerial lifts are used for heavy-duty applications often, so regular maintenance and service checks are necessary, especially for a used unit. You should consistently check you fluids, change them when necessary, and perform annual inspections.

Finally, request a test drive or demonstration that the unit works. If you can’t inspect it in person, request a live video demonstration.

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