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Thread: Can lay people rent scissor and boom lifts?

  1. #1

    Can lay people rent scissor and boom lifts?

    If a homeowner was inclined to take on a substantial exterior repair (wood rot) and painting project, but couldn't access the highest points by ladder, can he rent a scissor or boom lift from one of these equipment rental places, or do they only rent to other businesses or people with some sort of certification or license?

    This is the type of equipment I'm wondering about:
    https://www.unitedrentals.com/market...-34-electric#/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKinney, TX
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    1,485
    I’ve rented a scissor lift with no problem. Why don’t you just call and ask?
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #3
    You don't list your location if you are in the US or somewhere else. We have rented lifts several times with no problem and they included safety harness.
    I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, that’s not going to happen."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,274
    I don't see why not..
    I've rented them in the past.

    Some are a real blast to drive/use.

    Some are ,,,,well,,,, not so well cared for.
    Having one "slip" a little and drop about 6 to 10" while you're three stories in the air - teaches you the real meaning of the term - pucker factor
    Every loaf of bread is a tragic tale of grains that could've become beer.......but didn't....

  5. #5
    I work in a building supply center and we rent both scissor lifts and man lifts. You can also rent a bucket truck with an operator if you have a job that requires you to go higher than a man lift can go.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
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    1,575
    Absotivly!

    I've had to replace two 6' wide windows on the 3 story side of my house recently and renting a man lift was the only logical solution. 3 men- 2 on the lift with the window and me inside of the house made quick work of it. You will likely pay by the day so have other jobs ready to take advantage of the lift if you have any time at the end of the day after your main job is done. We were able to stain all the trim on that side, finishing right at dusk. This is the gable side and the peak of the rake trim is probably 35' off the ground. Easy, peasy with a lift. You are always working exactly where you want to be. No reaching.

    They are not cheap, mine was a large powerful gas engine, and after drop-off and then pick-up, it was around five hundred bucks. After you step back and think about trying to do the job without it, you realize it was totally worth it.

    I'll probably rent it again when I have to re-shingle that wall in 2-3 years.

  7. #7
    Boom lifts are very heavy, will sink like crazy in soft ground. Some models have large tires and are meant for this, just tell your rental guy what you need.

  8. #8
    Generally - yes you can...

    But *Should you* is a completely different issue...

    One of my wife's cousins fell out of a boom lift cutting trees in his yard and died..
    A co-worker of mine fell of off of scaffolding at his house and died..

    Both were horribly tragic - leaving a family including kids behind...

    The rental company generally isn't liable for your death or serious injury due to doing dumb things in a rental lift...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
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    3,312
    I have used a lot of different lifts and the can be dangerous but if you take care you should be OK. Use the safety harness when up there. I did have one lift that I just had to move about 10 feet that malfunctioned and it went up by itself and almost crushed me on the ceiling trusses. I had to lay down and call for help to lower it as the controls would not work.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Punta Gorda, FL
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    2,054
    Though I worked in the trades and worked on lifts for decades, I was never challenged on my familiarity with man lifts when I rented them to work on my house. Besides a lift, I've rented backhoes, bobcats and dozers. The driver dropping it off might ask if I knew how to operate the machine, but that's about it.

    Lifts are not hard to operate, just make sure you are on level ground that isn't soft before going up. Most lifts today have safety features that prevent it from going up if the machine isn't close to level and when the machine detects a change in level, most automatically lower. When moving, it's best to start by lowering the platform all the way, moving the lift, then going back up. When you're up in the air, it can get dangerous fast if you don't know what's around you. That's where most accidents happen.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    I have used a lot of different lifts and the can be dangerous but if you take care you should be OK. Use the safety harness when up there. I did have one lift that I just had to move about 10 feet that malfunctioned and it went up by itself and almost crushed me on the ceiling trusses. I had to lay down and call for help to lower it as the controls would not work.
    I have had the same problem with several rental lifts... Poorly maintained units somehow malfunction and leave you 40' up in the air with no way to get you down.... Be sure you have a spotter and an emergency contact # with the rental company to rescue you if the unit strands you up high...

    If it's a gas/propane/diesel unit - don't assume the rental company put any fuel or oil in it... If it's electric - don't assume it has any more charge than required to get it on the truck..

    If you do rent one - DO NOT let the driver leave without YOU personally verifying that it works correctly...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
    Posts
    3,312
    This one was the electrician's unit and they complained that the lift was all the way up the next morning. I told them that it almost killed me and have it checked. One of them pulled he emergency cord and it lowered but when he let it go it went back up.

  13. #13
    Hi,
    As a photographer, I rented scissor lifts and boom lifts (we called them cherry pickers) from time to time for architectural shoots. The rental place dropped off and picked up at the parking lot of the building I was shooting and it was never a problem.
    Of course, nowadays, drones are the much better way to do such photography for both still and video.
    Edwin

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Peoria, AZ
    Posts
    698
    I've rented a number of things I was totally unqualified to use, like an 80' boom, with no questions asked.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    US Virgin Islands
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    Always wear a harness, no matter how high up you are. They are catapults. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epfX-gB1Gqc I was amazed that my local rental company rented me one and never even discussed a harness. I said, "Don't I get a harness with it?" The guy said, "Do you really need one? We sell them if you do." Wow. I kind of thought that was like renting a car and the seat belts just normally come with it. :-)

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