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Things to Know Before “Manning” a Man Lift

Things to Know Before “Manning” a Man Lift

Heights can be scary, especially when you’re balancing on top of a ladder, roof or another high surface. Luckily, we have man lifts available for rent to help expedite your toughest home projects!

A man lift is a towable tool that provides a spacious platform that can be elevated to various heights. They are typically used in the construction industry, however, plenty of home projects can be made easier with their assistance. This machinery can be difficult and downright confusing for those unfamiliar with their operation, so make sure you’re prepared by taking a look at our advice below!

Man Lift Designs

The three major types of man lifts are scissor lifts, boom lifts and vertical personnel lifts.

Scissor Lift

  • Has plenty of space for work equipment

  • Easily supports heavy tools and materials (typically between 500 and 1,500 lbs)

  • Can reach heights ranging from 20’ to 40’

Boom Lift

  • Composed of mechanical arm(s) with a bucket attached to the end

  • Sacrifices carrying capacity and space for higher reach

  • Reaches heights up to 100’

Vertical Personnel Lifts

  • Made for a single operator

  • Only move vertically and can handle up to 300 lbs

  • Narrow enough to pass through doorways

  • Can reach heights ranging from 10’ to 50’

Boom lifts are best used in industrial settings due to their extremely high reach. There aren’t many reasons a homeowner would need to use a lift that reaches those heights, which makes scissor and boom lifts the most practical choice for the DIYer.

What to Wear When Operating a Man Lift

It’s recommended that you always wear a fall-arrest system in order to protect yourself in the event of an accident. Before you operating a man lift, you should be wearing:

  • A full-body harness – This apparatus acts as a fall arrest. The harness is structured to always keep you upright even if you happen to fall, which will reduce chances of bodily harm. It is recommended to always have a harness depending on the kind of work.

  • Anchorage and connectors – Their work is to join an anchoring device with a subsequent connecting device. Anchorage is also known as the safest point a worker can get balance at very high places. You should choose a firm piece of the structure.

  • A connecting device – It is a fastening rope used to tie between the anchorage and the harness in order to ensure the worker doesn’t suffer a deadly fall. Always choose the ideal connector for the specific job.

Man Lift Safety Tips

We know that heights are scary, but that’s only one of the risks man lift operation presents. Keep these tips in mind to help ensure your safety while operating.

  • Watch your limbs – It’s possible for a scissor lift to crush your limb when the lift’s arms squeeze together while lowering. Always ensure the area around the lift is free and clear before proceeding to operate, and always double-check that all switches are in the appropriate position.

  • Check for electrical hazards – Some man lifts don’t have insulation, which presents a risk of electrocution. Check for electric hazards around your work area before operating.

  • Keep a clear workspace – It’s possible to drop heavy equipment and materials from high up while using a man lift. This can cause serious injuries to anyone below you, so make sure no one stands too close to the lift.

  • Mind the carrying capacity – A good rule of thumb to know is the heavier the load, the less stable the lift will be at higher heights. Use extra caution when the lift has a heavier load, as this can affect the operation.

  • Stay on even surfaces – Avoid working on uneven bases as this could lead to an accident. Perform a walkthrough of your workspace beforehand to make sure no bumps are holes are obstructing your path.

  • Inspect the lift – Always inspect the machinery before operating. It’s very important to inspect the lift’s condition before proceeding to operate. Do a physical inspection and test the machinery to ensure everything is fully operational before continuing with your project.

Ladders definitely have their limitations. Man lifts make an excellent tool for tackling your home’s elevated projects, but only if you follow all proper operating rules and procedures to a T. Keep our pro tips in mind to help make sure you stay safe when operating a man lift—and when it comes time to rent your man lift, Doug Ashy has everything you’ll need!


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