What Is an Articulating Boom Lift?

Lifts of various types can be used to reach otherwise inaccessible areas.
Lifts of various types can be used to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. (Image: man lift image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

Lifts are used in a wide variety of applications, from construction work to electrical repair. An articulating boom lift is a special type of lift that is highly maneuverable.


Articulating boom lifts, also known as knuckle boom lifts, can reach heights ranging from 36 to 131 feet depending on the specific lift.


Articulating lifts have multiple “elbows” that can bend. In conjunction with extendable arms, these elbows allow articulating lifts to reach not just upward, but also out and over objects.

Articulating vs. Telescoping

Straight, or telescoping, boom lifts have a working height ranging from 46 to 86 feet. Unlike articulating lifts, they extend in a straight line and do not contain elbows. This simplifies training on using the lift, but restricts the areas that can be reached with it.


The design of articulating boom lifts makes them the most capable of negotiating around obstacles. They also come in electrical models, which are convenient for indoor use, and have zero tail swing, making them ideal for crowded work areas.

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