Last Updated: February 07, 2023

Aerial Lifts vs Telehandler Costs message: Let us do the work for you. Answer a few short questions & get cost estimates for your needs from trusted aerial lift dealers who service your area. Our service is 100% free!

Aerial Lifts Overview

Aerial lifts are typically used to elevate workers to hard-to-reach areas. They can be used for building maintenance, painting, tree trimming, window washing, or to repair telephone wires, to name just a few. They can also be used to transport heavy items to elevated heights.

There are several different types of aerial lifts. Scissor lifts are supported by criss-crossing braces the extend upward, and they can only move vertically. Boom lifts provide a bit more flexibility because they are supported by a hydraulic arm that is capable of maneuvering around obstructions. Vertical personal lifts are the smallest option, designed for single-person occupancy.

How Much Do Aerial Lifts Cost?

The price of an aerial lift depends on the type you’re purchasing. Standard-sized scissor lifts usually cost about $10,000 to $15,000, although larger models can cost as much as $50,000. Boom lifts are more expensive, ranging in price from about $25,000 to $75,000 for a standard 30- to 40-foot model. Very large boom lifts that extend to more than 100 feet usually cost $100,000 to $200,000. Vertical personal lifts are the least expensive, selling for less than $10,000.

You can save a significant amount of money by purchasing a used machine. Standard-sized scissor lifts might sell for $4,000 to $5,000 used, while used 30- to 40-foot boom lifts tend to sell for $20,000 to $40,000. Used vertical personal lifts go for as little as $2,000 to $3,000.

Aerial Lifts Pros

  • Ideal for moving people - If your primary goal is transporting people, not objects, an aerial lift is the way to go. They are designed with specific safety features for transporting workers.
  • Less expensive - Aerial lifts tend to cost less than telehandlers. Only the largest boom lifts are more expensive than the average telehandler.

Average Aerial Lift Prices

Aerial Lifts Cons

  • Not as versatile - Aerial lifts have one primary purpose: lifting workers to hard-to-reach areas. Unlike telehandlers, they can’t be adapted to a variety of uses by simply switching an attachment.

Telehandler Overview

A telehandler is essentially a hybrid of forklift and a crane. It looks and functions more like a forklift, but it has a large crane-like arm that can extend to greater heights than a traditional forklift. Telehandlers are used primarily in construction and farming.

Telehandlers, also called telescopic handlers or telescopic forklifts, are most often used to lift heavy items and materials to high places such as rooftops. However, the machines can also be fitted with attachments such as buckets or blades to perform a wide variety of other tasks. In some cases, telehandlers can be used to lift people when fitted with a workman’s basket.

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How Much Do Telehandlers Cost?

New telehandlers usually cost anywhere from $70,000 to $140,000. The price is largely determined by the lifting capacity:

  • Telehandlers with a lifting capacity of 5,000 to 6,999 pounds typically run $70,000 to $80,000.
  • Models with a lifting capacity of 7,000 to 9,999 pounds cost about $90,000 to $100,000.
  • Telehandlers with a capacity of 10,000 to 10,999 pounds might cost $120,000 to $130,000.
  • Models with a capacity of 11,000 pounds or more usually cost $125,000 to $140,000.

Most used telehandlers sell for $15,000 to $60,000, depending on the number of running hours, lifting capacity and the condition of the machine.

Telehandlers Pros

  • More versatile - Telehandlers are extremely versatile machines. They can be adapted to perform a variety of functions simply by switching the attachment.

Telehandlers Cons

  • Not ideal for moving people - Telehandlers are not designed with the same type of safety equipment as aerial lifts, so they’re not ideal for lifting workers. Not all telehandlers are approved by the manufacturer for moving people. And those that are set very specific restrictions.
  • Less expensive - Telehandlers tend to cost less than aerial lifts.

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