A compact crawler boom lift is a type of aerial work platform that allows a worker and their equipment to be lifted to higher work areas in indoor or outdoor work settings. Compact crawler boom lifts are extremely popular due to their lightweight frames and their ability to lift workers and materials to hard-to-reach places. If you are thinking of renting or purchasing a compact crawler boom for your job site, here are some details to help you make a decision.

What is an Atrium Lift?

An atrium lift is another name for a compact crawler boom lift. They are also referred to as “atrium booms” or “spider lifts,” due to their appearance when the stabilizing legs are deployed to lift the boom.

Atrium lifts or crawler boom lifts are the largest of the ‘compact’ class of boom lifts. The two smaller versions are the self-propelled man-lifts and the push-around man-lifts. For this guide, we are mainly just focusing on the compact crawler boom lift.

The compact crawler boom lift operates on a pair of tank-like tracks and is controlled remotely by a mobile device. After the machine “crawls” to its work site, the retractable legs extend to provide a firm and solid base, even on sand, mud or gravel surfaces at construction sites. The boom lift is then controlled via the same mobile device. At the end of the day, the retracted boom, legs and engine are generally only 2 to 3 feet in diameter. These compact machines can then be driven through a standard door, and stored indoors out of the elements.

What Do People Use Compact Crawler Booms For?

Compact crawler boom lifts are incredibly versatile. They can be used for small, medium and large construction sites. The ability to lift a worker into hard-to-reach areas makes them popular for jobs like ceiling and wall repair.

The jib joint on the boom lift allows the carriage to safely maneuver around obstacles like tree limbs or power lines. Speaking of which, many tree trimmers and utility workers use compact crawler booms. It’s not uncommon to see them used at smaller office buildings to clean second- or third-story windows, or to allow HVAC workers to perform maintenance on rooftop A/C units. These versatile machines are even used to help obtain better camera angles on film shoots or professional photography shoots.

Cost to Purchase a Compact Crawler Boom Lift

Looking to buy a Compact Crawler Boom For Sale? A compact crawler boom lift can be a sizable investment. As of 2021, a JLG compact crawler boom for sale can run as high as $150,000, for the X600AJ model. A 2018 model of the same crawler, with 220 hours on it, retails for around $85,000.

Cost to Rent a Compact Crawler Boom Lift

Renting a tracked boom lift for short-term jobs can be a considerable cost savings, depending on how much you need to use it. As a general guide, you can expect to pay somewhere within these price ranges to rent a compact crawler boom lift:

  • Daily: $100 – $200
  • Weekly: $300 – $900
  • Monthly: $500 – $2,000

Should I Rent or Buy a Compact Crawler Boom Lift?

The decision on whether to rent or buy a compact crawler boom lift really comes down to your business’ needs. If you have a lot of on-the-job hours available to put the lift to use, it will be more cost-effective in the long run to purchase it. If the lift is only needed for a limited time, or for seasonal warehouse use, renting it for spot jobs can be a better financial option.
JLG Crawler Boom Specs

JLG manufactures some of the most popular spider crawlers on the market.

Here are the JLG crawler boom specs for some of these popular models:

JLG X14J Specs

  • Maximum Lift Height: 43.5 feet
  • Maximum Outreach: 22.2 feet
  • Machine Weight: 3,082 lbs.
  • Platform Capacity: 249 lbs.
  • Platform Capacity – Restricted: 440.9 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electric & combustion hybrid

JLG X430AJ Specs

  • Maximum Lift Height: 50 feet
  • Maximum Outreach: 21 feet, 7 inches
  • Machine Weight: 4,392 lbs.
  • Platform Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electric, 100Ah 36V Lithium-Ion

JLG X500AJ Specs

  • Maximum Lift Height: 56 feet
  • Maximum Outreach: 23 feet
  • Machine Weight: 5,071 lbs.
  • Platform Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electric, 100Ah 48V Lithium-Ion

JLG X600AJ Specs

  • Maximum Lift Height: 66 feet
  • Maximum Outreach: 30 feet
  • Machine Weight: 6,571 lbs.
  • Platform Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electric, 100Ah 72V Lithium-Ion

JLG X770AJ Specs

  • Maximum Lift Height: 84 feet
  • Maximum Outreach: 43 feet
  • Machine Weight: 9,665 lbs.
  • Platform Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electric Engine (100Ah 72V Lithium-Ion) or Diesel

JLG X1000AJ Specs

  • Maximum Lift Height: 106 feet
  • Maximum Outreach: 54 feet, 2 inches
  • Machine Weight: 16,790 lbs.
  • Platform Capacity: 500 lbs.
  • Power Source: Electric Engine (150Ah 76V Lithium-Ion) or Diesel

How to Choose the Right Lift for the Job

There are three main questions you should answer when trying to choose the right compact crawler boom lift for a job:

  1. How high does the crawler boom need to reach? Each model of compact crawler boom lift has a maximum lift height and a maximum horizontal outreach. Locate the highest work point you will need the boom to reach on your site, and add six feet to that number (to allow for overhead clearance for a worker). You need a compact crawler boom lift that can reach at least that height.
  2. Do I need a power source to run it? Most indoor models of boom lifts are now electric powered, or need to be plugged into an electrical socket. Outdoor boom lifts can be either fully electric, or a hybrid that is powered by both electric and gas or diesel.
  3. Are there worksite obstacles to be concerned with? Not all crawler boom lifts have the same capabilities when it comes to maneuvering the lift basket. Make sure that the compact crawler boom lift you want to purchase has a jib joint that is capable of maneuvering around obstacles like tree limbs or utility lines.

Safety Concerns When Using a Compact Crawler Boom Lift

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), 31 workers were killed in boom lift accidents in the United States in 2021 (an average of 2.6 fatalities per month). Don’t be fooled by the compact size of these machines; they are still pieces of heavy machinery, and operator accidents frequently lead to fatal injuries.

All workers, supervisors and employees who are in, around, or operating a compact crawler boom lift must be properly trained and certified under the latest ANSI/SAIA A92.6 guidelines. Here are some additional pointers for the safe operation of a compact crawler boom lift:

  • Do not use a compact crawler boom lift until after you have been trained and certified in Aerial Work Platforms.
  • Know the location of the crawler boom lift’s emergency Stop and Lower button is and how to use it.
  • Always wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety harness.
  • Use three points of contact when entering or exiting the bucket.
  • Keep all tools properly secured while on a compact crawler boom lift.
  • Thoroughly explore the work area before entering the boom lift. Check stability of the ground, obstacles overhead and other potential hazards.
  • Do not try to move a lift that is fully extended.

How Do I Transport a Compact Crawler Boom Lift to My Job Site?

So, you found a tracked boom lift for sale and made your first purchase. Great! Now… how do you get it back to your job site? The compact nature of this type of boom lift does make it fairly easy to transport. If you have a forklift handy, you can just use that to lift it onto a flatbed truck or trailer. If you don’t have a forklift, follow these steps:

Drive the compact crawler boom lift up a ramp and onto your flatbed truck or trailer. When it is properly centered, extend the spider legs on the machine to brace it in place.
Secure the compact crawler boom lift to the trailer using chains and comealongs. Secure all four corners of the crawler to the four corners of the trailer.
Switch off the power to the boom lift before driving it to your work site.

Remember that if you do not have the option to drive your compact crawler boom lift to your work site, many sales and rental companies will do it for you for a fee. These companies can generally deliver a machine within the contintental US within 24 to 48 hours.

Compact Crawler Boom for Sale

Compact crawler booms move slow and steady, and are reliable machines that can give you many years of service. Many compact crawlers operate for several hundred hours’ worth of additional lifespan when compared to comparable heavy equipment, making them an even more attractive investment. If you are looking for a tracked boom lift for sale, be sure to browse our inventory. Our staff is also happy to answer any questions you might have about these versatile machines, and which compact crawler boom for sale is the right one for you.