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Boom Lift Rental Cost: 2021 Hire Rates & Price Comparison

Boom lifts, also known as cherry pickers, basket cranes, hydralifts, or hydraladders, are some of the most useful pieces of access equipment used in the construction industry.

Typically, the weekly rental for a medium-lift cherry picker would be between $1,000 to $1,500 or between  $2,200 to $2,800 per month. Generally, the actual boom lift rental cost depends on the size, reach of the boom, and age of the machine. If you decide to rent a boom lift, it will pay for itself many times over.

Fruit farms began using straight boom lifts because it was easier to pick fruit from the trees when standing in the cage or bucket, hence the name cherry picker. But, pretty soon, these and the articulating boom type quickly started being used as a man-lift for telephone and electrical workers at height. It’s then only a small step to use them for different applications within the construction and maintenance industries. Have you ever wondered how people manage to change lightbulbs in high roof warehouses? Well, the chances are that they used a rental boom lift.

Of course, you could purchase one. And if you use a boom lift continuously, you might find it’s more cost-effective to do this. But, renting a boom lift is often the only option open to many companies who can’t afford to raise the up-front funds needed to buy one outright. New small to mid-sized cherry pickers can cost anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000. And larger ones might go for as much as $100,000. It’s no wonder that many companies choose a rental contract. Or, for a more permanent arrangement, take out a lease.

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Boom Lift?

The actual amount paid for the rental cost of a boom lift will greatly depend on the rental term, model, and other variables. In this article, we will explore boom lift rental cost factors and boom hire prices so that you have a more informed approach when deciding whether to choose a boom lift hire, purchase, or lease.

Rental costs of boom lifts mainly differ according to the model type, lift height, and engine type.

For example, let’s look at an average cherry picker of 60ft lift height. It has an articulating boom, and uses diesel or liquid propane gas (LPG) as a fuel. So, a 60ft boom lift rental cost would be at most around $350 per day. If, however, you rented for one week, you would pay about $1,200. Furthermore, hiring a boom lift for a month would cost $3,600 maximum.

You can see that hiring a boom lift for longer periods brings the price down drastically. For smaller machines, the rental rate would be less, while a larger machine costs much more.

Below, we have compiled a quick comparison table showing different boom rental rates alongside the corresponding size machine. Although the prices might not be the same where you live, the table gives you an idea of what ballpark figure we are talking about.

Boom lift rental rates

Lift Height (Feet) Boom Type Fuel Type Daily Rental Rate ($) Weekly Rental Rate ($) Monthly Rental Rate ($)
30 Articulating Electric Battery $180-$250 $550-$1,000 $1,500-$3,000
30 Articulating Towable $200-$230 $500-$1,000 $2,000-$2,800
34 Articulating Electric Battery $200-$250 $500-$1,000 $1,800-$3,000
40 Articulating Electric Battery $200-$320 $700-$1,000 $1,800-$3,000
40 Articulating Towable $150-$200 $600-$800 $1,800-$2,500
40 Telescopic Diesel or LPG $200-$300 $500-$1,000 $1,200-$3,000
45 Articulating Diesel or LPG $200-$300 $600-$1,000 $1,000 $1,500-$3,000
45. Articulating Diesel or LPG $220-$280 $600-$1,000 $2,000-$3,000
45. Telescopic Diesel or LPG $200-$300 $650-$1,000 $1,500-$3,000
60 Articulating Diesel or LPG $300-$350 $700-$1,300 $1,500-$3,600
60 Telescopic Diesel or LPG $300-$350 $700-$1,300 $1,600-$4,000
80 Articulating Diesel $400-$800 $1,500-$2,800 $3,200-$6,000
80 Telescopic Diesel $400-$800 $1,500-$2,800 $3,500-$6,000
85 Articulating Diesel $400-$800 $1,500-$2,800 $3,500-$6,000
85 Telescopic Diesel $400-$800 $1,500-$3,000 $3,500-$9,000
100 Telescopic Diesel $800-$1,000 $3,000-$4,000 $6,500-$10,000
110 Telescopic Diesel $800-$1,000 $3,000-$4,500 $6,500-$10,000
120 Telescopic Diesel $950-$1,100 $3,000-$4,500 $6,500-$11,500
125 Telescopic Diesel $1,000-$1,200 $3,000-$4,500 $6,500-$11,600
135 Articulating Diesel $1,200-$1,350 $3,100-$4,800 $6,800-$13,500

The data in the table comes from various online sources, but generally, the amounts shown are the industry standard. Furthermore, we have included multiple brands, so there might seem to be duplicate models with different price ranges.

You can see that a typical 40ft battery-powered articulating boom lift rental cost is around $250 per day, $850 per week, or $2,400 per month. A diesel-powered telescopic boom lift, having a reach of 60ft, costs around $325 per day, $1000 per week, or $2,800 per month. However, if you’re happy to go with a towable boom lift rental, that is, one that hitches onto the back of a truck or pickup, then the cost will be less. Many companies choose this type as there are usually vehicles already on-site to use for towing. Why pay for a self-propelled cherry picker if you don’t need to.

Boom Lift Rental Price Factors

Other factors affect the rental rates of towable, telescopic, and articulating boom lifts besides those already mentioned above.

Where are you based?

As you can expect, a boom lift rental price varies from one state to another. This variation also includes any applicable tax you have to pay. You might also find that the area where you are based has fewer or more companies that rent boom lifts. Because of competition, if there are many companies nearby offering this rental service, the prices will be lower. Conversely, the opposite will be true if rental companies are few and far between.

Insurance

Most of the larger rental companies incorporate insurance into the boom lift rental cost. However, if you usually deal with smaller companies, you will find that they add this as an extra expense. Sometimes the insurance coverage you already have for your business equipment might cover hire equipment. If not, it is worthwhile contacting your insurance company to ask if they will consider covering the boom lift. It might cost just a few dollars more for the short rental duration.

The policy that you need will require “full replacement as new” whether you rent or lease. But don’t forget that the per-item limit on your policy must be high enough to cover the equipment’s value. The policy must also cover items while in transit between its home base and your work site.

You will often find that using your company insurance company is much less expensive than using the hire company’s policy. Whichever one you choose, you need insurance coverage in place before the cherry picker leaves its home base.

If you don’t purchase the hire company’s insurance, you will usually have to buy the company’s damage waiver. This costs between 10% and 15% of the total rental contract amount.

Transportation Cost

Usually, construction equipment isn’t legal to drive on the road unless it has a permit and is working. Therefore, you must organize transportation to and from the site. Most rental companies charge an extra cost, usually around $100 depending on the distance to be covered. However, sometimes hire companies incorporate the transportation costs into the rental charge. If this is the case, there will be a maximum distance included in the hire charge, above which you must pay extra on a per-mile basis.

Alternatively, you might already own a vehicle that can collect the boom lift at the start of the hire period and return it at the end. In which case, you will save yourself some outgoings. This situation is especially true of the towable cherry pickers. They fold down and hook onto a truck’s tow-hitch.

Machine Condition

An older piece of equipment has a lower rental than a new one. Usually, the number of hours of service the cherry picker has done governs its condition. Regardless of its age, each one leaves the rental company’s workshop in good condition at the start of each new contract. However, if the cherry picker you rent has more hours on its clock than usual, you should pay a cheaper rental. It will still operate just as well as a newer model, but it won’t look as pretty.

The rental company will ensure that the boom lift machine is in good condition before leaving their premises. Under normal conditions, you won’t have any problems with the equipment breaking down because of its regular maintenance. But what happens if the cherry picker breaks down while in service?

Maintenance

Maintenance of boom lift equipment needs qualified mechanics able to work on these specialized vehicles. Although a large construction company uses many pieces of construction equipment and might have a full-time mechanic on standby, the average construction company won’t. Furthermore, cherry pickers lift personnel rather than freight, so they must have regular maintenance certified to specific standards.  So, in this case, it’s a better option to hire a cherry picker rather than buy one. The rental company employs qualified engineers and technicians experienced in maintaining these items. And they know their peculiarities.

Usually, the rental company covers basic day-to-day breakdowns for all their equipment. However, suppose the machine has more use than normal or has a long-term rental. In that case, the hiring company will insist you take out a service plan to cover extensive repairs and spare parts by qualified technicians. Furthermore, you will probably find that the insurance company won’t pay for any claims if the machine hasn’t been repaired and maintained properly.  Usually, you pay a small monthly charge or a lump sum for a comprehensive service plan

Advantages of Renting

There are many advantages to renting a piece of equipment like a cherry picker compared to an outright purchase:

  • You can use equipment that would otherwise be too expensive to buy.
  • You won’t have to maintain the equipment over the long term.  If the boom lift won’t start, the rental company sends a guy to fix it, or you have another cherry picker to take its place.
  • The only responsibilities you have for the machine are checking and refilling the fuel level or battery charge and ensuring the hydraulic fluid level is within limits. Other than that, you must operate it taking all reasonable care.
  • You won’t have any long-term commitments unless you purchase.
  • You can pay your bill by cash, check, or credit card when the bill is due. If you lease or purchase using finance, the contractural installments will be taken from your bank account, and your credit rating might be affected. Direct rental payments have no such problems.

There are disadvantages too, only not as many:

  • You have to use only what the rental company has in stock.
  • You can only rent the machine for as long as it’s available.

Rental Check List

There are two checklists you should perform when hiring a cherry picker.

Before you sign the contract.

  • Is the machine new or used? A new cherry picker might cost more to rent than an old one,  but you will probably get more work out of it. The engine and hydraulics will always be the problems with older machines.
  • Who provides the insurance? Will you have to take out a policy with the rental company’s preferred insurer independently of the rental? Or, is the cost of insurance included in the rental fees?
  • If you cause any damage to the machine, you will almost certainly have to pay towards the cost of repair. Yes, the insurance will cover most of it, but you must pay the first few hundreds (or thousands) of dollars depending on the value of the machine.
  • Tell the rental company exactly how long you want the equipment for. It’s better to overestimate rather than underestimate this duration. For example, suppose you’re running behind schedule, and you haven’t finished using the boom lift when the rental contract expires. In that case, the hire company can insist you return the machine immediately, leaving you with half finished work.
  • Suppose the machine breaks down while in your possession. How soon will the rental company send out a technician or a replacement? And will you have compensation while your team waits and can’t use the machine?
  • Does the operator need any special training? If so, where can they get trained?

Before taking possession of the equipment

  • Look for any damage. This includes structural, tire damage, or purely cosmetic scratches. If you miss these on receipt of the vehicle, you will be held responsible for them.
  • Are there any oil or hydraulic leaks? Are the fluid levels okay?
  • Does the engine look clean? Is there corrosion around the battery and electrical leads? If it’s an electrically powered machine, is the charging point clean?
  • Do all the controls function as they should.
  • Are the machine’s safety certificates in force, and do you receive copies supplied with the contract documents? Your insurance company will need these in case of accidental damage or a liability claim.

Renting vs. Purchasing a Boom Lift

Overall, unless you intend to use a boom lift most days, it pays to rent rather than purchase. Mainly because you only need to pay for a rental contract when the machine is on hire. Most construction companies only use a boom lift for a small part of the job’s timeline, so it’s more cost-effective to rent one as needed.

Buying a boom hire requires major capital investment, which you might not always have available. A typical small to medium-sized cherry picker costs from $25,000 to $50,000, whereas a larger model, can cost up to $100,000. Even if you look at “used” equipment, you will find that machines start around $10,000 and climb to $80,000 or more.

If you decide to rent a boom hire, you will always have a well maintained machine and if you prefer, you can choose a modern machine rather than an older one. No matter how often you rent over however many years, you can always choose a modern machine. In contrast, if you purchase, the model sits on your premises getting older.

Next Steps

Renting a boom lift or cherry picker has distinct advantages over purchasing. This article has looked at the pros and cons and the approximate industry-standard costs to rent a boom lift.

If you need help finding the correct cherry picker for your application, complete the form on this page, and you will receive 2 to 3 quotes from specialist companies in your area.