Access equipment is a broad term – it covers any piece of equipment that is specifically functions as a safe platform for working at height. You might be surprised just how broad the range of access equipment is. It could be very easy to just pick the first equipment you find, and it turn out to not be suited to your project or facility.

In this blog, Hitec Lift Trucks are going to take a look at the different types of access equipment that are readily available. Not only can the below be found for sale or hire, but they can all be sourced through your local materials handling supplier.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the pieces of equipment mentioned in this blog, get in touch today and one of our expert team will be able to help. You can call us on 01933 228127 or by emailing

Access Equipment Types

Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Access Equipment

When it comes to selecting the access equipment that you’d like to invest or hire in, it’s important to consider several different factors. These include:

  • What is the maximum height that you or your operators will be working at?
  • What is the maximum lift capacity that will be required?
  • What is the condition of the ground or floor that the equipment will be stationed or moving on?
  • What is the availability/non-availability of electricity?
  • Will the equipment be used indoors, outdoors or both?

Different Types of Access Equipment

Mobile (Self Propelled) Boom Lifts

Also known as ‘cherry pickers’, mobile boom lifts are one of the more flexible and most recognisable pieces of access equipment available on the market. Mostly used to access awkward areas, the boom allows for both extending out and up, giving operators maximum visibility and reach.

Mobile boom lifts can be used both inside and out, making them perfect for warehouse and yard work, whether you need to reach a ceiling or to clear an obstacle created by the branches of the tree. A vast majority of models can also be driven at height for maximum manoeuvrability.

Access Equipment Cherry Picker

Self-Propelled Scissor Lifts

Ideal for low to high level work, self-propelled scissor lifts are easy to operate and have simple controls. Scissor lifts are a compact solution for working at height and when lowered, can fit through a standard doorway. This gives them the flexibility to be used throughout establishments without the concern of whether or not they will fit. Scissor lifts are also easy to store and don’t require much space when not being used.

Safe and stable platforms allow for multiple operators to use the equipment without issue. Guardrails help to keep operators safe, though movement and reach is limited, as scissor lifts only allow for straight up access, shortening outreach capacity.

If you want to use scissor lifts outside, there are all terrain models available. Scissor lifts are very reliant on safe, stable ground, so it’s always important to assess your site before use.

Access Equipment Scissor Lift

Self Propelled Vertical Lifts

Vertical lifts, also known as ‘mast lifts’ or ‘personal lifts’ provide a straight up solution for working at height. Great for working overhead or alongside platforms, vertical lifts are ideal if there are floor loading restrictions.

Lightweight, vertical lifts are perfect for if there are weight restrictions in your facility or warehouse. Although they don’t have the highest reach of all the access equipment available, there are various models of vertical lift on the market and typical heights are between 2m and 9m.

These machines can also be driven at height, saving time and increasing the flexibility of this particular piece of equipment.

Access Equipment Self-Propelled Vertical Lifts

Push-Around Vertical Lifts

A clever and safer alternative to ladders and steps, push-around vertical lifts are simplicity themselves. Also known as ‘PAVs’, their simple controls and lightweight structure allow for complete ease of use and straight up access.

If your facility is restricted by narrow doorways, floor loading areas or if you are required to operate in a public access area, bigger equipment just isn’t suitable. Push-around vertical lifts can provide the extra elevation that you require without the need for a large empty space.

They’re also a cheaper and easier to maintain alternative to self-propelled models.

Access Equipment Push-Around Vertical Lift

Tracked Boom Lifts

Easily recognised by their wide reaching legs, tracked boom lifts are also known as ‘spider lifts’. Tracked boom lifts can be operated by those with IPAF 1B licenses and have one of the most impressive reach spans of all the previously mentioned typed of access equipment.

Ideal for working both indoor and outdoor, tracked boom lifts are able to reach areas that traditional booms can’t.

Unrestricted by uneven or sloping ground, these machines boost a lightweight structure, despite their impressive size.  Mounted on caterpillar tracks to help spread the weight and traverse any ground issues, tracked boom lifts can limit any damage to earth or floor. If the spider lift is required to operate on a slope, there are outriggers and stabilisers to help it level out.

Working at height is no problem for these machines – most models can reach between 11m and 50m in height and overreach – despite this, most of these models can compact down enough to be able to fit through a standard door.

Access Equipment Spider Lift

Bespoke Platforms

Sometimes it’s not possible to use the aforementioned equipment. An example of this is if you need to work in a manufacturing area with hard to navigate production equipment or machinery. If you need to work at height in areas where you’re unable to bring in mechanical help, bespoke access platforms could be the solution you’re looking for.

A great many of these are wheeled structures that can be pushed into place, the brakes applied and then climbed to follow through with the work required.

Access Equipment Bespoke Platforms


We hope that you’ve found this guide useful and that you’re able to have a better understanding of the access equipment that is available to you.

All of the equipment mentioned in this blog is available for sale and hire through your local materials handling equipment supplier. But if you’re still unsure about what type of access equipment would be best suited to your project and/or facility, then why not give us a call?

Our expert team is always on hand to provide you with helpful advice and, if you’d like additional help, they can visit your site or facility to assess what your situation is.

You can get in touch with us today on 01933 228127 or by emailing us at