Chapter 6: Articulated Knuckle Booms

Knuckle lifts feature a bendable joint that allows the boom to flex and reach around tall objects or obstacles. They are Z-style aerial lifts that have both vertical and horizontal flexibility — however, its horizontal reach is limited to 50-75% of the vertical reach.

knuckle lift benefits

Features of Articulated Knuckle Booms

Most knuckle lifts have a platform height of approximately 40 feet, but specialized knuckle lifts can reach heights of more than 100 feet. The width of each lift depends on the make and model. Some knuckle lifts have a rather compact width of four feet and a height of less than seven feet.

Others are wider than eight feet and are around 10 feet tall in storage. It takes a large warehouse or industrial-sized garage to store one of these lifts on a permanent basis. Articulated knuckle booms can be diesel, gas, liquid propane, dual fuel or electric.

What Are the Specialty Uses of Articulated Knuckle Boom Lifts?

Knuckle lifts have many uses beyond the construction site. Some fire departments have begun using these lifts instead of traditional extension ladders and buckets. Although these specialty lifts are often modified to meet the demands of a specific industry, these lifts usually function in the same way as the average boom lift.

Articulated knuckle boom lifts are frequently seen around outdoor jobsites and designated work areas. Common applications include work on utility lines, roof work and other maintenance tasks.

What to Consider When Renting an Articulated Knuckle Boom

Because articulated knuckle lifts are used for indoor and outdoor scenarios, consider different aspects for your specific needs. For example, if you are looking to rent an aerial lift for indoor use, consider one with an electrical power source and non-marking tires.

For outdoor use, consider a diesel-powered engine, and a towable or rough terrain articulated boom.

Benefits of Articulated Knuckle Booms

 Some articulating booms have a second arm that allows for even more versatility. These are especially handy in crowded or hard-to-reach worksites. Articulated booms are beneficial because they provide maximum flexibility for highly-elevated jobs.


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