If you want to hire or buy a boom lift, then you may have to decide whether to buy a model that comes with outriggers. Not all boom lifts need outriggers, but they are useful in certain situations.

How do outriggers work, and why might you need them?

What Are Boom Lift Outriggers?

Outriggers don't have anything to do with the way a boom lift works. They don't influence its reach, height or configuration. These components are there to provide additional stability to the lift at ground level. For example, a lift might come with four outrigger legs. These legs stand at the corners of the lift or, if it is truck-mounted, at the corners of the vehicle.

When you set the outriggers up. they create a support for the lift. Some simply stand on the ground; hydraulic options might raise the lift base slightly so the outriggers can go in the correct position to give maximum support.

Why Use a Boom Lift With Outriggers?

Not all boom lifts need outriggers. For example, a small lift that is used for periodic ceiling height cleaning in a shopping mall may be balanced enough on its own. A lift that you use indoors on level surfaces in your factory may not have stability problems.

However, outriggers are essential in some circumstances. They make the lift more stable in conditions where it might not be able to stand securely upright on its own. This increases your safety. For example, if you're using a larger lift outdoors and things get windy, then an unstabilised product may wobble about. This can happen even on truck-mounted lifts. The truck's tyres may move in the wind, making the lift feel less stable. The people working on the lift won't feel secure. It'll be harder for them to get their work done if they don't have a stable platform.

If things get really windy or a gust catches the lift at the wrong angle, then it might even tip over. The people in the lift will get hurt. The lift may injure other people on the ground around it when it falls. Plus, the lift itself might be damaged. It could also damage other pieces of machinery and equipment around it if it falls on them.

If you're in the market for a new boom lift, then take some time to think about whether you need one with outriggers. If you aren't sure, ask your equipment supplier for advice. Tell them how and where you'll use the lift, and they can help you choose the safest model.