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1st July, 2021

Scaffolding vs Cherry Pickers: The Differences Explained

In this blog post we’ll identify the differences between a cherry picker and scaffolding, what they can be used for & the benefits of each. Learn more here!

Every construction and maintenance task has different requirements and therefore needs different equipment.

In some instances, scaffolding is the best option as it provides extra height to complete the job correctly. However, in other scenarios a cherry picker might be the best option when working at height due to its flexibility and ease of use.

In this blog post we’ll identify the differences between a cherry picker and scaffolding, what they can be used for, and the benefits of using each of these tools.

This will help you when it comes to planning your next job so you can choose the right equipment to take with you.

Scaffolding vs Cherry Pickers: The Differences Explained_1

What Is a Cherry Picker?

The original purpose of this type of machinery was to pick fruit, hence the name ‘cherry picker’.

However, this technology has come a long way and is used across many construction sites to allow workers to access hard to reach areas.

Today, they are one of the most effective and versatile pieces of equipment when it comes to working at height. They are a safe and efficient alternative to using a ladder or full scaffolding structure.

Cherry pickers can be found on a variety of projects including factories, warehouses, and construction sites to facilitate working at height.

A cherry picker works by using a hydraulic crane to lift a long, extendable arm or boom and bucket which workers can safely stand in. The machine then hoists the worker up to the required height for them to perform a variety of functions.

In terms of height, cherry pickers can reach a wide range of heights which gives workers greater flexibility when it comes to accessing different areas. Buckets come in a variety of sizes allowing you to choose the right piece of equipment for your project.

At YardLink, we offer a range of cherry pickers and boom lifts to reach various heights to meet the requirements of your project. Also, with a range of weights available you’re sure to find the right piece of equipment to meet the demands of your application.

Our range of cherry pickers provide superb manoeuvrability meaning they can easily be positioned to where you need them. We also have a range of indoor and outdoor options to suit different end uses.

What Can a Cherry Picker Be Used for?

Cherry pickers can be used to get access to upper floors of a building or hard to reach areas without needing to set up scaffolding or use a crane.

They are multipurpose and flexible, meaning they are used in a range of different applications. These include construction sites, telegraph poles, cleaning and repairs.

As you can see, cherry pickers are highly flexible to different use cases across different industries, and can be adapted for many requirements.

In terms of construction sites, they are an effective way of hoisting workers up to different heights whilst still being safe and secure.

They’re an extremely useful and often essential piece of equipment when it comes to working at height. They also provide space for storing equipment, meaning it’s handy for workers to quickly access the tools they need when working on a job.

This saves workers time and energy as they don’t have to worry about transporting different pieces of equipment. This is a great advantage when working towards a deadline as you can effectively manage the logistics of different tools.

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Different Types of Cherry Pickers

If you’re considering using a cherry picker, there are different types available to suit the needs of your project.

You need to think about the specific task you want the cherry picker to perform as this will help you decide which option is best.

Below are the different types of cherry pickers.

  • Mast booms and electric boom lifts – These pieces of equipment are very useful in small, confined spaces. As they’re electric, they don’t emit fumes making them an ideal choice for indoor applications including small warehouses and building maintenance.
  • Diesel articulated boom lifts – These are more rugged and can be used on roads and construction sites.
  • Diesel telescopic boom lifts – These offer great reach and can stretch over a range of distances. These pieces of equipment are usually used to perform building maintenance, construction projects, and roofing repairs.
  • Super boom lifts – These have a large working height and are easy to transport. Applications for this type of machinery include bridges, power stations, and wind farms.
  • Crawler boom lifts – These boom lifts can access tight, restricted places making them an ideal option for hard to reach areas.
  • Trailer mounted boom lifts – This is the best solution if your site is on the move. These towable cherry pickers are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.

Understanding the needs of your project will help you determine the best cherry picker.

This saves you time, money, and resources early on and ensures you have the right equipment to complete the job safely and efficiently.

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What Are the Benefits of Using a Cherry Picker?

When working at height, tradespeople might assume scaffolding is always the best option. However, depending on the nature of your project and your budget, you might find using a cherry picker a great alternative.

Compared to scaffolding, this type of machinery brings lots of benefits and could save on both time and money during setup.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits in more detail.

  • Cherry pickers are much easier to set up and dismantle compared to a scaffolding structure which has lots of individual components
  • Cherry pickers are safe and easy to work from by allowing workers to simply step inside the bucket
  • Compared to scaffolding, cherry pickers are less obtrusive and can be set up and used within a few hours
  • Scaffolding requires extra employees to operate and function
  • Cherry pickers come complete with a full body harness for maximum safety and reassurance

It’s important to read and understand the benefits of using a cherry picker before deciding what equipment to use on site.

Other Considerations

When using a cherry picker you should also consider the purpose of the job. If it only involves going straight up then a scissor lift might be a more appropriate option.

Take a look at our range of scissor lifts to see how this piece of equipment could benefit your construction project.

Scaffolding vs Cherry Pickers: The Differences Explained_4

What is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a temporary work structure that is often used in construction to give workers a safe and stable platform when working at height.

It is used to access different areas that would be hard to reach to complete work.

Scaffolding is made up of different components and can be a complex structure. These components include scaffolding boards, trestles, staging boards, and hoists that when formed together, create a scaffolding platform.

For a quicker, easier approach, pre-built structures like access towers or MiTowers tend to be the best approach. These mobile, easy to erect towers allow for working at height without the time consuming (and occasionally quite costly) process of establishing scaffolding before starting work.

When working on any elevated platform, it’s crucial workers understand and follow health and safety guidelines.

What Can Scaffolding Be Used for?

Scaffolding and access towers are used on construction sites to allow work crews to access areas that would otherwise be difficult to get to. This framework is also used to support the structure of the original building while it is being worked on.

Access towers allow for greater maneuverability than their affixed counterparts, and can be far more cost effective and useful due to this.

Different Types of Scaffolding

If you’re still unsure about which option is best for your job, why not take a look at YardLink’s scaffolding options and get in touch to discuss what’s best for you?

From scaffold boards to access towers, we have the tools you need to make your construction site run smoothly. We take the hassle out of plant and tool hire, by connecting you to a network of trusted local plant hire companies.

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What Are the Benefits of Using Scaffolding?

There are benefits to using scaffolding solutions on your project or construction site in comparison to using a cherry picker.

It all depends on the nature of your project and how long it will take to complete. Ensuring you have the right equipment is key as it can save running into a host of problems down the line.

If you’re working on a big project you don’t want any delays, so choosing the right tools from the outset is important to ensuring the rest of the job runs smoothly.

Other considerations

When it comes to setting up your scaffolding there are some key points to take into account.

Firstly, do you definitely require scaffolding? As we’ve covered, using a cherry picker can be a great alternative if you only require access for a short amount of time.

Scaffolding can run more expensive than cherry pickers over a long rental period, so it depends on the flexibility of your budget. Another thing to consider in this comparison is the ability to manoeuvre the chosen piece of equipment.

Unlike a cherry picker, even temporary scaffolding structures require some set up and establishing before use, and some dismantling afterwards as they stay up throughout. This is something to consider if you’re worried about the aesthetics of a building- particularly important if working on a listed building or in a protected area.

These are important factors to weigh up when choosing which option is right for you.

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Scaffolding vs Cherry Pickers: The Differences Explained

When it comes to completing construction projects on time and within budget, having the right equipment is obviously key.

One of the most important aspects of working in construction is accessing areas at height. Whether it’s carrying out repairs, maintenance, or cleaning, there are lots of safety considerations to take into account.

Determining the requirements of your project will help you decide which equipment you need. Suitability when working at height is vital, both for health and safety and cost effectiveness- as such, weighing up the versatility of the cherry pickers against the security and static nature of temporary scaffolding solutions is key.

Weighing up the pros and cons is vital to ensure your construction project runs smoothly. This saves your business valuable time, energy, and resources which could be better spent elsewhere.

At YardLink, we understand the importance of hiring tools from a company you can trust. We take the hassle out of plant and tool hire by connecting you to a nationwide network of trusted plant and equipment hire companies.

This ensures you always get the equipment you need at the best possible rate.

Hiring equipment for your construction project shouldn’t be difficult and with YardLink it isn’t. We make the process straightforward, cost effective, and simple.

Call us or get in touch with a member of the team for more information.


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