The Ultimate Towable Boom Lift Spec Guide
Towable boom lifts, also known as spider lifts, tow-behind lifts, and trailer-mounted boom lifts, have much more mobility than the average boom lift. Instead of hiring a delivery service or having a long trailer, most towable boom lifts can be towed by any truck or SUV with a hitch.
Equipped with outriggers that make the towable boom lifts more stable, these light machines can operate on softer terrain than traditional boom lifts. Although they are more limited in vertical and horizontal height than straight or articulating boom lift, towable boom lifts are a great option for multiple projects.
Whether you're completing a professional job or a DIY project, it's important to examine the main towable boom lift specs and makes sure it meets your needs before purchasing or renting. Read our guide below for a full list of towable boom lift models and specs.
Feel free to skip ahead to each brand's spec chart.
Considerations for Towable Boom Lift Use
Before renting or purchasing a trailer-mounted boom lift, you must consider how you'll transport it and the job you're looking to complete.
Easy transportation is the main benefit of selecting a towable boom lift over other boom lift types. Towable boom lifts are named after their ability to be towed by pickups, SUVs, and small trailers via hitch. This feature makes towable boom lifts popular among homeowners and other workers for non-professional contracting jobs.
Generally, towable boom lifts are attached to a hitch with their booms folded inwards during transportation. Before hauling these lifts, you must review the proper towing procedures found in the model's operation and safety manual. It's also important that the vehicle hauling the boom lift needs is able to safely pull the boom's weight, which can be roughly 3,500 lbs. Lastly, the lift must be safely secured to the vehicle before transportation starts.
Operation for Everyday Work
Due to the towable boom lift's easy operation, minimal setup, easy transportation, and lower cost, these lifts are very popular on non-professional job sites like home renovations and DIY projects. They're used to complete everyday tasks like general construction at elevations up to 50' like lighting, painting, roof maintenance, gutter repairs, and tree-scaping.
Despite being easier to use than their larger counterparts, you still need a certification course to operate a towable boom lift. The course you select must be compliant with OSHA or other governing bodies' standards. You can find aerial lift operation courses online or in person.
Towable Boom Lift Specs Overview
The main specs relevant to picking the right towable boom lift are platform height, working height, horizontal reach, machine width, machine length, and max platform capacity.
Platform height refers to the maximum elevation a towable boom lift's platform can reach, measured by how high the platform is above the ground. Platform height is particularly important since it shows the highest elevation you'll be able to reach with your machine. You can easily identify a towable boom lift's platform height in the majority of model names. For example, the "50" in the Genie TZ- 50 model name indicates that this model reaches a platform height of 50'.
Working height, commonly referred to as vertical height, adds six feet to a towable boom lift's platform height. This spec indicates the height that a typical six-foot-tall worker will have access to while working. Working height on all models is essential to note since the machine you select must comfortably reach the required height the get the job done.
While vertical reach refers to how far up the boom can reach, horizontal reach refers to how far out it extends. On all boom lifts, horizontal reach is less than vertical reach. This happens because weight distribution changes as the boom extends horizontally. If your job requires more horizontal reach, you must select a model with a vertical reach larger than the horizontal value to account for weight distribution.
Machine width and length are the dimensions of a towable boom lift's base. However, outriggers, the four arms extending out from the base like spider legs, also add additional width and length to the lift's dimensions. The space where your towable boom lift will operate needs to be considered since outriggers generally need an additional 11' x 12' of space to stand. Machine width, length, and outrigger size indicate stability, surfaces capable of supporting the machine's weight, and whether it will fit in a given work area.
The weight a towable boom lift's platform can safely lift to its peak vertical height is measured by the maximum platform capacity.
All three manufacturers' towable boom lifts are equipped with articulating booms, as opposed to straight ones. The bendable points in articulating booms are helpful for jobs where you need to get a little closer to the surface you're working on or need to reach up and over an object. If your job requires that degree of maneuverability, then towable boom lifts are worth selecting over other alternatives.
Towable Boom Lift Spec Guides
Once you've considered safe towing and operating procedures, the job your towable boom lift will perform, and the necessary specs you require, you can evaluate which model best fits your needs.
To do so, we'll examine the main features of JLG, Genie, and Snorkel's towable boom lifts and their spec guides.
JLG Towable Boom Lift Specs
JLG is the first of three popular towable boom lift manufacturers. The Tow-Pro Series includes two models: the JLG T350 and the T500J, which are equipped with some interesting features.
Both models are offered with the choice of a gas or electric engine. Twenty-four DC volts power the electric engine, while 9 HP powers the gas engine. These models have a tow speed of 65 mph and include self-leveling outrigger arms, allowing for smooth transport and operation.
Amongst its competitors, the JLG T500 J offers some of the highest vertical height on a towable boom lift at 50'. With practical features and an impressive vertical height range between 34.5' and 50', JLG's models are well-equipped to handle multiple projects, including DIY.
JLG Towable Boom Lift Specs
Genie Towable Boom Lift Spec Guides
Genie's two towable boom lift models, the TZ-34/20 and the TZ-50, offer significant up-and-over reach. Genie's towable boom lifts have the same operating envelope as their other Z-series boom lifts making them able to perform work in a wide range of motion. Their platform heights range from 34.5' to 50' and their horizontal reach ranges from 18' 4'' to 29' 2.''
Tied with JLG's TJ 500, the TZ-50 is another option if you're looking for a 50 ft towable boom lift.
Genie Towable Boom Lift Specs
Snorkel Towable Boom Lift Spec Guides
In terms of quantity, Snorkel arguably offers more variety than its competitors. As the only brand with three models, the TL37J, TL39, and TL49J provide more selection for renters and buyers. Differentiating features among Snorkel models include bi-energy indoor operation, automatic-leveling outriggers, and load-sensing interlocks.
The TL49J's platform height falls just shy of 50', with a platform height of 48' 8.'' However, it is a close alternative to Genie and JLG's highest-reaching models if you don't need the additional height.
Snorkel Towable Boom Lift Specs
Rent a Towable Boom Lift
We hope this guide will inform your towable boom lift rental or purchase decision. Be sure to consider hauling arrangements, the nature of your job, and what specs you require when selecting a tow-behind boom lift.
With only seven towable boom lift models to choose from, it shouldn't be too difficult to select a model with just the right specs for your work. You can search DOZR for a towable boom lift rental near you!