Access equipment loads

Know Your Maximum Loads


Global machinery manufacturers have been developing new terminology and guidance to enhance the safe use of their equipment. One of the major changes has been a gradual move away from the concept of a ‘Safe Working Load’ (SWL) to a ‘Working Load Limit’ (WLL).

WLLs are based on the strength of each individual component and should never be exceeded when operating any lifting equipment. The aim of the change is to reflect the difficulty of defining the ‘safe’ use of lifting equipment in the working environment with numerous stress variables and environmental factors that can impact on stability and put unknown stresses on the components.

Scissor Lifts

Invaluable for accessing elevated sites on both stable and uneven ground, scissor lifts are one of the most versatile items of equipment (Force offers scissor lift hire). The load each lift is capable of raising varies substantially, with smaller, electric models handling a gross weight of just over 227 kilograms while our largest diesel scissor lifts can manage a load of 1134 kilos. Our quick-reference table offers a guide to the design and specification of each model we have to hire, including its gross weight and height. Click on the links to find out more about each scissor lift’s capacity in the Force fleet.

Vertical Lifts

Force’s vertical lifts are a lightweight and compact solution for smaller access needs. Easy to manoeuvre and highly portable, all Force’s vertical lifts are electric models fitted with non-marking tyres. Lift capacity varies from 159 kilograms for our eight metre lift to 230 kilograms for the tallest model.

Boom Lifts and Knuckle Booms

Cherry pickers, boom lifts or telescopic booms offer height and manoeuvrability in equal measure. A better option for reaching awkward spaces than traditional scissor lifts, they offer higher elevation than most scissor lifts while remaining stable. Typical lift capacity is 227 kilograms, although our 32.2 metre model can handle up to 270 kilograms. For knuckle booms, also called articulated booms, the maximum lift capacity is around 227 kilograms, with our tallest model managing 272 kilograms.

Travel Towers

Force hires over 90 insulated and non-insulated travel towers. Insulated towers offer a basket capacity of 270 kilograms, while non-insulated versions offer from 300 kilograms to 600 kilograms. Travel towers boast self-levelling properties as well, making them a great option when no other elevated working platform can handle the job.

Telescopic Handlers

Built for lifting equipment and materials, telehandlers are quick and heavy-duty. They are great for working on tight construction sites: stable, nimble and capable of lifting much heavier weights than elevated work platforms. Our smallest telehandler can lift 2,500 kilograms, while our largest can handle ten tons. However, these weights are drastically reduced at maximum lift heights, so be sure to check each model’s guidelines before use.

Ultimately, the best way to ensure safe and appropriate use of lifting equipment is to regularly check it and its components and never exceed recommended weight limits and extension guidance.