Still, operators might notice a different “feel” when using a towable as opposed to a self-propelled unit. There’s a bit more deflection, so the boom might feel a little softer, for example. This deflection, or slight movement of the boom when extended, is due to the use of lighter materials. Because self-propelled units are not restricted in terms of weight, the booms can be constructed to be a bit more stiff. This is sometimes perceived to be more stable, when in fact, there is no technical difference in stability.
What to look for in a towable
Towable boom lifts offer many of the same basic features, such as drive and set systems, auto-leveling hydraulic outriggers and towing speeds up to 65 mph. The main difference between brands is often after-sale support.
It’s important to choose a reputable manufacturer that will support the product with training and parts supply. Other factors to consider include the design of the machine. Is it rugged enough to hold up to the rigors of over-the-road transport? How is the “feel” of the platform controls and the outrigger deployment system?
Power options are another consideration when choosing a towable. Some models are electric, which makes them ideal for indoor use, and some are gasoline powered. There are also bi-energy models that combine the best of both worlds and make it possible to perform more applications with just one machine.