When thinking about buying a used towable boom lift, several factors come into play. These machines are helpful for reaching high places, making tasks like tree trimming, painting, and maintenance easier and safer. However, before making a purchase, one should consider its condition, age, and any prior damage or repairs. Opting for a used towable boom lift can be a cost-effective choice for businesses or individuals needing height access without the hefty price tag of a brand-new unit.
Benefits of Buying and Owning a Used Towable Boom Lift
Used towable boom lifts, also referred to as tow-behind or trailer-mounted boom lifts, are valuable assets on many job sites. Towable booms offer the mobility of a small utility vehicle and the reach of a self-propelled lift platform. Other benefits include:
Reach and Mobility: They give operators the ability to reach high places and they have on-the-go mobility. The shorter the reach height, the easier the maneuverability when towing the lift.
Lightweight Design: This ensures they can function in areas unsuitable for heavier lifts.
User-Friendly: Designed with simplicity, making operations straightforward.
Easy Transportation: Users can conveniently transport the boom lift, eliminating additional delivery costs.
Cost-Effective: Presents a more budget-friendly option compared to regular boom lifts.
To the right, you’ll see a comparison of the general specs of a towable lift vs a regular boom lift. Note the difference in weight and ground bearing pressure:
What Should I Look for When Buying a Used Towable Boom Lift?
Besides making sure you are buying the right size lift for your project(s), there are several other factors to consider. If you are buying from a rental yard or equipment dealer, ask to see the inspection reports for the lift. They will show all regular maintenance and inspections, plus any issues or repairs that have been needed in the past.
John Cossick, from OHR Rents in Cleveland, OH, turns to JLGs when buying towable booms. “They are more durable and tend to be less finicky than other brands,” says Cossick. The JLG T500J and the JLG T350 have performed well in OHR’s rental fleet. He also looks for features like self-leveling and self-propelled towable lifts so they can be moved easily once on the jobsite.
When buying a used towable boom lift, consider the year, number of hours, and overall condition (the inspection reports will help with that).
The oldest towable boom lift available through FleetNow as of August of 2023, for example, is this 2009 Genie TZ-34/20 with only 120 hours for $24,900.
The towable with the highest hours on FleetNow is a 2016 Bil-Jax 5533A with 2,823 hours, which has a sale price of $35,200.
Note: It’s entirely acceptable to ask for detailed photos of all 4 tires, control panel, meter, motor, and of any damage to the lift you’re thinking about buying. Don’t forget to compare the meter readings in the photo to the meter reading advertised. Here are some examples of photos you should expect to receive:
What Sizes Are Available for Used Towable Boom Lifts?
The size of a towable boom lift is often described in terms of its maximum platform height or working height. Here are some general categories based on working height:
30-35 Feet: Common for smaller tasks, suitable for residential or light commercial use.
40-50 Feet: A more versatile range for commercial applications, including building maintenance, tree trimming, and construction tasks.
50-70 Feet: Used for more demanding jobs that require extended reach, like higher building maintenance or advanced construction projects.
While the working height gives an idea of how high the platform can extend, the horizontal reach might vary based on the model. Some models offer a jib or an articulating arm, providing better versatility in reaching challenging spots.
In addition to height, potential buyers should consider lift capacity, stabilization options, and any additional features that might be necessary for specific tasks.
How Much do Used Towable Boom Lifts Cost?
The cost of used towable boom lifts varies for a few reasons, including size, age, condition, brand, model, and any additional features they might have. Here are some general ranges to give you an idea of what to expect based on platform heights:
Small Lifts (30-35 feet): These could range from $18,000 to $45,000.
For example, the average retail price of a 2023 JLG T350 is $37,264 on buyfleetnow.com. In comparison, a 2017 JLG T350 averages $27,425.
Here are a couple examples from FleetNow:
Medium Towable Lifts (40-50 feet): These typically fall in the $17,500 to $60,000 range depending on the condition and age of the lift. You can find a like-new 2023 JLG T500J online for $59,900 and a 2011 T500J for $22,900.
Larger Towable Lifts (50-70 feet): These might cost between $29,500 and $69,900 or more, depending on the model and features.
Remember, these are just general estimates, and prices can fluctuate based on the local market, demand, and other factors.
Where Can I Buy Used Towable Boom Lifts?
You can buy a used towable boom lift for your rental yard or business from other local equipment dealers or rental yards, online marketplaces, from the manufacturer, or from an online auction.
Online marketplaces have become a very viable option over the past several years with tens of thousands of listings at your fingertips. They are easy to filter to find what you need, and they often provide financing and shipping options for a seamless transaction.
Here are some examples of companies that sell towable lifts:
Visit this online marketplace regularly to regain access to lifts for sale now
Check for the latest online auction coming soon
OHR Rents is a rental yard based in Ohio that sells aerial lifts
Towable boom lift manufacturer
Towable boom lift manufacturer
What Type of Vehicle Can I Use to Transport a Used Towable Boom Lift?
Towable boom lifts are designed to be transported easily using a variety of vehicles. However, the type of vehicle you should use largely depends on the size and weight of the boom lift. Here are some general guidelines:
Small to Medium Lifts (up to 50 feet):
Most can be towed by standard full-sized pickups or SUVs with a towing package.
Ensure the vehicle’s towing capacity exceeds the combined weight of the boom lift.
The 34′ JLG T350 weighs 3,400lb, for reference.
Larger Lifts (50-70 feet and up):
Heavy-duty pickup trucks or larger commercial vehicles might be required.
These lifts are heavier and may require a vehicle with a greater towing capacity.
The 56′ JLG T500J weighs 4,800lb.
Ensure you have the right hitch type and size. A common hitch for many towable boom lifts is a ball hitch, but some might require a pintle hitch, especially for heavier models.
Check the vehicle’s brakes. Towable boom lifts can be heavy, and it’s crucial that your vehicle has adequate braking power.
Use safety chains and ensure all lights and indicators on the trailer are functioning correctly.
Before transporting any towable boom lift, always refer to the lift’s manual and the towing vehicle’s specifications. Ensuring you match the weight and requirements will ensure safety on the road.
Here are some common pickup truck models and their towing capacity:
Make & Model
Max Towing Capacity
3.5-liter EcoBoost V6
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
3.0-liter turbodiesel, double cab, 2WD, max trailering package, and 20-inch wheels
GMC Sierra 1500
3.0-liter turbodiesel, double cab, 4WD, max trailering package, and 20-inch wheels