Understanding different EWP types

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Whether you’re repairing an existing roof, starting a new build, or painting an exterior wall, working at heights is a high-risk activity that calls for stringent safety measures and specialised equipment.

EWPs (Elevated Work Platforms) are the best tools for safely working at heights, with lots of options to choose from, including booms, scissors, manlifts, and telehandlers.

So, how do you make sure you’ve got the right EWP for the job? Having the right equipment will ensure you can reach the right heights and manoeuvre the terrain with ease. To help get your head around the different EWP types at your disposal, we’ll break down their various uses and where and when they should be used.


What is an EWP?

An Elevated Work Platform (EWP) is a mobile machine designed to safely lift and lower personnel, tools, and construction materials. It consists of a base support and level work platform complete with controls, an extendable structure, and a chassis. EWPs can be mounted on a trailer (or towable), self-propelled, or attached to a truck.


What are the two basic types of elevating platforms?

EWPs come in two main types: ‘boom’ and ‘scissor’ lifts. Then, there are telehandlers and manlifts, which fit into either category.  The difference between boom and scissor lifts is that a boom lift can move and reach vertically and horizontally, while a scissor lift only moves vertically. Because of this, the scissor lift can have a larger working platform.

As with most heavy machinery, onsite personnel need a high risk work licence to operate a boom-type EWP, where the length of the boom is 11 m or more. Operators of scissor lifts are not required to be licensed under the Work Health and Safety Act and Regulations, although training is recommended. You can brush up on EWP regulations in Victoria here.


What are the different uses of each of the EWP types?

From residential builds to large-scale engineering projects, there’s an EWP type designed for every construction site, including:


Scissor lifts

Versatile and efficient, a scissor lift is designed to provide safe and stable access to high areas, both indoors and outdoors. A scissor lift moves up or down in a vertical direction of heights up to 63 feet and can handle any application that would typically require a ladder, tower, or scaffolding.

This type of aerial work platform is ideal for various applications on different terrains. They are specifically engineered to support workers in easy-to-navigate or challenging environments, making them a popular choice for accessing hard-to-reach workspaces.

At All Star Access Hire, our fleet of scissor lifts encompasses:

  • Rough terrain scissor lift: With heavy-duty wheels for safe navigation, this versatile piece of equipment is ideal for sites with rocky and uneven surfaces.
  • Track mounted scissor lift: Offers easy manoeuvrability in harsh conditions with an industry-tested track system for stability and traction.
  • Electric scissor lift: For quieter indoor operation, this eco-friendly alternative offers reliable performance and versatility with zero emissions.


Boom Lifts

Boom lifts are the highest-reaching elevated work platforms, moving horizontally and vertically.

Structurally, a boom lift has a grounded base with a hydraulically controlled extended arm, which has a working platform on the end. Wheels attached to the boom lift’s base provide added manoeuvrability, allowing operators to easily position the unit to the desired work height and location.

Our latest range of boom lifts has everything you need to access all areas of your work site:

  • Electric boom: Known for their high performance and energy efficiency, electric boom lifts are a popular eco-friendly option for indoor and outdoor applications.
  • Hybrid boom: With the power of an outdoor diesel model and the utility of a battery-powered indoor machine, hybrid models offer the best of both worlds.
  • Rough terrain boom: Designed for tackling challenging worksites with uneven ground conditions, rough terrain boom lifts feature 4WD capacity to provide additional stability and manoeuvrability.
  • Spider boom: Compact and agile, spider boom lifts are ideal for navigating tight spaces and entering buildings quickly. With their ability to fold down narrowly, they offer enhanced accessibility and efficiency in confined areas.
  • Track mounted boom: Recommended for use on inclines and challenging terrain, track mounted boom lifts provide enhanced stability and traction.
  • Rough terrain electric boom: Packing a punch with specialised features for rough terrain. It’s also eco-friendly, offering sustainable operation even in demanding environments.



Easily one of the most versatile machines you can hire! A telehandler is a multi-purpose piece of machinery equipped with optional attachments such as buckets, crane hooks, and fly jibs. Primarily known for its forklift capabilities, it can also function as an EWP when fitted with a properly designed work platform.

With working heights ranging from 6m to 17m, telehandlers offer unmatched flexibility and versatility. They typically operate for longer hours, resulting in a higher rate of return and reducing the requirement for additional machines.



Manlifts are an economical choice when you need to lift one or two workers to heights for indoor or outdoor access. If you need a smaller manlift that can get into tight spaces, consider our 8’ Manlift with the versatility to do the job. Or, for the big jobs, the Star 10’ Manlift is a smart option.


Book an onsite assessment with All Star Access Hire

From warehouses to rugged worksites, Each EWP type is suitable for different purposes. Selecting the appropriate EWP involves considering factors such as height, reach, and working load, as well as the ground conditions and terrain. Whichever EWP you’re looking at, the end game is to enable your team to safely work at heights.

If you’re looking to hire or buy an EWP, the All Star team can help you with a free onsite assessment. We come to you, analyse your site requirements, and recommend the right model to get the job done.