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How to Safely Operate a Spider Lift

Spider lifts, also known as tracked boom lifts or tracked cherry pickers, have revolutionised the way tasks are performed in construction, maintenance, and access applications. Their exceptional reach, manoeuvrability, and ability to navigate challenging ground have made them an indispensable tool for a wide range of industries. However, as with any powered access equipment, operating spider lifts demands a rigorous commitment to safety and comprehensive training.

Safety should always be the top priority when operating any type of machinery, and spider lifts are no exception. Their elevated working platforms and powerful lifting capabilities make them inherently riskier to operate compared to ground-level equipment. Therefore, it is crucial to implement strict safety protocols and provide thorough training to ensure the safe and efficient operation of spider lifts.

By adhering to these safety protocols and completing comprehensive training, operators can effectively mitigate the risks associated with operating spider lifts and ensure the safety of themselves and their colleagues. Spider lifts can then be utilised to their full potential, providing safe and efficient access to challenging work areas. Below, we’ve written a short guide, providing essential tips and best practices for safe and efficient operation of spider lifts. Read on to learn more.

Introducing Spider Lifts

Spider lifts are versatile access platforms equipped with an articulating or telescopic boom lift mounted on tracks. This design reduces ground pressure and includes outriggers for added stability, making them perfect for challenging access scenarios. They can navigate confined spaces and uneven terrains, including fragile floors and rough outdoor areas.

Carrying Out Pre-Operational Checks

Before operating a spider lift, it’s crucial to inspect the equipment for any visible damage or malfunction, ensuring all parts, especially the tracks and boom, are in good working condition.  Familiarising yourself with the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific model is essential. Additionally, checking the work area for potential hazards such as overhead obstructions, uneven ground, or nearby traffic is a key safety step.

Operating the Spider Lift

When operating the lift, first stabilise it by deploying the outriggers to ensure it’s stable and level. Operators should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including a hard hat, safety harness, and non-slip footwear. Maintaining clear and constant communication with your team is crucial to avoid accidents.

The Best Practices

Adhering to load limits is vital to prevent overloading and instability. Operators should handle lift controls smoothly to avoid abrupt movements that could unbalance the lift. It’s important to stay within the guardrails and avoid leaning out, which can upset the lift’s balance. Monitoring weather conditions is also critical, as spider lifts should not be used during high winds or severe weather.

Advanced Safety Mechanisms

Modern spider lifts come equipped with advanced safety mechanisms, stabilising technology, and ergonomic designs to provide a secure working environment at any elevation. Familiarising yourself with these features is a key step in enhancing operational safety.


After use, ensure the platform is fully lowered, and the equipment is turned off. Conducting a post-use inspection to check for any damages or issues is important. Finally, securely store the spider lift in a safe area.

Training and Certification

Proper training and certification are required for operating a spider lift. For example, courses like the IPAF 1b Static Boom cover the operation of static booms like spider boom lifts. Such training is crucial for understanding the nuances of safely operating this equipment.

Leading Spider Lift Hire London

Here at Tracked Access, we provide first-class spider lift hire services. Our spider lifts, ideal for uneven terrain and tight spaces, range from 15m to 42m in reach. These compact lifts navigate narrow gaps, ideal for indoor and outdoor tasks, including gutter cleaning and high-level maintenance. With over 20 years of experience, we provide a full range of support services and operator training. For bookings and inquiries, call 0330 332 0714 or visit our website today.

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