Cherry picker on hire from Warren Access for roof inspection
Thursday 29th July

When should I use a Cherry Picker?

From ladders to cherry pickers, there is no one way to work at height - which one is right for you?

Here’s what you need to consider when deciding whether to use a cherry picker for your next job.

What do you need to consider when deciding on work at height equipment?

All work at height is governed by the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which state all work must be planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. That means a worker with the right training, knowledge and experience needs to make the final decision.

Just some of the factors that will influence their decision include:

  • The floor or surface:  is it level, and what are the weight limits?
  • Overhead objects: are there overhead wires, ceilings or other structures that could cause injuries?
  • Access to and from the site: is access restricted?
  • Space restrictions: how much space is there to move and operate equipment?
  • Work requirements: what height and reach do you require, and how many people do you need to lift? What equipment will you be using?

When is a cherry picker the best choice?

Originally used to pick fruit from orchards, cherry pickers are a versatile type of Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP). They provide both height and horizontal reach and are ideal for shorter jobs that ladders and scissor lifts can’t reach. If you are moving around a lot, cherry pickers provide a level of mobility that more long-term access equipment such as scaffolding can’t.

Some common uses include:

  • Tree cutting and maintenance
  • Building painting or repair
  • Window cleaning
  • Communications work
  • Rescues at height
  • Putting up and taking down decorations
  • Event photography and filming

Which cherry picker?

Once you know that a cherry picker is your best option, you need to consider which cherry picker is for you – there are many different makes and models to choose from, and not all will be appropriate for your job – see our range of cherry pickers here.

The questions you need to ask yourself are similar to those listed above – what height and reach are you looking for, and what are the site conditions. It’s important to plan carefully because if used on an uneven surface, cherry pickers can topple over. If the reach is not quite what you require, operators may end up stretching to reach their worksite, risking a fall from height. Also, if you’re working indoors, you may need to consider going electric, especially if ventilation is poor.

IPAF training

All planners, supervisors and operators need to be competent, which means having the appropriate certification. Look for International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) accredited training courses, such as those offered on our website.