What is the difference between an articulating boom and a telescopic boom?

Aerial lift equipment is used in a wide range of industries on jobsites and in facilities around the world. Boom lifts, in particular, are an ideal choice for applications where you need to lift workers, tools and materials extended heights to get the job done.

Two different types of boom lifts dominate the market today: articulating and telescopic. Choosing the right boom lift for your project will make all the difference in how efficiently, safely and profitably you complete the task at hand. Knowing the difference between these two booms will help you make the right selection.

Z-62/40Articulating Booms 

Articulating booms are aerial work platforms with multiple boom sections that hinge — or “articulate” — allowing the operator to gain access to work areas over obstacles and barriers. Also referred to as “knuckle booms” or “up-and-over booms,” these versatile products are perfect for tight access and hard-to-reach areas.

Why choose an articulating boom?

 You need access in confined work areas. Narrow models are ideal for the tightest, most congested spaces. Genie® 62-ft articulating Z™-boom lifts and under, for example, have zero tailswing, which means the far end of the turntable does not extend beyond the edge of the drive chassis when they are rotated.

 You need to reach over obstacles. Articulating booms have less horizontal outreach than telescopic booms, but they provide greater versatility to reach up, over and out to access work areas.

You’re working indoors. Industrial models use DC electric power or clean-burning (LPG) fuel and have non-marking tires for indoor use.

You need to travel over rough terrain. Rough-terrain models are designed for rugged, unimproved construction sites. Features include petrol/LPG or diesel engines, lug-tread tires, an active oscillating axle (for enhanced traction) and four-wheel drive.

You need extra reach from the platform. Most Genie® Z™-boom lifts offer a boom extension, called a “jib,” between the end of the primary boom and the platform. Jib booms add another articulation point for the platform to move up and down, and on some models, side-to-side.


S-100Telescopic Booms

Telescopic booms are aerial work platforms with boom sections that extend telescopically. They are also commonly known as “stick” booms because of their straight appearance. Telescopic booms offer greater horizontal outreach than any other type of aerial platform — ideal for areas with limited access in construction, industrial, entertainment, road building, bridge work, painting and inspection applications.

Why choose a telescopic boom?

You need the maximum combination of height and outreach. Genie® telescopic S™-booms, for example, are ideal for access to work from a distance — where the terrain or obstacles prevent close access. Outreach capability is often as important as working height on these models.

You have a rugged, unimproved worksite. Telescopic booms with four-wheel drive and active oscillating axles are designed for maximum terrainability and traction.

You want to maximize your productivity. These booms are designed to get up into working position quickly.

11 comments for “What is the difference between an articulating boom and a telescopic boom?

  1. January 16, 2016 at 10:56 pm


    This is Benoy Raj from Bahwan Engineering Company.

    As one of the leading Facilities Management Companies in Oman, we have requirement of articulated and telescopic boom lifts through out the year. But we are facing difficulties to find 40 meters or above boom lifts as only a few boom lifts of this type available in Oman.

    It will be very helpful if you can send us the details of companies who purchased 40 meter or above telescopic boom lifts in Oman and UAE to contact us to check the possibility of hiring.

    Benoy Raj
    Bahwan Engineering Company

    • Aron Sweeney
      Aron Sweeney
      January 18, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Benoy ,
      We have passed your question to the Genie team in your region and someone should be getting in touch. Thanks for contacting us!

  2. March 22, 2016 at 5:18 am

    The post is written in very a good manner and it entails many useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Thanks.

  3. May 11, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Thanks for this awesome post. It is extremely helpful for me. Would you mind updating your blog with more information

    • Aron Sweeney
      Aron Sweeney
      May 11, 2016 at 6:23 am

      Hi Manlifts,

      Thanks for commenting, we update Aerial Pros at least once a week with the latest aerial industry news and tips. Stop back often to check out new articles and videos!

  4. July 27, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I had no idea that there were so many different types of booms. It make sense that there are a lot of different types of work that need different types of equipment, from booms to cranes and everything in between. Thanks for taking the time to explain the differences in some of them.

  5. February 9, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    This Yans form PT AJS, sales and rent Genie product in Indonesia

    Thanks for the article. This is very helful in explaining to our customers about the equipment that are required in accordance with its working conditions.

  6. Precy A. Mondejar
    August 23, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Hi! Just want to ask if you have a distributor here in the Philippines. We are planning to buy 1 unit of boom lift and have a hard time to see one.

    Thank you.

    • Kyle Heckenlaible
      Kyle Heckenlaible
      August 24, 2017 at 9:39 am

      To find the Genie dealer nearest to you, please visit our Dealer Locator and select “Philippines” in the country drop-down menu: http://www.genielift.com/dealersearch/

  7. October 3, 2017 at 6:45 am

    It’s interesting how you said that the main difference between the two kinds of boom trucks is that an articulating boom allows you to reach around objects. This would be really nice if you need to get up over a ledge or reach onto the floor of a building above you. At the very least it would give you the ability to reach where you need to without having to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to reach.

    • Kyle Heckenlaible
      Kyle Heckenlaible
      October 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you for writing to us, Kylie. We have an article about up, around, and over abilities on our booms that you will find helpful. To sign up and read more, please visit our Up, Around, and Over page.

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