Try Before You Buy Aerial Access Equipment

Try Before You Buy Aerial Access Equipment

If you're a growing business, you may find you need a boom lift or scissor lift to get certain high access jobs done. Usually the first port of call is a machine rental company that offers a selection of aerial lifts for hire. This is a great option when you need a last minute boom lift hire, as a phone call gets the machine delivered to your worksite, and it’s collected when the job’s done.

If you find your business needs boom lift hire or scissor lift hire more often, you may consider if hiring is the best way forward, or if buying a machine would work better for your business. 

It’s a big decision to make as there are pros and cons to renting and owning an aerial lift. Let's run through them. 

Aerial Lift hire - pros and cons

(Applies to boom lift hire, scissor lifts, cranes, cherry pickers.)


  • You’re not locked in. You can hire a lift for a specific job, but change to something else for the next job.  
  • Boom lift hire and scissor lift hire may be more affordable than buying, provided you don't need to hire too often (outlay for a new machine is a big cost to your business).
  • The hire company takes care of maintenance, if there's a maintenance plan as part of the rental agreement. 
  • The hire company usually delivers and collects the machine from your worksite. 
  • You don't need to worry about storing an aerial lift.
  • You may have the option of try before you buy arrangements, so that costs outlayed on machine rental can be deducted from the purchase price, if you proceed to buy the equipment.


  • Rental prices can be high, as they include the hire of the equipment itself and also the transport charge (often higher than the equipment hire fee).
  • If you want to collect the lift yourself, you need a competent vehicle/trailer, rated to tow the load in question. You also need appropriate restraints, and usually need to hold an EWPA Yellow Card with a Transport endorsement. All of this will be inspected before any equipment is released, so if you’re not set up for heavy machinery transport, it won’t be an option.
  • The exact aerial lift you want may not be available at the time you need it. 
  • You may have to pay call out fees if you need to rent the lift outside of standard operating hours (eg. on public holidays).
  • If your job extends out, you may need to return the lift before you're done with it, unless it hasn’t been pre-booked by someone else.

Purchasing your own aerial lift - pros and cons

(Applies to boom lift hire, scissor lifts, cranes, cherry pickers.)


  • You're making an investment in your business.
  • You may be able to get a tax deduction on equipment outlay.
  • You have the aerial lift available to you whenever you need it. No waiting around.
  • You can use it at any time. There's no rush to get it back at the end of a hire agreement.
  • You may be able to rent your aerial lift out to other businesses when you aren't using it.
  • You can always resell the asset when you need to upgrade.


  • You'll be in charge of your own maintenance. 
  • You need to store a large machine. Unless you have premises already, you may need to rent a large enough space. 
  • You need the appropriate vehicle and trailer to transport the equipment. 

If you decide to buy an aerial lift

If your business is growing and you find you’re using lift access equipment for a large part of your work, you might be ready to leave that boom lift hire behind you and make the leap to purchasing your own aerial lift. Please talk to your accountant for financial advice relevant to your business. 

But it’s important not to jump the gun. Don’t start shopping for a scissor lift for sale until you’ve tried that scissor lift out. There are a number of brands out there, so you need to know you’ll be selecting the right lift to own, as purchasing new equipment is a significant cost/commitment. 

Don’t want to spend more money on rental before buying? Well Auslift’s try before you buy arrangements mean you can:

  • Hire a unit you’re interested in for a one week to see how it fits into your day-to-day operations.
  • If you choose to buy, the one week hire amount spent on the hire is deducted from the purchase price of the new machine.

(Note, this is currently only available to our Melbourne hire customers for any machine in our fleet.)

Why try before you buy is a good idea

If you’re still unsure, here’s why try before you buy could work for you.

  • It’s risk-free and convenient. Basically, you would have hired the equipment anyway, so you’re not losing out if you don't proceed to buy it.
  • You can trial different models to find the exact model to suit your day-to-day operations, before committing.
  • You have a high return on investment—owning machinery is an important step in growing your business. Owning also means you can make more profit per job (as you’re not paying the higher costs). 

How does try before you buy work?

Auslift’s try before you buy program allows you to hire the machine and use it in your work environment for 1 week

  • You can check the machine does what you need it to do.
  • If you decide to purchase the machine after the trial period, the hire fees are refunded off the purchase price of the unit. This makes it RISK FREE for you. 
  • If you’re still unsure, you can also try machinery before you buy via our hire fleet. With this arrangement you hire the machine you need and test it on your site in real-life conditions. If you find the machine is perfect for you, and you want to buy it, the week’s hire cost will be refunded in the final sale.

(Note that equipment transport fees aren’t included as part of the try before you buy refund.)

So if you’re ready to take that next step in your business, but want to be certain you’re buying the perfect aerial lift to suit your needs, then try before you buy is a no brainer. 

Need further advice?

If you need a job at heights completed and aren’t sure which machine is suitable, Auslift can advise you. Worksafe laws grow increasingly more stringent, so elevated work platforms are becoming a must to ensure your business is operating within regulations, but more importantly, safely for your workers. Please talk to your accountant for financial advice relevant to your business. 

For advice on the right aerial lift, we can come to your site free of charge, measure up the job and give you an obligation-free quote. We’re happy to let you know of longer term options too, so if you’re looking for a scissor lift for sale, or need to buy a boom lift for your business, we can sort you out.

Submit an enquiry today, or give us a call 03 9702 7977.