MEWP Hire | Mobile Elevating Work Platform | AFI-Uplift | AFI-Uplift

MEWP HIRE Q&A - frequently asked MEWP hire questions answered


MEWP is an abbreviation for ‘Mobile Elevating Work Platform'. It is used to collectively describe a piece of equipment that elevates people to work at height.

Examples of such equipment include cherry pickers, stick boom lifts, articulating boom lifts, scissor lifts, mast lifts, push around verticals (PAV), truck and track mounts. Our MEWP fleet delivers working heights ranging from 3.6m to 61m.

Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPS) are a piece of machinery used to provide temporary access to high, hard to reach and otherwise inaccessible areas. MEWPs are used predominately for completing work at height in the construction industry. However, they are also used within manufacturing, electronics in warehouses, arboriculture, film and television and mechanics for heavy goods vehicles. The platform is used to move people or equipment to working positions at height where they can carry out work from the platform. The intention of the device is for people to enter and exit the work platform only at access positions at ground level or on the chassis.

It is important that operators are competent and have received the appropriate training for using a MEWP. Through our sister company, UTN Training, we offer IPAF courses from all of our 30 depot locations. IPAF training is designed to enable operators to safely and proficiently manoeuvre, drive and position the MEWP.

Familiarisation of the equipment in use is critical as a key factor in MEWP operator accidents is a lack of familiarisation about the machine. The operator’s manual should be supplied with all MEWP's and available to operators. Operators should be familiar with the manufacturer’s guidance, the features and control functions of the specific model of MEWP being used and have knowledge of the operation of safety devices and emergency lowering procedures. Each machine can have different controls and emergency procedures, so it is important to be familiar with the machine before each use. We offer familiarisation videos for operators to watch prior to using the machine, these videos are available for all machines in our fleet and can be viewed here.

Working at height is a high-risk activity and a proper site specific risk assessment should be carried out prior to using the machine. Working on a gradient, wet or rough terrain will affect the choice of equipment, so we recommend that you discuss this with us before you hire.

Under UK law, MEWPs must receive a LOLER. Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) must be thoroughly examined at least every six months by a competent person.

Our sister companies Rapid Platforms and AJ Access are equipped to carry out LOLER Inspections or 'through inspections'.

MEWPs are often hired out on a weekly hire rate, but we offer everything from one single day to long term hire. The cost of hiring a MEWP will depend on a number of factors such as:

  • The height you need to work at
  • The fuel type of the machine
  • The type of machine you will require to gain access

To easily find out how much it will cost for you to hire the machine you require, view our machine range and calculate a price here.

We offer competitive equipment hire rates to our account holders. An account can be opened here.

Cherry pickers have a 'safe working load' (SWL) set by the manufacturer. This is how much the combined weight of the worker and tools the machine can lift into the air. Too much weight means the cherry picker can become unstable, so it is important to keep within the weight limit for safety.

All the machines in our fleet have their safe working load listed. On average, the small to mid-sized machines can carry 200-230kg (31 stone 7 lbs to 36 stone 3 lbs.) As the machines get larger, they can carry more weight.

However, if you require any lifting of greater than 300kg, you will probably require a truck mounted cherry picker for the outriggers and stabilisers. For example, our 75m truck mount has a SWL of 600kg, whereas the 1850AJ, one of the largest cherry pickers in the world, has a SWL of 227kg.

There is a basket safe working limit which would be specified in the manual and on the datasheet attached to the machine. So long as this is not exceeded, there will be no problem with carrying most operators.

Most harnesses are designed to carry up to 100kg of weight, but alternatives are available. Just ask your AFI contact which harness is right for you.

Ensure that the cherry picker you are using is designed for it to move with the platform raised or extended. There are many machines which are designed with this function in mind, but please check before you hire.

Not only this, but you should also walk the route before you use your cherry picker. Although you will have made many assessments of the site prior to your hire (and we offer a site survey to ensure you get the right machine for your site), a continuous risk analysis is important to maintain safety. It ensures that any uneven surfaces, overhanging power lines or loose tree branches, and other obstacles are accounted for.

If there are any uneven surfaces on the route, bear in mind that any knocks or shakes will be magnified in the basket and this could be a danger to any workers on the platform. Catapulting is a real hazard of working at height and steps should be taken to minimise this.

Moving over uneven surfaces could also cause the machine to become unstable. If possible, choose another route or lower the boom before crossing those sections.

Never move any MEWP up or down a slope with the platform raised. The centre of balance of the machine moves up when the platform is raised, making it much easier to topple on a slope which would be easily traversed with the platform lowered.

It is always safer to use a banksman or responsible person at ground level to give directions if you are moving a cherry picker using controls within the cage. They can ensure the area around the machine remains clear and there are no obstacles blocking movement.