Construction Lifters 101: Everything You Need to Know About Types of Construction Lifts

Types of Construction Lifts

Construction lifts, also known as construction elevators or hoists, are essential equipment on construction sites. They provide vertical transportation for workers, tools, and materials, improving efficiency and safety in high-rise construction projects. Construction lifts come in various types, each designed for specific purposes and lifting requirements. In this article, we will explore some of the most common types of construction lifts.

1. Personnel and Material Hoists

Personnel and material hoists are versatile lifts designed to transport both workers and materials simultaneously. These lifts feature a cabin or platform that can accommodate personnel and a designated area for loading construction materials. Personnel and material hoists are commonly used in high-rise construction to move workers, tools, and supplies efficiently to different levels of the building.

2. Boom Lifts

Boom lifts, also known as aerial lifts or cherry pickers, are equipped with a hydraulic arm, or boom, that extends vertically and horizontally. They provide access to elevated areas and are commonly used for tasks such as maintenance, installation, and inspection. Boom lifts are versatile and can reach heights ranging from a few meters to over 100 feet, depending on the specific model.

3. Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are compact and versatile lifts that feature a crisscrossing mechanism resembling a pair of scissors, which allows vertical movement. They are commonly used for indoor maintenance tasks, electrical work, painting, and other activities requiring elevated access. Scissor lifts offer a stable platform and can be operated on both smooth surfaces and rough terrain.

4. Mast Climbing Work Platforms

Mast climbing work platforms (MCWPs) are vertical lifts consisting of a platform supported by multiple mast sections. These lifts are used for tasks that require continuous access to various levels of a building or structure, such as facade work, cladding installation, and masonry. MCWPs provide a spacious platform and can be adjusted to different heights and configurations.

5. Material-only Hoists

Material-only hoists, also known as construction material lifts or goods hoists, are designed solely for transporting construction materials, tools, and equipment. Unlike personnel and material hoists, these lifts do not have dedicated space for workers. Material-only hoists are commonly used to move heavy or bulky materials vertically, ensuring efficient supply chain management on construction sites.

6. Dumbwaiters

Dumbwaiters are small lifts used for moving materials, tools, and supplies between different floors within a building. They are particularly useful in situations where space is limited or where manual carrying of items is impractical. Dumbwaiters are commonly found in residential and commercial buildings, providing a convenient solution for vertical transportation of smaller loads.


Construction lifts play a vital role in improving efficiency, productivity, and safety on construction sites. The various types of construction lifts cater to different lifting requirements, whether it involves transporting personnel, materials, or both. By understanding the different types of construction lifts available, project managers and construction professionals can choose the most suitable equipment for their specific needs. Implementing the right construction lifts ensures smooth vertical transportation, enhances productivity, and contributes to the successful completion of construction projects.