Horizon Platforms Blog

Cherry Pickers vs Scaffolding: Pros and Cons for Construction Projects

When undertaking a construction project, choosing your work-at-height apparatus is vital to ensuring a successful outcome while keeping people safe. Whether you opt for scaffolding or hiring a MEWP that’s tailored to a variety of work at height tasks each project is unique and will therefore warrant a different list of equipment. 

To help you choose the best tools for the job, we’ll walk you through the pros and cons of the different options available when working at heights, to ensure your project runs as efficiently and as safely as possible.

Cherry Pickers

Cherry pickers are a type of mobile elevating work platform that elevates a worker up in a basket using a long, extendable arm known as a boom. This allows the basket to be extended both upwards and outwards. The base of a cherry picker often swivels too for a greater range of mobility. 

Cherry Picker Advantages

In many cases, cherry pickers are an excellent choice for work-at-height projects, offering several benefits, such as:

  • Easy set-up and removal adds to the speed and efficiency of your project
  • Range of height options smallest to largest truck mounts of up to max of 100 metres of reach.
  • They are less obtrusive and can be removed from the site when not needed
  • Equipment can be lifted in the basket rather than workers having to carry it manually
  • Cherry pickers can be easily moved from site to site if you are performing construction work in multiple locations
  • Helps people to work at height as safely as possible. In fact MEWPs in general are seen to be part of the solution for helping to prevent falls from height
  • Money is saved due to a lack of set-up costs
  • They are versatile, as you can choose cherry pickers for a range of terrains and tasks
  • Their range of motion allows you to reach difficult places
  • Hire options – 1 day to long term

Discover more advantages of hiring a cherry picker and other MEWPs in our recent blog.

Cherry Picker Disadvantages

While cherry pickers have a wealth of benefits, there are some drawbacks to these brilliant MEWPs.

  • Cherry pickers only allow access to one location on the building at a time.
  • Weather conditions, such as snow, ice, storms and wind may mean work has to be halted. Our wind safety blog can help you understand when weather conditions are too severe for work on your cherry picker.
  • If working on the same site for more than 12 months, the annual rental cost of hiring a cherry picker may be significant. But not always when compared to the cost of hiring scaffolding. However, taking the option to buy or contract hire (sometimes referred as a long-term hire) a cherry picker can be more cost effective. Read our buying vs hiring blog to help you to decide. 
  • Limited number of persons on a platform
  • Limited load in the platform

With so many amazing benefits, and irrespective of the few disadvantages, cherry pickers are an excellent choice to complete projects safely and effectively when working at height is necessary.. 

Cherry Pickers from Horizon Platforms

When you hire a cherry picker from Horizon Platforms, you can choose from some of the most trusted brands, including Genie, JLG and Manitou. We make your hire as simple and seamless as can be, being flexible to your needs, delivering when you need, and being reachable 24/7 as part of our eight customer commitments

Every cherry picker hired from us is inspected before each delivery to ensure we only provide the very best and safest machines. When the machines come back after a hire, it has a post hire inspection (PHI). The MEWP will then undergo a 40-point pre-delivery inspection (PDI) before returning on hire. 

The  IPAF checklist is a generic checklist which may also be used by the operator as a guide when doing their daily pre-use checks

When you hire a cherry picker from us, you’re hiring from a safe contractor approved and IPAF Rental+ certified establishment. So you know you can trust us with your access platform needs. Just see our glowing testimonials to see how hiring cherry pickers from us has helped people just like you. 


Scaffolding is a complex temporary work-at-height structure assembled around or against a building people intend to work on. 

Scaffolding Advantages

Scaffolding is an option for many work-at-height projects, thanks to its array of advantages, such as: 

  • Supporting construction on buildings with damaged structural integrity
  • Remaining in place until dismantled, making it ideal for long-term projects
  • Allowing  a number of workers to access the high points of a building at once
  • Work is less affected by weather conditions due to the stability of the platform, however, an inspection does need to be carried out after strong winds
  • Access to multiple points on the façade of a building at the same time allows for multiple workers at the same time
  • Can support significant weight – although it still has load restrictions

Scaffolding Disadvantages

Despite its advantages, scaffolding also has a number of disadvantages that mean it may not be the right choice when working at height. These include:

  • Initial construction of the scaffolding platform takes considerable time and labour, which can prove more expensive than powered access
  • Manual handling of equipment at heights poses a risk of danger
  • It requires more manpower to erect, maintain and monitor overall in comparison to a MEWP
  • It can be obtrusive and take up a lot of space on site, potentially unnecessarily
  • Smaller, hard-to-reach spaces may not be accessible
  • Construction requires multiple components and significantly increases the risk of falls from height during erection and dismantling
  • Delays may occur while scaffolding is being built and dismantled which can be an inconvenience
  • Increased safety/stability risk if individual components are tampered with, come loose or are compromised 

Why You Should Hire a Cherry Picker for Your Next Project

Safe, simple and cost-effective, cherry pickers make your construction, installation and repair projects easier.  With a straightforward set up and the ability to easily move them around a site or from site to site, you’ll save time and money by completing work quickly and effectively.

Admittedly, some jobs will need scaffolding. But with our excellent range of MEWPs and unconditional support from our powered access experts, you’ll end any head-scratching about how to reach those hard-to-reach spaces. Our boom lifts let you carry out essential work in the trickiest of spaces as safely as possible with their versatile manoeuvrability. Whatever terrain you’re working with, our Platform Finder tool will help you find the perfect cherry picker for your next construction project. 

To hire a cherry picker for your work-at-height project, contact Horizon Platforms today.