Types of access equipment and uses.

The non-powered and powered access industries are thriving. With construction projects at a historical high and regular innovations in construction equipment technology, it can sometimes be hard to work out exactly what the best available access solution is for each project.

X-Hire keep a regularly updated inventory of access solutions of all types for projects of all sizes. With so much to choose from, let’s have a look at the various options available and the best uses for each option.

Types of non-powered access

The most common type of non-powered access and the most used throughout history is the scaffold. Scaffold towers have come a long way since their rudimentary beginnings, offering a number of specialised options. X-Hire stock a wide range of options including:

Aluminium Towers

Aluminium towers are a staple of decorating, construction and refurbishment jobs. These towers offer working heights ranging from 3.2m – 14.2m.

Aluminium towers provide a safe, stable and cost-effective option. These towers are great for keeping the cost down on long-duration refurbishment projects.

Cantilever Towers

Cantilever Towers can be configured to your project´s requirements. They are available in single or double widths as well as side-on or end-on designs and are favoured for use by various professionals including structural architects, glaziers, roofers, steel fixers and cladders.

Cantilever towers are easy to assemble, their flexible and sturdy configuration makes them an ideal non-powered access solution for working over and between obstacles.

GRP Towers & Railway Towers

GRP Fibreglass has broken onto the market to become one of the UK’s most highly demanded access tower systems. As GRP fibreglass is non-conductive, this material is safe for any working environment, including environments near electrical installations.

Due to the non-conductive nature of GRP towers, a number of specific adaptations are available for work on railway lines, tunnels and underground stations. With a huge range of double and single-width towers and parts, X-Hire can provide bespoke GRP towers for even niche jobs. 

Mono Tower, One Man Tower

The Mono Tower system is an extremely popular solution for operatives who usually work on their own. This quick-assembly tower has a 3m – 6m working height and has been designed so that it can easily be assembled by one person on their own.  The Mono Tower folds down and is packed away onto one narrow trolley that fits easily through most doorways and into standard vans. The full-height platform can be erected in 15 minutes by a single worker.

Snappy Tower

With a 4m working height, the Snappy Tower is a lightweight, heavy-duty work platform designed with speed and ease of use in mind. The Snappy Tower folds out intuitively allowing for assembly within seconds. This is a popular choice for tradespeople such as electricians, decorators, sign writers and painters. This robust yet compact tower can be easily transported in a standard-size van. 

Specialist Access Towers

For access solutions for complex jobs where a standard solution might not tick all the boxes, speak to X-Hire regarding our bespoke access tower design service. X-Hire can study your project requirements and come up with a highly specialised solution tailored to the demands of your job.


Podium steps provide a safe alternative to ladders. With a working height of up to 3.75m podium steps provide a stable and secure platform from which to carry out maintenance and repair work. These steps come with slip-resistant feet and can be folded down easily to fit through a standard doorway.

Powered access

Powered access solutions are becoming increasingly popular for a great number of projects. The main benefit of powered access solutions is the versatility that these machines provide, allowing workers to easily position machines to work at a variety of heights and at different points throughout a site.

X-Hire offers a fantastic and varied range of powered access equipment to suit projects of all types, these include:

Boom lifts

Boom lifts consist of a basket on the end of an extending arm (or boom). Boom lifts are available with a number of power sources including diesel, electric or hybrid, with diesel models typically used for outdoor and rough terrain work, and electric and hybrid models used for indoor work due to the low emission profile.

Boom lifts are frequently seen in use by councils when workers make repairs to electric lights or hang up Christmas decorations. The applications for boom lifts are endless: from mechanical and electrical applications to glazing, from decorating to silo repair. Boom lifts are a truly versatile powered access machine.

Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts have come to replace access towers in a number of applications. These machines offer a large platform that can be elevated and lowered allowing the workers on the platform to work at different heights. In frequent use for any number of construction, installation or maintenance tasks, one of the true benefits of scissor lifts is their facility to be driven around a site and used at different points throughout a project. This saves on assembly and disassembly time that would be necessary when using a scaffolding tower. 

Scissor lifts are available in a great variety of sizes and with diesel, electric or hybrid power sources. As with boom lifts, diesel machines are usually intended for outdoor and rough terrain use, whereas electric and hybrid machines are intended for indoor use or use in emission-sensitive areas.

Push Around Lifts

Push-around lifts are compact machines designed to offer a safer, more stable alternative to ladders for maintenance jobs and repair work. Popular with facilities management, push-around lifts are designed to fit through standard doorways and down hallways to provide a safe and stable platform for workers.

Whatever your projects, X-Hire can provide a truly specialised range of access solutions for even the most highly specialised projects and environments: from high-reach industrial installations to solutions for working on underground station escalator shafts and much, much more.

If you would like us to assess your project and advise you on the type of access equipment best suited to your case,  get in touch with our expert team today on 03301002833. At X-Hire we are passionate about finding perfect professional solutions.