8 reasons to switch from using scaffold to using a MEWP

When it comes to working at height, there is a wide range of access equipment to choose from.  Finding the right one for your project can be a little confusing, and it can be tempting to stick with the same access equipment you’ve used before.  If you normally choose scaffold as your method of access, below are 8 very good reasons why you should consider switching to using MEWPs ( mobile elevating work platforms).

1. Save money

Saving money is one of the main reasons our clients stop using scaffold and start using MEWPs.  A scaffold may be viable for long term projects, but for lots of projects the cost of hiring a MEWP is much cheaper than paying for scaffolding to be installed.


There is also lots of potential to save money by speeding up completion of your project, more about this in the next section.

Factory roof inspection from an access platform
Bronto S70XR truck mounted access platform

2. Save time

The old adage save time save money is certainly true.  When using a truck mounted MEWP  as your access method there is no need to carry scaffold boards and poles, you simply drive the MEWP to where you need it and set up.  Some other ways using access platforms can speed up your project are

  • One MEWP operator to transport and operate a MEWP versus a team of scaffolders to set up scaffolding.
  • Spend more time getting the job done and less time climbing ladders.
  • Access platforms are quick to move to a new location and the MEWP cage can be easily repositioned.
  • The ease of safely moving the MEWP cage with passengers onboard saves a lot of time when you need to adjust work position frequently (e.g. high level painting).
  • Hire an operated MEWP and you can concentrate on completing your project, leaving the access solution to a skilled operator.
  • Some access platforms come equipped with power and air in the MEWP basket,  incredibly handy for using hand tools.

3. Safety

MEWPs are technologically advanced and manufactured with safety in mind. Some of the ways using a MEWP for your access solution improves safety are

  • No manual handling of scaffold poles and boards.
  • No climbing long scaffold ladders which can be tiring, and especially difficult if you need to carry tools and equipment.
  • The MEWP basket has fixed guardrails, with clip on harness points.
  • MEWPs have inbuilt safety systems for example self-levelling, load cells, height restrictors and emergency lowering systems.
  • MEWPs can be safely stowed and locked off when not in use, handy for long term projects.
  • Some access platforms come with added safety features such as earthing points or insulated MEWP cages.

4. Reach greater heights safely

Using a truck mounted access platform you can work safely up to 104m in the air!  There is a MEWP designed for working safely on every project and all site conditions.

Specialist MEWPs for all site conditions
MEWP with extended outreach for access over water

5. Lateral outreach

MEWPs don’t just go upwards many of them extend outwards too, incredibly useful if

  • The ground conditions below your work site are not suitable for setting up on or there is an obstruction in the way.
  • For reaching out to work over water.
  • When you need to extend over an obstruction.
  • If you need to go up and over an object to access your work site , for example booming over a flat roof.

6. Lifting

MEWPs don’t just lift people, they can safely lift materials, equipment, and components too.  They even do both jobs at once, providing a safe method of working at height for technicians as well as lifting the equipment or materials needed for the project.

  • MEWPs can lift materials and components AND provide a safe platform for technicians to work from.
  • Up to 600 kg of MEWP cage capacity.
  • Winches available for safely lifting bulky materials or components outside of the MEWP cage.
  • Lifting frames available for safely lifting large panes of glass outside of the MEWP cage.
  • And for long term projects where you want to use scaffold, you can even use a MEWP to safely lift scaffolding poles to hard to reach places.


Need help with establishing a safe lift plan?  Our qualified contract lifting team can help, see our contract lifting page for more details.



Bronto 56XR MEWP with Cage winch
Truck mounted MEWP with impressive up and over reach capabilities Sheffield

7. Manoeuvrability

Access platforms have a wide range of boom movements allowing them to be quickly, safely and precisely positioned.

  • An extensive working envelope allows the MEWP cage to be positioned exactly where you need to work, whereas standard scaffold heights might not be at the right position for your project.
  • Changing work position quickly and safely is easy with an access platform, you don’t even need to leave the MEWP cage.
  • A rotating MEWP cage enables it to be positioned safely close to where you need to work.
  • Our P640 and P750 access platforms have an impressive 2 x 200° of cage rotation, meaning they can slew all the way around.  A very useful option when booming over a roof to work on the other side.

8. Negative reach

MEWPs don’t just go upwards, some of them can go down too!

Negative reach is where the MEWP cage is lowered below the level of the truck.  Some of the MEWPs in our fleet have up to 15 metres of negative reach, very useful when you

  • Need to work under a road bridge.
  • Need to work over water, for example, safely working on a riverbank or dockside, without getting your feet wet.
Access platform with negative reach to work over water

Falling from height remains one of the most common fatal accidents in the workplace.  The different types of access equipment can be bewildering, so it is worth speaking to a specialist when planning your project.   If you need help choosing the right piece of access equipment for your project please contact us.