Though originally used for fruit picking, cherry pickers are great pieces of equipment to use when trying to get jobs done that may require you to work from height.
‘Cherry picker’ is a catch-all term for many different mobile elevating work platforms, including low-level access platforms, scissor lifts, boom lifts, spider lifts, and even truck-mounted cherry pickers.
Cherry pickers are very cost-effective when compared against scaffolding expenses.
In this article, we’ll be looking at how much it costs to hire a cherry picker, what affects the cost of hiring a cherry picker, how to save money when hiring a cherry picker and how to find and hire a cherry picker and operator.
If you have a tricky job to do and could use a little lift, opting for a cherry picker can be the way to go. Let’s get into the most cost-effective way of hiring a cherry picker.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Cherry Picker?
You’ll be charged either a daily or a weekly cost for the hire of your equipment. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common types – please note that these prices exclude VAT.
|EQUIPMENT||ESTIMATED HIRING COST (DAILY)||ESTIMATED HIRING COST (WEEKLY)|
|Low Level Access Platforms||£60 to £460||£190 to £540|
|Scissor Lifts||£120 to £700||£300 to £830|
|Boom Lifts||£270 to £650||£540 to £790|
|Truck Mounted Cherry Pickers||£350 to £600||—|
|Spider Lifts||£1,130 to £1,550||£4,700 to £6,000|
To hire a low-level access platform, the daily cost ranges between £60 to £460, while the weekly hire cost falls between £190 to £540.
A scissor lift will cost between £120 to £700 for the day, and the estimated weekly cost is between £300 to £830.
Looking at boom lifts next, you can expect a fee of between £270 to £650 for the day and £540 to £790 for weekly hire.
Truck-mounted cherry pickers are available in day hire only, coming in at between £350 to £600.
Finally, to have access to a spider lift, you’ll be expected to pay between £1,130 to £1,550 for the day, and between £4,700 to £6,000 for a weekly hire period.
On top of these base fees, you’ll need to pay VAT, and then any associated labour charges to the traders to operate the machinery for you.
What Affects the Cost of Hiring a Cherry Picker?
As you can see, there’s a wide range between the price estimates for hiring cherry pickers. In this section, we’ll go through what affects the cost of hire so you can make informed choices when booking something in.
Your Choice of Equipment
The first is simply your choice of equipment, and this will be dictated by your project’s needs. A cherry picker can reach up to 12 metres and is likely to be sufficient for most domestic uses.
For comparison purposes, here are the height ranges for the other types of cherry pickers:
- Low-Level Access Platforms (typically 3.5 to 10 metres in height)
- Scissor Lifts (typically 6 to 30 metres in height)
- Boom Lifts (typically 10 to 40 metres in height)
- Spider Lifts (typically 15 metres and more in height).
Whether You Need a Cherry Picker Operator
Unless you have a license to use a cherry picker, you’ll need an operator to come along with the machinery itself, which can boost the price of hire.
Some firms offer rates for operated cherry pickers, so it’s worth shopping around to find that combination where possible if it’s what you need. The cost ranges from £50 to £70 per hour, but there’s usually a minimum hire period of four hours.
Most councils in the UK will require a permit to use a cherry picker on a public highway or footpath. The cost for this varies from council to council.
What’s more, some councils also require a bond deposit to be paid on top of the permit cost. Below we’ve rounded up a few council terms to give you an idea of what the fees look like:
- Lincolnshire County Council requires that you apply for a permit, but the permit itself is free.
- In Bath and North East Somerset, the Council grants cherry picker permits for £59 provided you apply at least five days in advance.
- In the London Borough of Bromley, a cherry picker permit costs just £27 per day. On the other hand, the Borough of
- Croydon charges £235 for the first day, plus a deposit of £200.
- Aberdeenshire Council charges £100 for a 1-week cherry picker permit.
- In Swansea, a ‘temporary oversail’ permit costs £85 and you’ll need to include a copy of your public liability insurance when you apply.
You can find out how much your local council charges for cherry picker permits here.
While your actual geographic location will affect your hire fees, if you’re a substantial distance from your nearest cherry picker depot, you may have to pay additional fees for travel. Although you’re technically not using the equipment whilst it’s en-route, no other client can use it either, hence the fee.
This means that a minimum period of three hours, for example, may be charged to include outward and return journeys as well as the hour of work required, bumping your price up.
You should try to use your nearest depot to keep costs down. Even if their hourly rates aren’t the cheapest, they might be the most affordable once the fees of other companies are added.
No Deposit Required
Deposits are usually required to hire a cherry picker, and if one is required, it’s usually quite affordable. This is because you’re effectively hiring a service rather than renting a piece of equipment.
For example, if you hire a van, a deposit is required in case you damage the vehicle, or don’t return it at all. But because you’re paying for a work crew as well as the cherry picker, there’s negligible risk to any supplier.
The size of vehicle your cherry picker comes with will depend on the job you’re having done. For most domestic users, a cherry picker with a 12m reach attached to a transit van is sufficient to provide adequate access to the roofs of a standard house.
Higher buildings will require larger vehicles and cherry pickers, such as a boom and hydraulic system being utilised to achieve greater height and provide increased access for a variety of projects.
How Can I Save Money When Hiring a Cherry Picker?
Now we know what can bump the price up, let’s take a look at what can bring it down.
Cherry Pickers are Cost-effective by Nature
We’ll start by saying that hiring a cherry picker in itself is an economical choice.
You will know that the job is being completed properly and that it isn’t going to cost you as much as scaffolding may.
Choose a Local Company
It’s worth mentioning it again as it’s the most common reason cherry picker hire charges shoot up – choosing a local company will stop your fee from being bigger than expected due to transit charges to and from the depot.
Scope Out Your Needs
Don’t opt for a bigger piece of machinery than you need. If you’re unsure, it’s best to seek advice from a professional who can tell you what you need to complete your project.
This will save you from hiring something too advanced for the job at hand, which in turn will leave you unduly out of pocket.
How Do I Find and Hire a Cherry Picker and Operator?
The best route of finding a cherry picker and operator is to seek recommendations from family, friends, and neighbours. Do you know someone on your street who has had work done recently using machinery, or know of an upcoming project making use of the same equipment you need?
Joining forces and combining the hire can save you money as the equipment only has to travel to one spot, which can give benefits to both you and your neighbours.
If this isn’t possible, then using HouseholdQuotes can help to save you from hours of fruitless searching. Comparing quotes on one page stops you from having to switch between web pages, and what’s more, comparing quotes can help to save you up to 40% on your project’s fee.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
It’s really important to get a written quote as soon as possible. This will show an itemised breakdown of what is (and isn’t) included in your hire, making the room for unexpected add-ons smaller.
Within this, you should be seeking answers to whether there is a minimum hire period if you are needed to carry insurance, and if there are any extra fees to be made aware of.
If you’re hiring a cherry picker operator as well as the equipment, it’s good to ask for their experience and qualifications – and to double-check they have a licence for operating the machinery.
Finally, you should double-check that the rental company has relevant insurance to cover themselves and you in the event of an accident during the project.
If you’re wanting to get started sooner rather than later on your project, take note of our final checklist to make sure you’ve got everything taken care of:
- Scope out what size equipment you need, not under or overestimating it
- Do you need an operator? If so, find companies who offer that service as well as the equipment hire
- Find a local company to reduce your transit costs, using HouseholdQuotes to help you to compare quotes
- Get a written quote, and find out if there’s a minimum charge or hire period, and if there are any extra fees to be aware of or any deposits
- Ensure there is relevant insurance in place
- Find out if permits are needed, and secure one before the hire equipment arrives to avoid extra charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Anyone Use a Cherry Picker or Do You Need a Licence?
You need a licence to use a cherry picker, so if you don’t have one, you’ll need to seek out a company that offers operators along with the equipment so it can be used safely.
What’s the Smallest Cherry Picker You Can Hire?
A low-level access platform is the smallest cherry picker available for hire, reaching heights of 3.5 to 10 metres.
Can One Person Operate a Cherry Picker?
Cherry pickers aren’t usually available for self-drive hire, as there are dangers involved in working at height. Instead, when you hire a cherry picker you will also be hiring a crew of professionals to operate it.
These professionals will hold the right qualifications allowing them to work at height and will work to strict safety standards.
Most services will offer one or two-man teams which should be ideal for small domestic jobs such as clearing out the guttering or repairing damaged roofs. The teams can be larger if necessary though there will be additional fees for each extra crew member.
What Can I Use a Cherry Picker For?
Cherry pickers can be used for a range of at-home projects including building maintenance and any other job that needs completing at height.
Is It Possible To Use a Cherry Picker on Grass?
Before hiring a cherry picker, it’s a good idea to discuss your project with the hire company so that you get the right equipment for your needs. For safety reasons, you should only operate a cherry picker on a firm and solid surface.
2-wheel drive cherry pickers can usually perform on grass or gravel, but you may want to consider a 4-wheel drive picker for more challenging terrain. If the ground is quite soft, you may need outrigger pads to make the surface firmer.
Are Cherry Pickers Safe?
When operated correctly and with the correct risk assessments in place, cherry pickers are safe to use. You must choose a trader who has a licence to operate them, along with insurance to cover themselves and you in the event of any accidents.
A full breakdown of cherry picker safety can be found on this page.