If you’ve ever sent two trucks to a single job site — one with a bucket aerial lift and the other with a telescopic-boom crane — you might’ve wondered if it makes more sense to combine people positioning and load lifting on a single platform.

But, is it worth the investment? How often do companies really need to combine positioning people and lifting loads? Much more than you might suspect.

Here are some prominent examples:

Electrical Contracting. When linemen or workers need to hang cable, install insulators, or maintain electrical systems at height, material-handling aerial work platforms can safely lift them to the job site and also provide the ability to lift and hold materials from within the platform using a jib winch.

Mining. Draglines or shovels often need maintenance and repairs while in the mine. Maintenance crews need to be able to quickly deploy an aerial work platform onto the job site and get the work done safely and efficiently, and that means having all the tools they need (access, hand tools, and material handling) on the same vehicle. Being able to safely access this work and handle materials directly from within the platform with a jib winch or with a main boom winch, helps the equipment be more flexible and increases utilization.

Sign and Lighting. Installing and servicing building-mounted signs, street lights and billboards all require the ability to lift workers and lift materials on the same job site. Being able to safely access this work and handle materials directly from the platform and/or the main boom helps speed up jobs, reduce job site congestion in urban areas, and helps companies maximize their equipment budgets.

Transportation and Public Works. Highway and public works departments benefit from having a material-handling aerial work platform that allows workers to lift and set poles, install and repair roadway lighting, install and maintain signage, and perform bridge and tunnel repair with the same vehicle, saving valuable taxpayer dollars and reducing maintenance costs.

Utilities. Aerial work platforms can reach more than 200 feet into the air for linemen to construct and repair transmission power lines or towers. Compact 50 and 72 foot machines can lift materials and people in a substation, without the risk of tail swing. Plus, this can be done without performing a time consuming trial lift and proof test which is required when using a crane with a basket.

Just about any job that needs multiple workers to complete precision tasks high in the air may be a good fit for a material-handling aerial work platform.