Is it expensive to run a spider lift?

Is it expensive to run a spider lift?

Unpacking the costs of ownership for your business

If you’re thinking of investing in a spider lift to increase the efficiency of your arborist business, you might be wondering about running costs for the machine.

Yes, there are running costs, and we’ll look at those in this article.

However, when compared to other options for working at heights, rather than asking “Is it expensive to run a spider lift?”, perhaps the real way to look at this question is, “How much will a spider lift save my business?”

That’s because once you own a spider lift, your overall expenses will likely be considerably reduced.

Let’s take a look at the expenses you should plan for.


Depending of course on the machine you choose, the cost to finance can be as low as $400 a week for a trailer and spider lift package.


Running your spider lift’s engine for the hydraulics and driving within the job site will result in fuel costs. That’s unless you opt for a Lithium battery powered model, which will cost you just a few dollars to recharge overnight.


While it will depend on who is doing your servicing, it can be around $3,000 a year for the smaller units, and up to $7,000 per annum for the big 43 metre spider lifts.

This difference in costs is because the larger machines have a bigger engine, with more filters to service and replace, more hydraulic oil needed, and the like.

This will include the three quarterly services and the annual service your spider lift will require.

You may be able to reduce your servicing costs if you take the spider lift to a workshop, instead of opting for on-site servicing – yet this may be more efficient for your business.

It can be a great idea to look for a dealer that will offer fixed price servicing, so that you have no nasty surprises when keeping your machine serviced. Note though that a fixed service plan wouldn’t cover damage or wear and tear on the machine.

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How a spider lift saves you on labour costs

As an arborist you’ll already feel the costs of paying your professional tree climbers. It can be up to $700 a day or more, depending on the area you operate, their experience and the level of difficulty with the job.

Investing in a spider lift does away with a lot of these costs, and increases safety for you and your team!

Yes, you will have to have an employee working in the bucket, but it is a different skill set and will come at a lower cost of around $230 a day.

Then there’s the efficiency dividend of being able to complete so much more work in a day with a spider lift, compared to even the most skilled climber. And in terms of loyalty and availability of employees, it’s no contest. Your new spider lift won’t be tempted to look elsewhere for more money or ask for annual leave at a critical time of year for your business!

All of this means that, if there is strong competition for the skilled climbers who work in your area, you can keep your business’s costs lower – and therefore make your pricing more competitive for your customers. That’s got to result in more business for you.

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The cost of a 10 year rebuild

This is a significant cost, so you may be better off trading in your spider lift for a new one after, say, five years. These machines do hold their value really well, so you may find you get good resale value, plus all the benefits of having a brand new spider lift.

Talk to us about spider lifts for arborists

To find out how a spider lift could offer your arborist business a more efficient access solution, call Monitor on 1800 025 024 or contact us online.

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