Getting the Right Scissor Lift for Your Job

Designed to provide a strong and stable platform for performing work in elevated positions, scissor lifts are a common sight on construction sites and several other worksites. These aerial work platforms come in many shapes and sizes, so knowing their fundamental differences is essential to finding the right one for your needs.

Here's what you need to know to increase your chance of matching the right scissor lift to your particular job.

Scissor lifts have different load ratings

Scissor lifts are not designed to carry loads of an indefinite weight — each has a rated load capacity that indicates the total amount of weight it can safely support. This includes the weight of all the personnel using the equipment at the same time, combined with all the materials, tools and additional equipment they might be using to get the job done.

When choosing a scissor lift for your job, make sure its load capacity equals or slightly exceeds the total load it is required to support.

Scissor lifts have different operating styles

Different scissor lifts employ different operating mechanisms to produce the power required to lift workers to the desired heights. The main types of scissor lifts based on operating style are:

  • Electric
  • Engine-powered
  • Pneumatic
  • Hydraulic  

Each type of scissor lift has specific pros and cons that affect its suitability for use in certain applications. For example, diesel engine-powered scissor lifts are preferred for outdoor projects because they release gases that can compromise the air quality inside buildings and other enclosed places. Electric and pneumatic versions are favoured for indoor applications because they do not produce any harmful emissions.

When looking for a scissor lift, make sure you pick a machine whose operating style lends itself to your intended application.

Scissor lifts can only operate up and down

Before hiring a scissor lift for your job, remember that scissor lifts are vertical mast lifts that can only go in a vertical direction. If you need to move workers diagonally or side by side, you may need to get a different type of elevating work platform.

Although the above guide is meant to increase your chances of finding the right scissor lift for your job, it shouldn't serve as a primary resource to be used in making a final decision. For expert advice and assistance with matching a scissor lift to your job, feel free to talk to the professionals at a local scissor lift rental company today.