When your crew needs to reach elevated locations, a scissor lift can be an excellent choice. Since several types of scissor lifts are available, many companies choose to rent scissor lifts to give them the flexibility they need to handle various applications. Companies that know how to use scissor lifts effectively and are aware of the benefits of renting put themselves in a position to complete jobs in a more cost-efficient and productive manner.
As you consider renting a scissor lift, you may want to know more about what they are and the types of them you can choose from. Additionally, you may also want to learn how to use them effectively and the benefits of renting. Our ultimate guide to scissor lifts covers everything you need to know.
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Scissor lifts are a type of aerial equipment used to elevate workers and materials to an appropriate working height. They're primarily utilized in facility maintenance and construction applications, and they're typically self-propelled, meaning they can be driven right to different areas on the work site. The machines get their name from their lifting mechanic design, which features crisscrossing metal supports and a platform on top.
Once the machine begins to raise staff or materials upward, these metal supports elongate. When the scissor lift descends, the metal supports fold. Scissor lifts can reach hard to reach locations and provide workers with a stable platform to do their work on. In construction, workers regularly use scissor lifts to assist with cable wiring and inspections. Construction teams also rely on them to lift heavy materials and various tools to elevated areas.
Different types of scissor lifts are used for various purposes in the construction industry. By knowing the differences between them, a construction company can ensure they have a scissor lift fitting their work site's requirements. The five primary types of scissor lifts are hydraulic, diesel, electric, rough terrain and pneumatic.
Learn more about the primary kinds of scissor lifts below:
Hand-operated or engine-driven hydraulic systems power hydraulic scissor lifts. The machine's hydraulic oil changes pressure to raise and lower the platform. Since hydraulic scissor lifts are simple to operate, operators don't have to go through a great deal of training. As such, one of the benefits of these scissor lifts is that an operator can use one quickly.
When it gets cold, hydraulic scissor lifts can be slower to operate since lower temperatures make oil denser. Newer models have accounted for these slowdowns and corrected them, but older models may see some declines in speed and horsepower when operating in cold temperatures.
Diesel scissor lifts are some of the most popular scissor lifts in the construction sector. They excel in outdoor work sites, where they can reach 20 to 50 feet in the air. This variety of heights makes them well-suited for different tasks. They also tend to have a heftier design, giving them more power and a larger platform for multiple workers to stand and work on.
Generally, these diesel scissor lifts are only suited for outdoor use. Since they run on diesel fuel, they release fumes into the air and make lots of noise, which could be potentially harmful or distracting to workers indoors. When they're used outdoors, the machines have enough ventilation for the fumes to dissipate without harming workers. Additionally, the outdoors helps to disperse the loud noises these machines generate.
Electric scissor lifts provide an alternative to diesel-powered lifts. These machines don't burn fuel, relying on a quiet, electric-powered drive mechanism. Due to their lack of emissions or noise, they're well-suited for indoor work areas that may not have enough ventilation to use a diesel lift safely.
Their electric power tends to make them less powerful than diesel-powered machines, and they usually don't reach as high. The smaller design of these scissor lifts comes with the advantage of fitting in smaller spaces a bulkier scissor lift wouldn't be able to get into.
Sometimes, work sites feature rough terrain that is difficult for standard scissor lifts to navigate safely. Rough terrain scissor lifts are designed for work sites that are too difficult for standard scissor lifts to navigate. These machines are built with heavy-duty tires and increased weight capacity. They also come with additional safety features, like fall restraints and arrestors, to keep workers safe in potentially dangerous environments.
Companies often use rough terrain scissor lifts on uneven surfaces and slopes to provide workers with a stable platform to work on. They're also designed to work in inclement weather, helping to keep workers secure while working at elevated locations in rain and wind. Rough terrain lifts can usually reach very high locations and are very wide. They're typically powered by liquid propane, gas, diesel or dual fuel.
Pneumatic scissor lifts don't require fuel to operate. Instead, they use air pressure to power their lifting mechanism. Essentially, they work by vacuuming atmospheric air and then compressing it to provide the appropriate amount of power to lift the platform upwards. Since they use air to power them, they don't release any hazardous fumes into the air, making them appropriate for indoor use and companies wanting to lower their carbon footprint.
Like electric scissor lifts, they don't usually offer as much power as diesel lifts. They can be used in most environments since the air powering them makes them safe for indoor applications. Additionally, pneumatic scissor lifts can typically fit in tighter spaces.
Scissor lifts provide significant value to various industries, as they raise workers high into the air and give them a stable platform to stand on. Due to these abilities, scissor lifts are very popular among companies doing aerial work. Workers often require a safe, even surface to work on while in the air, and they rely on scissor lifts to provide it.
In addition to their ability to lift workers to elevated positions, scissor lifts are also used for jobs requiring aerial equipment with exceptional mobility. In sectors like construction, general logistics and infrastructure, the mobility of scissor lifts make them incredibly valuable. Companies can choose scissor lifts in various sizes and performance abilities to find one that meets their needs.
You can find scissor lifts used in warehouses to help with the retrieval of packages and as car elevators. They're also regularly utilized to help workers clean windows at elevated heights and in the film industry to get the perfect shot. In the construction industry, they help in various building stages, giving workers a safe space to stand while using power tools and doing other tasks. Construction companies also use scissor lifts to deliver materials to elevated work areas.
Scissor lifts are usually easy to operate, making it easy to train staff members to use them effectively and safely. Properly using a scissor lift involves three main stages: the pre-start inspection, start-up procedures and shutdown procedures.
Learn more about how to use a scissor lift below:
Before using a scissor lift, it's best practice to conduct a pre-start inspection. This inspection ensures the scissor lift is in a safe environment for use. You'll also use the inspection to check if the scissor lift is in a condition for safe operation. Some of the primary steps for an inspection include:
After completing the pre-start inspection, move on to using the scissor lift for whatever tasks you need it for. Be sure any staff member who has the responsibility of driving and operating a scissor lift should be trained on how to use it properly.
Learn more about the appropriate operating procedures below:
After you're done using a scissor lift, follow a few practices to ensure it's shut down properly. By turning off the scissor lift correctly, a company readies their machinery for the next day, protects it from damages and ensures it's not left on by accident. Some proper shut down procedures include:
As with any other type of heavy machinery, companies need to ensure operators and other staff are safe while using them. For instance, a pre-check inspection can help an operator catch potential dangers before using the scissor lift. You may want to be aware of various other scissor lifts safety practices to protect the machinery and workers.
Some of the primary scissor lift safety practices can be found below:
Renting a scissor lift can be an excellent decision for your company. Some of the top advantages of renting include having more choices, the ability to have a scissor lift only when you need it, access to the most advanced technology and reduced maintenance costs.
Learn more about the benefits of renting a scissor lift below:
The Cat® Rental Store is ready to outfit your team with the right scissor lift for your needs. With over 1,300 locations around the world, there's likely a local branch near your work site. As you select from our wide variety of scissor lifts, you'll be happy to find that we offer competitive rates and flexible rental agreements. Once you rent the scissor lift, our service doesn't stop. Our team is ready to provide emergency maintenance and repair services at a moment's notice.Find The Cat Rental Store Near You