Scissor Lifts vs. Scaffolding

Scissor Lifts vs. Scaffolding

When you have to work at heights, safety is always a priority. That means having the right equipment in place to protect you and your team. Traditionally, scaffolding has been the answer to elevated working platforms. Today's alternatives to scaffolding include aerial lifts — like scissor lifts — to make the job easier and safer.

What Are Scissor Lifts?

Scissor lifts are elevated work platforms using an X-shaped design for their vertical lifting mechanism. When lowered, the supporting arms appear to be straight lines. As the platform lifts, space grows between the reinforcements underneath, echoing the shape of open scissors. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classifies aerial lifts and scaffolding similarly. Yet, several differences between scissor lifts and traditional platforms make the first a better choice for your next construction project.

5 Benefits of Scissor Lifts Versus Scaffolding

Scissor lifts provide construction pros like you with many advantages over traditional scaffolding solutions.

1. Greater Versatility

Scissor lifts are ideal for indoor and outdoor work. Their collapsibility and wheels make it easy to move into spaces where traditional scaffolding may not be able to go. Plus, all-terrain tires and the self-leveling capabilities available on many models mean your team can navigate more rugged terrain and use the lift on more surfaces.

2. Boosted Efficiency and Productivity

Traditional scaffolding takes time to assemble safely, and you'll have to disassemble and move it as projects progress. With a scissor lift, transportation and setup are quick and simple. It only takes a few minutes to lower the platform and go to the next area to raise it again so you can save labor time and get back to work faster.

Many scissor lifts also have space for project tools or equipment. Having the tools your workforce needs within reach allows your crew to be immediately and consistently productive.

3. Improved Public Safety

Overhead work often occurs in areas with foot traffic underneath. Scissor lifts take up much less space than traditional scaffolding, making it easier and safer for pedestrians to get around. Post-project removal is also quicker than conventional scaffolding, allowing full access to sidewalks sooner.

4. More Safety and Stability

Modern scissor lifts have extra features to boost their safety and stability, like outriggers. These short metal supports with plates improve surface grip and help prevent accidental tip-overs.

Plus, their swift operation means you can lower and move them faster in weather conditions like storms and high winds. You can secure other tools and get your team members to safety quicker.

5. Saving Time and Money

Using a scissor lift versus scaffolding typically lets you complete jobs faster and with fewer workers. The added productivity means you can take on more projects to boost your bottom line. Plus, with less removal labor, your team can focus on construction instead of spending hours dismantling scaffolding.

How Can I Use Scissor Lifts at My Job Site?

Thanks to their significant time-saving abilities, scissor lifts are valuable for many at-height applications in the construction industry. Popular projects include:

  • Building maintenance tasks such as painting, drywall finishing and masonry work, like brick repointing.
  • Roofing, especially for quickly transporting heavy materials to make them more accessible.
  • Wiring, running conduit and installing lighting fixtures overhead.
  • Heating, ventilating and air conditioning installations.

Choosing the right lift for your project depends on several things, like:

  • Operating environment
  • Work height
  • Load weights
  • Frequency of use
  • Primary function

To use scissor lifts safely and successfully, you should understand their operation and always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Equipment experts — like those at The Cat® Rental Store — can help you pick the ideal model for your job.

Scissor Lift Styles Available From The Cat® Rental Store

The Cat Rental Store proudly offers standard and rough terrain scissor lifts for rent. 

Standard models have a convenient electric operation, reach up to 20 feet and have a load capacity of up to 800 pounds. Narrow-width models provide the same emissions-free experience, reach heights up to 40 feet and handle loads of up to 500 pounds. 

For heavy-duty jobs or rugged environments, The Cat Rental Store locations rent various rough terrain scissor lifts. Duel-fuel styles feature heights of up to 50 feet and load capacities of 1,500 pounds. Electric models include both standard- and narrow-width types to go up to 40 feet or carry weights of up to 1,000 pounds.

Rent Whatever You Need From the People Who Do Whatever It Takes

The Cat Rental Store has over 1,300 locations worldwide to bring you a large rental fleet of Cat equipment and access to over 70 other leading brands. 

Find a dealer location near you or contact us online to reserve the tools you need to make your next construction project a success!

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