A scissor lift is a type of access equipment designed to get workers’ loads and equipment into position while also serving as a stable work platform when working at elevated positions. In addition to providing motorised access, scissors lifts are also designed to be mobile, which helps with horizontal positioning as well. When getting a scissor lift hire for your project, there are several factors to consider to ensure you’re getting the perfect lift equipment for the job.
Safety and efficiency are very important when working at heights. You want a machine that can access elevated areas securely and help you complete tasks with ease. However, if you’ve ever tried to hire a scissors lift, you’ll know that there are different types of lifts available, all with different specifications. In this article, we’ll provide a guide for picking the perfect lift for the job based on factors such as the type of scissors lift, the working condition, and specific machine specifications to consider.
Type of Scissor Lift
One of the main factors to consider when picking a scissor lift is the type of scissors lift you’re getting. You can categorise scissors lift based on size, how they’re powered, or the lift mechanism that controls the platform height. Here are the main types of scissors lifts and their peculiarities.
Electric Scissor Lifts
Electric scissors lifts are battery-powered. As a result, they emit zero emissions and operate quietly compared to fuel-powered alternatives. This type of lift is an ideal choice when working in areas where noise or fumes must be minimised, such as warehouses, retail stores, manufacturing facilities, and other indoor spaces.
Fuel-Powered Scissors Lifts
Some lifts run on petrol, diesel, or LPG. Although this means they emit fumes and are quite noisy, fuel-powered lifts are heavy-duty, so they work best for construction sites and other heavy-duty applications. They’re often designed with a higher reach compared to electric-powered units. You also won’t have to worry about losing battery power during operation.
Rough Terrain Scissor Lifts
These lifts are designed for outdoor use, especially when working on rough and uneven surfaces. Rough terrain scissors lifts have features that enhance their stability on uneven surfaces, such as powerful engines, robust tyres, and an outrigger or self-levelling system.
Pneumatic Scissors Lifts
Scissor lifts whose lifting mechanisms rely on air pressure to raise or lower the work platform are known as pneumatic lifts. They’re often used for lightweight applications such as warehouses and retail stores.
Hydraulic Scissors Lifts
Hydraulic lifts use a fluid or oil system to raise or lower the work platform. They’re rugged and work great in outdoor spaces. But hydraulic lifts tend to be slow, so they may not work very well for projects where speed is a priority.
Another factor that determines the type of scissor lift to get for your project is the condition of the environment where you’re working. Basically, you need to assess where the work will be done, then choose a lift that’ll work perfectly based on the work conditions. Some of the factors to consider here include:
Indoor vs. Outdoor
Electric lifts work great indoors, they do not emit fumes, which makes them safer in such spaces compared to units with diesel or petrol engines. Also, if you’re working outdoors where conditions are likely to be cold, pneumatic lifts might be a better choice compared to hydraulic lifts since oil is often affected by changing temperatures.
Assess the conditions of the working surface before you go for scissor lift hire. If you will be working in rough, uneven terrain, a rough terrain scissor lift is a better choice for the safety of your workers. But for smooth-level surfaces, such as indoor spaces, you can go for a compact electric lift.
How high will the lift have to go? Make sure you measure the maximum height of the work area and choose a lift that can deliver the adequate working height to complete the task efficiently and safely.
Your experience with a scissors lift will also depend on the specifications of the machine itself. Be sure to ask the manufacturer or the rental company you’re getting scissor lift hire from about the specifications of the machine to see if it’ll be suitable for your project.
This refers to how much weight your scissor lift can safely handle. Determine how many people will be using the lift and the amount of load you’ll need to lift before choosing a scissors lift. Choosing a machine with an insufficient load capacity will put your workers at risk while also slowing down your project.
How much vertical elevation you can get from your scissors lift is very important. Determine the height at which you need to operate and ensure the maximum platform height of your scissors lift covers that.
The platform width will determine the number of people and how much load you can fit on the work platform. Width is also important for access. Although scissors lifts have a mobile base, you’ll improve access considerably if the work platform covers a large horizontal space too.
Compare the dimensions of your scissors lift to the available space in your work area. It is essential to choose a scissor lift that can fit through doorways, aisles, or narrow passages. This ensures easy access to the work location.
Consider any additional features that may enhance the safety and productivity of your job. These may include non-marking tyres if you’re working in an area with sensitive floor surfaces, extendable platforms for increased workspace, or integrated power outlets for running tools and equipment.
Carefully consider the factors above and compare your options before going for a scissor lift hire. Remember to always prioritise safety but also pay attention to efficiency and the suitability of the machine for the job. If you need help choosing the right access equipment for your project, our team of experts can help you choose the right tool for your project. Contact easyToolhire to learn more about picking the perfect lift for your project.