What are the Different Types of Scissor Lifts?

What is a Scissor Lift?

A scissor lift is a vehicle powered by either gas or electricity and is equipped with a railed platform that can be elevated for work areas or to help raise or lower loads. A unique feature of the scissor lift is the criss-cross metal supports that lengthen as the platform is being raised up. This certain characteristic of scissor lifts is what sets them apart from other lifts or machines that are used for operation in higher elevations.

Scissor lifts vary in size and application. For example, a mini scissor lift which is around four feet wide is best used for operating within and between tight aisles in warehouses. You can opt to use scissor lifts instead of ladders or towers when you need to go up on different heights, such as reaching high shelves in a warehouse, cleaning windows and/ or trimming trees.

Benefits of using a scissor lift include having more safety and faster speed. Scissor lifts have four wheels with outriggers secured on the ground. When on the platform, the operator is also required to wear a harness that is connected to the railings to account for more safety and security. Setting up the scissor lift is not as time-consuming as when using a tower or scaffolding. The operator would only need to climb on the platform of the scissor lift and then lift himself up.

There are three main types of scissor lifts: hydraulic, electric/ diesel, and pneumatic. These types will be further discussed in the next section.

Types of Scissor Lifts


Hydraulic Scissor Lift

Hydraulic scissor lifts make use of hand-powered or pressurized hydraulics that is engine-driven in order to lift loads. The hydraulic oil changes in pressure, causing the work platform to move upwards and downwards. This type of scissor lift is the most common type found since it is the easiest to use among the other types. Additionally, the operator does not need much training in order to work with this machine.

Brands such as Vestil and Titan Worldwide specialize in hydraulic scissor lifts.

Electrical and Diesel

Electric Scissor Lifts

In contrast with the hydraulic scissor lift, electrical and diesel scissor lifts are the most common types used across different applications. Electrical scissor lifts are used more often in enclosed spaces, while diesel scissor lifts are used for outdoor applications. This is because enclosed spaces do not have adequate ventilation, which can become a risk for the buildup of toxic fumes from burning diesel when using a diesel scissor lift.

CoatesHire and JLG scissor lift are among the manufacturers of electrical and diesel scissor lifts.


Pneumatic Scissor Lift

The pneumatic scissor lift makes use of air pressure as a lift mechanism. Among the other types of lifts, this is the most environmentally friendly because it does not give out toxic fumes in its surroundings. The pneumatic scissor lift operates by taking in atmospheric air.

Pneumatic lifts are more expensive than the other types, but it requires very little maintenance since there are only minimal moving parts and there is no engine involved. It can also work in any type of environment since it only needs air for it to work.

The brand Vestil manufactures this type of scissor lift and offers many other sub-types pneumatic lifts that are suitable for specific applications.




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