What is a Scissor Lift?

A scissor lift is equipment used for lifting persons or objects to the required height. This type of lift moves only vertically. It is extensively used in manufacturing and construction industry where it is common for people to work in hard to reach spaces. It is also used for doing maintenance work of high-rise buildings. It reduces the efforts of the workers, as they do not have to carry heavy loads manually. Also, it helps them reach a height that is comfortable for performing their task properly. For example, if a worker has to clean the window panes of a third floor, he can use the scissor lift to reach to that height. In simple words, this equipment increases the efficiency of a worker. These are also used widely by emergency services like fire fighting.

There are different types of scissor lifts. However, all such lifts have more or less similar type of construction. They consist of three main parts – platform, scissor arms, and controls. When the scissor arms stretch, the lift moves in the upward direction and when the scissor arms compress, the lift moves downward. These lifts could be divided in to two types – manually propelled and self propelled. Whereas self-propelled lifts move up and down with the aid of motors, the manually propelled lifts are moved up and down manually.

The scissor lifts can also be categorized into two types depending upon their drive mechanism – hydraulic lifts and pneumatic lifts. In hydraulic lifts, a liquid is used for the upward movement of the lift. When the liquid is released, the scissor arms stretches and the lift moves up. The amount of liquid released depends upon the height to which the lift has to be raised. It is regulated with a valve. In pneumatic lifts, air bags are used to move the scissor arms up and down. Depending upon the source of power, a scissor lift can be divided in to gas and electric powered lifts. Gas powered lifts are usually used for outdoor applications whereas electric ones are used for indoor applications.

While renting or buying this equipment, one should pay attention to its specification. The two most important things to look for are the height to which the lift can move up and the amount of load it can hold. The maximum height it can reach is around 50 feet and the maximum load it can carry is around 10,000 pounds. Nowadays, lifts with special features are also available. Some of these features are tilt, rotate and horizontal shift. The tilt feature allows the worker to choose the angle of the platform and the rotate feature allows the platform to rotate. Some of them have a platform that can even move horizontally. Some companies manufacture s according to the requirements of their clients. You should choose from either a or standard scissor lift depending upon your requirements.

Scissor lifts are dangerous, if used incorrectly. The user should always follow the safety instructions carefully. Also, one should avoid loading the lift more than its permissible load limit. Overloading can cause accidents and hence, should be avoided. Moreover, you should keep the equipment locked, when not in use, to avoid its unauthorized use.