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Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are some of the most versatile machines around and have found favour in a number of professions. They are essentially elevated platforms and, because of a wide range of designs, have been modified to act as aids in a variety of situations. They are the lightweight cousins of the huge truck mounted cherry pickers that one typically sees around construction sites. Scissor lifts are used in construction as well, but not for all of the same applications.

Scissor lifts are one of the most readily available from rental shops and almost every place will have more than one model available. They are usually bought in bulk in order to get the best deal and rented out to various organizations including fire brigades, and to individuals who may have projects to complete around the house. Scissor lifts were hugely popular about a decade ago, until advances in other types of cherry pickers led to a decrease in demand. They are seeing a level of resurgence though, as new applications are being found for them almost every day.

Scissor lifts can be easily recognized because of the distinctive shape of the base holding the platform. The scissor lifts are supported vertically by its zigzag shaped expandable base that lifts the platform up and brings it down again in one fluid motion. The top plate features extensions from its edges that project out to provide increased room for more workers and tools. The supportive mechanism in scissor lifts is a sophisticated mechanical design powered by pneumatics and hydraulics.

Some scissor lifts, such as spider lifts, are also outfitted with additional support ‘legs’ which add to the stability of the machine without compromising on the flexibility. These can typically be moved around to where support is most needed. Another safety feature of scissor lifts is the coating of the support structure and platform with fibreglass. This is done to reduce the conduction of electricity and so protect the operator from the possibility of electrical shock.

While scissor lifts afford the ability to reach tight spots and high places, there are not capable of carrying as heavy a load as other types of cherry pickers. As such, they are not suited for situations in which large equipment needs to be transported. They are perfectly fine for instances where only one or two workers need to be carried, or light equipment. Due to their small size, scissor lifts are a popular choice for do-it-yourself enthusiasts and small contractors who have no need for bulky machinery.

While scissor lifts are available from most outlets which rent cherry pickers, it is important to choose the model which is most suited to the job being done and not just go with the cheapest option. Ensure that the extendable base has been properly maintained or else there is a very high possibility of it becoming stuck. It is also important to never extend the scissor lifts past the recommended point. Even a few inches above the manufacturer’s specifications can cause damage to the moving parts of the machine.

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