Scissor Lift Basics

Working at height is often unavoidable in a busy warehouse or factory. With space at a premium, the ability to access elevated areas of the building such as walkways and gantries quickly and safely can help to keep the business working efficiently and all factory operations running smoothly.

Aerial work platforms facilitate this necessary task while also ensuring the safety of personnel tasked with a job space high above ground. Also known as scissor lifts, these essential pieces of equipment provide a mobile working platform, allowing operators to work safely at height.

A scissor lift is instantly recognisable by its crisscrossed ‘X’ shaped folding supports (called a pantograph), which vertically move a work platform to a pre-determined height. As the crisscross pattern elongates with the application of pressure at the base level, the platform is raised, allowing the worker to reach the desired height with the minimum of fuss.

A scissor lift will normally only move vertically so they are common sites around the outsides of buildings, within factories with gantries suspended above the workspace and around construction and engineering works. In order to allow closer access to the work area, a bridge is sometimes factored into the scissor lift design, bringing the technician closer to the job at hand after the vertical motion has been completed.

For any busy industrial hub, a scissor lift is considered an essential piece of equipment. Available in a variety of sizes, they can extend anywhere up to 18.8 meters above the ground, although smaller businesses will likely find lower-range models such as 1.7 - 3.0 metre aerial lift platforms to be ample . Since the original 1970s designs, modern scissor lifts have developed significantly and are portable and compact when not in use.

There are many options to consider when deciding whether or not to purchase this type of aerial work platform and then, picking the right scissor lift model to suit. Available in a range of permutations, scissor lifts can be hydraulic, mechanical or pneumatic. They can be electric or diesel and have a range of lift heights.

While a diesel powered lift is best used outside, an electric scissor lift is an ideal indoor solution and a popular choice for the small to medium sized warehouse or factory space– electric mobile aerial work platforms are quiet and emission free so suitable for use in spaces such as hospitals and shopping centres where members of the public may be present, as well as in warehouses, offices and factories where clients may be passing through, telephone calls being made or other tasks being carried out.

A battery powered option such as those available from Midland Pallet Trucks – who also supply a range of other material handling equipment including pallet trucks- can be plugged in and recharged for the ultimate in convenience.

Deciding to purchase a scissor lift is just the first step. Once a lift height has been selected and the equipment delivered to the workplace, training and maintenance must be considered.

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