How to Choose the Right Type of Scissor Lift for a Job

A scissor lift can be a great choice for working at any elevated height, as it is safer as a working platform than a ladder and doesn't require the climbing needed with a scaffolding. A scissor lift also allows you to easily adjust the height of the working platform, making it more convenient to handle painting and repairs that would otherwise require stretching and bending to access all the surfaces that need work. When you're ready to hire or rent scissor lifts for your job, note a few tips to keep in mind so you can ensure you choose the best one for the work surface and your overall needs.

1. Low level scissor lifts 

Low level scissor lifts are very light and feature tires that are meant for indoor use, so they put less stress on flooring and are less likely to scratch the floors or leave marks behind. They may only reach the height equivalent of an elevated ceiling, but may also fold down or collapse to the height of a tabletop; they can then be used as workspace for preparing paints and other equipment you will need with you on the lift, or for when you simply need a table for working.

2. Pallet lifts

A pallet lift is a heavy-duty lift that is typically used inside a warehouse to lift pallets to elevated heights, for storage on shelves or to easily deliver them to a second story where no elevator is available. They're also used for lifting heavy pallets onto a truck trailer bed, which is why they're sometimes called a dock lift. A pallet lift usually has open sides for easy loading, which means they're not as safe for workers as a normal scissor lift with guardrails all around. If you do choose a pallet lift for use in your warehouse, note this difference and ensure they are not used for any other purpose but lifting pallets.

3. Skirted lifts

A skirted lift has a type of skirt or bellows that will cover the actual scissors under the lift. These bellows or skirt will fold and unfold as the lift is operated. This can be an added safety feature if you'll be working in an area with a lot of foot traffic, as workers will be less likely to come into contact with the scissors themselves. These also protect the scissors from excess dirt and debris, such as in a production facility, and from damage from heat that is produced by welding and the like. Choose a skirted lift in any of these situations for added safety.