How to Choose the Best Scissor Lift for Your Needs

Choosing the right scissor lift is all that simple a task, especially if you’ve never purchased or hired one before. There are a number of issues that need to be considered, from height and load capacity to type of terrain. If you make the wrong choice, the equipment is unlikely to satisfy your needs and may in fact be dangerous.

In this article, we’ve taken a closer look at the 6 key factors you need to consider when choosing a lift for your workplace or project.

  1. Working Height
    It might seem obvious, but how much height do you need to reach the areas you need to work on? You’ll need to either measure or approximate the height, but keep in mind that there are actually two kinds of height – platform and working. Confusing the two can lead to problems down the line.Platform height refers to the vertical distance between the ground the lift is situated on and the base of the platform. You are given a height that the platform will raise to.Working height refers to the vertical distance between the ground the lift is situated on and the height of the person standing on the platform (using the estimation that they’re about 6 feet tall).
  2. Weight Capacity
    Keep in mind that scissor lifts have a limitation on their capacity – for the safety of all on the worksite, this must be followed at all times. It takes into account the weight of the worker/s, their tools and their equipment. Whilst an estimate can work, having precise numbers is always preferred.Weight capacity varies from around 200 to 1100kg depending on the equipment.Regardless of the machine’s weight capacity, keep in mind that there will also be a limitation on the number of workers that can inhabit the platform at any given time. This may mean that you need to modify your work to ensure that the personnel limit is not exceeded – do smaller projects rather than try tackling them all at once.
  3. Platform Size
    Most platforms are rectangular in design, but there are square ones available if you’re willing to look hard enough. If it’s not wide enough, the extension deck will be your best friend – it allows you to expand the platform from 2 to 7 additional feet.Keep in mind, however, that changing the dimensions of the lift will affect its stability, as you’re changing its centre of gravity. Having weight over capacity or an unbalanced load could lead to serious problems.The centre of gravity is particularly important, as it can affect the overall performance of the machine. A larger platform will have a larger centre of gravity, which can help to solve problems caused by imbalanced loads.
  4. Type of Project
    The nature of your project will also have an impact on the type of lift you should choose, as you need to ensure that it can be undertaken safely.When working high off the ground, keep in mind that a fall could damage or even destroy your property or the machine itself – not to mention serious injury or even death for your workers.Some factors to consider include whether the load is stable or not, what the load is, and where the centre of gravity is located. Fragile windows, for example, may shatter during transit if the wrong machine has been selected and they encounter too many knocks or bumps – choose carefully.
  5. Type of Terrain
    Have you thought about the ground or terrain you’ll be working on? Construction sites deal with a variety of grounds, so it’s important to ensure that your scissor boom lift hire Sydney has a high degree of stability and a firm foundation on the terrain you’re working on.Don’t just consider the terrain the machine will be on when elevating – also take into account the terrain it will need to travel on to get to your worksite.Is the site indoors or outdoors? Is the site level or sloped? Is the terrain dry or wet or even frozen? Are there any holes or other obstacles that you’ll need to navigate around? Will the terrain cause any other issues for the project? If the terrain is muddy, rocky or otherwise challenging, a rough-terrain model should be selected.
  6. Power Supply
    There are two primary power supplies to choose from – electric motoer (which utilises batteries) and diesel or dual-fuel engine. The preferred power supply of your lift will depend on the type of project and terrain you’re dealing with.As the batteries of electric machines need to be charged, you’ll need to ensure that you have access to power outlets on your worksite. Alternatively, you could bring spare batteries – but ensure that you know how to correctly replace them. Electric models also tend to only be used indoors.Diesel or dual-fuel machines are much more powerful, which is why this is the fuel source of choice for larger models that are designed for rough terrain or to carry more weight. They should only be used outdoors due to the fumes.

Although choosing a scissor lift may seem tricky at first, once you know what you’re looking for it becomes much easier. After you’ve narrowed down your options, you should have a good idea of what you need and what will best suit your project.

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