If you work in any type of industrial, construction or warehousing environment, chances are you’ve seen or used a scissor lift. A scissor lift is a type of mobile access platform designed for tasks that require working at height. This may include applications such as ceiling construction, tree surgery and accessing high warehouse shelving.
Scissor lifts use linked, folding supports in a criss-cross pattern to move personnel and equipment up and down. They offer a safer, more convenient alternative to ladders and scaffolding for accessing difficult-to-reach places.
Many types of scissor lift are designed for indoor use, while some can handle outdoor terrain with ease. A range of models are available with varying specifications, allowing operators to select the ideal scissor lift for their needs.
1) How does a scissor lift work?
Scissor lifts work by using interlocking sets of metal supports, or struts, which form a criss-cross ‘X’ pattern. A work platform, surrounded by a safety rail, sits atop the lifting mechanism. The platform can be raised and lowered as needed, making it easy to complete jobs at varying heights. As it moves up and down, the struts open and close in a scissor-like motion, hence the name.
Below the scissor lift platform there is a wheeled base powered by a motor or engine. A simple control panel on the work platform allows the operator to drive the scissor lift around the worksite.
2) What is the difference between a cherry picker and a scissor lift?
A cherry picker, or boom lift, is another type of mobile elevated work platform (MEWP). Cherry pickers and scissor lifts are both designed for working at height and feature adjustable lifting mechanisms. However, there is one key difference. While a scissor lift can only move vertically, cherry pickers feature an arm or boom that can extend outwards as well as upwards.
This means that, unlike scissor lifts, cherry pickers offer outreach – the work platform can be manoeuvred ‘up and over’ obstacles. This makes them ideal for jobs where the machinery cannot be parked directly underneath the work area. Articulated cherry pickers offer better horizontal flexibility, whereas telescopic models have greater height reach.
3) What are the different types of scissor lifts?
There are many different models of scissors lift available, suitable for various purposes and environments. They can broadly be divided into three main categories according to their power source:
- Gas-powered scissor lifts are powerful, versatile and require little maintenance
- Electric scissor lifts are quiet, emission-free and use substantially less energy
- Diesel scissor lifts produce fumes, and are therefore best for outdoor worksites. They offer longer operation periods and sturdy construction for navigating rough terrain
Most scissor lifts use hydraulic cylinders to power the lifting mechanism. However, some newer models are fully electric, offering a cleaner and cheaper alternative to the traditional hydraulic scissor lift.
Scissor lifts can also vary in size and construction. Larger scissor lifts feature bigger work platforms, higher vertical reach and heavier load capacities. For confined spaces, a small scissor lift may offer better manoeuvrability.
4) Can you use a scissor lift without a licence in the UK?
There is no specific law in the UK stating that you must have a licence to use a scissor lift. Anyone over the age of 18 can legally hire one.
However, according to the Work at Height Regulations 2005, employers and contractors must ensure that MEWP operators receive adequate training. This applies to employees and self-employed workers alike.
Scissor lift operators should complete a training course endorsed by a recognised organisation such as the IPAF. They should receive a certificate, licence or card detailing which equipment they are trained to use.
5) Are scissor lifts safe?
Scissor lifts are safe when used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Modern scissor lifts are built with safety features to help prevent accidents. For example, all scissor lifts in the UK must have guardrails installed.
However, incorrect use may present hazards, such as the scissor lift tipping over. So, it’s important that all workers follow the correct safety procedures. For example:
- Only use a scissor lift on a flat, firm, level surface
- Never move the equipment while the platform is raised
- Do not operate scissor lifts outdoors in strong wind
- Do not lean over the safety rail
- Never exceed the weight limit stated by the manufacturer
- While it is not a legal requirement, scissor lift operators can wear a harness while working to prevent falls
It is also important to carry out regular maintenance to keep your scissor lift in good working order. When you hire a scissor lift from TAG Forklift Truck Services, all maintenance and servicing is included.
6) How much does a scissor lift cost to buy?
The cost to buy a scissor lift can vary enormously depending on the make and model. Larger machines offering a greater load capacity and working height will be more expensive. A small electric scissor lift for sale may cost as little as £2,000. However, a large diesel-operated machine may set you back £40,000 or more.
The price will also depend on whether the equipment is brand new or pre-owned. At TAG, we offer a range of new and used access equipment for sale, professionally refurbished to a high standard.
7) How much does it cost to hire a scissor lift?
You can often save money by renting a scissor lift rather than buying one. If you need a scissor lift for hire, many companies offer flexible short-term and long-term rental contracts.
Weekly scissor lift hire rates typically start from around £110. However, the cost may vary depending on several factors, from the make and model to the time of year.
It’s worth searching online for ‘scissor lift hire near me’ and exploring your options. Always choose a highly rated, reputable provider such as TAG.
Choose TAG Forklift Truck Services for Scissor Lift Hire (UK)
If you’re looking to hire scissor lift equipment in the North West, look no further than TAG Forklift Truck Services. We offer a wide range of access platforms and other warehouse equipment for hire and sale, including scissor lifts, cherry pickers and forklifts.
We work with many well-known and trusted brands including JLG, Hyundai, Aisle Master and Linde. We offer a range of flexible scissor lift rental options to suit your needs, including casual, short-term and long-term hire.
Contact TAG Forklift Truck Services to explore your options today. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service and flexibility. Fill in our online enquiry form or call us on 0161 848 0555.