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How Does a Scissor Lift Work?

4/24/2015 5:25:52 PM | by Scarlette Artuz


Scissor lifts are type of equipment designed for lifting objects or individuals according to one’s preferences. Unlike other platforms, these lifts move only vertically to transport materials, people or equipment. Scissor lifts are widely used in construction and manufacturing industry where it is a need for workers to do job in hard to reach heights and spaces.

The body of the scissor lift that is holding the platform used to carry materials or people has foldable support that looks like a criss-crossed pattern linked together. The body is known as the pantograph which is the lifting mechanism. Pantograph functions like a spring wherein the elevation or upward motion takes place due to the application of pressure. Its length and size is defined by the expansion and contraction of the body of the scissor lift.

Pantograph can be moved through three various mechanisms. Generally, the most frequently used type of scissor lifts is gasoline or electrically powered. Electricity or gasoline from a direct outlet or battery is employed to power the entire scissor lift. Electrically powered scissor lifts are preferably used in places where flammable materials and objects are prohibited. Areas that have too many fumes such as combustion areas and manufacturing sites ought to avoid gasoline or diesel powered lift. Both gasoline and electrical scissor lifts are commonly used outdoors and are less likely to be used in stocking various materials and goods. This type of lifting equipment is capable of reaching 10 to 18 meters above the ground. Another variation is the hydraulic lift. The hydraulic lift is powered by fluid that is deposited in the equipment’s tubing. This works when pressurized hydraulic fluid is pumped in a continuous downward and upward motion inside the tubing. On the other hand, fluctuations on the temperature may cause malfunctions on the lift. Temperature fluctuations may possibly cause viscosity of the hydraulic fluid that will result to issues in the lift’s mechanism. The other type of lifting equipment utilizes air pressure to move the platform up and down and is called pneumatic lift. It is environmental friendly and very efficient to use. Pneumatic lift utilizes compressed air. It does not easily act in response to extreme temperatures. This kind of lift does not require extensive maintenance. It will carry out its functions as long as there is air.

A scissor lift is utilized extensively on emergencies such as fire fighting. It is able to help the workers to reduce efforts as there is no need to carry and lift heavy loads manually instead of taking everything up one piece at a time. This lifting equipment is also used for doing maintenance work on high-rise buildings and structures. Moreover, it helps the workers reach a height where it is comfortable to perform task correctly. Warehouses and supermarkets may use scissor lift to store items up on a tall shelf.

Another advantage of using a scissor lift is that there is enough space for more than one person to be on the lift at the same time which results to higher productivity and efficiency. One reason that the scissor lift is ideal for doing elevated works is because people will have a platform with a barricade for safety so the tendency of stepping off the platform is reduced.

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