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Applications of Scissor Lifts

Oct. 14, 2022

Scissor lift operators and site managers in large and small companies take on jobs that can be handled more efficiently and safely with mechanical lifts that are properly matched to the task at hand. Operators and site managers use them to increase productivity, improve safety and save money, but they can only be successful if they are equipped with the right equipment for the right project.


Most scissor lifts have multiple uses, but it can be detrimental if the lift does not have the right size, capacity, height, or other specifications required for the job.


As aerial lifts (such as scissor or cantilever lifts) are often the best way to reach elevated work areas, it is beneficial for operators and site managers to have a general knowledge of each type of lift. Owning or renting a new or used scissor lift is an important step for any contractor. MacAllister Rentals can help throughout the process from initial consultation to product selection and maintenance.

Electric Scissor Lift

Electric Scissor Lift     

Scissor Lifts

A scissor lift is a machine that is used to move people and equipment in a vertical direction. These lifts can handle any application that would normally require ladders, towers, or scaffolding. Scissor lifts allow the operator to do the same job faster and safer without the need to set up other equipment (such as scaffolding or towers) and without the dangerous instability of a ladder.


Although working at any height does not completely eliminate the possibility of falls, scissor lifts offer harnesses or cables and a sturdy platform surrounded by railings. The scissor lift's working platform provides a solid base and unparalleled safety for all types of work at low and medium altitudes.


Sometimes you will hear the technical classification of scissor lifts mentioned by one of the following names.


Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWP)

Aerial Work Platforms (AWP)

Elevated Work Platforms (EWP)

Scissor Lifts for Rough Terrain

Scissor Lifts For Rough Terrain

Needs and site assessment

Matching the height, dimensions and other specifications of a scissor lift to the job and the environment is not only a matter of logistics, but also of efficiency and, above all, of safety. The first step in accomplishing this with a scissor lift is to assess the site and the objectives, which will involve asking the following questions.


Environment - will the lift be operated indoors or outdoors?

Emissions - What is the tolerance for emissions in the working area?

Terrain - what is the terrain it will be operating in?

Working height - What is the minimum and maximum working height it needs to reach?

Temperature - Will its environment be temperature controlled/is weather a factor?

Frequency of use - how often will it operate, e.g. continuously or occasionally?

Load weight - how heavy a load will it need to lift?

Clearance - What is the clearance of the aisle or other work area where the scissor lift will be operating?

Distance traveled - how far or how much does the unit need to travel in a day?

Basic function - Is the main objective to reach, carry a load, or both?


It is a good idea to seek professional help in determining which machine will best meet your needs. If you want to get more information about the different types of lifts, welcome to contact us today or request a quote.