By Wilbroda Wasonga/Submitted on November 23, 2020 

A scissor lift is a mechanical device designed to lift weights during indoor maintenance, outdoor construction work, in warehouses, or for emergency access by firefighters. A scissor lift is also known as an aerial work platform (AWP), elevating work platform (EWP), aerial device, bucket truck, or mobile elevating work platform (MEWP). It helps to lift workers, tools, and equipment to a height. The device provides a steady, safe, and rising enclosure and platform Forklift Academy Certification Cards. This article will discuss using a scissor lift in construction sites and warehouses. 

Motive Mechanisms 

A scissor lift is a type of platform that only moves vertically. It uses an “X” shaped criss-cross linked folding support known as a pantograph. The scissor pattern’s elongation and the work platform’s propelling may be powered by hydraulic pressure, diesel, electricity, or air pressure: Engine-driven or hand-operated hydraulic systems power hydraulic scissor lifts. The forum will move up and down by changing the hydraulic oil pressure in the machine. The upward motion is achieved by applying external pressure to the lowest set of supports. They are simple to operate, and when retracted, they occupy little space. 

Diesel scissor lifts are the most common. However, they are noisy, and they emit fumes. For these reasons, they are ideal for outdoor construction. They are larger and can reach a height of 30-50 feet. Electric scissor lifts are a silent and cleaner solution than their diesel counterparts. It is a better option for sites with a smaller space. Pneumatic types use air pressure, while rough terrain types are designed for uneven outdoor surfaces. 

Control and Operation of a Scissor lift 

A control panel is fitted at the platform, the base of the unit, or both locations. The functions of the lift are controlled by an operator at the control panel. Some models are fitted with an emergency switch, which allows manual descent in the event of power failure.  

The scissor lift uses a key to start the lift and turn it off—a large red button next to the key acts as an emergency shut-off button. There are two switches on the control panel. A horizontal switch flips to the left to turn the hydraulics on. The vertical switch sets the speed of the lift while the joystick raises and lowers the charge. To drive the scissor lift:

  1. Lower it down by selecting the horizontal control to the right to shut off the hydraulic power and shift the lift into drive mode.
  2. Push the joystick backward and forward to drive the lift.
  3. Use the toggle on the top of the joystick to move the lift right or left.  



Safety Precautions 

You may need a license or insurance to operate some lifts in some countries. Most protocols require training for operators. Work platforms have safety rails around them. Always wear a safety harness and connect it to the platform. Monitor the battery or fuel gauge next to the switch to determine how much fuel is left to avoid getting stuck. Always use the scissor lift on stable ground. Inspect the lift for wear and tear before use. 

A scissor lift is a device that every construction company must possess. Operators need to understand how to use a scissor lift for maximum benefit and safety. Proper use of the lift will offer lasting performance and a more productive day.