What Is a Scissor Lift?

by Michael Flanagan - Product Manager On Jan 9, 2020, 03:00 AM

Aerial Equipment 101 What Is a Scissor Lift

Scissor lifts are a classification of manlift often found in construction and facility maintenance applications designed to elevate workers and their tools to working heights ranging from 5.9 m (19 ft) to 17.9 (59 ft).

Scissor lifts, which are typically self-propelled machines, get their name from their lifting mechanism design — a stack of crossed tubes that work in a scissor-like fashion when the platform is raised and lowered. Today, one of the most common pieces of equipment found in rental fleets, and on jobsites, is the 19-ft platform height electric scissor lift, such as the Genie® GS™-1932 model.

Scissor lifts are further classified as either slab scissors or rough terrain scissors, based on the application for which they are designed. Slab scissors are compact machines with solid non-marking tires, intended to be operated on concrete slab type surfaces. Genie slab scissors can access jobsites through single or double doors, depending on the model, enabling them to access restricted access applications and jobsites.Aerial Equipment 101 What Is a Scissor Lift

Rough terrain scissors are typically engine powered machines ranging from 1.75 to 2.36 m (69 to 90 in) wide, equipped air or foam filled rough terrain lug type tires. These scissors get their name from the surfaces they are designed to travel across, as Genie RT scissors are engineered to navigate rough or unimproved terrain with up to 45% gradeability.

Offering more than 20 different models, Genie® slab and rough terrain scissor lifts offer the lift capacity and platform space for workers, materials and tools, to boost jobsite productivity. Platform capacities range from 227 to 1,134 kg (500 to 2,500 lb) with platform heights of up to 15.95 m (52 ft 3 in).

Why choose one?

  • You need more platform space and lift capacity

    All Genie scissor lifts have a platform extension that slides out one end of the deck for additional space and outreach.

  • You need power to drive around the worksite and climb ramps

    In the stowed position, Genie scissor lifts can climb grades ranging from 25 to 50%.

  • You’re performing repetitive jobs

    The operator can easily drive between tasks.

  • You have special worksite conditions

An electric model is good indoors, where low noise and low emissions are important. Rough-terrain models are best when the lift needs to travel over uneven, unimproved ground to the work area. The outrigger option allows a machine to be levelled on a slope.

Scissor lifts offer plenty of workspace and mobility for different applications. It is important to understand scissor lifts and their uses in order to make the best recommendation to meet customers’ jobsite needs.

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