Renting Scissor Lifts: The Ultimate Guide

Asking yourself, “Should I rent a scissor lift?” If you or your crew need to reach elevated areas, a scissor lift can help.

What is the purpose of a scissor lift, and why should you rent one? Read on to discover what you should know about this handy piece of equipment.

What is the purpose of a scissor lift?

At the most basic level, a scissor lift is a piece of aerial equipment that elevates workers and materials to various working heights. The construction and facility maintenance industries rely on scissor lifts for many day-to-day applications. Since they’re self-propelled, they can be driven wherever they need to go on the jobsite.

Scissor lifts get their name from the way they mechanically lift people and objects using crisscrossing metal components that support a platform on top. As the lift ascends, the metal supports elongate. During descent, they fold back down. In the construction industry, workers use scissor lifts every day to assist with inspections, wiring and lifting heavy materials and tools to elevated areas of the jobsite.

How to operate a scissor lift safely

If you’re new to renting and operating a scissor lift, you need to follow proper protocol to make sure you use the machine safely. Always perform a pre-check inspection before using the lift, checking for obstacles, overhead hazards, battery life and controls. Some of the most important scissor lift safety practices include:

  • Park on level, firm surfaces: Only operate a scissor lift when you’re sure you’re on a level and stable surface. The platform needs to be steady for workers to do their jobs properly and safely, so never place the lift on a slope or over holes and bumps. Since workers on scissor lifts are often operating dangerous power tools, stability is essential for keeping them safe.
  • Avoid electrical hazards: When you’re working in their air, you could be exposed to electrical power sources like transformers and power lines. A good rule of thumb is to keep the scissor lift at least 10 feet away from power sources.
  • Drive safely: Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s safety requirements before operating a scissor lift. While some scissor lifts can operate while the platform is in a raised position, it’s best to keep the platform completely lowered while you’re moving the scissor lift.
  • Stabilize lift and set brakes: Once you’ve found a suitable spot for the lift, set the brakes before raising the platform to keep the lift stable as you’re working.
  • Operate only in good weather conditions: Many injuries involving scissor lifts occur when the weather is bad. If there’s snow, rain, sleet or high winds, wait for another day—don’t risk your safety.

Should you rent a scissor lift? If you need to get to high, hard-to-reach spots at your facility or worksite, you don’t want to pay the expense of buying a machine outright. Instead, talk to the professionals at East County Rentals, Inc. to learn more about how renting is a convenient, affordable option.