Scissor lifts are used to hold and support workers on industrial and construction jobsites. They move personnel and equipment in a vertical direction, up and down.
Although they’re used to perform similar functions, scissor lifts are not classified by OSHA as aerial lifts, which have different requirements for platform height, platform capacity, and safe use. Instead, scissor lifts are considered to be mobile scaffolds.
Scissor lift weights vary based on the type of scissor lift. For example, electric scissor lifts tend to weigh less, on average, than more heavy-duty models such as rough terrain scissor lifts.
Scissor lift weights range from 1,600 lbs to 17,000 lbs depending on the model and scissor lift type. Smaller scissor lifts, such as the 15’ Genie Runabout, weigh significantly less than the popular 19’ scissor lift model, at approximately 1,600 lbs. Consider the size of your scissor lift and how that influences the machine weight when making your choice. The specs below are based on models offered in BigRentz’s equipment rental catalog.
|Scissor Lift Size (feet)
|Scissor Lift Weight Range (lbs)
|19’ Scissor Lift
|2,700 lbs–7,000 lbs
|26’ Scissor Lift
|7,300 lbs–13,600 lbs
|32’ Scissor Lift
|5,900 lbs–16,600 lbs
|40’ Scissor Lift
|7,300 lbs–17,000 lbs
|50’ Scissor Lift
|11,800 lbs–17,000 lbs
Why Does Scissor Lift Weight Matter?
How much a scissor lift weighs matters because of its impact on potential productivity. Machine weight determines, in part, platform capacity, lift capacity, and working height. More specifically, it affects aspects like:
- Equipment transportation: The less a scissor lift weighs, the easier it is to move. A single truck could fit up to 22 lightweight Hy-Brid lifts, for example, about 8 more than if it were carrying traditional lifts.
- Load capacity and weight limits: Larger, heavier scissor lifts, like rough-terrain scissor lifts, tend to have higher platform capacities and weight limits.
- Workers on project floor: A lightweight scissor lift means that more people can be on the floor before hitting its maximum load capacity.
How to Find the Weight of Your Scissor Lift
To find out how much your scissor lift weighs, you can always check the equipment spec sheet. BigRentz provides specific information regarding lift weight and other equipment specs.
In general, you should always read the operation manual before using any type of heavy equipment, especially to familiarize yourself with the safety guidelines.
Popular Scissor Lift Models and Manufacturers
While scissor lifts mostly perform the same function, they come in a range of types, models, and sizes. Here are some of the most popular scissor lift manufacturers.
- JLG manufactures both electric and engine-powered scissor lifts. Their electric models offer zero emissions, quieter operation, and a range of working heights and platform capacities. Its engine-powered models are heavier and have greater machine widths, offering higher load capacities and larger work areas.
- Genie mostly manufactures electric slab scissor lifts, useful for navigating tight spaces with great maneuverability and little noise.
- Skyjack offers a range of lifts, from scissor lifts to forklifts and boom lifts to telehandlers. Their product line has the versatility to serve a variety of jobsites, weight capacities, and tasks.
Lightweight Scissor Lifts
Lightweight scissor lifts, like the Hy-Brid PS-1930, have lower floor load pressures, as well as lower weight capacities. They are usually powered by electricity, meaning they have zero emissions and are safe to work with indoors. They also tend to be quieter, more portable, and easier to navigate, making them useful in tight spaces.
Lightweight models are very useful for jobsites on stable, even terrain, and tasks that don’t require too high of a height that can be completed in a shorter time period.
Mid-Range Scissor Lifts
While mid-range scissor lifts, like the Genie GS-2032, weigh more than the lighter-weight models, they have the added versatility of being able to work well in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Additionally, they have increased platform capacities and working heights.
Heavy-Duty Scissor Lifts
Heavy-duty models are generally rough-terrain scissor lifts, like the Skyjack SJ6826/32. They’re designed with four-wheel drive and high gradeability for working on rough or uneven surfaces.
Rough terrain scissor lifts use gas as their power source, giving them a much longer runtime than electric models. Though a heavy duty scissor lift weighs much more than a mid-range or light one, the additional machine weight, along with increased machine width, means more lift capacity—the scissor lift platform can hold far more equipment and personnel.
Scissor Lift Uses
Scissor lifts are used on jobsites to support work on tasks at altitude, or in a vertical direction. They enable construction workers to complete these tasks more efficiently and securely than they could using other, less stable equipment, like a ladder.
The primary uses of scissor lifts in construction are:
- Carrying and lifting workers: Depending on platform capacity, scissor lifts can hold and safely transport personnel to the heights they need to reach and support them while they’re working.
- Lifting and transporting materials: Similarly, scissor lifts can be used to transport materials to workers stationed at different heights and can help move heavy materials or equipment that would otherwise be difficult to carry to that height.
- Accomplishing tasks at high elevations: In transporting necessary personnel as well as equipment and materials, scissor lifts make it much safer, as well as more possible, to complete construction tasks at high altitudes that might otherwise be inaccessible.
The range of scissor lifts available gives them great versatility in industry applications, even outside of construction. You can find the right lift for any task both indoors and outdoors and on a variety of terrain.
In addition to construction, scissor lifts can be used in:
- Landscaping: Aerial lifts help landscapers reach foliage at different heights, like tall trees for pruning, install lighting, and safely transport heavy equipment to various heights.
- Business: A variety of businesses utilize scissor lifts to change lights, hang signs and banners, retrieve and store equipment or supplies, perform repairs, access utilities, and other important tasks.
- Warehouses: Scissor lifts can help warehouse workers reach high shelves to pick and sort inventory as well as transport heavy goods to different heights.
How to Choose a Scissor Lift
Many factors matter when choosing the right scissor lift for your jobsite. Some of the most important ones to consider are:
- Project budget: The cost of renting a scissor lift can range greatly depending on the machine you choose, from about $102 to $379 per day. The rate also changes if you’re looking for a daily, weekly, or monthly rental. Generally, the greater the height and capacity of the machine, the more expensive it will be.
- Scope of work and site conditions: Are you working on rough terrain, or even, flat ground? Indoors or outdoors? Lightweight, electric lifts work better on stable ground, indoors, and in tight spaces for shorter durations, but, for uneven terrain, outdoor use, and longer runtimes, you’ll likely need a diesel-powered machine.
- Platform size and weight requirements: The scissor lift you choose should be designed to bear the weights required of your job. If you have to transport a lot of personnel or heavy equipment, you’ll likely need a heavy-duty machine; a one- or two-person job with lightweight equipment doesn’t need as much capacity or platform width.
- Lift height and stability: Similarly, you have to account for the minimum and maximum working heights you need, so that you get a machine with adequate vertical reach to accomplish your task.
With all the options out there, renting a scissor lift can be overwhelming, but BigRentz has you covered. Using the criteria outlined in this article should help you pare down your search and find the best scissor lift to get the job done. For more rental needs, check out our FAQs and scissor lift rental guide.