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Scissor Lift Sizes: How To Choose the Right Height

Scissor Lift Sizes: How To Choose the Right Height

Scissor lifts consist of a railed platform mounted on accordion-style legs. These expand or contract like scissors, using compressed air or hydraulic fluid, to raise or lower workers and materials on the platform. Their large platforms and the presence of support directly underneath means they can support a higher platform capacity than some other types of aerial lifts, such as boom lifts.

These extremely mobile aerial work platforms allow operators at a jobsite to maneuver around tight spaces and across outdoor worksites, but you need to consider height and lift weight before you rent a scissor lift. To be sure you rent the type of scissor lift you need, use this article to understand the different types of lifts you can rent and what projects they do best.

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Scissor Lift Ranges

scissor lift range

You can rent several scissor lifts in several different sizes with different platform heights.

19-Foot Scissor Lift

Because of its compact size, this scissor lift maneuvers easily and works best for tight areas and other indoor workspaces. Powered by electricity, this lift doesn’t give off harmful fumes in indoor environments. It can be used for indoor construction and maintenance tasks.

26-Foot Scissor Lift

The 26-foot lift can tackle jobs like hanging signs or trimming trees. It has a wider work platform than a 19-foot lift, so it can accommodate more workers and/or materials, making it a good choice for a variety of construction and industrial projects. Its four-wheel-drive design makes it well-suited for navigating rough terrain, including slopes and inclines for off-road and landscaping work. Check lift gradeability on the spec sheet to help determine what machine you need.

The 26-foot lift is also available in a narrow-width electric model suited for indoor or outdoor use.

32-Foot Scissor Lift

Like the 26-foot lift, the 32-foot scissor lift comes in four-wheel drive and narrow electric models. Use this lift for industrial, construction, and maintenance tasks. The 32-foot lift features interlocking bar-style struts for added stability over an extended period of time, giving workers direct and safe vertical access to high work areas.

40-Foot Scissor Lift

The 40-foot scissor lift comes in three versions: a four-wheel-drive model, as well as narrow and wide electric models. Its design allows multiple workers to reach a high elevation, making it well-suited for working on outdoor industrial, construction, and maintenance applications.

The narrow electric model works well for high interior work such as wall and ceiling maintenance. The wide electric model can accommodate more workers, making it useful either indoors or outdoors for projects like mural work, bricklaying, ceiling work, and light fixture maintenance.

50-Foot Scissor Lift

The 50-foot scissor lift makes an ideal choice for extensive jobs requiring maximum lift height. Best for outdoor work environments, its larger platform can accommodate multiple workers and lift heavy loads, and its four-wheel drive navigates well over rough and uneven terrain.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Scissor Lift

factors when choosing a scissor lift

You need to consider the nature of your jobs and worksites when choosing a scissor lift. Doing so helps you determine exactly what you need in a lift, such as how high you need to go, whether you need an electric or dual-fuel model, and whether you want a four-wheel-drive lift. As you think about your project’s needs, consider these factors before renting a scissor lift.

Working Height

The most obvious consideration to make, make sure you account for the minimum and maximum work height requirements for your job. With a variety of heights from which to choose, you should be able to find a scissor lift that offers you the right amount of vertical reach. If you find more than one option that works for your height requirements, then consider other factors to further narrow your choices.

Platform Width

Another important aspect to consider is the platform size. Although platforms come in standard sizes, you do have the option to extend the platform. However, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. When you extend the platform size, you change the center of gravity, affecting the overall performance of the lift. Be sure to alter your lift calculations to account for the change as an unbalanced load can cause problems.

Type of Environment

Consider the work environment for your job. Where you need to work affects whether you need an emission-free electric lift for indoor jobs, a four-wheel-drive model to navigate rough terrain, or a narrow lift to access hard-to-reach spaces on crowded worksites.

Type of Work Task

Knowing the specific tasks required for your project as well as the material in your load helps determine what lift you choose. If you need to navigate through small areas, you may need a narrower or smaller lift. If you need to fix something from above, you may require a lift that goes higher. Consider the stability of your load, the material included, and the load’s center of gravity. All of these considerations impact your lift choice.

Load Capacity

You can’t just consider how heavy of a load you need to lift, but also you need to account for the workers you might need on the platform. If you need multiple workers to perform your task or if you need to lift heavier materials, you need a lift with an elevating work platform that offers significant space and maximum stability.


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Types of Scissor Lifts

Not only can you rent different types of scissor lifts for different jobs, but also some lifts come powered differently than others, which affects how they work as well as where they work.

Rough Terrain Scissor Lifts

Four-wheel-drive scissor lifts are better for harsher terrains and carrying heavy weights. Used in outdoor environments, these diesel or dual-fuel engines can operate safely and provide extra horsepower for maneuvering over rugged landscapes and uneven worksites.

Electric Scissor Lifts

Electric-powered scissor lifts are well-suited for indoor use because they don’t emit fumes and operate quietly, reducing noise that can echo and be amplified in confined spaces. Additionally, electric lifts have a smaller footprint and work better in tighter spaces.

How Much Does a Scissor Lift Cost To Rent?

Scissor lifts can cost anywhere from $100 to $382 a day to rent, depending on the size and model.

For instance, you can rent a 19-foot narrow electric lift for $97 a day, $230 a week, or $430 a month. At the upper end of the price range you can rent a 50-foot, four-wheel-drive rough-terrain lift, which costs $382 a day, $993 a week, or $2,265 a month.

Four-wheel-drive models tend to cost more than electric models. For example, you can get a 32-foot electric lift for $140 a day, $360 a week, or $776 a month. But a four-wheel-drive model at the same height costs $210 a day, $553 a week, or $1,092 a month.

Scissor Lift Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces safety standards for the design and use of scissor lifts, including:

  • Required training for all scissor lift operators.
  • Design standards that require that all scissor lifts come with guardrails to prevent falls
  • The requirement that scissor lifts be used only on flat surfaces to minimize falls—only all-terrain lifts with special gradeability are allowed to be used on uneven surfaces.

Scissor Lift Rentals

You can find scissor lift rentals in a variety of sizes and prices from BigRentz. Whether you’re working indoors or outdoors, have specific working height requirements, or need a heavy-duty, all-terrain lift, you’re sure to find one that suits your project’s needs.

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