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Scissor Lift Sizes: What Are They, and Why Are They Important?

Scissor lift sizes vary. Larger scissor lifts are typically used outdoors at construction and other rough terrain job sites. These models run on diesel or dual-fuel (gasoline and propane) engines. Comparatively, small scissor lifts run on electricity and are better suited for indoor job sites.

Early on, scissor lifts were used mainly in industrial settings. These days, they are commonly used in a wide variety of job sites, such as retail outlets and parking garages.

Does your company need scissor training? OSHA requires training for all scissor lift operators. (ALC), the leader in online OSHA-approved certification, offers three different training courses to keep you compliant.

Even if you’re not up to speed on scissor lift height requirements or how high can a scissor lift go, ALC is here to help your company become as safe as possible.

Let’s take an in-depth look at scissor lift heights, scissor lift height limits, and more!

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Working with Scissor Lifts and Different Scissor Lift Sizes

Scissor lifts are often used in place of ladders and scaffolding. In fact, for safety purposes, OSHA considers them to be a form of scaffolding. As a result, scissor lift workers don’t have to wear fall protection gear. Scissor lifts offer many advantages over ladders and scaffolding. They are easy to operate and move from one job site to another. They have the flexibility to handle many different types of job tasks. When finished with a job, they don’t take up much storage space.

Other types of aerial lifts can move vertically and horizontally while in the air. In contrast, scissor lifts can only move in one direction — straight up and down. This means they have to be positioned directly under the work area for the job to be done. However, their stability and large platform make them ideally suited for use as a work platform.

Scissor lifts use crisscrossed folding supports to raise the work platform. The pressure is applied to the outside of the lowest set of supports. This elongates the crossing pattern and lifts the platform vertically. Most scissor lifts use hydraulic power to raise the platform. Others can use pneumatic or mechanical power. Lowering the platform can require power. Or, it can be as simple as releasing the hydraulic or pneumatic pressure. This allows for a safe return of the platform to the ground without needing power.

Scissor Lift Height: How High Can a Scissor Lift Go?

One of the most common questions our training experts receive is: how high can a scissor lift go? Scissor lifts can extend as high up as 60 ft., or about one-third the height of the tallest aerial lift.  Most working heights range from 20-40 ft. Scissor lifts have less reach power than boom lifts but can hold more weight. Many scissor lifts have an unrestricted weight limit of 1,000 lbs. With others, restricted weight limits can go even higher. This makes them ideal for jobs that involve the movement of heavyweight. For example, carrying heavy building materials on a construction site or heavy equipment to perform repair or maintenance work.

Regardless of your scissor lift height limit, training is required by OSHA to ensure a safe work environment. Just as scissor lifts heights are restricted to 60 ft., untrained workers are restricted from operating scissor lifts!

Scissor Lift Height Ranges

There are many different models of scissor lifts. Each is designed to reach a certain height and work on certain types of jobs.

19-ft. Scissor Lift

These models are best for narrow and ideal for fitting into tight spaces, and they offer limited flexibility. They work well for accessing ceilings and ductwork inside buildings. The typical ceiling height is about 10 ft. But with a maximum reach height of 25 ft, these models can handle a wide variety of ceiling heights. If you could get a scissor lift up there, you could access the top of George Washington’s nose on Mount Rushmore!

26-ft. Scissor Lift

This model is built with a wide platform, and it is best for jobs that require equipment. It has a working height of about 32 ft., allowing it to reach the third story of a building. Common job applications include washing or repairing windows and other maintenance work.

32-ft. Scissor Lift

Designed for taller jobs, this model can work at heights up to 38 ft. It is best for workers who need to access telephone and power cables that must be repaired or replaced.

45-ft. Scissor Lift

This model is similar to the 32-ft. scissor lift, but it can go higher than a 32-ft. scissor lift. A 45-ft. scissor lift is best for workers who need to access tall buildings. It may be beneficial for workers who need to access elevated signs as well — the lift may even help workers access the top of the famous Hollywood sign.

50-ft. Scissor Lift

This lift is best for workers who require maximum height. It can access the fifth story on a building or a tall tree — about as high as a scissor lift can go (some scissor lift heights can reach up to 60 ft.).

Consider the job that needs to be completed to determine the scissor lift height range you require. Next, you can browse different types of scissor lifts and the prices associated with them and choose the proper lift for your worksite.

Average Scissor Lift Prices

The average price of a scissor lift may vary based on the machine’s height. Now, let’s look at the average prices for some of the most-popular scissor lifts:

– 19-ft. Scissor Lift: $10,000 to $15,000

– 26-ft. Scissor Lift: $15,000 to $25,000

– 32-ft. Scissor Lift: $25,000 to $40,000

– 45-ft. Scissor Lift: $40,000 to $55,000

– 50-ft. Scissor Lift: $55,000 to $70,000

Cost is an important factor as you assess different types of scissor lifts, but it should not be the lone consideration in your quest to find the right lift for your worksite. Instead, you must consider the task at hand, as well as the safety of your aerial lift operators. You can then select a scissor lift that helps you maximize the return on your investment. Additionally, you can provide your workers with the training they need to understand how to safely operate your scissor lift of choice.

Small Scissor Lifts: The “Short Side” of Scissor Lift Height Limits

Sometimes you need a small scissor lift for a small job. In those situations, companies often turn to “mini” scissor lifts. These models can vary in size, with some as small as 4 ft. wide. The maximum height reach for mini scissor lifts is about 19 ft. These small lifts have a smaller work platform that makes them ideal for one-man jobs. Despite their scissor lift height limitations, mini lifts still offer big-time performance attributes!

Small scissor lifts are safer than ladders. They are easier to set up and take down than scaffolding, partly due to their scissor lift height restrictions. And most run on electric power, so they don’t emit hazardous fumes like gas-powered models. Mini scissor lifts are often used to navigate tight aisles inside warehouses to access hard to reach areas. They also come in handy for routine maintenance and other light-duty tasks at lower heights.

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Get Fast, Affordable Online Training with ALC

No matter what size scissor lift you may need, operators are required to have training and certification to prevent accidents. Even on a small scissor lift, hazards like unstable work surfaces and bad weather can cause major accidents. Be prepared to operate any size scissor lift in a safe and compliant manner with OSHA-approved scissor lift training today from ALC.

Thanks for visiting our website. When you’re ready to elevate your safety program, contact us or sign up. We look forward to helping with your OSHA compliance needs today!

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