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Scissor Lift Heights and What They’re Used For

ALC - scissor lifts heights and their uses
A scissor lift is an extendable vertical lift that’s made with a same size base and platform. They are used both indoors and outdoors and are most popular for being able to lift both workers and equipment. Smaller, electric scissor lifts are most often used indoors in parking garages, retail centers, and other urban areas, and larger rough terrain scissor lifts are used outdoors in a variety of work settings, like construction sites.

Learn more about the basics of how scissor lifts work and what they can do at different heights.

The Fundamentals of Working with Scissor Lifts

Due to their stability and large platform, scissor lifts are often used as a work platform. They can only move vertically in one direction and need to be positioned directly underneath the work area, for tasks to be done. Scissor lifts can extend from 10-60 feet, but most working heights range from 20-40 feet. They have less reach power than boom lifts but can hold more weight than most types of aerial lifts. Many scissor lifts have an unrestricted weight capacity of 1,000 pounds, and even higher restricted weight capacities. This makes them ideal for a number of work situations, like carrying heavy building materials on a construction site or handling heavy materials to perform repair or maintenance work.

The Range of Scissor Lift Heights

Here’s a general list of the various heights different models of scissor lifts can reach, and examples of what they could be used for.

– 19-foot scissor lift: These models are often narrow and ideal for fitting into tight spaces. They are adequate for accessing ceilings and ductwork inside of buildings, considering the typical floor-to-ceiling height of a story is approximately ten feet. With a maximum reach height of 25 feet, you could access the top of George Washington’s nose on Mount Rushmore, if you could get a scissor lift up there!
– 26-foot scissor lift: Built with a wide platform and with a working height of about 32 feet, you could access a third story building and have the tools you need to wash or repair windows, or perform other maintenance work.
– 32-foot scissor lift: With a working height of up to 38 feet, you’d be able to access the top of a telephone pole with a 32-foot scissor lift.
– 45-foot scissor lift: A 45-foot scissor lift would be able to access the Hollywood sign and reach the very top.
– 50-foot scissor lift: At 50 feet, you’d be able to access the 5th story on a building, or a tall tree.

No matter what size scissor lift you may need, operators are required to have training and certification to prevent accidents. Even on a smaller scissor lift, hazards like unstable work surfaces, exceeded weight capacities, and unfavorable weather can cause serious accidents. Get your scissor lift training today from and be prepared and compliant to operate any size scissor lift.


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