If you're contemplating hiring scissor lifts to enable you safely move materials and/or people upwards and downwards, then you should be aware that not all scissor lifts are made the same. Scissor lifts are generally classified based upon the type actuation employed to execute the upward and downward movement.
Below are some common types of scissor lifts available for hire on the market today based upon how they are actuated.
Mechanical actuation involves employing a mechanical input, such as a pinion drive, a ball screw or a lead screw to allow for upward and downward mobility. Mechanically actuated lifts typically come in single-stage and multi-stage lifting capacity. Generally speaking, multi-stage scissor lifts are able to travel higher than single-stage lifts within a much smaller platform. Additionally, they offer a greater lifting capacity. The extended height, however, increases the collapsed height — this is the distance between the top of the mast and the ground/floor when the mast is lowered.
Mechanical scissor lifts are often used for lifting smaller loads, but they can be designed to withstand massive weights as well.
Here, pressurised hydraulic oil or fluid contained in the cylinders is used to create the up and down motion required to operate the lifting equipment. When there is a change in the pressure of the hydraulic oil, the work platform is raised or lowered as required by the equipment operators. In case of a malfunction, most hydraulic lifts have a purge valve that allows for the lift to be safely moved downwards.
Hydraulic scissor lifts are highly sought after mainly because they are easy to operate and therefore demand the least amount of training to use. What is more, these lifts can withstand a huge amount of loads and weights. As a result, almost every warehouse, port, construction site, etc. that requires access equipment has a place for these lifts.
The up and down motion of the lifting equipment is actuated by an air bag. As the lifts are fully powered by air, there are no oil or fluid leaks to worry about as may be the case with hydraulic lifts. What is more, no electric power is required, meaning savings on electricity costs. Aside from being an economical option, pneumatic scissor lifts provide a clean and eco-friendly way to lift materials and people in various industrial environments because there are no harmful fuel emissions released into the atmosphere.