The Ultimate Scissor Lift Size and Spec Guide
Among aerial equipment, scissor lifts are smaller, yet reliable alternatives to boom lifts. Extending only vertically, scissor lifts are raised with an accordion-style arm. This transports the working platform, which holds materials and people, up to the required height.
Despite their size, these machines are incredibly capable of supporting you on multiple projects, from 6 to 70 feet in the air!
An Overview of Scissor Lifts
Scissor lifts fall into two categories: electric and rough terrain. Electric scissor lifts are mostly used indoors on smooth, finished surfaces, as they operate with non-marking tires. Rough terrain scissor lifts are diesel-powered machines able to operate on non-level, textured terrain like sand and mud.
Generally, rough terrain scissor lifts can support more weight than electric models can. Cat classes organize scissor lifts by the heights their platforms can access, which range from 19'-39'. However, many manufacturers have models with platform heights as small as 6' and as tall as 70'.
As their names indicate, jobs located on smooth and rough terrain require different scissor lifts with different features. The working environment, along with key specs, is important to consider when selecting a scissor lift.
Main Scissor Lift Specs
The main specs relevant to scissor lift performance are platform height, work height, machine dimensions, and maximum platform capacity. Understanding these specs in the context of your job site will ensure you choose the model best suited to your needs.
Put simply, platform height refers to the maximum elevation a lift's platform can reach. The first two digits in most scissor lift model names indicate its platform height. For example, the "20" in Genie's GS-2046 E-Drive refers to the model's 20' platform height. Skyjack and Snorkel are the only brands where the last two digits in the model's name represent the platform height.
Vertical height, also known as working height, is 6 feet greater than the platform height. This number assumes the height of the worker is six feet tall and is the height at which an operator could complete a task. The machine you choose must be able to reach the required elevation on your job site. So, vertical height is arguably the most important lift spec.
Machine width and length are the scissor lift's dimensions, commonly referred to as its footprint. It's important to know the size of the machine, especially the base because this will help you estimate if it can navigate tight spaces or get through doors.
Maximum platform capacity is the amount of weight the lift's platform can safely carry to its maximum vertical height. This is essential to note for material and personnel transportation on the lift.
Scissor Lift Spec Guides
Now that we've established the most important considerations for picking a scissor lift, we can compare the six main scissor lift manufacturers and their specs.
Skip ahead to each brand's spec guide:
Skyjack Scissor Lifts
Skyjack is a well-renowned scissor lift manufacturer. They offer 17 electric and rough terrain scissor lifts that come with a variety of features.
Skyjack has eight models with machine widths under 32''. These models reach a variety of heights, whilst enabling operating in narrow spaces where space is a concern. Meanwhile, seven other Skyjack models have lift capacities of over 1000 lbs. One of the seven, the SJ 4726, is an electric model, which typically cannot carry as much weight as rough terrain models.
Skyjack's rough terrain models have up to 50% gradeability and impressive torque, making them excellent choices for rugged job sites. With platform heights ranging from 12'-64', Skyjack scissor lifts are a great option for jobs at any elevation.
Skyjack Scissor Lift Specs
Genie Scissor Lifts
Genie offers a wide range of slab and rough terrain scissor lifts. Slab lifts are another term for electric lifts since they're typically used on slabs of concrete. They can also be used outdoors as long as the surface is level and smooth.
Genie scissor lifts are known for their mobility. They have several models with small footprints that are made for narrower sites, including the GS 2632 E Drive and GS 2646 E Drive. These machines both reach 20'1'', but the former is smaller in width. This allows workers to navigate tight indoor spaces and easily access areas through doorways and fences. Their slab lifts are also very quiet, which is helpful in indoor environments.
Genie's models have platform heights ranging between 14' 1'' and 53'. This range is suitable for most jobs, though their highest reaching model is 11' shorter than Skyjack's equivalent. However, the majority of Genie's rough terrain models have platform capacities over 1,000 lbs. The Genie GS 3390 RT can lift 2,500 lbs, while four other models can lift 1,200- 1,500 lbs.
Another unique feature of some Genie rough terrain models is the full-time oscillating axle. The axle automatically shifts to accommodate ground conditions. Overall, Genie scissor lifts are a great choice for jobs that require lots of material transportation up to high elevations on leveled terrain.
Genie Scissor Lift Specs
JLG Scissor Lifts
JLG is another manufacturer that categorizes its models into electric and engine-powered scissor lifts. Their models fall into a similar platform height range to Genie's scissor lifts. The RT 3394, the heaviest weight-bearing rough terrain lift, has a sizeable platform capacity of 2,250 lbs.
JLG lifts have small footprints and a zero turning radius, allowing for comfortable and manageable work in tight spaces. However, some JLG models have machine lengths as long as 204''. Be sure to evaluate the model you choose based on machine dimensions, particularly in shorter spaces where lengthwise space is less forgiving.
Overall, JLG scissor lifts are well-equipped to handle jobs of any size on multiple terrain types.
JLG Scissor Lift Specs
MEC Scissor Lifts
MEC offers a wide variety of slab and rough terrain scissor lifts. Their slab lifts are further sorted into micro, compact, and slim models. These labels mainly refer to the machine's dimensions.
MEC's line of slab scissor lifts is great for small spaces, as their footprints are quite small. The smallest model, the 1330 SE, is only 31.5'' wide and 57'' long. These models also exert less pressure on the surfaces they're sitting on. The 1330 SE only exerts 229 lbs of uniform force and 112 lbs of maximum localized pressure. So, MEC's smaller models are great for sensitive surface operation.
While the majority of brands only offer diesel-fueled rough terrain motors, some of MEC's rough terrain scissor lift models are electric.
MEC has three rough terrain models, the 2684 ES, 2684 RT, and 3084 RT. These are part of their Speed Level line, which all have a Sigma Lift design. The Sigma Lift, which has a boom arm with one articulating joint, vaguely resembles the Sigma symbol it's named after. This design allows for auto-leveling without the use of outriggers.
As the majority of MEC models have shorter reach and unique small-space operation capabilities, they're a great choice for smaller jobs in tight areas. The Sigma Lifts are also worth exploring for rough terrain jobs.
MEC Scissor Lift Specs
Snorkel Scissor Lifts
Snorkel has the most scissor lift variety by far, with 28 models total. They're sorted into electric, rough terrain, and low-level lifts. Snorkel scissor lifts cater to jobs of all sizes, as their platform heights range from 6' - 70'. The S9070 RT-HC is the industry leader for working height, standing 76' tall!
Snorkel's low-level scissor lifts are designed for low-level loading and are a great alternative to ladders and podiums. Some models are self-propelled, while others are pushed manually. They're small enough to fit through doorways and elevators while providing the access you need on small job sites.
On the opposite end of sizing, Snorkel's rough terrain lifts are powerful machines fit for multiple job sites. They have industry-leading lift capacities, as the S9043 RT-HC and S9031 RT-HC can lift 3,500 and 4,000 lbs, respectively! Their other models can lift materials in the 1,000 and 2,000 lbs. range.
The sheer variety offered by Snorkel's scissor lift fleet makes them a sound choice for any project.
Snorkel Scissor Lift Specs
Haulotte Scissor Lifts
Haulotte offers 14 scissor lifts equipped with very compact bases and wider platforms than other industry leaders. Their highest load-bearing model can lift 1,250 lbs. and the extra platform space can accommodate three people or additional materials.
The platform heights on Haulotte scissor lifts range from 12' 6'' to 52' 6''. Although they can perform within a significant height range, they don't have the extra 5'- 20' of vertical height that other brands offer. Because of this, Haulotte machines are well-suited to jobs that require standardized vertical reach that are located in small spaces.
Haulotte Scissor Lift Specs
Scissor Lift Specs Summarized
When you don't need the additional reach provided by boom lifts, scissor lifts are your go-to equipment for elevated workspaces. They provide great assistance when completing maintenance, restoration, painting, lighting, and other work both inside and outside.
Understanding the surface your scissor lift will rest on is the first critical step to selecting the right make and model. Analyzing key specs like required working height, machine dimensions, and lift capacity will refine your search further. Features unique to Skyjack, Genie, JLG, MEC, Snorkel, and Haulotte are the final factors to consider when renting or purchasing a scissor lift.
With the wide selection of scissor lifts provided by DOZR's rental equipment marketplace, we're sure you'll find the right scissor lift rental for your next project! Start your search for 19', 26', 32', 40', and 50' scissor lift rentals today.