4 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Scissor Lift

4 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Scissor Lift

A scissor lift is a type of aerial work platform that can be powered by either electricity or gas. They are made up of two horizontal beams in Chicago, one vertical beam, and four slats on hinges which are used to raise and lower the machine. Scissor lifts can carry heavy loads with ease as they have large carrying capacities, usually ranging from 1500 pounds to 5000 pounds depending on the model. Most scissor lifts also come equipped with an emergency stop button for safety purposes in case things go wrong.

The controls for operating a scissor lift vary depending on whether it runs off electrical power or gas power but most control boards will have some common features such as buttons for raising and lowering the slats as well as lights indicating when the machine is on and low battery light. Here are 5 things you should know before buying a scissor lift.

1. Different Types of Controls

Different Types of Controls

Scissor lifts generally run off of electricity or gas and there are different types of controls for each type of power source. Gas-operated scissor lifts usually have engine-powered hydraulic cylinders that are controlled by a switchboard which is usually located on the operator’s platform. Electrical operated scissor lifts will have controls for raising and lowering the slats as well as an emergency button which should be used if something goes wrong with the lift. Scissor lifts should always have clear visibility from an operator’s point of view so make sure to check out the slat controls.

2. Getting Familiar with the Controls

Scissor lifts can be dangerous if you are not familiar with how to use them so make sure you get familiarized with all the controls before attempting to operate one. Once you have taken note of which switches do what, try searching for a tutorial video. This will give you a better idea of how the machine is operated and it will also help to familiarize yourself with the various sounds that the lift makes while operating.

3. Safety Concerns in Chicago

Scissor lifts are designed for heavy-duty work so they should be used only for this purpose. If you need to transport items around such as people or fragile goods, there are other more suitable machines for this job such as forklifts. Scissor lifts can be dangerous if not properly maintained so make sure all parts have been inspected before use and on a regular basis afterward especially if it operates off of gas power. Before using scissor lifts during home renovations, check your local building code as some areas in Chicago city may require that a permit be acquired.

4. Read the Instructions

Read the Instructions

Most people are guilty of ignoring the instructions that come with products they buy but this is especially important when it comes to scissor lifts as you may seriously injure yourself or someone else if you ignore the safety precautions outlined in the manual. Scissor lift manuals can usually be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website so always read through them before operating your new lift.


In this article, we’ve gone over the basics of how to operate a scissor lift. We hope that you learned something new from reading our guide and have found it useful! If not, don’t worry: there are plenty more guides on other topics coming your way soon. Just make sure to subscribe for updates on any future blog posts by clicking “Follow” at the bottom of this page. You won’t want to miss out!