Lift-Equipment Hire: Scissor Lifts Versus Vertical Lifts

Scissor lifts and vertical lifts; they both sound like the same equipment, but they are very distinct from one another. Vertical lifts are wide and feature a scissor-like set of lifts powered by hydraulics. Vertical lifts, on the other hand, are upright looking and feature a vertical set of lift frames powered by hydraulics or electricity. In this article, find out how these two compare in regard to important hire considerations.

Maximum height

When it comes to height, scissor lifts have more reach than their counterpart. Most scissor lifts have a reach of 7–10m, with some extending to 15m. Vertical lifts average at about 5-9m with a few units offering a reach of more than 10m. As such, vertical lifts are ideal for short applications such as one storey ceilings or industrial ceilings. In turn, scissor lifts can offer reach to up to 3 storeys or very tall industrial ceilings. 

Maximum weight

In regard to load-bearing, scissor lifts outperform vertical lifts as well. Vertical lifts average at about 200kg while scissor lifts can handle 200–350kg on average. This means that a typical vertical lift is ideal for one occupant and a medium load while scissor lifts can handle 2–3 people comfortably. In fact, going by their design, vertical lifts are better for precise operations such as fixing lighting, plumbing, inspections, and so forth while scissor lifts are better for repair and maintenance jobs such as painting and rendering.

Platform size

The platform size of lift equipment is important because it not only determines the number of people who can board but also determines the size and amount of cargo that can be loaded on it. Vertical lifts have very small cabins with platforms measuring less than a cubic square. Scissor lifts in turn have wider platforms measuring about two square metres. Some even have extendable platforms that can surpass this size. This makes scissor lifts better for applications where supplies and tools are needed, such as painting, cleaning, and so forth. 

Horizontal displacement

In some cases, horizontal displacement is needed even when working at heights. In this case, both types of lifts do offer vertical displacement. However, there is a disparity. One, vertical lifts offer displacement at low heights (around 1m) due to their structural design while scissor lifts offer ideal displacement at slightly higher heights. So if you need continuous movement while working, a scissor lift is better suited for that kind of work.

Not sure which to go for? Talk to your lift-hire supplier, and they can advise you depending on the exact nature of your needs.