How Scissor Lifts Work
Many companies need specialized equipment to be able to function efficiently and safely. Scissor lifts play a vital role in sectors like construction, road construction, mining, etc.
A platform that is used to vertically lift material and people; and uses a folding, linked lift mechanism, is called a scissor lift. These lifts have a crisscrossing series of supports that looks something like XXX, only vertically, Upward lift is achieved by pressure being applied to the outside of the bottom supports. This pressure elongates the X and extends the crossing pattern. The work platform is lifted vertically as the crisscross supports are elongated.
Some types of scissor lifts have a ‘bridge’ that extends from the platform. This allows workers to get much closer to the work area. A scissor lift without the bridge has is limited to up and down. The scissor action is usually dependant on pneumatic, mechanical, or hydraulic power and is usually like a rack and pinion or a lead screw system.
It requires very little power to lower the platform of a hydraulic or pneumatic powered scissor lift, as it would simply be the release of pressure. A variety of powering lifts is preferred because provides a fail-safe way to lower the platform in the event of a failure in the hydraulic or pneumatic system.
A large number of smaller lifts use screw threads or rack and pinion systems to extend. These types of lifts often sections that move past each other, known as juxtaposed sections, to create the vertical movement. The smaller lifts have a very limited capability regarding the weight and the extension. Given their limitations and small size, they are well suited for internal maintenance. Larger, heavy duty scissor lifts have a wider range of uses and are therefore more functional than the smaller lifts.
Working platforms such as these types of lifts are designed to be used for temporary work. They frequently need to be transported, or floated, between work sites or may around a large job site so they are designed for easy movement. The smaller scissor lifts require external force to move them because they are designed to be stationary.
Small stationary scissor lifts are often so lightweight that they can be transported in the bed of a pickup truck and moved through a standard doorway. Motorized units are able to be driven around a work site. Some units can be mobilized while extended. Those units that require secure outriggers cannot be moved until they are collapsed and the outriggers are retracted.
There are units that are designed to be mounted on the flat bed of a vehicle. This type of lift is often used as a mobile work station around a job site because of the versatility. Given the functionality and wide selection of scissor lifts on the market, it is fairly important to know how they work.