Scissor lifts are mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) with platforms that are parallel in size to the base of the machine and only lift vertically. These types of lifts are commonly used because of their high weight capacities and adaptable applications. There are a few things scissor lifts users should know before choosing the right type for their project (or projects), so we’ve put together an informational guide to help those needing assistance making a choice between the two major options: slab and rough terrain.
Slab scissor lifts: what to know
Slab scissor lifts are designed for function on flat, slab surfaces and feature a limited footprint when compared to other lifts. Their compact size is a major benefit of this option and slab scissor lifts easily fit through narrow entries and can be used for indoor or outdoor use, while also featuring capacious lift height options (up to 45 vertical feet).
Slab scissor lifts are ideal for projects requiring high-level maneuverability on firm, level surfaces and generous platform space. These lifts are available in a spectrum of size/capacity options. Genie offers lifts with capacities spanning from 500 to 1200 pounds and working heights spanning from 19 to 45 feet.
Smaller scissor lifts are often used indoors, in parking garages and in urban areas. Other common uses for slab scissor lifts include: electrical system installation, painting, retail store assistance, sprinkler system installation and much more.
Rough terrain scissor lifts: what to know
Rough terrain (RT) scissor lifts are designed for function on rougher terrain/landscapes, opposed to slab scissor lifts. Major benefits of this type of lift include four-wheel drive, traction control, the ability to level the machine on slopes, higher weight capacities and more.
This type of lift usually provides more workspace than smaller, slab scissor lifts which provides room for multiple workers. RT scissor lifts are available in several sizes. Genie offers RT lifts featuring platform capacities spanning from 1000 to 2500 pounds and working heights spanning from 32 to 59 feet. This option is ideal for those needing a machine which can be used to navigate difficult access points while carrying multiple workers.
RT scissor lifts are often used for tilt-up construction, building maintenance, outdoor construction, welding, exterior finishing, to assist general contractors and more. For those working on slopes and/or uneven surfaces, RT scissor lifts are the best option.
Diesel vs. electric
Typically, most electric scissor lifts fit into the slab scissor lift category while most diesel scissor lifts fit into the RT scissor lift category. This is an important consideration for users to evaluate because electric models are better for indoor applications where lower noise and emissions are important. However, not all electric scissor lifts are slab lifts and there are some electric RT scissor lift options.