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3 min read

What You Need to Know Before Buying or Renting a Scissor Lift

What You Need to Know Before Buying or Renting a Scissor Lift

Interested in buying or renting a scissor lift? Smart move.

Scissor lifts are not just a safer alternative to ladders and scaffolding; they can help you make massive productivity gains. Our most successful warehouse and distribution center clients own at least one scissor lift.

In this article, we’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about scissor lifts including: 

  • What is a scissor lift?
  • How much do scissor lifts cost?
  • How many hours do scissor lifts last?
  • Is fall protection required for a scissor lift?
  • How high can scissor lifts go?
    ...and more.

What Is a Scissor Lift and How Much Do They Cost?

What is a scissor lift?
Scissor lifts are named for the crisscrossing metal supports that raise and lower the work platform. They open and close like scissor blades.

How do scissor lifts work?
Workers simply drive the scissor lift to the worksite, extend the platform, complete their work, then retract the platform and side rails for easy storage and maneuverability. 

  • The lift can be driven while elevated.
  • Most scissor lifts have an AC electrical outlet in the platform, eliminating hazardous, dangling extension cords. 
  • Compact scissor lifts can fit through standard doorways.

How high can scissor lifts go?
Scissor lifts designed for indoor work are available in working heights from 25 ft. up to nearly 45 ft. The 25 ft. working height scissor lift gets the job done for most people.

Outdoor scissor lifts are available in working heights from 32-59 feet.

Can scissor lifts get wet/be used outdoors?
Yes, there are scissor lifts designed for outdoor use, even in light rain. That said, wind speeds above 25 mph and wet ground can create a dangerous situation. Make sure operators using a scissor lift outdoors are trained to recognize when a worksite has become unsafe.

How much does a scissor lift cost?
The Lilly company sells Aichi, Genie, JLG and Skyjack scissor lifts. Prices range from $11,250-$75,000. Smaller, indoor scissor lifts cost less, while large, rough terrain lifts cost more.

Can I buy a used scissor lift?
Yes. We recommend choosing a lift with 200 hours (or fewer). A well-maintained scissor lift should last another 200-300 hours.

Scissor Lift Rental

If you’re not sure if a scissor lift will work for you, consider renting one first. Lilly rents the same aerial equipment we sell including:

  • Scissor lifts
  • Boom lifts
  • Man lifts
  • Cherry pickers
    (and more)

Scissor Lift Fall Protection and Training Requirements

Is a safety harness or other form of fall protection required for a scissor lift?
No, so long as the guardrails are properly maintained. 

According to American National Safety Institute (ANSI) and OSHA: scissor lift guardrails provide sufficient fall protection. However, OSHA requires employers train workers to: 

  • Check to see that a guardrail system is in place before working on the scissor lift.
  • Only stand on the work platform; never stand on the guardrails.
  • Keep work within easy reach to avoid leaning away from the scissor lift.

Do you need to be tied off in a scissor lift?
No, but a fall arrest system is a good idea. Most scissor lifts have an approved fall protection anchor point. Should an employee take an unnecessary risk, some form of fall protection can prevent the worst from happening.

Do you need a license to operate a scissor lift?/Do scissor lift certifications expire?
Operators don’t need a license, but (as mentioned above) OSHA requires scissor lift safety training.

ANSI requires training for aerial equipment operators, occupants, and supervisors (standard A92.24).

  • An Occupant is anyone in the platform who is not the Operator.
  • A Supervisor is anyone who monitors or supervises an Operator. 

ANSI and OSHA-Approved Scissor Lift Training

The Lilly Company provides ANSI and OSHA-approved scissor lift training to businesses throughout the Mid-South, including Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and eastern Arkansas. Bring your team to one of our locations, or we can come to you.

Our training includes:

  • How to operate a scissor lift
  • Understanding maximum load capacity
  • Fall prevention
  • Identifying unsafe working conditions
  • Basic safety inspections
  • How to prevent falling objects and electrical hazards

We also provide retraining for operators who have been observed using a scissor lift improperly or require training following an incident. 

Scissor Lift Maintenance and Lifespan

How many hours does a scissor lift last?
Excellent question. A scissor lift can last 500-750 hours if well-maintained.

Scissor lifts are a vital piece of equipment that is rarely ever serviced. These machines need to be functional at all times (just like a forklift), but customers tend to overlook scissor lift inspections and maintenance. 

ANSI Standard A92 requires annual inspections by a trained professional. If a scissor lift has been out of service for three months or more, it must also be professionally inspected.

Our experienced, highly-trained staff can help your operation stay in compliance and keep employees safe. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Have a question about scissor lifts we didn’t answer?
Contact an aerial lift expert at The Lilly Company online or by phone at 800-238-3006 and we’ll help you get the answers you need. You can also come say hello at one of our 13 locations across the Mid-South.

Arkansas - Jonesboro
Alabama - Birmingham, Dothan, Irondale, Madison, Mobile, and Montgomery
Mississippi - Tupelo and Richland
Tennessee - Jackson, Kingsport, Knoxville, and Memphis

Further Reading:
Why Scissor Lifts Are a Safer Alternative to Ladders and Scaffolding
Rent a Scissor Lift or Other Aerial Equipment
Specialty Equipment for All Your Material Handling Needs

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