Last edited 02 Nov 2020

Scissor lift


Scissor lifts are a type of aerial work platform (AWP) or mobile elevated work platform (MEWP), used to provide temporary access at height. They are commonly used for temporary maintenance purposes and to undertake construction work. Charles Larson, of the USA, first patented the scissor lift in 1963, but he did not invent it. It was invented by John W Parker of California.

Unlike some other types of elevated platform, scissor lift platforms can only move vertically, elevated by linked, folding supports in an ‘X’ pattern, known as a pantograph. Pressure is applied to the external side of the lowest set of supports, which elongates the criss-crossing supports and raises the platform.

Scissor lifts are usually diesel-powered. The platform be lowered without using the power system, by releasing the hydraulic or pneumatic pressure.

As there are inherent limits in only being able to move vertically, the platform may be fitted with a section that extends outwards to allow closer access to the required work area.

They are typically fitted with wheels allowing them to be relocated.

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