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12 Ways Scissor Lifts Are Used in the Construction Industry

12 Ways Scissor Lifts Are Used in the Construction Industry

Workers on a scissor lift repairing a ceiling

12 Ways Scissor Lifts Are Used in the Construction Industry

Reading time: 5 min

Scissor lifts are an indispensable asset on construction sites. When you are faced with construction tasks at heights, like building maintenance or painting high ceilings, scissor lifts are capable of hoisting your team high in the air, providing direct access to hard-to-reach work areas.

Unlike boom lifts, which feature smaller work platforms; scissor lifts feature large, stable platforms that can hoist several workers into the air simultaneously. They are known for being stable and easy to use, providing a secure, enclosed area for workers to stand in while they work.

While they cannot reach as high as boom lifts, scissor lifts are the ideal choice for work at heights of 30 feet or less. Some scissor lifts are designed for exterior use, while electric models are preferred for indoor construction tasks.

The incredible versatility of scissor lifts makes them a popular choice for construction projects. If you’re considering purchasing or renting a scissor lift, then understanding its many uses can help you get the most out of your investment.

In this guide, we’ll cover the many ways scissor lifts are used in the construction industry and how they can help you complete your next project with ease and efficiency.

Scissor Lift Uses

While scissor lifts have a single function–raising a work platform up and down–they have an incredible range of uses. Their unique versatility makes them a popular choice for a variety of trades and applications.

Types of Work for Electric Scissor Lifts

Here are some of the most popular types of work that use a scissor lift:

  • Exterior building repairs: Scissor lifts are commonly used for exterior building repairs, such as window and cladding repairs.
  • Utility work: Utility workers use scissor lifts to fix overhead power lines, access transformers and repair street lamps.
  • Roof and gutter repair: Scissor lifts can provide easy access to roofs and gutters on residential and commercial buildings.
  • Fire safety: Fire safety specialists use scissor lifts to install fire sprinkler systems inside commercial buildings and warehouses.
  • Ceiling systems: Grid ceiling systems, sometimes called t-bar ceilings, are installed and maintained with the help of scissor lifts.
  • Electrical: Electricians use scissor lifts to help them reach overhead conduits and run new power lines in commercial structures.
  • HVAC: HVAC specialists rely on scissor lifts to hoist them to ceilings to install conduit and air diffusers.
  • Painting: Painters use scissor lifts to reach high areas such as ceilings, eves and building facades.
  • Materials handling: Scissor lifts are commonly found in warehouses, helping workers handle and place materials at great heights.

Specific Scissor Lift Applications

There are specific applications that can only be performed with the help of a scissor lift. Some common tasks that are highly dependent on scissor lifts include:

  1. Utility line installation: Scissor lifts provide a stable and elevated platform for technicians to safely install utility lines, like electrical wires or communication cables. The lift's height and stability allow workers to reach elevated positions and work efficiently.
  2. Utility repairs: When utility lines require maintenance or repairs, a scissor lift enables technicians to access the problem area quickly. They provide a secure working platform, ensuring workers’ safety while performing repairs on overhead utility infrastructure.
  3. Window installation: Scissor lifts are used to lift window installers to the appropriate height. They offer a stable and spacious platform for workers to handle and install windows accurately and securely, especially in multi-story buildings.
  4. Window cleaning: For buildings with high windows, scissor lifts are an ideal solution for window cleaning. They allow window cleaners to reach great heights while having the stability and mobility required to clean windows effectively and safely.
  5. Signage installation: Scissor lifts provide a stable platform for installing signs, whether they are on the sides of buildings or high above ground.
  6. Tree trimming: In landscaping and tree maintenance, scissor lifts are used to access branches high in trees. This makes it easier for arborists and landscapers to trim, prune or remove branches safely and efficiently.
  7. Concrete repair: Scissor lifts are used in concrete repair projects to access elevated areas of structures. Workers can reach damaged or deteriorated concrete surfaces for repairs, ensuring the structural integrity of the building.
  8. Pressure washing: Scissor lifts are equipped with power outlets, allowing workers to operate pressure washers at elevated heights. This is especially useful for cleaning the exteriors of tall buildings and removing dirt, grime and debris.
  9. Overhead painting: When painting ceilings, walls or other overhead surfaces, scissor lifts offer a stable and adjustable platform for painters. They can easily reach high areas while maintaining precise control over their painting equipment.
  10. Overhead plastering/texturing: Similar to painting, scissor lifts assist in plastering or texturing overhead surfaces. They provide a comfortable and secure platform for workers to apply materials evenly and efficiently.
  11. Cladding repair: Scissor lifts are essential for repairing building cladding or facade elements. They allow workers to access elevated sections of the building's exterior, ensuring that cladding repairs are carried out safely and accurately.
  12. Fire sprinkler installation: Installing fire sprinkler systems on high ceilings or walls can be challenging without the assistance of scissor lifts. These lifts offer a stable platform for workers to install and maintain fire sprinkler systems.

Scissor Lift Safety Precautions

While scissor lifts are very useful, they can also pose a safety risk if not used properly. As scissor lifts hoist personnel high into the air, safety precautions must be followed to ensure the platform remains stable and workers do not fall from the work area.

Some essential safety precautions to take when using a scissor lift include:

  • Only reposition the lift while it is in the lowered position.
  • Operate scissor lifts on level ground and check for obstacles before use.
  • Require personnel to wear proper safety equipment, such as a helmet.
  • Frequently inspect the lift’s railing to make sure it is secure and stable.
  • Never allow personnel to lean over or out of the gated work platform.

For a complete list of safety precautions to take while operating a scissor lift, check out our Scissor Lift Safety Guide.

Scissor Lift Maintenance

Scissor lifts come in a range of designs, and maintenance requirements will vary according to the type of scissor lift. For example, some scissor lifts are fuel-powered, while many models are fully electric.

Some common maintenance tasks for scissor lifts include regular walkaround inspections, brake checks, maintaining tire pressure, watering the battery and frequently testing its emergency controls. Your machine’s service manual will have a complete list of maintenance tasks that need to be performed at regular intervals tokeep your lift in good condition.

Final Thoughts

Scissor lifts are useful for a variety of tasks that need to be performed at heights. From utility work to painting, they are some of the most useful machines in the world of construction.

If you’re looking to get a scissor lift for your next project, EquipmentShare can help. EquipmentShare has a wide range of scissor lifts available for rent and purchase, as well as OEM and aftermarket parts for electric scissor lifts. Struggling to find the right component for your lift? Reach out to our parts experts and get personalized help.

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