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Choosing The Right Scissor Lift For The Job

If your profession involves working at height then you will be familiar with mobile elevating working platforms (MEWP’s). These come in different variants including scissor lifts, cherry pickers and truck mounted platforms – each of which has its own benefits. In this article, we take a look at scissor lifts in particular and how to choose the right scissor platform for the job.

Scissor lifts are a type of MEWP that can lift workers and materials in a vertical manner. They feature a surface that is raised and lowered by opening or closing of crossed supports that each look like a pair of scissors. Whilst they don’t offer outreach capability as a traditional cherry picker does, they are the go-to platform for a range of industries, especially in construction and maintenance.

The Main Types of Scissor Lift

There are numerous types of scissor lift available for hire and sale across the UK. Most of these are electric but some models run on Diesel, Petrol or LPG. Some models are even available with bi-fuel technology, giving you greater flexibility when working on projects that require both indoor and outdoor access.

So what other options should you consider when it comes to choosing the right scissor lift? Let’s take a look at some of the main types and features that you might want to consider.

Slab Scissor Lifts

This type of scissor lift features a large platform workspace and is the most popular option for our hire/lease customers. A good example of why you might choose a slab scissor lift would be to carry out mechanical and electrical work (M&E) on industrial type buildings.

A slab scissor can be driven at height so installations such as industrial lighting, electric cabling, sprinkler systems, and industrial racking can be carried out safely in the most efficient manner. This type of scissor lift is battery driven and designed to work a full shift on a single charge with zero exhaust emissions and very low noise making it perfect for indoor use.

A JLG slab scissor lift in use.

Rough Terrain Scissors

This type of platform often combines impressive lifting capacities with high gradeability (sometimes as high as 50%). Most will feature a four wheel drive system to give you the greatest traction on rough and uneven terrain and an outrigger system to help stabilise the platform. Rough terrain scissor lifts are perfect for outdoor use, especially during the construction of new industrial and agricultural buildings.

Self-Levelling Scissor Lifts

Some scissor lifts, especially rough terrain variants will feature a self-levelling system that uses jacks/outriggers to help stabilise the platform automatically without the need for any manual intervention. This is an option you might want to consider when working around the outside of a building with uneven terrain where you need to move from point to point many times over. Here, the self-levelling capability simplifies the process, allowing you to work more efficiently.

Tracked Scissor Lifts

Another feature you might want to consider is the inclusion of tracks on your chosen scissor platform. This type of platform has been designed to operate more effectively than other varieties when it comes to challenging terrain. They will often feature a bi-levelling undercarriage that allows even greater flexibility than outriggers on a rough terrain scissor.

Big Deck Scissors

Last but not least is the option of a big deck scissor lift. This type offers the greatest lift capacities and platform work area. They are often rough terrain and are perfect for the installation of cladding and other large materials.


So there we have an overview of the different types of scissor lift available in the UK. All good scissor lift manufacturers build their platforms around safety and work efficiency, helping you to improve both worker safety and profitability.

Here at, we have the experience and knowledge to offer accurate advice on hiring the right cost-effective scissor lift for the job. As we are not members of establishments such as Access Link or Access Alliance, we can offer competitive pricing using well established ‘whole of the market’ connections throughout the UK.

We have a range of scissor lifts in stock and available for immediate hire. All our equipment is professionally serviced and maintained to the highest standard and meets all HSE requirements with digital LOLER certificates available immediately on request.

As a Yorkshire based hire company operating out of our premises in Pontefract, we cover a wide area including Leeds, Manchester, Hull and the whole of the M62 corridor. We even offer additional equipment for hire including access platforms/cherry pickers, glass lifting robots and mini compact loaders. This makes us a reliable partner when it comes to finding the right tool for the job!

For further information on our plant hire services, please give our office a call on 01977 643595 who will be happy to assist.

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