How to Choose the Right Aerial Lift for Your Facility

A plant or production manager needs to choose the right aerial lift for a variety of jobs that need to be done, and fortunately there are many from which to choose. This wide range of options can be confusing if you don't take the time to compare the features they offer and consider how your lift will usually be used for your facility or jobsite. Note a few tips to consider and keep these in mind when ready to select a scissor lift.

Height of the lift

When choosing the height of a lift, you'll want one that actually reaches the tallest point of your job. Don't assume your workers can simply reach overhead to change commercial light bulbs or paint a ceiling. While they can and do need to reach up for such jobs, having to reach too far can mean worker fatigue and being off-balance. 

You also need to consider if the height advertised for a lift includes the body of the lift or the actual extension of the arm; if the body of the lift is six feet tall and the lift is advertised as being appropriate for a 66 foot height, the arm or scissors might only extend 60 feet. Be sure you note this difference so you know the actual height you'll get when the lift is fully extended, rather than thinking the arm or scissors are measured separately from the height of the body.


A lift that rotates a full 360 degrees can make it easier to work in tight corners and other such spaces. This might be the platform of the lift that rotates or it might be a lift with caster wheels that turn fully rather than standard tires. Note if this would be a good investment for your standard use on jobsites and especially for indoor areas where turning and rotating the lift might be difficult.


If the lift will be used indoors, you never want to use a gas-powered motor. Even in a warehouse or other such open facility, without proper ventilation, your workers will be breathing in exhaust fumes from the motor. Choose a hydraulic lift or one that operates on a strong battery for indoor use instead. 


If your lift will typically be used over an uneven surface, choose one with a stabiliser feature. This keeps the platform steady while the wheels hit potholes or chips in a concrete surface. Even if your workers don't stay on the lift while it's moving, keeping it stabilised can mean less risk of tools and other equipment falling from the lift or the lift toppling when running over an uneven surface.