Tower Of Power: Should You Choose An Electric Or Diesel Scissor Lift For Your Lifting Needs?

Scissor lifts are tremendously versatile pieces of equipment, providing safe and highly maneuverable access to elevated areas. However, if you are in the market for a new scissor lift, or are seeking to hire one for a job or project, you should make sure that the scissor lift you choose suits your needs -- a wide variety of different makes and models are available, each with their own individual characteristics.

One of the most important variables you should consider when choosing a scissor lift is how the lift will be powered. The vast majority of commercially available scissor lifts are powered by either electrical or diesel motors, and these two power sources each have advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before handing over your cash.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing an electric scissor lift?

The key advantage of choosing an electrically powered scissor lift is that electric motors do not produce noxious exhaust fumes, as diesel motors do. This is not merely an environmental concern, as accumulated diesel fumes can be very dangerous to workers and lift operators working in confined spaces. As such, electrical scissor lifts are almost always required for indoor work, unless the indoor space you are working in is especially large and well-ventilated (such as a goods warehouse).

Electric scissor lifts are also much quieter during operation than diesel lifts, another important consideration if you are working indoors. Because electric motors are generally smaller and lighter than their diesel counterparts, electric scissor lifts are also lighter and more compact than diesel powered versions, making them more easily maneuverable and easier to navigate across gravel, aggregate and other types of ground prone to shifting.

Unfortunately, electric scissor lifts pay the price for all these advantages in raw power, and larger scissor lifts capable of lifting heavy loads will almost always be diesel powered. Charging your electric lift may also be a concern, since power cables are naturally limited in length and may not be easily accessible from your working area. The necessity of keeping electrical sources close to hand also makes them unsuitable for extended work outdoors, particularly in isolated areas.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing a diesel scissor lift?

If you're looking for a tough, heavy-duty lift capable of raising heavy loads or multiple workers at once, diesel is almost always the way to go. The lifting power of even an average scissor lift can outstrip many high-end electric models, while the robust construction required to contain and channel such power makes diesel lifts particularly tough and durable. Diesel scissor lifts are also inexpensive to run compared to power-hungry electric models, and can be run in isolated areas without having to worry about sheltering from inclement weather or finding a source of electrical power.

However, diesel scissor lifts do still require diesel fuel to function, and keeping sufficient amounts of diesel close at hand can be a logistical problem. Using diesel scissor lifts on large job sites alongside other machines is generally easier, as they can use the same diesel fuel used by most heavy plant equipment. Diesel is also far from the most environmentally friendly fuel around, so you may wish to opt for electric if you are concerned about the environmental impact of a project.

For more information, contact a company like Heavy Lift Forklifts.