What To Look For When Hiring A Scissor Lift For Use On Rough Terrain

16 September 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Hiring a scissor lift can be a great way to provide simple, safe access to upper levels for you or your employees. However, you might think that using a scissor lift is not possible on rough terrain or uneven ground. Fortunately,scissor lift hire companies offer a range of lifts designed for safe and effective use on rough terrain and equipped with a number of features to ensure secure, even footing.

Not every all-terrain scissor lift is created equal, and some scissor lifts advertised for use on rough ground may not be fully suited to your needs. While you're shopping around, make sure to ask the following questions before handing over your hard-earned cash:

Is the lift's engine powerful enough?

While ordinary scissor lifts generally use petrol or electric engines that are powerful enough for standard use, they may not have the power to efficiently traverse rough ground, particularly in wetter areas. Instead, you should look for a scissor lift with a powerful diesel engine, as these engines provide much more torque to pull the lift over uneven terrain. You should also examine a prospective scissor lift's gradeability, as a scissor lift with high gradeability is safer to use on steeper slopes and inclines.

Is the lift all-wheel drive?

All-wheel drive is practically a must for any vehicle designed for extensive off-road use, and the same goes for scissor lifts. All-wheel drive allows a lift to navigate difficult terrain more quickly and efficiently, and helps prevent single wheels or axles from getting bogged down in pits, soft earth and other obstacles. While an all-wheel drive model with four wheels is sufficient for most off-road tasks, larger lifts with six or more wheels can be used to traverse very difficult terrain.

Are the lift's outriggers fit for the purpose?

Most scissor lifts possess a number of outriggers, steadying 'feet' which extend from the main body of the lift to provide stability and resistance against uneven loads. However, rough terrain scissor lifts may require something more complicated than these simple metal struts. Look for scissor lifts with hydraulically or pneumatically powered outriggers, as these outriggers are able to provide motorised lift to counteract uneven loads and sudden imbalances. 

Are the tyres suitable?

Typical smooth road tyres can easily get bogged down in soft or particularly uneven ground, and practically every scissor lift designed for use on rough terrain will be fitted with tough all-terrain tyres that provide excellent traction and grip. However, if you intend to use your lift on particularly difficult terrain, you might wish to spend extra on a lift equipped with foam-filled tyres. These tyres have an exceptionally high pressure rating and can bear tremendously heavy loads, while the foam filling also provides protection against punctures and tyre damaged caused by the rough ground.

Does the lift have an onboard generator?

If you are using a scissor lift extensively on rough ground, you're probably working in an isolated area or building site where refuelling pumps and electrical hookups aren't easily accessible. In these circumstances, an onboard generator fitted to your lift can be a tremendous boon, allowing the lift to operate in isolation for a much longer period before needing to be taken off-site for refuelling. However, you should bear in mind that these generators add weight to your lift and numbers to your price tag, so don't choose one if you're sure you won't need it.