Justin Kissinger, marketing manager at Custom Equipment, said there was a misconception that general maintenance and contracting projects like framing, painting and installing HVAC, electrical systems or drywall required a 19 ft (5.8m) scissor lift.
“There is more to choosing the best lift for the job than just how high it can go,” he said. Although low-level scissor lifts come in just below that 19 ft (5.8m) height, they go above and beyond their size in terms of capabilities, he said.
“In fact, they offer many advantages over larger units, which make them attractive to renters and profitable to rental operations.
“Low-level lifts increase safety, efficiency, ease of use and convenience, all while giving users the ability to complete 90 percent of the jobs typically reserved for 19 ft (5.8m) lifts.
“These benefits combined with the lifts’ versatility results in more opportunities for rental. An added benefit is that, because of their size and maneuverability, the low-level lifts can be the first piece of equipment on the site and the last to leave, so they also generally get rented for longer periods at time,” Mr Kissinger said.
He explained that lift heights of low-level access lifts typically are from 8ft (2.4m) to 14ft (4.3m), but 6 ft (1.8m) needs to be added to calculate the working height.
Therefore, the working height for most low-level access lifts is between 14ft (4.3m and 20ft (6.1m). While they are slightly lower than the working height of a 19ft (5.8m) lift, they typically offer more in terms of speed, versatility, safety and lower lifecycle cost.
Increased maneuverability, lower entry levels, more compact dimensions and higher weight capacity are other advantages, according to Mr Kissinger, while lower ground pressure can really help a project too.
“Getting jobs done quickly and without causing inadvertent damage is key for contractors to meet time constraints and stay on top of the bottom line. The last thing they want to do is spend time and money on repairs that easily could have been prevented,” he said.
“Low-level lifts can weigh as little as 600 lbs (272kg), and some feature dual front wheels that help disperse the weight and wheel-load concentration. Together, those aspects allow operators to tackle projects on freshly poured concrete sooner and access jobs on delicate flooring with no damage.
“To further prevent damage in finished spaces, many units also feature non-marking wheels that prevent scuffs on hard surfaces. Some low-level lifts also are equipped with counter-rotating wheels; while one wheel rotates down, the other rotates up. This motion reduces the friction point so the lift can maneuver over carpet without causing tears.”
The chance of hydraulic leaks is also reduced as there are fewer connection points on low-level models, while some feature a fully contained hydraulic system, so even if a leak occurs the fluid does not escape to damage carpeting or create hazards.