What Is a Scaffolding Lift?

Mal Baxter

A scaffolding lift is portable elevation equipment that provides the ability to lift workers to extended heights. Like a scaffold that relies on a support framework of metal pipes and tubes, this type of personnel lift is used in building construction or property maintenance. Equipment often elevates a work platform enclosed by safety railings or a cage. Supported by an extending hydraulic mast or bracing struts, this equipment may be towed into place on a trailer or even drive itself.

Worker
Worker

This type of technology provides workers more reliable and safer access to high areas. A scaffolding lift might allow them to work on buildings, do repairs. or manage inventory in warehouses. It can be used in industrial, commercial, or residential environments. Such equipment might be needed where a traditional cherry picker operates, supporting tree cutting or other elevated job applications.

Depending on the job, a scaffolding lift can be designed for light or heavy duty. Typically housing its own lift motor and user interface panel, it permits the operator to raise the enclosed platform to a certain height and have a stable base of operation. Its main base, often wheeled, usually extends wider than the platform to provide enough counterbalance for the extended height of the equipment. This acts as critical leverage when supporting the shifting weight of a worker or two.

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One type, the scissor lift, is a longer scaffolding lift that permits the worker to walk across a wider platform, as for cleaning a row of windows. A scissor lift extends on crisscrossing supports, usually two or three stories high. The lift may carry equipment, tools, materials, or other scaffolding components, so it must operate within its rated capacity. Workers are typically qualified through standard organizational bodies under governing health and safety regulations.

Another type of scaffolding lift includes the boom lift, which resembles a cherry picker arm attached to a swiveling base unit. This variety may come in a wide range of sizes, from individual to large-scale heavy equipment. A pushable lift is a smaller unit that can be positioned by hand to permit heights reachable by a ladder, but allows the operator to have more stability. Sometimes called a personnel lift or a drivable lift, a piece of larger equipment may feature telescoping supports for added stability.

In general, personnel lifts can be categorized by their telescoping or articulated booms. Others are known as aerial work platforms, push-around, and mobile lifts. Larger trailer-mounted boom lifts extend to higher areas. Additional lifts exist for lifting small and large materials.

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