What is Low-Level Access?


Low-level access refers to mobile elevating work platforms that typically have a lift height between 8-14 ft. In the construction industry, 19 ft scissor lifts are considered to be the standard indoor work platform. However, there are many applications where compact scissor lifts may be better suited for the job. We've compiled seven reasons why low-level access lifts belong on your next jobsite.

1. Size Matters

90% of jobs typically reserved for 19 ft scissor lifts could be completed with low-level access lifts. Just because a lift can extend higher, doesn't mean it's better suited for the job at hand. Examine your jobsite and check the working heights you'll need to access. There's a good chance you won't need a working height over 20 ft. By eliminating unnecessary lift height, low-level scissor lifts can gain access to tighter work areas, increasing efficiency and productivity so your crew can get more done.


2. Lightweight

Low-level access lifts weigh significantly less than full size slab scissors, allowing operators to access green concrete earlier and use more lifts per floor. This is a huge benefit if you're going to be working on sensitive flooring, like computer flooring, tile, or hardwood, that could easily be damaged by heavier 19 ft scissor lifts. Weight also becomes a key factor if you're building in an area that's no stranger to seismic activity. Buildings constructed to flex with environmental influence require scissor lifts with lower floor load pressures than what 19 ft scissor lifts can provide. Additionally, transportation costs are showing no signs of decreasing any time soon. By transporting low-level access lifts instead of typical 19 ft scissor lifts, you can ship the same number of lifts for less or ship more lifts for the same cost.




Low-level scissor lift height comparison

3. Compact Design

Hy-Brid Lifts lightweight scissor lifts are more compact than 19 ft work platforms and even other low-level scissor lifts. The smaller dimensions of Hy-Brid Lifts enables them to fit through standard door frames and inside personnel elevators, making jobsite navigation a breeze. Our lifts also have lower stowed heights than other scissor lifts. In fact, they're so low that folding rails aren't needed! By not having to fold down the rails every time you need to pass through a doorway or into an elevator, you're increasing productivity exponentially.


4. Increased Safety

Nine times out of ten, the extra 5–6 ft of lift on a 19 ft scissor lift isn't going to be utilized. That means that 90% of the time, there is a risk for overhead crush hazard. Using low-level access lifts on jobsites that don't require the extra height of a 19 ft lift eliminates this safety concern. All Hy-Brid Lifts are also built with wider pins and rigid scissor stacks, which decrease scissor sway and provide a more stable work platform.


5. Greater Lift Capacity

Most 19 ft scissor lifts have a maximum lift capacity around 500 lbs. The Hy-Brid Lifts PS-1030 is capable of lifting up to 800 lbs and has enough platform space for two occupants, plus tools and materials. This translates to fewer trips up and down to retrieve supplies, increasing operator productivity.

6. Lower Entry Heights

Did you know that a large number of the injuries associated with aerial lifts are from exiting lifts incorrectly? All Hy-Brid Lifts feature one- or two-step entry heights and full-swing entry doors, making it easier to enter and exit the platform safely.

The lifting power zone extends from mid-thigh to mid-chest and is where a person's arms and legs can lift the most with the least amount of effort. When loading heavy tools and materials into most low-level scissor lifts, the arms stay within the power zone. The platform on 19 ft scissor lifts in the stowed position is still high enough that workers' arms extend into the danger zone when loading, increasing the risk of injury and associated workers' compensation costs.



Power Zone for safe lifting diagram

7. Electric Drive

Most 19 ft scissor lifts typically have hydraulic lift and drive, which means more hydraulic connection points, greatly increasing the chance for hydraulic leaks. Some low-level scissor lifts, like the Hy-Brid Lifts Pro Series, have electric drive with hydraulic lift. These machines have less hydraulic fluid and only two connection points, decreasing the potential for leaks, reducing the severity of possible leaks, and lowering clean up times and rework costs.




The premier provider of access equipment offering articulated booms, scissor lifts, telehandlers, and vertical masts.