4 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Lift for Painting


There are several different aspects to consider when determining the best way to paint commercial or residential elevated areas. Typical elevated work options include stilts, ladders, mast lifts, scissor lifts, scaffolding, and even boom lifts. Selecting the best elevated solution for your paint job can save you time and money, but first, you need to consider the following questions:

1. What Does the Work Area Look Like?

What will the working height be? Are there obstacles the operator will have to position over? Is it outdoors, indoors, or both? How large is the area and is it difficult to access with large scissor lifts? What are the floor load requirements? The first step to selecting a lift for painting is understanding the unique attributes of the jobsite, so you can plan for maximum safety, efficiency, and cost reduction. If you're working under 20 ft, you don't need a 19 ft scissor lift. If you're working outdoors and have to elevate over landscaping, a boom lift is more appropriate. Consider a compact push-around or zero-turn scissor lift if you're working in narrow hallways or small spaces to avoid site damage from difficult to maneuver ladders or larger lifts.

Scissor Lift for Painters

2. How Much Weight Do You Plan on Putting in the Air?

Both mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) and ladders have specific weight restrictions that must be adhered to for operator safety and usability. Be sure to include the weight of all painting equipment (paint sprayer, paint, brushes, etc.) and the weight of the operator when calculating how much weight you need to elevate. Scissor lifts have significantly higher weight capacities than ladders, like the PS-1030 work platform that can elevate up to 800 lbs.

3. Is the Equipment You're Using Easy to Maneuver?

Considering a jobsite's workspace and terrain are a given when choosing a lift for painting. However, an often overlooked aspect in MEWP selection is the step-in height of the platform. It might not seem important at first, but imagine trying to lift multiple 5 gal paint buckets into a platform that, at its lowest height, is up to the average operator’s shoulders. Lifting heavy equipment and materials into high work platforms can put operators in danger and cause unnecessary fatigue. Unlike other scissor lift manufacturers, all Hy-Brid Lifts feature class-leading low step-in heights to reduce operator strain and make loading faster.

4. How Long Do You Plan to Work at Height?

Are you doing small touch ups where you’re going up for a minute or two, then coming back down? If that's the case, you probably don’t need a lot of gear and the answer might be a smaller push around MEWP. If the elevated area you're painting is large, you'll be using and need more equipment at height with you to reduce trips up and down. In that instance, a MEWP with a larger work platform that can travel directionally would increase productivity and you time, allowing you to take more jobs.

Overall, there's many aspects that go into making an elevated work solution decision, including other factors not listed. It's a good idea to consult all potential operators to fully understand their task, equipment, and safety needs to maximize worker efficiency and your resources.

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