What's the Difference Between Hydraulic & Electric Powered Scissor Lifts?


Innovation is constantly changing today's world and the scissor lift industry is no exception. Recent ANSI A92.20 and CSA standards influence lift design, safety, and training, but the introduction of electric scissor lifts takes the industry's environmental impact (of lack thereof) to a whole new level. Keep reading to see how hydraulic and electric scissor lifts compare to decide which drive system is right for you.

The Evolution of Electric Powered Scissor Lifts

With the implementation of the new ANSI A92.20 and CSA standards, even the most historically “simple” scissor lifts have become more complicated. Relays have been replaced with electrical controllers and switches that continually monitor wind force and calculate machine load. This ensures that scissor lifts are not operated in unsafe situations and requires operators to either lighten the load or adjust the height or incline of the unit when unsafe conditions are detected. Additionally, more customers are requiring easy to maintain and standard compliant scissor lifts that meet strict jobsite and spillage requirements without sacrificing productivity or uptime. Thus, the electric scissor lift was born.

LeakGuard hydraulic fluid containment system

Hy-Brid Lifts single-tray LeakGuard™ Fluid Containment System.

Electric Steer

Electric steer scissor lifts are quieter and have less potential for leaks.

Hydraulic vs. Electric Scissor Lifts

In general, hydraulic systems are typically less efficient than electrical systems as they rely on hoses and valves that tend to contribute to energy loss. Having more hydraulic connector points also means increased oil leak points, which can be messy and expensive to repair depending on the extent of the damage. Using electrical motors for both drive and steer scissor lift functions lowers the number of potential hydraulic leak points, reduces emissions, and enables smoother operation when combined with proportional controls. With jerky movements eliminated, workers are able to "creep" at height, allowing them to be more productive for longer periods of time.

Troubleshooting electric scissor lifts has also become easier with portable diagnostic tools like the handheld EZcal Pro. These units are typically inexpensive and are available from the manufacturer so you can get contractors back up and running in less time.

Choosing the Right Solution

There's a number of factors to consider when deciding between hydraulic and electric scissor lifts. First, consider your jobsite needs. Are there any environmental or emission regulations you should be aware of? Will excessive machine noise be an issue? It's a good idea to estimate how much weight you need to elevate and calculate any floor load pressure requirements before signing a contract.

Choosing a scissor lift manufacturer that complies with all of the current standards without overly complicating machines with expensive componentry can be difficult. That's why we made it easy. All of our Pro Series and Zero-Turn Series scissor lifts offer electric steer and drive, only using hydraulics for elevation. We've successfully combined affordability and performance in an environmentally-friendly scissor lift so you can access more jobs.

Pro Series Electric with LeakGuard

Hy-Brid Lifts electric drive and steer PS-1030 with LeakGuard™.

Find out who has Hy-Brid Lifts™ in your area.





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