What is the Difference Between Hydraulic and Electric Powered Scissor Lifts?

More customers are requiring easy to maintain ANSI 92.20 and CSA compliant scissor lifts that are environmentally friendly without sacrificing productivity or uptime.

Choosing the Right Solution

When deciding which scissor lift best fits the application, there are many factors that a contractor needs to consider, not the least of which is the how devastating a hydraulic leak would be if there was no way to detain it or, better yet, prevent it from happening in the first place.

Choosing a scissor lift with the fewest amount of potential leak points, that is also paired with a leak containment system that can absorb all of the hydraulic fluid in the system should there be a catastrophic failure, is recommended. This is especially important on projects such as hospitals, data centers and projects where the concrete slab will also be the finished floor and stains would be unacceptable. Traditional diapers tend to be cumbersome and can be difficult to install and replace.

Hy-Brid Lifts Single-Tray LeakGuard System

Electric Steer

Electric steer scissor lifts have less potential for leaks

Hydraulic vs. Electric

Hydraulic systems in general, are usually less efficient than electrical systems as they rely on hoses and valves that tend to contribute to a loss of energy. Scissor lifts designed with electrical systems with proportional controls allow for smoother operation, especially when utilizing electrical motors for both the drive and steer function. This results in less fatigue for operators allowing them to be productive for longer periods of time. Loading and unloading machines with proportional controls onto trucks and trailers also becomes less nerve-wracking.

When troubleshooting hydraulic scissor lifts as opposed to primarily electric lifts, it is often the result of a failure that has already caused a leak and potential damage to the floor where it was being used. Troubleshooting an electric lift has become easier as tools such as a handheld (EZ-Cal ELEC-646-5) unit are available from the manufacturer and are typically inexpensive. Most dealers and rental houses will have these in their shops if not on all service trucks so they can get contractors back up and running in a short amount of time.

The Evolution of Electric Powered Scissor Lifts

With the recent implementation of the new ANSI 92.20 and CSA standards, even the most historically “simple” scissor lifts have become more complicated. Relays have been replaced with electrical controllers and switches that will continually monitor the wind force and calculate the load on the machine.  This is meant to ensure that the machine is not operated in an unsafe situation and it will require the operator to either lighten the load or adjust the height or incline of the unit when unsafe conditions are detected. The struggle is to choose a scissor lift manufacturer that has figured out a way to comply with all the current standards without complicating the machine with expensive proprietary componentry that is difficult and expensive to service/replace.

All in all, the clear choice when deciding on the right scissor lift for the job, is one that has the least amount of hydraulic oil and, if possible, total leak containment should a failure occur in the system. 

Pro Series Electric

Hy-Brid Lifts Electric Drive and Steer PS-1030 with LeakGuard

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