Safely Operate Scissor & Boom Lifts in 5 Simple Steps

How-To Safely Operate A LiftNeed to climb to high heights and get a chore done on your property, or perhaps shoot a movie (it’s been known to happen)? Well, there’s a lift for that! Lifts are specialized machines that help you safely access work areas that are located high above ground level, and are hard to reach with a ladder. In the case of a movie shoot, a lift can put you and the camera up high for panoramic views of a set or outdoor vista.

A scissor lift uses a single crisscrossed metal arm mechanism that moves straight up by electricity or hydraulics, delivering a smooth ride to the elevated work area. A boom lift has articulated joints and extendable metal arms usually fixed to a 360-degree rotation turntable that swings them full circle for quick and flexible positioning, above obstacles or other areas that are not safe for a standard scissor lift.

Whether you rent a scissor lift or a boom lift, it’s important to follow standard safety procedures when operating either one.

Step 1. Inspect the equipment before operation. Check the platform floor, guardrails, toe boards, tires, wheels, basket, hydraulic hoses and fittings for fluid leaks. Test the ground controls, manual lowering controls, platform controls and emergency stops, making sure that every function of the lift works correctly, including steering and drive functions.

Step 2. Check the work site at ground level for uneven surfaces, drop-offs or holes, bumps, floor obstructions or debris and overhead hazards, making sure the lift is not parked on a slope that exceeds operator manual specifications. Make sure you’re not going to exceed the maximum lift capacity of the machine.

Step 3. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment, such as a safety harness and any protective equipment specific to the lift you’re using, such as a fall arrest lanyard with a boom lift. Load your equipment into the basket.

Step 4. Turn on the engine and run through all of the lift operations, including raising, lowering, extending, retracting and/or basket tilting. Move the lift forward and reverse, then move it into place. Make sure it is stable. Set any safety outriggers, if equipped.

Step 5. Lift the work basket or adjust the height and angle of each boom arm to reach your work area. After work is completed, take care to shut down the lift, leaving all arms in locked positions.

Expert Advice

JLG and Genie Scissor Lifts and Boom Lifts are available for rental. Most are appropriate for both indoor and outdoor applications and are reliable and energy-efficient, offering the maximum job productivity. Some run quieter and cleaner, while others fit through most standard doorways and tight aisles, perfect for areas with limited access and maneuvering in tight workspaces. If you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-tos, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our expert staff is always on hand to help you with surface preparation projects. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Categories: Choosing Equipment, Featured Products | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Safely Operate Scissor & Boom Lifts in 5 Simple Steps

  1. I would like to put Christmas lights up along some trees in my back yard for the summer, but cannot reach the tops of them with a ladder. My backyard is level, so I wouldn’t have to worry about step 2 of this article, which is very comforting. Would a scissor lift be appropriate for this kind of a task?

    • Hi Audrey, scissor lifts only go up and down – they do not go up and over. I would suggest using a boom lift instead. Hope this helps. Thanks for reading!

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