5 Different Types Of Scissor Lifts Used In Construction Sites And Projects

Aerial lifts used at construction sites are usually of two types: boom lifts and scissor lifts. While boom lifts can lift one person at a time and a certain height, scissor lift platforms allow multiple operators at once.

Scissor lift provides a rising platform and a safe and steady enclosure which helps workers to access a specific set of tasks at higher altitudes. It is one of the most useful pieces of equipment along with other types of machinery.

It is the best equipment for specific projects where higher elevation is not a concern. It varies with the application, size, and fuel type.

Here are the five different types that are usually seen on the worksite.


Electric scissor lifts are one of the popular aerial platform machinery used in various worksites. It is one of the alternatives to fuel models; it features a silent, quick, and a proportional movement mechanism.

Since they do not make noise and emit fumes, this type of lift is environment-friendly and ideal for indoor spaces, which mostly have inadequate ventilation. These types of equipment are easy to use, less bulky, unlike their diesel counterparts, making them favorable in smaller spaces.

Rough Terrain

As the name suggests, this type of lift is designed exclusively for rough and uneven outdoor terrain. They are equipped with heavy-duty tires, high weight capacity, and additional fall restraint mechanisms including devices like arrestors.

This makes them perfect for worksites with slopes, and uneven surfaces, also ideal for projects take place in harsh weather. Rough terrain scissor lifts are available in dual fuel, gas, diesel, or liquid propane.

However, to avoid accidents and ejections, scissor lift certification is crucial to operating different types of lifts safely. Further, it emphasizes on improving operators’ skills to become experts in assessing overall work safety, which in turn reduce worker injuries and fatalities.  


Hydraulic scissor lifts are ideal for both indoor and outdoor applications, including industries like aerospace, automotive, energy, rail, advanced manufacturing, and entertainment. Engine-driven or hand-operated hydraulic systems power it. The varying pressure of the oil in the lift helps to operate the platform up and down.

Sometimes the oil becomes viscous at lower temperatures; it is slower to operate in colder climates. However, this problem has been taken into consideration in newer models; it is usually most suitable for projects where horsepower and speed is not a priority.


Diesel scissor lifts are another one of the most commonly used on construction sites and various outdoor projects. The cross-braced structure of this lift allows reaching a height of 30 feet to 60 feet depending on model to model.  

Since it is powered by diesel fuel, thus, emit fumes and can be a bit noisy. This makes these lifts typically for outdoor projects or sites having proper ventilation and where noise can disperse. Their sturdy design provides them with the relatively larger aerial platform.


Pneumatic scissor lifts are operated using air pressure lifting mechanism. Unlike traditional lifts, this does not emit harmful fumes into the environment, making it a sustainable option for industries/companies looking to lessen their carbon foot-mark.

This lift is easy to operate as it’s entirely pneumatic (no hydraulic or electrical components). While they are not suitable to use in rough terrain, it is an ideal solution in almost any environment, including indoor projects, as it only requires air pressure.

Choosing the right scissor lift is vital to meet your project needs. Moreover, you should also consider factors like the lift strength and height, the stability of the load, loading technique, and required platform size.