With municipal budgets tight these days, capital equipment purchases can come under tight scrutiny. If you're thinking about buying a scissor lift for your small community, you may want to explore the idea more before committing your money. Here's a look at some different equipment options and places where a scissor lift could come in handy around town.
Scissor Lift Options
A scissor lift is a platform that moves in a strictly vertical plane on a pantograph—that's a series of X-patterned folding supports that collapse on each other in a scissoring mechanism when the platform is lowered. You may be surprised to see all the different options that various scissor lift models offer:
- variable working heights
- different size platforms
- bridges to extend work area
- range of lifting capacities
- multiple power sources (electric and gas)
- pneumatic, hydraulic, and/or mechanical contraction
- various speeds of operation
- ability to work on uneven surfaces (known as gradeability, given in percent)
- tight maneuverability
- self-propelling capacity
- rough terrain capability (four-wheel drive, rear wheel differential, and rugged tires)
- mobility at full extension
- outriggers for added stability
- ability to use the lift as a power source to plug in tools and other equipment
Jobs You Can Do with a Scissor Lift
Scissor lifts are a favorite piece of equipment for many businesses and municipalities because of their low cost (compared with cranes, cherry pickers, and the like) and high flexibility. When evaluating which scissor lift model is right for your community, think about some of the places where you may be putting it to use:
- utility repairs and installations
- putting up holiday decorations
- washing and repairing windows on public buildings
- cleaning gutters
- building inspections and repairs (masonry, roofing, etc.)
- construction projects
- interior and exterior painting
- tree maintenance and landscaping
- jobs that normally get referred to the fire department (e.g., small animal rescue)
Purchasing the right piece of equipment is a short-term expense that can save money in the long run. You can save on municipal employee labor and therefore costs and prevent outsourcing services to costly private businesses.
Strategies for Making a Purchase
With all the options on today's scissor lift models and the variety of places you may use one, you need to think carefully about what best satisfies your community's needs. You may want to purchase two used models with very different capabilities—you can save money and still have all the features you demand.
The best way to make a decision about this kind of capital equipment is to rent several models for a few months to see how they really work in action. The rental company can usually train your community employees in their operation, so safety won't be a problem.
Scissor lifts aren't inexpensive, but they are still a less costly alternative to many other options. You may even be able to rent your lift out to other communities and recoup some of the cost. Don't keep throwing money down the drain by hiring outside companies to do jobs your municipal employees could handle with the right equipment. Rent a scissor lift (from an outlet such as Thompson's Grand Rental Station Inc), and get started on saving money and time today.