what to ask when searching for a used scissor lift

How to Identify a Quality Used Scissor Lift

When people think about aerial lifts, generally, one of the most prominent lifts they think about are scissor lifts. From warehouses and building maintenance to construction sites and telecommunication work, scissor lifts provide lots of functionality for elevated projects that require a large platform.  

“Ultimately, scissor lifts (and any AWP) help technicians reach difficult to reach areas and provide stable footing in order to complete any necessary work. Frequently, work teams leverage scissor lifts instead of ladders because of the enhanced safety features. For example, one of the basic operational rules forbids operating the lift while the platform is elevated. Finally, scissor lifts, which vary in size, are great machines for navigating between tight isles (such as in warehouses).”

Generally, scissor lifts are known for the criss-crossing design that vertically elevates a scaffold. Whereas, aerial lifts elevate various types of platforms horizontally and/or vertically. As a result, the first step in ensuring you obtain a quality used scissor lift is knowing your primary use case of the machine.

For more, please find some high level tips to identify a high quality used scissor lift. As always, conduct your own due diligence, but these should help get you started down that path. 

Tips to Identify a Used Scissor Lift 

  • Look for Value, Not Cost

Frequently, companies purchased used products to help save money. However, with used scissor lifts (or any lift), cheap products may not offer much value. For example, if a product is too cheap, the seller is pricing it low for a reason. As a result, look for value over the sticker price. 

  • Check the Odometer

Related to value, check the odometer (or hours meter) of the used scissor lift. The number of miles on the machine is more important than the number of years old. Similarly to used cars, we have all seen 10 year old cars with 20,000 miles vs 3 year old cars with 50,000 miles. The odometer tells more to the story vs the age.

  • Inspect the Used Scissor Lift Modifications

Often, the previous user may modify their scissor lift. Fortunately manufacturer’s provide documentation for approved modifications, so ensure all changes still adhere to these guidelines. Additionally, inspect the lift and ensure the modifications do not prohibit the machine from working with your primary use. For example, common modifications include cutting, welding or otherwise changing the railings or scaffolding, so ensure they still meet safety guidelines as well. Finally, measure your work space and the scissor lift. In particular, if you are using the lift for warehouse work, measure the aisles, doorways, ceilings and every restricted area where the machine may travel and operate. Confirm the used scissor lift will fit in the work space! 

  • Confirm the Safety History 

First, as you inspect the used lift, check the safety accessories. For example, confirm any modifications did not impact the fall protection components of the scissor lift. Secondly, and perhaps more important, ask for the service history. As part of the ongoing safety regulations, operators should be keeping detailed records of the machine and documenting the work performed on the machine. Therefore, inspect the records and confirm the safety history of any used scissor lift. Along those lines, if there is any pushback, then take a pause. Additionally, ask lots of questions about performance, such as:

  • How do the brakes work?
  • How does the engine start?
  • What is the common use of the machine?
  • How often are the fluids refilled?
  • What is the standard maintenance schedule?

Used Scissor Lift Maintenance

If you purchase a used scissor lift, then maintenance becomes increasingly more important. For example, routine maintenance improves the lift span of any machine, let alone a used machine. Focusing on maintenance helps ensure your new investment lasts. Additionally, OSHA publishes safety guidelines and ANSI created safety standards, which means operators should be following these requirements. As a result, some of the high level scissor lift maintenance items include: 

  • Inspecting used scissor lifts prior to usage.
  • Checking all fluid levels (oil, hydraulic, gas, brake, etc.) remain at the appropriate levels.
  • Checking tire (and wheel) pressure remains in alignment with manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Confirming all operators wear safety gear (gloves, hats, harnesses, glasses, etc.) that remains in good condition.
  • Inspect used scissor lifts following usage and maintain detailed records of these inspections, any repairs and general maintenance updates.
  • Personal Safety Equipment - Ensure safety gear, such as gloves, hats, harnesses and glasses, remain in good condition.
  • Post Job Lift Examination - Following a completed job, conduct a concise inspection, which reduces the possibility of small problems becoming more significant dangers.
  • Take Notes & Records - Maintain a detailed record of inspections, maintenance and repairs. 

Finally, for more information on maintaining your used scissor lift, Aerial Equipment Parts maintains a vast inventory of replacement parts. Additionally, our inventory includes parts for all major brands, including JLG, Genie, SkyJack and Snorkel lifts. If you need to replace any of your used scissor lift parts, then search our inventory to find the right decal kit for your needs today.  

At Aerial Equipment Parts, we strive to provide quality parts at a reasonable price. As an equipment parts wholesaler, our team is filled with industry professionals. As a result, most of our sales representatives started their careers fulfilling warehouse orders and worked their way up to phone support. This means that if you have any questions, you’ll speak with someone that knows parts!

Plus, we know you are busy and believe that getting the right part for your lift shouldn't be a burden. So, our parts meet or exceed the original manufacturer's quality and our warehouses remain stocked. As a result, we ship Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. CST. For any aerial lift equipment questions, contact us today at 303-704-7000 or contact@aerialequipmentparts.com.

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