A diesel scissor lift is a type of mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) that is used to provide temporary access for workers and equipment to elevated areas. It is designed with a platform and scissor-like mechanism that can be raised and lowered, allowing workers to reach heights safely and efficiently. Diesel scissor lifts are powered by a diesel engine, making them suitable for outdoor and rough terrain use. They are commonly used in construction, maintenance, and other industries that require working at heights.

According to a research paper published by the International Journal of Innovative Research in Science, Engineering and Technology, diesel scissor lifts are considered to be the most efficient and cost-effective form of aerial work platforms. The mechanism of a diesel scissor lift involves a hydraulic system that uses pressure to raise and lower the platform. As the scissor mechanism contracts and expands, the platform moves up and down. This allows workers to adjust the height to their desired level while working.

There are various types of diesel scissor lifts available, each designed to cater to specific needs and environments. The five most common types of diesel scissor lifts are:

Diesel scissor lifts have numerous uses across different industries. Some of the common uses include:

However, operating a diesel scissor lift comes with certain precautions to ensure the safety of workers. Some of the safety measures include:

In conclusion, a diesel scissor lift is an essential piece of equipment used in various industries for efficient and safe access to elevated areas. By understanding its mechanism, types, uses, and safety precautions, it can be used effectively and safely in the workplace.

What Is a Diesel Scissor Lift?

A diesel scissor lift is a type of mobile elevating work platform (MEWP) powered by a diesel engine. It provides a stable platform for workers and their equipment to work at height. This type of lift is ideal for outdoor use on rough terrain due to its robust and powerful nature. It offers a larger platform area and higher weight capacity compared to electric scissor lifts, making it suitable for heavy-duty tasks.

Pro-tip: Ensure proper ventilation when using diesel scissor lifts indoors to prevent exposure to harmful emissions.

How Does a Diesel Scissor Lift Work?

The diesel scissor lift operates using a diesel engine that powers the hydraulic system. When the engine is turned on, it activates the hydraulic pump, which pressurises the hydraulic fluid. This pressurised fluid is then transmitted through hydraulic hoses to the scissor mechanisms, causing them to extend and raise the platform to the desired height. To lower the platform, the hydraulic valve is opened, allowing the fluid to flow back into the reservoir, retracting the scissor arms.

The steady platform offers a safe working environment for tasks at elevated heights.

What Are the Different Types of Diesel Scissor Lifts?

Diesel scissor lifts are a popular choice for construction and industrial projects due to their versatility and efficiency. However, not all diesel scissor lifts are the same, as there are various types designed for different purposes. In this section, we will discuss the five different types of diesel scissor lifts: rough terrain, electric, all-terrain, narrow, and compact. Each type has its unique features and benefits, making them suitable for specific job sites and applications.

1. Rough Terrain Scissor Lifts

Rough terrain scissor lifts are designed for outdoor use on uneven, rough surfaces. These lifts feature larger, sturdier tyres to navigate through rugged terrain with ease. Equipped with superior off-road capabilities, they provide stability and safety on challenging landscapes. Typically, these lifts have higher ground clearance to manoeuvre over obstacles encountered in outdoor environments. They are commonly utilised in construction, maintenance, and agricultural settings for their ability to access hard-to-reach areas.

2. Electric Scissor Lifts

Electric scissor lifts are powered by electricity, making them environmentally friendly and ideal for indoor use. These lifts are quieter than diesel or gas-powered models, creating a more conducive work environment. They offer zero emissions, making them suitable for areas with strict emission regulations. Electric scissor lifts are often more compact, providing ease of maneuverability in tight spaces. They are cost-effective due to lower fuel and maintenance expenses.

3. All-Terrain Scissor Lifts

All-terrain scissor lifts, like the Genie GS-5390, are designed for rough and uneven surfaces. Equipped with sturdy tyres and powerful engines, they can navigate challenging outdoor terrains with ease. These lifts offer enhanced stability and are suitable for construction, maintenance, and outdoor events.

Pro-tip: When operating all-terrain scissor lifts, conduct thorough site inspections to identify potential hazards and ensure a safe working environment.

4. Narrow Scissor Lifts

Narrow scissor lifts, also known as compact scissor lifts, are designed for use in confined spaces and narrow aisles. These lifts have a smaller footprint, making them ideal for indoor use in warehouses, retail spaces, and manufacturing facilities. They offer manoeuvrability and easy navigation through tight spaces, allowing for efficient and safe access to elevated areas. Narrow scissor lifts are suitable for tasks such as inventory management, maintenance work, and installation projects in restricted areas.

Users should ensure that the dimensions and weight capacity of the narrow scissor lift align with the specific requirements of the workspace.

5. Compact Scissor Lifts

Compact scissor lifts are designed for operations in confined spaces, offering maneuverability and accessibility. These lifts are ideal for tasks such as installation, maintenance, and repairs in narrow areas. Compact scissor lifts are commonly used in indoor construction, facility management, and retail settings.

What Are the Uses of a Diesel Scissor Lift?

Have you ever seen a diesel scissor lift in action and wondered what it is used for? This powerful and versatile equipment has a wide range of uses across various industries. In this section, we will explore the different applications of a diesel scissor lift, including construction and maintenance, warehousing and distribution, entertainment and events, agriculture and farming, and emergency services. Discover how this machinery plays a crucial role in these fields and the benefits it offers for each specific use.

1. Construction and Maintenance

Inspect the work area to identify potential hazards like uneven surfaces or overhead obstacles.

Position the diesel scissor lift on stable ground to ensure safe operation.

Conduct a pre-start inspection of the lift, checking for any damage or malfunction.

While using the lift, maintain a safe distance from electrical hazards and moving parts.

After use, store the diesel scissor lift in a designated area to prevent unauthorized access.

Pro-tip: Regularly schedule maintenance checks to keep the diesel scissor lift in optimal condition for construction and maintenance tasks.

2. Warehousing and Distribution

Efficient Vertical Transportation:

Diesel scissor lifts are ideal for warehousing and distribution purposes, enabling the smooth movement of goods and materials between different levels.

Enhanced Productivity:

These lifts facilitate quick and safe access to items stored on elevated racks, minimizing downtime and optimising workflow.

Flexible Handling:

Utilise diesel scissor lifts to manoeuvre heavy or bulky items within warehouse settings, ensuring efficient storage and retrieval processes.

For an optimised warehousing and distribution setup, consider integrating diesel scissor lifts to streamline material handling operations and improve overall efficiency.

3. Entertainment and Events

  1. Entertainment and events:

Diesel scissor lifts are used in the entertainment industry for setting up stages, lighting, and sound equipment for concerts, festivals, and outdoor events.

Did you know? Diesel scissor lifts offer the flexibility and power needed to handle the demands of setting up large-scale events and productions.

4. Agriculture and Farming

In agriculture and farming, diesel scissor lifts are used for various tasks such as orchard maintenance, picking fruits at height, and greenhouse repairs. These lifts provide the necessary elevation and stability for tasks that involve working at height, contributing to increased productivity and safety in agricultural operations.

True story: A family farm in California utilized a diesel scissor lift for maintaining their orchard, allowing them to efficiently prune and harvest fruits while ensuring worker safety.

5. Emergency Services

Provide rapid access to elevated locations during emergency situations.

Facilitate rescue and evacuation operations in challenging terrains or confined spaces.

Support quick deployment for accessing buildings and structures during emergency response.

Enable efficient and safe access for maintenance and repair tasks in emergency scenarios.

Assist in disaster relief efforts, allowing access to high areas for search and rescue operations.

What Are the Safety Precautions for Operating a Diesel Scissor Lift?

As with any heavy machinery, operating a diesel scissor lift requires proper training and adherence to safety precautions. In this section, we will discuss the essential safety measures that must be taken when using a diesel scissor lift. From proper training and certification to regular maintenance and inspections, we will cover all the necessary steps to ensure a safe and efficient operation. Additionally, we will highlight the importance of using personal protective equipment, adhering to weight and height limits, and being aware of potential hazards in the surrounding area.

1. Proper Training and Certification

Enrol in an accredited training programme specific to diesel scissor lift operation.

Complete the training and pass the certification exam to obtain the necessary credentials.

Undergo regular refresher courses to stay updated on safety protocols and operational best practices.

Ensure that the certification is visible and easily accessible to demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

Always prioritise hiring and assigning certified operators for diesel scissor lift tasks.

2. Regular Maintenance and Inspections

Regular Maintenance:

Carry out regular checks on engine oil, hydraulic fluid, and fuel levels.


Regularly check for loose or damaged parts, leaks, and proper functioning of safety features.


Keep the scissor lift clean and free from debris to prevent malfunctions and accidents.


Maintain detailed records of all maintenance and inspections carried out, including dates and findings.

Professional Service:

Schedule regular professional servicing to ensure optimal performance and safety.

3. Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment

Wear appropriate PPE for the task, including hard hats, gloves, and non-slip footwear. Use safety harnesses and fall protection gear when working at heights. Protect your eyes and face with safety goggles or a face shield. Ensure that clothing fits properly and does not pose a risk of entanglement in the scissor lift’s moving parts. Inspect PPE regularly for wear and tear, and replace any damaged equipment immediately.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been critical in preventing workplace injuries and fatalities. Its proper use, as exemplified in the steps above, has significantly enhanced worker safety across various industries.

4. Adhering to Weight and Height Limits

Check the weight and height limits specified by the manufacturer for the specific scissor lift model. Ensure that the combined weight of the operators and equipment does not exceed the specified limit. Do not extend the scissor lift beyond its maximum height capacity.

Regularly inspect the lift to ensure it complies with weight and height restrictions.

Pro-tip: Always factor in the weight of tools and materials when calculating the total load on the scissor lift.

5. Being Aware of Surroundings and Potential Hazards

Survey the work area for potential hazards, including overhead obstacles, drop-offs, and unstable ground. Keep an eye out for moving machinery, pedestrians, and other workers in the vicinity. Ensure clear visibility by removing any obstructions that could impede the safe operation of the scissor lift. Be mindful of the presence of electrical lines, conduits, and other overhead obstructions to prevent accidental contact. Stay vigilant about weather conditions that could affect the stability and operation of the scissor lift, such as strong winds or slippery surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a diesel scissor lift?

A diesel scissor lift is a versatile and efficient work platform that uses a diesel-powered engine to lift heavy loads and multiple workers at a time. It has a straight, vertical elevation and standard platform extensions for more workspace and reach. It is commonly used on construction or finishing sites.

What is the lifting capacity of a diesel scissor lift?

The lifting capacity of a diesel scissor lift varies depending on the manufacturer and model. However, on average, diesel scissor lifts have a lifting capacity of 450 to 700 kg, making them suitable for heavier loads and up to 4 workers at a time.

What are the advantages of using a diesel scissor lift?

Diesel scissor lifts have several advantages, including high gradeability and tilt capacity, making them suitable for challenging terrains with maximum stability provided by outrigger legs. They are also compact for narrow access and can be used for outdoor applications. They are highly manoeuvrable with a narrow turning radius, can handle heavy loads and have a large working platform for multiple workers.

Are diesel scissor lifts available for hire?

Yes, diesel scissor lifts are available for hire from various companies. It is recommended to choose a reputable company that offers IPAF-approved diesel scissor lift training for safe and efficient use of the equipment. You can also sign up for email updates or check for the latest deals to get connected with the right equipment for your needs.

What are the safety features of a diesel scissor lift?

Diesel scissor lifts have several safety features, including non-marking tyres for indoor use, onboard platform power unit for easy control and robust platforms for stability. They also have outrigger legs for balance on rough terrain or unfinished flooring. It is important to follow proper training and guidelines for safe use of the equipment.

How high can a diesel scissor lift reach?

The maximum working height of a diesel scissor lift varies depending on the manufacturer and model. On average, they have a working height range of 10 to 12 meters, with some models reaching up to 18 meters. This makes them suitable for tasks that require reaching high places and working at lower heights.