5 Most Common Scissor Lift Problems To Avoid

The long and short of it? The most common scissor lift problems come from a lack of Maintenance.

  1. Lack of Maintenance
  2. Lack of Maintenance
  3. Lack of Maintenance
  4. Lack of Maintenance
  5. Lack of Maintenance
  6. Bonus Problem: Lack of Maintenance

We’re kidding, but really, lack of maintenance is the quickest way to leaving your scissor lift hard down and in need of some serious TLC.

So, putting the dad jokes aside, here’s our list of the five most common scissor lift problems, and how to solve them.

Common Scissor Lift Problem #1: Lack of Maintenance

Any scissor lift operator needs to inspect their machine before each use. In addition to that basic safety precaution, Quarterly Inspections and Annual Inspections from qualified technicians are key to identifying and addressing critical issues to keep the scissor lift safe to operate

Common Scissor Lift Problem #2: Water Intrusion / Corrosion

“Corrosion is what kills scissor lifts,” OHR Rents Field Service Technician Jeremy Nelson says. “Whether it’s rust on the rails or corrosion on the battery connectors.”

It’s rare to have problems with hydraulic systems, but exposure to water without getting a chance to dry out can lead to bigger problems for scissor lift owners. These issues will typically crop up in connectors on lifts. Water in rails can freeze during winter and split your rail.

Common Scissor Lift Problem #3: Storing the scissor lift outside

Keeping a lift out of the weather goes a long way to keeping it working properly. Storing the machine inside when not in use avoids common problems like corrosion and rust build up. It also helps maintain battery life by keeping battery connectors from getting wet.

In cold-weather, pivot points and hinges can dry out. Skyjack scissor lifts, for example, have a lot of sliding mechanisms. If they are allowed to dry out in the elements, they can stick.

Batteries low on charge can freeze if they are left outside in winter.

Even using scissor lifts outside during winter can be detrimental to their lifespan. Driving around on surfaces treated with salt can allow the salt to get into the machine, rotting materials out.

Common Scissor Lift Problem #4: Battery Maintenance

Bad scissor lift battery corrosion - Common Scissor Lift Problems

Example of bad scissor lift battery corrosion

Scissor lifts can be very useful on construction sites, for renovations and for daily maintenance tasks. With such a long list of jobs that they can be used on, scissor lifts can be run hard. Maintaining the lift’s battery is vital to not only ensure the unit will turn on, but also that the battery lasts as long as its designed for.

Regular charge and discharge cycles are the best way to keep your batteries operating properly.

If you are storing a scissor lift for a long time without using it, be sure to follow instructions to extend battery life. Often, you don’t need to keep the unit charging all the time. Deep-cycle batteries can handle longer periods of time between use best.

Monitoring battery water levels is also very important to maintain battery life. Continual usage of units can lead to low water levels and early failure of the batteries.

Common Scissor Lift Problem #5: Collecting debris on a job site

Allowing screws and other construction and maintenance debris near tires and wheels is a great way to lose your scissor lift to the repair shop.

String and plastic likes to get wrapped around wheels and can even take out seals on drive motors.

Being mindful of what you are driving over and making sure your machine’s wheels don’t pick anything up, goes a long way to maintaining your scissor lift.

Debris can also include paint overspray – if using lifts while painting, working to shield controls and movable parts.

Additionally, keeping your scissor lift’s deck free of debris is important to the longevity of your scissor lift. If you get dirt or nails in your roller when your platform is extended, that can get stuck. Good housekeeping is important to maintaining your scissor lift!