Trends in scissor lifts
By Euan YoudaleNovember 16, 2020
There have been some fascinating developments in the scissor lift sector over the last 12 months. Apart from wide-ranging updates to meet and exceed the new US ANSI standards, there has been a drive towards electric rough terrain equipment and micro scissors, which are increasingly replacing ladders and podiums and now commonly have direct electric drive.
As part of its environmentally friendly ‘blue’ strategy, Haulotte has launched the first scissor lifts in its electric rough terrain Pulseo range, which AI can reveal here as an exclusive. Until now the Pulseo range consisted of the HA20 LE electric rough terrain boom lift. “More and more cities and companies are taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint,” says Haulotte, with an increase in Low Emission Zones (LEZ), or green construction sites. Hence the launch of its new electric big deck, large capacity 15m and 18m working height HS15 E and HS18 E all-terrain scissors, (HS4390 E and HS5390 E in North America).
The HS15 E and HS18 E offer the same drive performance as a diesel machine and are designed to climb slopes up to 45%. The front oscillating axle and 4-wheel drive combines with the manual differential wheel lock to provide control and traction and gets the machine in and out of challenging terrain. It can be deployed on slopes up to 5°, with outriggers, while high ground clearance protects the machine’s components.
The HS15 E and HS18 E have a load capacity of up to 750kg (1,650lb) to meet the demands of a range of applications, including cladding, insulation and maintenance work, with a maximum of four persons in the platform. The platform is up to 7.4m (19ft) long, with both extensions. The HS15 E can drive at full height, and the HS18 E an drive at up to 13m working height. They also operate in effective silence, with an acoustic profile below 60 dB in electric mode.
Combined with non-marking tyres, this also makes them suitable for a range of indoor and sensitive surface applications. The 48V battery pack can deliver a full day of work and has three charging options. The primary charger recharges the batteries at the end of the shift from any standard 110 -230V single phase electrical network. An optional three-phase accelerated charger provides an 80% charge in three hours. Thirdly, a 5.5kW removable range extender combustion engine can be used to rapidly recharge the batteries while the machine is operational. The range extender is also interchangeable between HS15 E or HS18 E models.
JLG’s ERT electric and MRT diesel rough terrain scissors are a new series of 1.75m (69 inch) wide machines. They range from 9.92m (26ft) to 14.32m (47ft) working height with the 12.05m (33ft) and 15.10m (43ft) machines filling out the series. Sharing up to 97% components, like heavy duty, rough terrain tyres - standard non marking for the ERT, chassis, baskets, hydraulic layout, among others, reduces spare part variation as well as training for service departments.
The diesel MRT offers a market first, optional, dual oscillating axle, which the manufacturer calls, Quick Level Advanced. This allows machines to level out, side-to-side at up to 7.5 degrees, while the machine maintains its mobility and driving at full height. The ERT and MRT also offer levelling stabilisers. Non-marking tyres on the ERT are powered by standard 2 wheel drive, while the MRT also offers a 4 wheel drive option.
Both the electric and diesel scissor range have new control panels. Lift Sense allows the operator to read colourful and intuitive gauges like basket weight, machine slope side to side and aft to front which all influence operating height.
JLG will also introduce a new range or electric scissors that replace its electric ES machines. “Listening to the importance of parts commonality for lower total cost of ownership and reduced maintenance training, the new ES range is largely based on the current hydraulic R series,” says the company. The new ES range will have zero load calibration and an advanced battery monitoring system, as well as an optional wireless positioning system through mobile control; a smart phone app which allows an operator to drive and steer a machine from outside of the basket and on the ground.
Speaking about its electric midsize rough terrain range, the company says, “We see a growing trend for electric machines in Europe and across the globe. More and more local and national environmental restrictions reflect a need for machines with less noise and exhaust pollution, performing jobs in urban environments.”
Genie’s GS-4655 RT was launched in 2019, powered by a maintenance free, fully sealed front-wheel AC electric drive system. As with equipment in this category, it is well-suited for both indoor and outdoor tasks, from narrow aisle warehouses to construction sites. Three people plus tools can access heights of 16.02m (52ft) indoors and lift up to 349kg (770lb). For working over obstacles, a roll-out deck extension provides horizontal outreach of 1.22m (4ft). A longer period between charges is possible due to a regenerative braking system.
In the electric slab scissor lift segment, Snorkel has introduced the S4740E, its largest model to date, as well as previewing a lithium-ion battery powered compact rough terrain scissor lift.
The S4740E has a maximum working height of 14m, yet measures just 1.19m wide. It is the first Snorkel lift to be offered with a choice of either hydraulic or electric drive. Weighing 3,100kg and with a lifting capacity of up to 250kg, it shares the same features of the existing electric slab scissor family.
The company will expand its range of lithium-ion lifts. Entering production later this year, the new ‘S-RTE’ family are electric versions of the diesel-powered compact rough terrain line. The range includes the S2770RTE with a 10.1m working height and a 580kg lift capacity; the S3370RTE with a working height of 12m and a lift capacity of 450kg; and the largest model in the range, the S3970RTE with a 13.8m working height and the lift capacity of 350kg.
Equipped with two lithium-ion battery systems as standard, the low voltage system is easily serviced, without the need for specialist high voltage training, and has been tested in climatic chambers between -77°F (-25°C) and +140°F (+60°C). The new family of three lithium-ion powered lifts will enter full production later this year.
Earlier this year the company also entered into the large deck construction scissor lift segment, with the introduction of two new families. The RT family of three large deck, rough terrain models includes the S9033RT, S9043RT and the S9053RT, while the new RT-HC family, includes four high specification models with exceptional lift capacities and heights. All seven models are expected to enter full production in early 2021.
LGMG has introduced the largest electric scissor lift in its range, the AS1413E. With a platform height of 13.8m (45.3ft) and working height of 15.8m (51.8ft), the AS1413E has a 320kg (705lbs) capacity and weighs 3500kg (7716lbs). It features a 0.9m (3ft) roll extension deck.
According to the manufacturer, the AS1413E is equipped with an efficient AC motor drive system, providing a longer lasting performance and better gradeability. Proportional lift and drive controls deliver smoother operation, while the front wheel steer offers zero inside turning radius.
The AS1413E is designed for indoor and outdoor applications, with the stowed height of the machine not exceeding 2m for a standard door. Operators can then drive it at full height. Forklift pockets on both sides make loading and unloading easier. LGMG’s Intelligent self-diagnostic system offers fast troubleshooting and swing out trays on both sides of the scissor offer access for maintenance.
Skyjack upgraded its DC electric scissor lift range in early 2020. The changes were sparked by North American ANSI standards, which, in turn influenced Skyjack to create a more globally-aligned product offering.
Apart from increased rigidity on the scissor, the Next Generation range includes a number of features, such as an impact-resistant high-strength control box, CANbus capable smart charger, single switch, electronic emergency lowering and improved pothole protection. There is also a diagnostic display unit, providing troubleshooting codes in plain language. In addition, the range adopts Skyjack’s Skycoded control system, which helps feed data into the manufacturer’s Elevate telematics solution.
In the third quarter of this year Skyjack continued the development of its DC electric scissors Accessoryzers offering specifically for the new DC range.
The company also launched its Ecotray leak containment system and Rapidfold railing system. The latter is included as standard for ANSI A92.20 compliant SJ3219 models to easily transition from full height to folded rails. It means the North American SJ3219s can still fit through traditional 80 inch wide doors and adhere to the new railing heights in the ANSI changes.
The advanced Skycoded control system is in included in its global offering of its Next Generation products. “The new features means more relevant data for our customers, more remote diagnostics of our machines, and saved time and money for our customers,” added the company.
In 2019, Sinoboom launched its electric-drive scissor series. The models range from 4m to 14m platform height and have been developed to meet market demands for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient machines.
Environmental protection, quiet operation, and low maintenance costs are the key features, says the company. “Environmentally friendly, energy-efficient electric and hybrid platforms will be the market’s choice over the next few years.
While mankind enjoys a more abundant material life, we are also facing a deteriorating global environment. Therefore, the demand for green products is higher, and both pure electric and hybrid MEWPs are significant future development trends,” says the manufacturer. “Clearly, pure electric and hybrid off-road scissor lifts are in line with this trend.”
As well as adhering to new standards manufacturers have been going micro. JLG’s latest offering is to serve a growing trend for safety in Europe in the low level access arena, by getting workers off ladders or scaffolding.
JLG’s most recent introduction were the ES1330L and ES1530L. The main specification of the micro scissors is that they are lightweight and have efficient electric drive. The compact dimensions allow for operation in congested environments with narrow turning radiuses.
As JLG explains, light machines enable transportation in elevators and operation on raised floors, which, in turn, expands its rentability. Both the 6.57m (15ft) and 5.96m (13ft) working height models have a lift capacity of 230kg, while the ES1530L allows for one operator and the ES1330L enables two operators in the basket. Currently, these machines have an indoor only classification which will change to an indoor and outdoor rating with some restrictions, in the last quarter of this year.
The two newest Genie scissor lifts, introduced in 2019, are the electric slab GS-1330m micro scissor and GS-4655 electric slab scissor lifts. Maintaining emission-free and clean operation in hospitals, supermarkets, and gymnasiums is critical, says the manufacturer, hence the GS-1330m offers a compact footprint, with an efficient, all-electric DC drive system.
To bolster MEC’s micro category, the company has added the Micro26, with the specific aim of reaching higher and complying with the new ANSI standards. “There is strong demand for traditional construction-duty scissor lifts that enables work up to 32ft with smaller footprint for easier access and maneuverability,” says the company. The Micro26 fulfills that need with its short length of 74 inches, with a compact size almost 2ft shorter than other 26ft scissor lifts in the market, says the company.
Its standard 36 inch roll out extension deck includes incremental lock positions, while the 22-inch width allows access through tight ceiling panels and other hard to reach areas and gives 250lb capacity for one person. Another benefit of the Micro 26 is that it provides 360-degree work accessibility. With fewer leak points in addition to the optional MEC’s patent pending Leak Containment System, the Micro 26 also has an extended duty cycle, thanks to direct electric drive. MEC previously launched the other two models in the micro range, the Micro13-XD and Micro19-XD micro, featuring a pull down Xtra Deck.
Remaining with micro machines, the GMG 1030-PA has been designed for industrial applications. The idea behind the model was to address low height, low total weight requirements, while not compromising platform capacity. This product also has a Retractable Guard Rail system, allowing the operator to gain access through ‘dropped’ or ‘T-Bar’ ceilings.
This is complemented by the manufacturer’s Laser Locators. “A constant issue with any manually propelled machine is placing it in the correct position, before it is elevated, otherwise the operator must come down and reposition until they find the correct location,” The Laser Locator uses two red laser beams to indicate exactly where the platform will be once elevated, saving time.
Turkey-based ELS Lift has extended its range of low level access scissor lifts with the Junior 4.5. The 4.5m working height new model adds to the existing 5.5m working height Junior 5.5, with both offering 240kg basket capacity. The compact models are designed to provide provides easy access through standard doors and to elevators. The Junior 4.5 has a platform length of 1.07m and width 0.59m.
Both models’ high capacity batteries, provide long working times, while fast assembly and disassembly makes transportation of the machines easier, in addition to saving time.
With its 0.75 m width and 2.5 m platform height, the Junior 4.5 you can easily store it in a suitable area after the work is done. With a weight of 365 kg, it can be lifted by a standard elevator and provides easy access through standard doors.
The company added that a third, alternative model in the range, the Junior 5.5 SP, is the lightest machine in its class, weighing 660kg. It offers a proportional joystick, automatic saloon doors and removable guardrails for space-saving during transport.
In addition to the EL series, the company is preparing to launch the EL16 and EL19, which are approaching the end in prototype works.
PB Lift has overhauled its popular 22.5m working height Top 12 series with a major technical update, which the company says was one of the pioneers of the narrow, high scissor lift category. The PB S225-12ES sees a new arrangement of the hinge points, changing the geometry of the product, meaning the scissor stack extends more easily.
The weight of the scissor stack is also reduced and moves into the chassis. This means the centre of gravity drops down, with the greatest forces acting on the lower part of the machine. The stability of the machine is thereby increased significantly. In addition, the scissor stack pin bolts have been strengthened and corrosion protected.
The upper railings have a new shape, they are now rectangular rather than square, providing greater stability, while the extension deck has been made easier to move. Also, the mounting of the hydraulic cylinder has been redesigned, giving more space in the middle of the chassis for maintenance and battery trays, among others.
In addition, a modular chassis design has been developed and will be used in the PB TOP 12 and PB TOP 16 series from now on.
The load capacity of the machine has been increased by 150kg to 600kg, meaning more lifting capacity for two people and tools. The steering system received a technical update in 2017, with a steering angle of almost 90 degrees, as well as consistent and finely adjusted steering geometry.
Setting the trends
AlmaCrawler’s first machine was a scissor lift on crawlers. Since then the company has updated and upgraded them to create two separate lines. The BL Line is the original tracked scissor lift line that originated in 2013, evolving to our current models in 2015 with yearly additions and upgrades. The BL Line is our self-levelling, self-propelled, multi-power option tracked scissor lift line
The HE Line is a tracked scissor lift with outriggers that covers a range of applications and working heights. The 8m model was launched in 2015, with extra model being added in 2017. The 8m one is designed to fit through a standard door, while its 12m and 14m ones allow for reach. They have a particular levelling technology that allows the outriggers to determine which angle/slope needs to be addressed first to ensure the greatest comfort and security.
“We are considering higher scissor lifts in the near future. We want to ensure the same seamless user-experience and ease-of-use, so our R&D team is studying new and exciting solutions,” said the company.