Running a warehouse entails an abundance of responsibilities, including selecting the best equipment to employ. While various operations require different tools, some machines are a must-have for any facility. Scissor lifts are one such piece of equipment, having applications from material handling to maintenance.
Scissor lifts are far from uncommon in warehouses, but they’re not the only available option. Why should you choose a scissor lift over a similar kind of equipment in light of this variety? These tried-and-true machines are popular for a reason, offering several advantages over other options.
Here are seven of the most significant benefits of using scissor lifts in your warehouse.
1. Increased Safety
Warehouses can be dangerous places to work, even for experienced employees. In 2018, the transportation and warehousing industry had the highest nonfatal injury rate of any sector. Most of these accidents come from overexertion and falls, both of which a scissor lift can reduce.
Many workers use ladders to reach heights, but these can be unsteady and don’t offer firm footing. If employees instead used a scissor lift, they would have much more stability. Since these machines have guardrails, heavy bases and spacious platforms, they substantially decrease any fall risk.
At lower heights, workers may still injure themselves from reaching too high. Scissor lift tables can help them access materials that are just out of reach without straining themselves. They can then avoid musculoskeletal injuries that plague many warehouse workers.
2. Improved Productivity
Scissor lifts’ elevation controls offer much more precision than the rungs on a ladder. Consequently, they enable employees to work at an optimal height for their task, not a rough approximation. This precision reduces material handling times, leading to higher productivity levels.
Saving a few inches of movement may not seem like a marked improvement on the surface. When you multiply that seemingly insignificant variable by however many times workers repeat it, though, it adds up. Multiply that figure by how often a worker has to repeat this process in a workday, and the benefits are clear.
Being able to work at an optimal height also reduces the physical strain on employees. As a result, they can work faster for longer.
Flexibility is essential in any warehouse, especially in enabling a lean workflow. Compared to similar equipment, scissor lifts offer a considerable variety, giving facilities this flexibility. Workers can use them to reach heights up to 60 feet or gain a few inches to grab something more comfortably.
Since scissor lifts feature a broad, flat platform, you can fit them with various other tools. If you need to perform a task at an elevated height, chances are you can use a scissor lift for it. You don’t have to retrofit these lifts for different applications, either, as they come in multiple configurations.
Scissor lifts offer a range of heights, platform sizes and functionality. You can even get both outdoor and indoor models, making them usable in virtually any circumstance.
Many types of aerial lifts have limited usefulness due to their lack of portability. Scissor lifts stand out among the rest as an exceptionally portable option. Even larger versions are typically smaller than similar equipment and can move.
Scissor lifts are mobile by design, so you don’t waste time setting them up or breaking them down. Workers can drive them to wherever they need to use them and get working immediately. Other aerial lifts require much longer setup and transportation times.
This portability is particularly helpful for facilities with limited budgets. Instead of buying multiple machines, warehouses can purchase one and move it as needed.
5. Enhanced Ergonomics
When you think about equipment like lifts, the concept of ergonomics may not immediately come to mind. Despite that, comfort is crucial for workers in material handling. Since scissor lifts provide higher precision, they can help workers avoid strain-related issues.
These machines eliminate the need for bending or twisting since they position workers more precisely. This ergonomic advantage can help employees avoid injury or exhaustion, increasing both safety and productivity. Other options, like ladders, don’t provide the same level of comfort.
6. Easier Storage
Efficient space management is crucial for running any successful warehouse operation, making storage a leading concern. Other types of aerial lifts and ladders are typically bulky, taking space that could go to more critical work. On the other hand, scissor lifts have a comparatively small storage footprint, thanks to their retracting design.
When you’re not using a scissor lift, you can retract its platform down to the base. This transformation drastically reduces its size, making it easier to store. You can then optimize the saved space for other inventory or a new work line.
This feature is increasing in popularity as more facilities try to go lean. One of the critical tenants of lean operations is eliminating waste, and easy storage takes care of wasted space.
Warehouse equipment is rarely cheap, and aerial lifts are no exception. Compared to similar machinery, though, scissor lifts are reasonably affordable. A boom lift can cost as much as $75,000, whereas a scissor lift of similar height won’t likely exceed $50,000.
Vertical personnel lifts are typically cheaper, but also provide less functionality. Scissor lifts offer the most advantages for the lowest cost in most use cases. Given their sturdy design and efficient operation, lifetime expenses of scissor lifts also tend to be lower.
Outside of highly specific needs, these machines are generally the best all-around option.
Equip Your Warehouse With the Right Tools
Managing a successful warehouse is rarely a straightforward task. As far as equipment selection goes, though, decisions don’t get much easier than using scissor lifts. These machines offer too many advantages to pass up on.
When you consider all these benefits, it’s evident why scissor lifts have become an industry staple. They’re affordable, safe, flexible, easy to store and can improve operational efficiency. No matter what your warehouse operations are, a scissor lift can help you accomplish them with ease.