Choosing The Right Scissor Lift For Use In Your Furniture Warehouse
Scissor lifts are some of the most versatile, practical and reliable pieces of heavy lifting equipment available today, and are particularly widely used in a variety of warehousing applications due to their ability to lift cargo and workers simultaneously. They are especially useful when it comes to running a furniture warehouse, as they possess the strength, stability and large loading platforms required to lift and lower bulky, unbalanced pieces of furniture like beds and sofas.
However, not every scissor lift is fit for use in a furniture warehouse, and whether you are considering scissor lift hire for temporary use or purchasing one outright, you need to make sure that the scissor lift you choose is right for your needs. To help steer you in the right direction, keep the following guidelines in mind as you shop around:
Choose electric lifts wherever possible
When picking out your new scissor lift, you will have to choose between lifts powered by diesel motors and electric motors. As a general rule, diesel-powered scissor lifts tend to have a higher maximum lift strength, and can be slightly cheaper to hire or buy -- however, they are rarely used in warehouses due to the noxious fumes they emit, which can pose a significant danger to your employees. Making the soft furnishings you sell stink of diesel fumes is also far from ideal.
Consequently, you should choose an electric scissor lift wherever practical. Most electric scissor lifts designs for heavy duty warehouse use are capable of lifting heavy furniture, and in most cases, insufficient lift strength will not be an issue. If you stock especially heavy pieces of furniture that cannot be disassembled, a diesel scissor lift should be used with extreme care and only the in the most well-ventilated areas of your warehouse.
Make sure the lifting platform is big enough
The size of the lifting platform on your ideal scissor lift will naturally depend on the size of the furniture you stock. If the bulk of your stock consists of dissembled and/or flat-pack furniture, you can probably get away with a cheaper scissor lift with a modestly-sized platform. Larger platforms will be required for bespoke furniture that cannot be disassembled, such as custom-crafted double beds and corner sofa units.
Always bear in mind that your lifting platform should be able to accommodate at least two workers alongside your largest pieces of furniture, as lone employees working with heavy weights at such heights can be very dangerous (and potentially illegal).
Consider optional attachments
Companies that sell and/or hire out scissor lifts often offer optional attachments to increase the functionality of their lifts, and some of these options are well worth the extra money. Control guards are particularly useful. They place a physical barrier between employees working on the lifting platform and the controls, preventing accidental activation of controls which can prove very dangerous. Protective wheel covers can help prevent damage to the floor of your warehouse, and handling attachments are very useful for loading heavy furniture pieces onto the platform more easily.