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How Often Do Scissor Lifts Need to Be Inspected?

For the automotive repair shop, lifts are valuable tools. A wealth of options are available, dependent on your offered services and the kinds of vehicles that frequent your shop.

Scissor lifts are one of the most common lift varieties, utilized in multiple industries. These lifts get their name because of the zigzag pattern of the legs that hoist and lower the work platform. Scissor lifts are utilized to move personnel, equipment, or vehicles up and down, replacing the need for a ladder in many situations.

In the automotive world, scissor lifts are utilized to raise vehicles for undercarriage access. While the benefits of scissor lifts are many, a few of the chief advantages are:

  • controlled lift height for auto shops with low ceilings
  • smaller body for auto shops with limited floor space
  • ability to retreat flat with after use

Any auto shop with access to a scissor lift understands the value of such an investment! However, not every shop owner knows how best to protect their lift investment. In the content below, we discuss the best methods and schedules for inspecting scissor lifts.

Taking Care of Your Scissor Lift

Inspection is the most important aspect of maintenance! After all, if you aren’t regularly examining a properly working system, how will you identify (or proactively prevent) damage?

Like all shop equipment, scissor lifts need to be regularly inspected to ensure safe and efficient operation. How can you remember to check the scissor lift? Implement a schedule.

In the rest of this article, we will discuss when we recommend scissor lift maintenance. You may be surprised how often it should take place. However, the precise inspection routine you follow will be based on your specific working environment and timetables.

Regular Inspection Guidelines

Scissor lift inspections should take place in your shop every day. One equipment maintenance resource suggests that scissor lifts should be inspected at least “before use every day, at shift changes, and anytime in new operator takes over the machine.”

However, your working environment will ultimately determine how many times your lifts should be inspected daily. For example, if your shop environment is hostile, the lift should be inspected more often. At a minimum, you should perform inspections every morning, every week, and every month.

Daily Inspection Tasks

Perform the following tasks before operation every day:

  1. Check all moving parts
  2. Examine the condition of the power cord and all electrical connections
  3. Check safety lock
  4. Check for leakage (especially in hoses and hydraulic connections)
  5. Test controls
  6. Test emergency stop
  7. Examine lift arm movement
  8. Check cable connections for damage

Weekly Inspection Tasks

Once a week, perform the following tasks:

  1. Check cables for damage
  2. Lubricate rollers
  3. Clean lift of access dirt and grease
  4. Check hydraulic fluid level
  5. Examine movement range of the cylinder
  6. Tighten loosened bolts, nuts, and screws
  7. Examine the floor near anchor bolts for stress cracks
  8. Examine anchor bolts torque

Monthly Inspection Tasks:

Every month, perform the following tasks:

  1. Visually examine safeties
  2. Check anchor bolts for torque and retighten if necessary
  3. Examine arm adjusting locks
  4. Examine cables; adjust tension if needed
  5. Check posts for proper fit
  6. Check and clean dirt build-up in covers and protections
  7. Lubricate drive screws, posts, and cables as needed
  8. Every three months, take the time to lubricate your cables; lubricated cables last longer

Annual Inspection

Daily, weekly, and monthly inspections are necessary and important to maintain the integrity of your scissor lifts. However, hiring a trained maintenance expert to check your lift every year is essential as well.

A few parts that should be replaced at the yearly maintenance check include hydraulic hoses, pumps, motors, hydraulic cylinders, cables, sheaves, rollers, and chains. Additional parts are checked and restored or replaced, if needed.

Though your scissor lift could show wear or damage in a variety of ways, a few common issues to look for include:

  • Low fluid. Of course, low oil, coolant, fuel, or hydraulic fluid should be refilled to proper levels. However, if you detect low fluid, you should also examine it closely for leaks. If a leak is detected, a repair person must be contacted.
  • Missing parts. If any parts are missing, contact an expert repair person.
  • Wire rope damage. As a rule of thumb, lifting cables should be replaced every 3-5 years. However, if damage or wear is seen before the three year mark, take care to replace them immediately. The risk of operating with a worn or frayed wire rope is not worth it.

SVI: Scissor Lift Specialists

When your scissor lift requires maintenance and repair, knowing a manufacturer you can trust is an essential component to taking care of your lift investment.

At SVI, we pride ourselves on being the leader in repair parts for automotive lifts. We have a wealth of experience working with scissor lifts, and our inventory boasts thousands of scissor lift repair parts.

Know the exact part you need? Browse our expansive automotive repair parts inventory. Have a question about the precise component that needs to be fixed? Call one of our specialists at (800) 321-8173 or get in touch via our online contact form.

We look forward to getting back to you promptly!

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All names, numbers, symbols and descriptions are used for reference purposes only. It is not implied that any part or product listed is the actual product of these manufacturers. SVI does not represent and is not associated in any way with any other companies.

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