Scissor Lift Power Preferences: Diesel VS Electric

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When hiring a scissor lift, there are different models and sizes to choose from, so you need to be clear on what you need it for before making a decision, as the model scissor lift you choose depends on the job at hand. Two of the most commonly used methods of powering a scissor lift is diesel and electric. Here are the similarities and differences between the two so you can better understand which one you need for a particular job.

Where They are Similar

Scissor lifts offer maximum manoeuvrability, while also taking up little space during use and are used to work in tight spaces. Scissor lifts that are powered by diesel and electricity have a small difference in size, which means that they both still allow for easy navigation, and can be used to work in very tight spaces. However, the larger the job, the larger the lift required. For more intensive applications, bigger scissor lifts come with extending deck options which provide more space to work with.

Where They Are Different


There are differences in the level of noise which comes from each type of scissor lift. Electric models are fitted with silencing mufflers to decrease the noise it makes. On the other hand, a diesel-powered model is slightly louder, which is why it’s used primarily for outdoor jobs where the sound dissipates more.

Height Range

Height ranges exist in both models, with diesel models offer a bit more height to work with. Electric and diesel lifts come in 4×4 drive for use on difficult terrains, but electric models offer a 2×4 drive which is perfect for indoor use on flat surfaces that you don’t want to damage. Diesel models are slightly bulkier than their electric counterparts, so if storage space and manoeuvrability is a concern, then electric-powered scissor lifts for indoor use is your solution.

Load Capacity

A scissor lift is used as a platform to work at heights that you can’t access without assistance, so it needs to accommodate a certain amount of weight – for people working on the platform with tools and equipment. Diesel lifts can accommodate heavier loads, so they are better for lifting more workers, materials, equipment or tools.

Choosing between diesel or electricity-powered scissor lifts is an entirely personal preference. Depending on the job at hand, your options will differ. Fortunately, Sterling Access has electric, and diesel scissor lifts for hire and sale, so you don’t have to find different suppliers depending on your preference. Contact Us for more information today.