The History of the Scissor Lift

The World of MEWP Equipment

Many people have probably seen a scissor lift at work but they often don’t really know how it works exactly or why it’s an important piece of personnel lifting equipment.

In this blog, we’ll unpack the benefits of the scissor lift and how it works. Plus, we’ll take you through the scissor lift history and how this important piece of access equipment was first invented.

What is a Scissor Lift?

A mechanical scissor lift is a type of powered industrial equipment used to raise personnel and materials to elevated work locations. It is a motorised vehicle with platforms that can be moved straight up and down to various heights depending on your requirements. The lift has a scissor-like appearance because of the crisscrossing metal supports that are used to raise and lower the platform.

Scissor lifts allow workers to operate at high levels whilst having the space and safety of a platform that has rails

A Short History of The Scissor Lift

In 1845 the first inklings of the industrial scissor lift we know today, was invented. It was a machine propelled by a steam engine but it had many limitations and was only able to work under very specific conditions.

Fast forward to 1960, when the scissor lift was officially invented by Charles Larson. He received the first U.S patent for the scissor lift, although the first design of the lift was thought to have been created by John W. Parker. The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the design of the scissor lift really taking off with the first machine designed in 1990 that reached over 25ft in height.

Today, scissor lifts are manufactured traditional hydraulic and electric drive mechanisms. Thanks to the use of modern technology the scissor lift has become an important piece of access equipment that is ideal for manoeuvring in smaller spaces and for carrying personnel and materials to a variety of working heights.

4 Reasons Why The Scissor Lift is Still Popular Today

From humble beginnings, the scissor lift was designed to be a helpful, useful piece of equipment to be used for applications that required working at heights. Here’s why scissor lifts are still a vital and popular choice in lifting access equipment today:


Scissor lifts are designed with safety first in mind. They have high lifting capacities and safety features which enable them to always be operated in a controlled manner.


Whether you have an electric, diesel, hydraulic, or hybrid scissor lift, these machines are able to be worked hard for long period of time making them productive machines that are high performing.


Thanks to the scissor-like design, these access machines can work at a variety of heights depending on the needs of the project. They can work at maximum height for their model, as well as a range of heights from there below.

Compact Design

The compact and versatile design of the scissor lift enables them to be able to work both indoors and outdoors, in a variety of types of terrains too.

The Different Kinds of Scissor Lifts

At Goscor Access Solutions, you’ll find a wide variety of scissor lift equipment to choose from like all-terrain scissor lifts that can work on uneven or unpaved surfaces, industrial scissor lifts can be used for industrial applications both indoors and out, and more. Look at our range of scissor lifts for sale and rent now:

Why Choose a Scissor Lift for Lifting Job Site Personnel?

Scissor lifts provide a safe environment for personnel to work at heights with. The platforms can reach elevated areas that workers need to access, and the scissor lift can get them there safely and keep them there safely for the duration of the job. There is very little to no chance of a scissor lift falling which is often the case with other equipment types like ladders or scaffolding.

Choose Concord Access Solutions for all your elevated work platform needs.

Contact Us today to find out more about our entire fleet for sale and rent.