How to Install a Scissor Lift

A portable motorised Scissor Lift used by Painters image by david hutchinson from

Scissor lifts derive their name from their joined lift sections, which resemble a pair of opened scissor blades when the lift sections are extended to lift an object. Many of the scissor lifts produced are small and mobile, which makes them ideal for work environments where lifting and carrying huge loads in confined spaces is necessary. Any bolt-anchored scissor lift is considered a stationary lift, and many are installed as such in different work environments. They are considered a solid alternative to the bigger, less mobile lifts.

Remove the lift from the shipping pallet or skid, being cautious about damaging the base and frame. Inspect the lift for signs of damage. Attach the chain spreader and lift the scissor lift from the center, using the supplied lifting tabs on the shipping banding.

Move the lift to its permanent location while you have it lifted. Align the lift so that it is straight and accessible on all four sides. Slowly lower it into position.

Use solid shims to bring the scissor lift exactly level. Refer to the setup instructions that came with the lift to locate the shims. Be sure to shim at each foot, at the cross-member and the distance between the two support legs. Continue to check for level as you shim, since the floor may not be perfectly level.

Use a drill and bit to drill the deep anchor holes into the concrete floor. Make sure the bit is the same size as the bolts, and use the clips as a guide to tell you how deep to drill. Insert and sink the bolts into the holes so that at least seven or eight threads are below the top of the anchor clip.

Tighten the nuts to spread the bolts’ anchor wings. Turn the nuts three complete turns beyond finger-tight. Grout the anchor feet and under each side channel to add support to the base. Test for tightness after the grout has completely cured and hardened.

Locate the control pedestal used for operation at the nearest, most convenient spot to the lift. Do not locate it too close to the lift or near other obstacles, or don't position the operator between the wall and the lift so as to limit operator escape in case of an emergency. Use the lag bolts to secure the lift firmly to the floor.


  • Use the appropriate operator's manual to instruct the employees how to safely use the lift. Require them to operate it according to instructions in your presence and correct as needed, so there are no questions about what is safe operation.


  • Verify and confirm workplace codes regarding the use of scissor lifts before installation.


About the Author

Chuck Brown is a freelance writer and former teacher and athletic coach. He has held professional stints as a business owner, personal fitness trainer, curriculum designer, website designer, market trader and real estate investor. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in Christian counseling.

Photo Credits

  • A portable motorised Scissor Lift used by Painters image by david hutchinson from