Hydraulic lift platforms explained

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Hydraulic lift platforms are a type of mechanical lifting device in which a series of telescopically extending, hydraulically powered arms can raise a platform to great heights. The arms of the lift originate from a stabilising base, which is commonly a large truck so that the platform can be easily transported, while the arms extend up to the bucket.

The platform’s movement can be controlled from a base-mounted panel – common for firefighting, where the fire officer needs their hands free to put out a blaze – and also from a bucket-mounted one. The latter panel allows the operator a greater degree of fine control over their position once up in the air.

Scissor lifts, aka pantographs, which use folding supports in an X pattern can be powered by pneumatic or mechanical means, as well as hydraulics. Though scissor lifts might provide more vertical lifting power, they don’t possess the ability to move horizontally, so they’re restricted to lifting in a single vertical plane.