Choosing the Right Lift Table

A lift table is a handling platform that allows loads to be lifted, lowered or brought up to a certain height. Whether they are stationary or mobile, lift tables can lift loads ranging from a few kilos to several tonnes several meters. The lifting movement is mainly possible thanks to a hydraulic cylinder system.

Lift tables are alternatives to freight elevators and they are very commonly used in workshops and garages.

The lift tables mainly use so-called scissor technology, but there are also column type lift tables. This buying guide will focus on scissor lift tables, which are the most common in the industry.

View lift tables

  • How to choose a lift table?

    HYMO scissor lift table

    Lifting tables are suitable for almost any working environment. In order to choose the right table, three main factors must be determined: the type of technology, technical characteristics and mobility.

    What type of technology should you choose?

    Lifting tables can use different technology: scissor, column-type and bellows.

    • Scissor lift tables (single, double, tandem):
      • They are stable and sturdy compared to column type lift tables.
      • They are suitable for vertical work requiring a certain precision.
    • Column type or bellows lift tables:
      • They are specially designed to be used as handling tools. As such, they are suitable for long handling tasks, unlike scissor lift tables.
      • They are not as stable as scissor lift tables.

    Lift Products column type lift table

    Lift tables can also be tilting. The operator then has the option of changing the angle from 5° to 40°. Depending on the model, these lift tables can also lift loads of up to 3 tonnes.

    Mobile or stationary?

    There are mobile lift tables (with wheels) and stationary lift tables. Your choice will depend on your intended use.

    • A stationary lift table is suitable for fixed workstations and repetitive tasks.
    • A mobile lift table is suitable for tasks requiring frequent movement. It is capable of covering a larger surface area than a stationary industrial manipulator.
  • What technical characteristics should be taken into account when choosing a lift table?

    Load capacity:

    • Lift tables have different capacities, ranging for example from 100 kg to 4 tonnes.

    The dimensions:

    • The larger the lift table dimensions, the higher the load capacity.

    The load-lifting height:

    • The load-lifting height depends on the minimum and maximum height of the platform.
      • Minimum height: a low folded height allows easy loading of the workpieces. Some extra-flat lifting tables are at floor level, which allows the user to push the load onto the table without having to carry it.
      • Maximum height: some tables can lift a load to a height of about ten metres. It should be noted that the higher the lift table can lift loads, the more expensive it will be.

    The size of the platform:

    • These are the dimensions, in millimetres, of the platform on which your load will be placed.

    The number of cycles per hour:

    • This is the frequency of use of the lifting device that the lift table is able to withstand (continuous or intermittent work).

    Lifting time

    • This is the speed with which the table unfolds.

    Technical characteristics:

    • Load capacity
    • Load-lifting height
    • Platform size
    • Number of cycles
    • Lifting time
  • How to choose how the lift table will be operated?

    The choice of how the lift table should be operated depends on your application and more particularly on the load capacity your machine will need.

    The most common lift table design includes mainly hydraulic cylinders and an electric pump to operate the lifting mechanism. This cylinder is operated by an electric or manual control.

    Lift tables can also be driven by pneumatic cylinders, or mechanically with trapezoidal threaded screws and push chains. They will also be operated by electric or manual control.

    Bosche mobile lift table

    Choosing the operation method:

    • Manual lift tables:
      • They are usually equipped with a pedal or simple lever to operate the lift pump.
      • They are equipped with mobile wheels with brakes, which allows them to be moved around.
      • Most manual lift tables can bear loads from 250 kg to 500 kg.
      • Some more expensive models can bear loads of up to one tonne.
    • Electric lift tables:
      • They are sturdier and can carry loads of up to four tonnes.
      • The control unit consists of three buttons (up, down and emergency stop).
      • The electric operation gives the user greater control as they can vary the lifting height as they wish.
      • Stationary lift tables are not the only ones that can be operated electrically. Some mobile lift tables can also be electrically operated.
  • Which type of scissor lift table should I choose?

    Scissor lift tables are made up of a pair of supports that cross in the middle, which ensures that the platform is very stable. This means that there is no risk that the object being lifted will become unbalanced or fall. They therefore offer human operators a significant level of safety.

    Scissor lift tables have many other advantages:

    • They enable fluid and precise vertical work.
    • They are very sturdy and rarely break down. Maintenance costs are therefore very low.
    • They are easy to operate: height adjustment is simple and smooth.
    • In the event of a power failure, they remain at the height set by the user and do not retract abruptly.
    • They can be mobile (wheels can be added), allowing them to travel over a larger area than an industrial manipulator, for example, which is stationary.
    • They can be installed in a pit to provide a minimum height that allows the operator to push the load directly onto the lift table without carrying it.
    • Extra-flat models do not require the installation of a pit.

    There are different types of scissor lift tables depending on the maximum lifting height and load size: single scissor lift tables, double-scissor lift tables and tandem scissor lift tables.

    • Single scissor lift tables(with only one pair of scissors):
      • They are versatile and facilitate handling.
      • They make it possible to overcome differences in level.
      • They are particularly well suited for production and logistics flows.

    Edmolift double scissor lift table

    • Double or triple scissor lift tables (high lift):
      • They are equipped with several vertically mounted scissors that allow a higher lifting height than simple scissor lift tables.
      • They are used as work platforms, freight elevators, elevators, elevators for people with reduced mobility and pallet forklifts.
    • Tandem lift tables (twin scissors):
      • They are equipped with two pairs of horizontally mounted scissors that provide the desired combination of platform length and lifting capacity.
      • They are designed for handling long and bulky loads.
  • What are lift tables used for?

    ASTRA scissor lift table

    Popular in many industrial sectors, lift tables are used to relieve operators by reducing muscular effort as much as possible. Below is a summary of their main areas of application.

    Lift tables can help load and unload:

    • vehicles (cars, trucks)
    • steel coils weighing several tonnes
    • goods

    Onder Lift lift table

    They are also used as:

    • elevators for people with reduced mobility
    • logistics conveyors on a production line
    • more ergonomic work platforms

    Lastly, they are a lifting and tilting solution and are therefore used as:

    • tilting tables
    • pallet lifters
    • tipping elevators
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1 comment
  • Tori Raddison says:

    It’s nice to know that single scissor lift tables can overcome differences in level because that means you’ll be able to reach bigger heights. My brother is going into construction so he’s trying to learn about the different types of lifts. I’m going to ask him if he knew there were so many kinds of scissor lifts.

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