Hydraulic lifts come in several varieties with different features and requirements, so choosing a hydraulic lift for your facility or work site can take some time. It's common to look at price, size, power, and stability, but a few other features really make or break the lift in terms of whether or not it will work well at your site. By looking at some of these features when you search for a new lift, you can zero in on the ones that will be much better suited to your work site.
Many lifts use batteries to power their engines, and this can create a problem if the battery your lift has doesn't have a long life span. You don't want that battery needing to be recharged when someone is stuck at the top of a structure. You may need to schedule lift use so that you can recharge the battery at specific points during the day, or have someone constantly monitoring the battery so that it can be recharged when it's low and people don't need to use the lift for the time being.
If you're going to use a lift, it has to be stable, and in many cases, this means the lift has to be on even, stable ground. If you need to use a lift on rough ground, then you need to find a lift that is specifically meant for rough terrain. You'll find many of these actually labeled rough-terrain lifts. Note that these may not have batteries but instead need a gas engine for longer engine life. If you don't need to have a battery-run lift specifically, having a rough-terrain lift on hand could be very useful.
Outdoor Use and Weather
You can use many hydraulic lifts outdoors, of course, but do not assume you can leave them out there all the time with no consequences. Weather -- rain and other forms of moisture in particular -- can cause parts to wear out more quickly. The moisture can increase corrosion, and wind and extreme temperatures can dry out lubricants and rubber parts. Any hydraulic lift you use outdoors needs to be sheltered. If you're using a scissor lift that you can transport (that isn't fixed), be sure to place it back in a sheltered area when you're not using it.
Look over each type of lift carefully; if you have to, write down your preferred features and what your work needs will be so that you don't forget anything when talking to sales reps.