How Does a Scissor Lift Trailer Work?

how to load a scissor lift onto a trailer

Scissor lift trailers are specifically designed to transport scissor lifts to the job sites where they are needed. They look a great deal like general-purpose trailers, but they keep the lift in place during towing and allow for the safe transfer of loads and cargo. 

How does a scissor lift trailer work, and how should you load one? The answer varies based on the type of trailer in use and the worksite. 

Types of Scissor Lift Trailers

Scissor lift trailers typically fall into two categories: lift-a-load elevating platforms and lo riser inclining platforms. Both scissor lift trailer styles are designed to make deliveries safer, easier, and more efficient. However, each has its respective pros and cons, so it pays to evaluate each one closely

A lift-a-load elevating platform trailer provides a portable loading dock. Generally, a scissor lift operator can hydraulically lower or raise the platform, keeping it level at all times. Thus, the platform delivers a low center of gravity, making it safe and easy to tow a lift. And when the platform is lowered to ground level, it can be set up at the low loading angle. This ensures that those who need to load a scissor lift onto the trailer platform should have no trouble doing so.   

Lift-a-load elevating platforms come in multiple styles, including straight tongue, gooseneck hitch, and single or dual axle varieties. These platforms often have weight capacities that range from 4,400 to 15,000 lbs. 

Comparatively, a lo riser inclining platform trailer has a 16,000-pound capacity platform that can be hydraulically lowered to ground level. This scissor lift trailer is especially effective with heavy, awkward, or difficult-to-load equipment like landscaping equipment, pavers, or sweepers. In addition, because it has no crown points, a scissor lift can be loaded directly onto the platform with minimal time, energy, or effort required. 

How to Load a Scissor Lift Onto a Trailer

Before loading a scissor lift onto a trailer, verify the trailer can handle the lift. Ultimately, the right trailer will ensure that your scissor lift can be safely transported from point A to point B. Also, certain attachments may be required to ensure the lift is properly secured. 

Also, confirm that the trailer’s wheels are chocked to keep them from rolling. 

When you are loading a scissor lift onto a trailer before it is attached to a truck, place the nose jack under the trailer. Next, make adjustments to ensure that the lift is within an inch of the trailer. This prevents the trailer from moving forward during the loading process. 

There are several steps to scissor lift safety and minimizing risk when loading a scissor lift onto a trailer, including:

  • Keep the trailer on flat, firm ground when loading the scissor lift. 
  • ✓ Ensure any ramps used for loading can handle the lift’s weight. 
  • ✓ Check out the lift wheels and ensure they are free of debris, grease, mud, and other particles. 
  • ✓ Run the lift’s engine at the lowest speed setting. 
  • ✓ Drive the lift in reverse onto the scissor lift trailer, keeping the forks pointed toward the rear. 
  • ✓ Lower the forks and tilt them forward before they touch the ground. 
  • ✓ Place wooden blocks behind the lift’s wheels and fasten them into place.
  • ✓ Shut off the lift’s fuel supply and disconnect its battery terminals. 
  • ✓ Leverage chains and nylon straps to secure the scissor lift to the trailer. 
  • ✓ Inspect the lift and ensure it is securely in place before transporting it on a trailer. 

Those who have additional questions about loading a scissor lift onto a trailer should utilize an OSHA-approved certification training program. They can then learn about all aspects of scissor lift and trailer safety. 

Driving Tips for Towing a Scissor Lift Trailer

Driving while towing a fully loaded scissor lift trailer requires training and experience. Both the trailer’s size and the load’s weight will affect every aspect of your driving, from acceleration to braking and steering. Important safety tips include:

–  Check all safety chains and lights for secure connections.

–  Leave extra space between you and the car you are following as braking will be far slower than you are used to.

Drive more slowly to allow for plenty of stopping time and minimize trailer sway.

–  Use towing mirrors to expand your field of view.

–  Practice driving in reverse with the scissor lift trailer before hitting the open road. This is a skill that takes plenty of practice.

–  Stay alert to all that transpires ahead of you. Sudden turns or quick gear changes make controlling the scissor lift trailer harder.

–  When parking, choose a remote space with room to pull forward when you need to leave.

Finally, when loading or unloading the trailer on a public road, use traffic cones, hazard tape, signs, and flags, so others stay safe as you manage your cargo.

Scissors Lift and Trailer Training

CertifyMeOnline.net offers an OSHA-compliant,  comprehensive scissor lift certification training program. We can teach your workers how to use a scissor lift, about scissor lift trailer safety, and how to ensure a safe and efficient work site. Our prices are affordable and far less than a single fine or accident! Your workers can become fully certified with our online training within an hour. We are happy to answer any questions about our scissor lift certification training program. Start here to sign up your workers. For more information about our program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615