A motorized vehicle with a railed platform that can be raised straight up is known as a scissor lift. Criss-crossing metal supports that elongate as the platform is raised are the basic feature of scissor lifts that distinguishes them visually from other equipment used to work in higher elevations.
The electric- or gas-powered platform that is mounted on folding arms is used to provide elevated work areas or to help raise or lower unit loads.
The objective is to access difficult-to-reach areas in order to perform whatever work is required. Scissor lifts provide a mobile means of reaching areas that are very high. In the materials handling industry, these include tops of storage racks.
These machines vary in size. Small lifts, four feet wide, are often used to help navigation within and between tight isles inside warehouses.