Mall Santa Arrives on Skyjack Scissor Lift

skyjack scissor lift
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When Santa Claus and his reindeer decided to drop in at the Pen Centre in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, a Skyjack SJ006.5-10 scissor lift was his vehicle of choice. “The operator dressed in a reindeer costume and drove Santa through the mall to Santa’s Castle in Sears court,” said Danny Hopcraft, operations supervisor, The Pen Centre. The mall entered the SJ006.5-10 into Skyjack’s Quest 2013, a contest to find the oldest working Skyjack, which ended in December 2013 and received submissions from companies around the globe. The winner of Quest 2013 will be named at the The Rental Show in Orlando, Fla., and will receive a brand new Skyjack scissor platform.

Pen Centre purchased the used scissor lift from Select Equipment Rentals in 1995, but the machine was manufactured in the 1980s. "The lift’s operation and stability is excellent; we also have another brand scissor lift, which is newer than the Skyjack. However, the Skyjack outperforms it in stability—the batteries last longer and the steering is better,” Hopcraft said. The SJ006.5-10 is mainly used in the mall for all high elevation work, such as changing lights, hanging banners, and promotional decor for holidays, as well as repairing electrical and telephone cables.

“The machine is worth every penny,” Hopcraft said. “The cost savings we’ve seen from owning the Skyjack lift would be in the thousands of dollars per year.” The machine reaches 24 ft. high and has a capacity of 750 lbs. Its platform is 40"x82", providing a sizeable work area yet keeping the machine compact enough to make it easier to move. The scissor lift is easily maneuverable with two-wheel hydraulic drive and three forward and reverse speeds that are controlled from the platform. The unit’s retracted height is low enough to fit through standard doorways. The machine is also equipped with an automatic, spring-applied, hydraulically released brake which is in action at all times except in drive mode. The hydraulic system, engine, and electrical controls are mounted in easily accessible swing-out trays.

“The lift has been working since it came to the mall in 1995, and the performance is excellent,” Hopcraft said. Built in 1958 as an outdoor strip mall, the Pen Centre was enclosed in the 1970s and has since undergone several expansions and renovations. The 1 million-sq.-ft. Pen Centre is the largest mall in the Niagara region, featuring 180 stores, three major department stores, a supermarket, six restaurants and a 10-screen movieplex.