Monday, June 29, 2009

The 2-Post Above Ground Lift

With all the styles of two post lifts out today shopping for lifts can be very confusing even to the most experienced buyer. I would like to take a few moments to go over the different types of 2 post lifts to help you, the buyer select the lift that is right for you.

The basic types of two post lifts are floor plate and clear floor:

The floor plate lift normally has columns that range from 9-10 foot in height and a steel plate on the floor running from column to column to protect the equalizer cables and hydraulic hoses. This type of lift is ideal for shops with ceilings between 10 and 12 foot and for shops that work on taller vehicles such as vans. On the negative side, the floor plate tends to interfere with other equipment used while working underneath a vehicle, especially transmission jacks.

The clear floor lift columns are normally 12’ and taller with a bar running across the top of the lift from column to column for the equalizer cables and hydraulic hoses. Not only does the top bar provide extra stability, they also feature a cut off switch on the top bar to protect the vehicle and lift. If you are considering a clear floor lift your ceiling height should be a minimum of 12’ (check manufacturers specs for ceiling height needed). You should also make sure the columns are tall enough for the vehicle you are servicing.

The two basic styles of 2 post lifts are symmetric and asymmetric:

The symmetric lift was the original two post above ground lift. The columns face each other and the lift arms are the same length. The vehicle is loaded for a 50-50 vehicle distribution on the lift. Symmetric lifts are manufactured in different widths to accommodate most vehicles. All floor plate lifts are symmetric.

The location of the columns on the symmetric lift in association to the vehicle doors sometimes makes entry and exit to the vehicle difficult. This led to the production of the asymmetric lift. The term “asymmetric lift” is one of the most misused terms you will hear when shopping for your lift. A true asymmetric lift has columns turned at an angle to make vehicle entry and exit easier. Many companies offer a lift with 2 long arms and 2 short arms for a 70-30 vehicle distribution. This is called several different things asymmetric lift, semi-asymmetric lift, combo lift, asymmetric arms. Most manufacturers and distributors advertise this style of lift has stronger carriages and columns. While this is true, what they fail to tell you is the uneven weight distribution leads to faster failure of wear parts and an overall average service life compared to the asymmetric column lift.

At Standard Lift & Equipment we only sell true asymmetric (turned column) two post lifts along with a complete line of symmetric lifts, four post lifts and other automotive equipment.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Determining the Service and Storage Lift that is right for you

Whether you call it a parking lift, hobby lift, 4-Post lift or Service and Storage Lift, purchasing your new lift is an important decision that should not be made on price alone. There are many factors that should be considered when shopping for your new lift. The following are some important factors to consider before making your purchase.

Capacity – If you plan on using the lift for a variety of vehicles, make sure the lift is rated to support all vehicles you plan on using on the lift. For heavier vehicles close to the weight rating of the lift you should determine the maximum weight of the vehicle (full tank of fuel, loaded tool boxes, etc.). And remember; NEVER exceed the rated weight capacity of the lift.

Runway length and width – Measure the wheelbase length of the longest vehicle you plan on using the lift with. Most Service and Storage Lifts have fixed runways and are designed to work with most vehicles. It is still a good idea to measure the width of your vehicle and compare it to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Drive through width – This is the maximum overall vehicle width allowable. The phrase “Wider is better” definitely applies here. Always look for the lift with the widest drive through possible for your space.

Overall length and width – Make sure the lift will fit in the area you plan to install it. The length of the drive on ramps should be considered in the overall length of the lift.

Lift height – If you are using your lift for storage, make sure the lift raises high enough to store the bottom vehicle. Always ask about the maximum lift height from the floor to the BOTTOM of the runway.

Ceiling Height – Most lifts work well for storage if your ceiling height is between 9’6” and 12’ (if your ceiling is taller than 12’ you should have no worries). The general formula to determine ceiling height needed is: Height of Vehicle A + Height of Vehicle B + 6” = Required Ceiling Height.

With 5 different models in our Storage and Service Lift line the Standard Lift & Equipment professionals are here to help you determine the lift that is right for you. Contact us today for more information.

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