May 312011
 

Portable car lifts come in a range of shapes and sizes, and quality on the market varies greatly. It doesn’t matter whether you have a large fleet of vehicles to service in your workshop, are a commercial garage or even just a hobbyist who likes to work on your favorite vehicle at home, you want to be sure that you buy a quality mobile hoist that will perform as expected.

This article gives you information about the traps and pitfalls to watch out for, to help you choose the right portable vehicle lift for your needs.

The first thing is, you need to make sure that the portable lift you buy will fit within your workspace. Check the dimensions carefully (height, length and width) of your available workspace, along with the weight and size of the vehicles you intend to lift. Clearly, this is very important when it comes to selecting the right mobile hoist. Be sure to also think about height. You need to make sure that your workshop or garage will accommodate the fully-raised height of the mobile lift with a vehicle on it. Also, pay attention to the workshop floor. Can it support the weight that you intend to lift? And be sure you avoid positioning the lift near seams, edges of slabs, or directly under high-tension cables.

Clearly, there are many different types of mobile and portable car lifts on the market. You will need to think about workshop space, lifting capacity and importantly, the type of work you need to perform when making your selection. Be sure to think about possibilities in the future. If you run a workshop, you don’t want to buy a lift that has limitations for future growth.

Safety, of course, is one area that MUST be right. Firstly, you want to make sure the lift is certified. Your employees (or you!) will be working beneath very heavy vehicles, and your only protection is the lift and it’s safety features. When looking at the capacity ratings, these are only relevant provided the lift is operated correctly, has passed inspection, has appropriate safety features and of course, is serviced regularly.

Automatic safety locks are a crucial feature. These are fully load-bearing, and they need to engage to prevent a free-fall, in the event of a component failure. Ideally, these locks should be spaced no more than around 5 inches apart. To function correctly, these safety locks must engage automatically, and reset automatically each time the lift is used. They should require an independent, positive action for release.

When selecting a mobile car hoist, choose a model that offers more capacity than you require. By allowing a buffer of between 1,000 to 2,000 pounds, it means that the lift will always be well within it’s capability. Not only does this mean you can lift larger vehicles if the need arises in the future, but you will also prolong the lift’s life.

While lifts are robust, they still need service and care. You need to make sure you choose a dealer who has excellent customer service and a proven track record. A good idea is to ask them for the contact details of some of their customers, so you can get their view on the customer service that has been received and the quality of the equipment. It is also a good idea to talk about their warranty, return policy, delivery and other services.

Don’t simply shop on price – look for value for money. Focus on getting the best possible deal without compromising on quality. After all, your portable car lift plays an important role in your workshop. You want it to be safe and secure, and keep on performing for years to come.

While there is a market for used mobile lifts, we recommend you steer clear of them. If you are completely confident that the previous owner has kept up the maintenance schedule and taken care of the equipment properly, then it can be okay. But in many cases, you have no idea what the history of the equipment is, and the safety risk involved will far outweigh any short-term financial gain.

The other issue with second-hand lifts is that safety and manufacturing quality is improving constantly. An older lift may be lacking in some of the safety features that are now standard on current portable lifts.

Whether you are hoisting trucks, buses or any kind of vehicle, your workshop can be enhanced with the correct equipment. To discover more regarding portable column lifts, visit the information filled site of Australian Workshop Solutions.. Also published at Portable Car Lifts – What To Look For When You Buy.

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