Let’s explore the types of lifts most common to tire service.
Two- and Four-Post Mounted Lifts
Two- and four-post lifts are the most popular type of surface-mounted lift in the market today. These lifts’ sturdy columns are bolted to the shop floor and further stabilized, depending on the design, via a baseplate across the shop floor or an overhead arch to secure the lifting columns at the top of its frame.
The lift’s arms support the vehicle by its frame as all arms are lifted (mechanically, hydraulically or electrically) simultaneously up the inside of the lift’s columns.
The capacity for these lifts can vary, anywhere from 7,000 to 30,000 pounds for two-post lift and up to 80,000 pounds for a four-post lift, so be sure to know the load each can handle within your shop.
Multi-Post Runway Lifts
Typically configured as a four-post surface mounted lift, runway or “drive-on” lifts allow the vehicle to be driven onto two runways, then lifted by its tires instead of by lift arms.
Not only does its design save set-up time, these lifts allow for full access to the underside of the vehicle and are often used for alignment work. Some can also be configured to perform wheels-free services.
Scissors lifts are designed around a hydraulic mechanism raising a drive-on platform to lift a vehicle.
While scissor lifts most often are thought of as portable, scissor-lift technology can be found in portable, surface-mounted or in-ground lifting equipment.
Scissor lifts can be excellent space-saving solutions for a shop floor, as some low-rise and mid-rise lift models are designed for workspace flexibility and can be moved relatively easily around the shop floor as needed.
Lifting heights vary, with the technology categorized as low-rise, mid-rise or full-rise. Again, be aware of lifting capacity, as some are intended to be used for lighter-weight passenger vehicles only.
No matter the type of vehicle your shop specializes in, there is an in-ground lift specifically designed to help you handle it.
Today, in-ground lifts are designed with pistons or scissors to lift the vehicle. The lifting assembly is below the shop floor and often within an enclosure to minimize the risk of soil contamination in the event of leaking fluid.
- When selecting a new lift for your bay, ceiling height is a consideration along with vehicle types, weights, size and types of service work to be performed. -
- When considering lift weight capacity when working on commercial vehicles, be sure to consider the overall load of the vehicle and its contents. Empty the vehicle of anything that could compromise an accurate identification of its center of gravity.