Using a vehicle lift requires you to respect the law – the Law of Gravity. You do this by knowing, applying and using the correct lift points for that vehicle in your bay.
Lift points allow for the lift and its appropriate adapters to balance the vehicle’s center of gravity as it is suspended into the air.
When a vehicle falls from a lift, most of the time it’s preventable. It usually comes down to setting the vehicle at the wrong lift points, not accounting for the vehicle’s center of gravity, or using the wrong adapters (or not using the right adapters properly).
Vehicle lift points vary depending on the vehicle being lifted. The center of gravity is not necessarily in the center, which is why finding and using the correct lifting points is so crucial. Lift point info is available online, by vehicle manufacturer and by measuring the center of gravity on your own.
If you fail to place the lift pads at the correct lifting points, the imbalance can overload the arms and lead to the vehicle’s sliding off its placement.
Skipping steps, “eyeballing it,” or using your experience and intuition instead of specific measurement recommendations can lead to life-threatening mistakes. The law of gravity wins every time.
Not sure where to start? Each year the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) releases its “Vehicle Lifting Points for Frame Engaging Lifts,” a quick-reference manual for lifting point information as recommended by the vehicle manufacturers. https://www.autolift.org/