When thinking about a new lift there are several options to consider. Available space and what you want to do with the lift are going to help narrow down your decision. If you do not own the work area that you are thinking about putting a lift into can also affect your choice.
There are four post lifts, two post lifts, and scissor lifts that come in different configurations and sizes.Choosing the right lift for you will depend on many different factors. A four-poster lift could be the best choice if you want to store multiple cars. If you have the available ceiling height and floor space. These lifts are the easiest to use as the car is just driven up onto the lift without having to position an arm under a specific lifting point. These types of lifts are often used in residential applications as the required concrete thickness in minimal compared to over lift designs.
Wheel alignment lifts are a four post, and production oil change shops like the drive on ease of a four poster. Two post lifts are widely used and are a great choice with so many brands available. Again height, lift weight and space are your governing factors. The biggest diffence between a four post and a two-post, other than the obvious, is that the wheels are not free to hang on a four-post lift. A two-post and the scissor lift we chose both let the wheels hang. On a two-post lift you must be aware of the doors as they can hit the posts unless you get a wide set variety. Two post lifts also require a minimum thickness of at least 6” of concrete to be safely bolted down to. If the floor that the lift is to be mounted on is less than 6”, then a new pad will need to be poured.
We looked at several
different types of scissor lifts. Our choice was narrowed down to the scissor
lift type by the fact that we wanted a clear floor area, with no post or other
restrictions in the space when the lift was not in use. We did not need to
increase our storage and we own our workspace. The variety of automotive
scissor lifts available is eye opening. A lot of them are a big single lift pad,
some are a frame lifting and some are a wheel lifting. We opted for a frame
lifting in a two-pad set up so that with this lift the wheels hang free and we
can access the middle of the car. The type of car we would be regularly lifting
was a big factor in narrowing it down to one lift. The lift points on a short wheelbase
s are quite close together and the lift could not be too big. Without
the add on arms the 57” table on the scissor lift was a perfect size. The way
we set up the hole we could use the extendable arms when we wanted to pick up a
larger vehicle but could still drive on and lift small cars.
With an in floor lift you have a few more expenses that you should be aware of compared to a basic post style lift. First the in-floor lift can cost more than an above ground post lift, and second the hole costs more time and money than just bolting in a post lift to your existing reinforced cement floor. The time to set up the hole from cutting to forming and pouring is a few days, but the fresh cement pour must cure for a minimum of 21 days to bolt in the lift and begin lifting. Planning where you want the lift and how long you will be in the workspace is more important when you are digging in and pouring a permanent hole. If you move, you have to decide whether to leave the lift in place or remove it and fill in the hole.
Automotive lifts make working on a car way more agreeable and many more homeowners are adding this convenience to their lives. Automotive shops need lifts every day and maybe they will think about the benefits of adding an in-floor scissor lift.