Many modern vehicle lifts require only minimal maintenance. For example, Rotary Lift’s two-post lifts have been designed with self-lubricating slider blocks that never need greasing, and equalization cables that need no lubrication.
However, lifts are machines, and all machines require some preventative maintenance in order to function properly. To make sure that the lift you work under every day is operating at peak performance, take a few minutes to read the maintenance recommendations outlined in its owner’s manual. Maintenance requirements vary by model, manufacturer and brand.
There are some general guidelines that apply to maintaining most surface lifts:
- Inspect each lift prior to operation daily.
- Check cables and sheaves for wear daily. Wipe cables with a rag to detect hard-to-see small broken strands. Replace cables showing any broken wires, severe corrosion, excessive stretch, deformed strands, variations in diameter or any change in normal appearance.
- Periodically check the anchor bolts that attach the lift to the floor. Make sure they are tight in accordance with manufacturer guidelines.
- Lubricate the lift per manufacturer’s guidelines.
- On hydraulic lifts, check the fluid level and quality regularly and refill/replace it as needed.
- Always keep lift components clean and free of corrosive agents, solvents and road de-icing chemicals. If such materials come in contact with lift components, immediately rinse the area thoroughly with water and wipe down with a clean rag.
- Inspect lift adapters and accessories, like rolling jacks, regularly.
- Replace any damaged or missing caution, warning or safety-related decals on the lift.
- Schedule annual lift inspections with a qualified lift inspector.
Here are 5 signs your lift needs repaired:
- Hydraulic fluid leaks develop.
- Locks or restraints are not working correctly.
- Deformation or excessive wear in any of the lift components is detected.
- Lift contact points, including adapters, become damaged or excessively worn.
- Cracks or loose concrete develop around floor anchors.
The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) provides general lift inspection and maintenance guidelines in its Lifting It Right manual, which is available from Rotary Lift distributors. Rotary Lift distributors also can provide qualified lift inspectors to perform annual lift inspections as mandated by the ANSI national standard covering lift operation, maintenance and inspection. Annual professional lift inspections help protect technicians, improve shop productivity, reduce equipment repair costs and prevent OSHA citations.
Spending a little time maintaining your lifts helps ensure that they’ll support your business for years to come. It also provides peace of mind knowing that the lift you’re standing under is in good working condition.