When it comes time to buy a new auto lift, remember this truth: You won’t find the cost on the price tag. Not the whole cost, anyway. If you’ve ever owned a lift – or any other piece of equipment – you know there are other expenses associated with that ownership, and those expenses can really add up if you choose the wrong lift. There are several things that contribute to the actual, total, lifetime cost of a lift:
It’s true in life that you generally get what you pay for. Buy a cheaply built house and you’re likely to eat up any savings with a new water heater, mold removal, new roof … you get the idea. The buy better, get more truth applies to car lifts, too, and of course your business depends on the reliability of your lifts. When evaluating dependability, consider:
- Quality of manufacturing facilities. How a lift is made matters. Look for ISO9001 certification – the highest international benchmark of quality.
- Warranty. A high-quality lift will be backed by an extensive and detailed warranty. Know what’s covered and what’s not. The more coverage, the lower your costs will be over the life of the lift.
- Reputation of the company. Longevity and reliability matter on a company level, too. You can count on a well-established business to support you in the years ahead. When that company is also innovative and always looking to improve, you can trust they’re putting out a high-quality product.
You, your techs and your customers depend on the car lifts in your shop. When they’re out of commission, your techs can’t get jobs done, customers pile up (angrily) and you ultimately lose money. How much will you lose in a day if a lift sits idle? $400? $500? If repairs and maintenance take days or weeks to coordinate, your costs can quickly balloon. That’s why you need to think about the support available for the lifts on your list. Consider:
- Accessibility. Look for local factory-trained technicians who can perform repairs quickly.
- Parts availability. Be sure to choose a lift whose manufacturer offers quick access to genuine parts. Replacing worn or broken parts with subpar stand-ins isn’t a good business decision. Those parts can compromise the integrity of the lift and cause more problems (and cost more money) down the road.
You owe it to your techs and yourself to buy safe equipment. Of course, you want to avoid harm to your staff, and there’s also a financial aspect of injuries to consider. Steer clear of that by looking for:
- A gold ALI/ETL certification label
- Built-in safety features
- Training and installation
- Extensive safety testing from the manufacturer
Buying an auto lift is a big decision. The key to making a smart big decision is to dig deeper. When you have a true understanding of the lifetime costs of a lift, you’re well prepared to make an informed choice.