Choosing the right inground lift for your shop is a huge decision, and there are numerous factors at play as you navigate the different options. You might have budget constraints, space concerns and uptime mandates from company higher-ups, among other considerations. It’s an important decision, and that's why it pays to separate the facts from the misconceptions.
Here are four common myths and the truth behind them:
Myth: Inground lift manufacturers all use the same designs
Truth: Lift designs are far from standard, and it’s worth your time to explore the specifications and features of various models before you buy. At a higher level, look for a company, with in-house design and in-house testing – that’s an indication the company is invested in improving and perfecting a lift’s design.
For example, Rotary Lift’s MOD35 design is based on customer feedback and innovation, including features that make the MOD35 more earth friendly. Far from cookie-cutter, this lift’s 6-foot-deep steel enclosure traps potentially harmful fluids and is sealed with exclusive EnviroGuard coating, which protects against corrosion.
You should also look for a manufacturer that tends to have their own patents, either in place or pending, since that's an indication that they do their own development and put a great deal of investment into innovation.
For instance, the MOD35 has a new patent-pending installation and construction method that works in a variety of soil and building conditions as well as other patented technologies.
Myth: All inground lifts are tested in the same way.
Truth: There are differences in the ways that safety and performance are tested, and some manufacturers go out of their way to test the lifecycle of products. Certifications and standards are vital because they ensure a more reliable inground lift.
For example, the ANSI/ALI ALCTV-2011 certification indicates a lift has been tested by a third party and meets industry safety and performance standards. When an inground lift meets this certification, it means it’s more durable and safer and that ultimately means less downtime for you. The more rigorous the testing is at the manufacturer level, the fewer worries you'll have once the lift is in your shop.
Myth: Cheaper is better.
Truth: For some products, it's fine to go with the cheapest option. But you're not buying car mats or new desk chairs; you're purchasing a highly complex, major piece of equipment that will be suspending unbelievably heavy vehicles above your service personnel. In this case, it's an understatement to say quality matters. That doesn't mean you need to disregard price altogether, because budgets are important for keeping a shop on track. It should be part of the decision, not the only driver. When considering cost, think about the overall value, not just the initial price tag.
A better-built lift will mean lower costs in the long run. For example, the MOD35 inground lift’s abrasion-resistant hose guide keeps the hose safely out of the way of the moving piston, meaning no breakage – and no breakdowns. Elsewhere, the lift’s universal saddle adapter system means it’s both versatile and safe. As Victor Hall, utility specialist at Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, puts it, “It will retract back to the smallest piece of equipment out to the largest piece of equipment with no problem.” That’s the kind of feature that adds value in the long run.
Myth: All warranties are basically the same.
Truth: Some warranties put plenty of disclaimers and exclusions in the fine print, which you might find only when something goes terribly wrong in your shop and everything comes to a standstill. Is that really the time you want to be reading your warranty specifics? Instead, make it a priority to read a warranty thoroughly and make sure that it states exactly which components are covered, and under what conditions they'll be replaced.
Although inground lifts perform the same basic functions, there are a range of options in the marketplace when it comes to safety, reliability and support. Ultimately, deciding where to invest your lift dollars will require research and consideration. When you have the facts (and the truths), you’ll be well equipped to choose the best lift for your shop.
Looking for more info? See our Lift Buyer’s Guide for tips.