When someone first sees a mobile column lift, they usually think one of two things:
- There’s no way I’m standing under that!
- How hard can it be?
The truth is, both lines of thought are valid. Mobile lifts are easy to maneuver and set up, but safety should always be top of mind. And the key to safety is training (and reminding and retraining). Here are four tips for making sure your techs learn – and remember – how to use this handy piece of equipment correctly.
1. Request initial training from your distributor
It’s smart to get a demo from an expert right from the get-go. In fact, no one should operate it without doing so first; this definitely isn’t a learn-as-you-go scenario. When your mobile column lift is deliverd, ask your distributor to provide a detailed demonstation and hands-on training. They’ll be able to show your group how to position and operate the lift, as well as giving reminders about weight limits.
Anyone who will use the lift should be present for the walkthrough. If you have a big group, split your techs into smaller sections, so everyone can see, ask questions and really participate. Your distributor should be willing to do multiple run-throughs for each group. It’s a good idea to record this demo, too. That way, you can use it for future training or as a refresher down the road. Even better, make sure you partner with a distributor who can offer long-term training instead of a one-time demo.
2. Make mobile lift training part of the onboarding process
Whether they’ve had years of experience or are brand-new, every new employee should be trained to use the lift correctly and safely. It’s smart to make it part of your standard new-employee process. A few things to keep in mind:
- Be sure to allow enough time for detailed training.
- Put your most safety-conscious employees in charge of the demo. Their attitudes will set the tone for how new employees use the equipment.
- The new tech should be actively involved in the training: using the equipment with guidance and taking notes.
- Even after initial training, make sure they have help the first several times they use the lift.
3. Provide a usage checklist
Every time a tech uses the lift, they should follow safe-usage guidelines. Most mobile lifts are easy enough to operate that techs may not forget how to use them correctly, but they might be tempted to take shortcuts or push the limits. Reminders about safety are a good idea. Post signage about positioning and weight limits in places where techs will see them regularly.
4. Schedule quarterly distributor check-ins
A refresher course never hurts, and if you’ve partnered with a great distributor, they can offer additional training after the purchase. You can time their visits to coincide with new employee training or just have them give an update demo to current employees. Your distributor can answer any questions that have come up and fill you in on any changes in safety recommendations.
Safety should always be a topic of conversation at repair shops. Even though they’re simple to use, be sure to include mobile lifts in the discussion.
For more information about mobile lifts, take a look at our Heavy Duty Resource Guide.