If you’re in the business of heavy duty vehicle maintenance, you know the industry is never standing still. There are changes happening big and small, and shop operators and equipment manufacturers have to make adjustments to keep up. Let’s take a peek into what’s next. Based on fluctuations we’re seeing in the industry, here are our predictions for the future of heavy duty truck lifts.
1. More shops in the public and private sectors will begin using lifts
There’s a sort of snowball effect where, as some shops start using lifts, more will be prompted to join them. And that’s because technicians will expect them. More specifically, the benefits to technicians – on both ends of the age spectrum – will drive adoption.
On one end, the workforce as a whole is getting older and, as a result, requesting equipment that eases the day-to-day wear and tear on their bodies. Truck lifts make working under a vehicle easier. It’s much more comfortable to stand and work on a truck than it is to lie on a creeper. But these benefits aren’t limited to veteran employees.
Younger employees (and recruits) want the best equipment in shops, too, and it’s important to meet these expectations. As more technicians reach retirement age and fewer young people enter the field, competition for great employees will be strong, and choosing the right equipment will help employers stand out. For example, Schneider National installed Rotary’s MACH Series lifts and has seen a great response from recruits. According to a Schneider shop mechanic, "Recruits walk away from our shops in awe of the Rotary lifts. It makes them want to work here."
2. Increased versatility in lifts
Along with mechanics, there’s another shortage that’s going to hit the industry in the coming years: truck drivers. Here’s how that affects truck lifts: In order to attract more drivers, operators may need to allocate more money to their salaries. That would leave fewer dollars for maintenance, which means shop managers will need to do more with less. They need one piece of equipment that can handle a wider variety of tasks.
Products like mobile column lifts help shops handle a larger range of vehicles with less equipment. For instance, the MCH18 can lift up to 144,000 lbs. with eight columns and has a tire size range of nine to 24 inches. The fact that they’re mobile allows for a more versatile shop space, too, without dedicated bays for certain tasks. The speed of the lift also helps shop operators do more by decreasing cycle times. That means fewer resources are needed to complete more jobs.
As this pinch increases in the future, truck lift manufacturers and users will make and buy increasingly versatile lifts.
3. Green matters will be top of mind
Consumers, governmental agencies and business owners are increasingly conscious of the environmental impacts of the products they produce and use. More than a passing fad, this environmental awareness is only going to increase in the future, and shops will continue to demand more environmentally friendly designs. Today, in response to concerns about leaking hydraulic fluid, lift manufacturers are already producing inground lifts with underground housing units and fluid monitoring systems. That innovation is a sign of things to come. Truck lifts will become increasingly:
- Corrosion resistant
- Energy efficient
- Sustainably produced
Shop requirements and expectations will always be shifting, but change can be a good thing. The best truck lift manufacturers will make adjustments to meet these expectations and rise to the demands of the industry.
Download our heavy duty lift buyer’s guide to learn more about the lifts of today.