Of all the tools in your shop, a vehicle lift offers the greatest opportunity for improving service bay productivity and profits. However, it can also expose your business to severe liability for injury and property loss if the lift does not meet structural and performance standards. Alternatively, if the manufacturer lacks the commitment and service network to fully support it, you can lose a valuable revenue stream for an extended period. That is why it’s critical to do your homework and ensure you buy the right lift for your needs. If you purchase a lift that does not meet your needs, then all you have added to your shop is a costly, lazy employee. So, before you take the plunge, take some time and ask yourself these questions:
What do I plan on lifting? Seems like an easy question, right? Actually it may the toughest but most important one to answer. Knowing what vehicles you see the most will determine what type and size of lift you get. Maybe you want to add a quick lube lane and the speed of your lift is important. Maybe you are tired of sending away larger commercial vehicles because your current lift just can’t handle them. It is important to know the weight of the vehicles you plan on lifting, not only the curb weight(vehicle empty with no payload or passengers) but the gross vehicle weight rating (the amount recommended by the manufacturer as the upper limit to the operational weight for a motor vehicle and any cargo human or otherwise) The base curb weight of a Ford F-250 is 6942lbs, which a Rotary SPO10 can easily pick up. But the GVW for the same vehicle is 14,000lbs which would call for a substantially larger lift like a SPO15.
How much room do I have? Many times the type of lift you buy may be determined by the amount of floor space and ceiling height you have available. Measure, re-measure and re-re-measure to ensure you have accurate dimensions. Know how much space is required for the lift to operate as well as what is required for installation. Other considerations such as power supply location, compressed air need and location and whether or not the existing concrete can handle the requirements for installation are equally important in the decision making process. You may want the ability to lift larger commercial vehicles, but may not have room for a heavy duty drive-on lift, due to their larger footprints. In this case you may want to look into inground lifts like the MOD35 or EFX60. They have a smaller footprint but can provide the versatile lifting power you need. It all comes down to knowing your shop’s needs and understanding how much space you have .
How much lift can I afford? Let’s face it, quality lifts are not cheap. But, cheap lifts are not cheap either. That’s why it’s important to know what it can really cost to buy any lift that compromises on design, construction or lifetime service support. A lower price doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting a lift for less. Too often it means you’re getting less lift. You want a lift that delivers the lowest total cost of ownership. That means a lift that costs less to operate. One that has a proven track record for consistent uptime with lower lifetime repair costs. One manufactured by a company with a record of consistent, dependable support. The most expensive lift you can buy is the one that isn’t lifting. If your lift does go down, you want a solid support team to help get it back up and running. Make sure to know what is behind the sale of each, like warranty, customer service, genuine parts and quality service.
Buying a lift is a big decision and not one to be taking lightly or made in haste. Take your time, research and make sure you are getting what your shop needs! If you need a little help download our lift application below: