During automotive restoration, repair, or upgrades, a vehicle typically needs to be lifted off the ground to access parts underneath or to remove the wheels. Vehicle lifts need to be strong and reliable to prevent accidents and damage.
Quick links to Vehicle Lifts Information
Design of Vehicle Lifts
Vehicle lifts have a frame consisting of two or four strong metal posts firmly bolted into the ground. Underneath the vehicle are arms that can be raised and lowered extending from the post and creating four points of contact so that it can safely be raised and lowered to the desired height.
Some lifts use heavy-duty chains attached to a rotating sprocket powered by a motor to raise and lower the arms of a lift, but for high weight capacities, hydraulic force is usually used.
Operating Vehicle Lifts
In a hydraulic vehicle lift, each post is fitted with a long cylinder and a piston that moves up and down on the cylinder when pressure is applied by the hydraulic fluid. The operator simply lines up the vehicle above the lifting points and then uses controls to raise and lower the unit.
Instead of lifting points that go underneath the vehicle, some lifts have ramps and a car can be driven right onto them. This does not allow for the wheels to be removed from the car, but it does provide quick and easy access for things like oil changes and muffler repairs.
Vehicle Lift Customizations
Lifting equipment can be customized to meet the needs of the industry in which it will be used. For example, a bus repair shop will need very heavy-duty equipment that is made to handle the dimensions of a bus. A four-post vehicle lift could still be used, but the posts will have to be installed farther apart and the hydraulic motor will have to be strong enough to lift and hold such a large object.