Specializing in car & truck lifts, brake lathes, pipe benders, tire changers, and wheel balancers, and much more! ARESCO is the source
for all of your automotive equipment needs. We carry a full line of equipment and replacement parts for most makes and models. With over
25 years of experience in the automotive industry, we at ARESCO are committed to providing our customers with quality products and
Car Lift Basics
Auto lifts can provide your garage with several advantages,but like any owner, you know the importance of
getting some basic information before you get started.Whether you're in an auto repair or service business,
simply own your own fleet and want to start handling maintenance on your own,or have your garage at your
home ,looking into automotive lifts is a good way to expand your abilities and cut down on your long term costs.
Automotive lifts are just devices that allow you to lift your car off the ground either to enable easier access to
the undercarriage or park another vehicle beneath it for more efficient storage.But whichever purpose interests
you ,you need to make sure you get the right products for your business needs.
Before choosing the first car lift you come across,look at your own needs.Know what you want the equipment
to do and how you want it to work.Some lifts are limited in there functions and configurations.If they don't fit
your needs according to use and size they can decrease your efficiency.
What you need to know before buying a lift
When trying to decide what lift is right for you there are a few things to take into consideration before you
buy.Here are some questions you can answer to help you decide.
1)What type of vehicles am I needing to lift.
2)what am I doing with the vehicle when I lift it?(I.E.Body work,Exhaust,Undercarriage work,brake
3)What is my ceiling height?
4)How wide is my bay?
5)what is the thickness of my floor?
6)Do I have access to 220v?(for the 220v units.)
7)Do I have a straight approach to my lift?(even though it will fit can you drive your vehicle in without having to
maneuver around too much?)
Types of Lifts
Lifts can be broken down into three general categories: two post, four post and mid-rise(sometimes called a
A two post lift has two large columns,one on each side of the car,that bolt into the concrete floor.Each column
has two arms that come out.they swivel back and forth and telescope in and out so they can reach the lifting
points of the car.You end up with four chassis lifting points two on each side.The advantage of a two post lift is
that,when the car is lifted,the wheels hang down with no load on the suspension.The lift has very little
interference with the car so you can work on virtually anything,except perhaps the doors,which are obscured
by the posts(this can be reduced somewhat with asymmetrical lifts.)While you can store a car on a two post
lift,there is some question if long-term storage with the suspension unloaded is good for the vehicle.
A four post lift has a rectangular layout with a column at each corner and a set of "runways"on each side.The
car is driven up a set of ramps onto the lift and,once lifted,it rests on the runways.In this type of lift,the car
remains sitting on its wheels and suspension while in the air.With a four post lift in order to work on the
suspension you would need to get an optional lift jack.However this type of lift is faster and easier to get the
car up on.Just drive it on and lift.The sides of the car are accessable without a post in the way,so the doors
can be fully opened.It is also a better option for storing a vehicle since it sits normally on its suspension,not to
mention most can store a vehicle underneath giving even more room to your garage.Some four post lifts can
be purchased with a caster option as well,so they can be rolled around in a large shop.Even without
casters,many four post lifts do not need to be bolted to the floor,so they can be moved relatively easy.Moving
a two post lift is a real project since it must be unbolted from the floor,after which,the holes in the floor need
to be filled in.
If you do alot of body work,need a lift for additional vehicle storage and only do minimal under-car work,the
four post is probably best for you.If you do more drive train,suspension and restoration work,a two post is
better for you.You need to choose the type of lift you want based on your needs.
A Mid-rise lift is a smaller,portable unit that sets up under a car and lifts by rising up from flat into a X shape.It
takes up space sitting directly under the car,generaly right between the doors,so it has limited usefulness for
working on the underside of a vehicle.Typically you can still reach the engine areas and you can easily work
on wheels and suspension.While this lift cannot go very high(usually around four feet),it still is better than jack
stands by far.Its portability can come in handy too.Just imagine putting this lift in the back of a truck and
taking it somewhere to work on a vehicle.This kind of lift is often used by "mobile mechanics"who will come
and work on your car in your garage,rather than theirs.
American vs Imported
Most people will have a preference for a quality,Heavy-duty American-made lift given the choice.Some of the
best made lifts in the world are American-made with American steel.But when comparing prices of new
lifts,the Chinese lifts often come in at 1/3 to 1/2 the price.As much as we might think all Chinese lifts are junk
this is not the case.There are some very good ones on the market today.You must decide what is best for
A lift has a rated weight.This is the amount that the lift can safely hold with a large safety derating factor.A
typical lift might be rated for 9,000 lbs.That means the lift can carry 9,000 lbs. safely without worrying about
the car falling.Manufacturers typically test lifts to twice there rated capacity.Unless you happen to have a
large SUV or Truck that you need to lift ,most people don't need a lift rated larger than 9,000 lbs.
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