Garage equipment specialist Codi International has provided tips for workshop operators looking to invest in heavy-duty lifting gear.
“When specifying lifts, a number of factors must be considered, including vehicle type, maximum vehicle weight, vehicle dimensions, load distribution and type of work being done,” said Codi’s Ian Bullen.
“Some vehicles have very uneven load distribution especially when they are unladen; trailers present their own difficulties when being lifted. All of these factors must be considered.”
He advises that new lifts should not be under-specified.
“Lifts should easily be able to lift the expected range of vehicles. Vehicles are generally getting longer and heavier. Vehicle technology is changing rapidly with move towards zero emissions; this may lead to completely different demands on a lift. A higher capacity model will have more scope to adapt to future changes.”
When looking at the costs of a lift, price isn’t everything, Ian advises.
“The initial purchase price of electro-mechanical lifts is usually lower than that of hydraulic models. However hydraulic lifts have much lower power consumption and far lower maintenance costs and over time, can often work out more cost-efficient…
“It is best to seek the advice of garage equipment professionals such as Codi International Ltd or other Garage Equipment Association members who will be able to advise on the most suitable type of lift to meet your requirements.”
Discussing the different types of lift available, Ian continued: “Mobile column lifts are possibly the most versatile of all vehicle lift; they lift the vehicle by its wheels so there is no problem with identifying suitable lifting points. Codi offers several models, all of which can be configured to lift in multiples of two to eight, and more in some cases.
“Wireless hydraulic mobile provide the ultimate in flexibility, they only require a suitable level surface on which to operate.”
Codi offers wireless mobile columns from US supplier Gray Manufacturing Inc.
“The lifts are hydraulic in operation and completely wireless and only require periodic charging. They are also waterproof. They have no trailing cables to damage, replace or act as a trip hazard. This means they can be used anywhere that there is a large enough flat surface, e.g. workshop floor, outside vehicle park, even in a washbay…
“Gray pioneered wireless control with their own patented control system, which has subsequently been licenced to other major lift manufacturers. There are 200 channels available which eliminates external interference.”
“The lifts comprise two or more hydraulic rams mounted on rails in a trough in the workshop floor. Vehicles are raised by lifting the vehicle’s axles. The rams are moved by a powered adjuster which makes positioning very quick. The trough is fitted with an automatic moveable cover which ensures that it is covered at all times. Lifts are available in load capacities from 16 – 60 tonnes.
“The lifts allow the wheels to be removed without the need for axle stands, jacks or other equipment. The height of the vehicle can be changed as required when being worked on; access to the underside of the vehicle is unhindered. Technicians can position vehicles in the best possible position to work on them.”