Automotive Lift Safety Features

Some of the technological advances developed to help lift users safe

There is no one way to make a car lift or truck lift safer for the operator. Manufacturers of high-quality automotive lifting products are always looking for better, more secure lifting methods. 

As a result, many excellent automotive lift safety features are now offered. Here are just a few examples of the great technological strides that reputable ALI (Automotive Lift Institute)/ETL certification partners have developed.



Because the various car lifting solution designs can be extremely different from each other, it makes sense that some safety features are specific to only one kind of car lift.

Two-post car lifts employ swing arm assemblies that allow the operator to change the arm configuration to suit a wide range of vehicles. It is important that swing arm lifts employ restraint devices to prevent arms from shifting or dislodging after a car or truck is already mounted and raised.

Higher-quality two-post car lifts will feature this safety critical element: typically a gear mechanism that automatically secures the arms into place whenever the lift begins to rise. The automatic gear arm restraints will only disengage again when the lift is in a safe, lowered state.

Because this process is automatic, the operator does not need to worry about forgetting to secure the arms.



Four-post car lifts are principally suspension lifts that rely on their columns to contain the lifting structure via cables or chains, while simultaneously bearing the load equally between them. Previous to anti-sway blocks, it was common for lifts to sway slightly during raising or lowering operations. 

Anti-sway blocks minimize sway and maintain proper spacing and alignment of the safety locks within the column.

Automotive lift designs that allow the superstructure to float within the confines of vertical structures, columns or posts should always incorporate a positive means of maintaining the dimensional relationship between the superstructure and the vertical structures, columns or posts to assure proper engagement of the load holding device.



Automotive lift buyers should always consider their vehicle specific needs when considering runway style lifts. Special attention should be focused on ramp approach angles and chassis clearance of intended vehicles.

Be sure your auto lift is equipped with manual wheel chocks as the primary means to restrain vehicles from inadvertently rolling off either end of the runways.

Automatic stops on the approach end and fixed stops up front should be provided on runway lifts as a secondary means to restrain vehicles from inadvertently rolling off either end of the runways when raised.



Hydraulic car lifts that are designed with safety in mind use specialized hydraulic flow restrictors and velocity fuses integrated into the hydraulic cylinders or hydraulic circuit in order to control rapid and sudden descent in the event of a hydraulic component failure. These essential safety devices dramatically reduce or stop the downward travel in a free-fall situation due to a hydraulic system failure other than the cylinders themselves.

When exploring lifting solutions, always make sure the design features these crucial components for consistently smooth operation and no surprises.



Pinch points are not just mere annoyances like the name might suggest. Without supervision and careful operation, pinch points can result in damaged property and injury.

Reputable manufacturers employ engineers to help identify potential pinch points for hoses and limbs, and then they remove them from the design of an auto lift.


These powerful load-holding devices automatically engage and lock the lift structure as the car lift raises, preventing sudden free fall in the unlikely event of a suspension component failure.

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