Typically, after the lift is raised to the required working height, operators are instructed to lower the lift until it is resting safely on the locks, thus minimizing wear on suspension components. Once the locks are engaged, the car lift has to be raised slightly in order to release the safety locks.
The better car lifts on the market often have locks spaced no more than five inches apart to better protect operators or bystanders.
Load-holding devices should always require an independent and positive action for release and they should always engage and reset automatically each time the lift is raised.
SLACK CABLE OR SLACK CHAIN SAFETY DEVICE
As a redundant safety precaution, all professional-grade lifts that employ either cable or chain as a suspension component should incorporate a slack cable or chain device that causes automatic braking of the supported structure in the event a suspension component is broken or slackened.
SAFE SYSTEMS AND PROCEDURES
When searching for a car lift, always ensure the manufacturer has a written quality assurance system of policies and procedures that are implemented and managed by quality control personnel. Safety policies and procedures should embrace safety specific subjects such as:
- Overall organization.
- Functions, duties and authority.
- Policy and procedure publication, change control and record keeping.
- Engineering drawing and specification publication, change control and record keeping.
- Manufacturing process conformance determination, change control and record keeping.
- Raw material and purchased part conformance determination and record keepinng.
- Component and end item conformance testing and record keeping.
- Calibration and record keeping and traceability to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) or other national standards for all gauges, measuring devices, tools and instruments that affect the quality of the final product.
- Control and disposition of nonconforming material.
SPECIALIZED LIFTING PADS FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF VEHICLES
Make sure you always have the right tool for every lifting job. Vans and trucks require different adapters than cars and motorcycles. The dealer or manufacturer should have a variety of options and accessories to help customize your automotive lift to fit your specific auto lifting needs.
If they don’t, take it as a sign that their car lifting products might lack the proper support.
PROPER USE AND SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS
Always be sure that your car lift is supplied with operation, inspection, service and maintenance instructions that include specifications of the lift, lift rated load capacity, significant lift and bay dimensions, power requirements (compressed air and/or electrical), foundation and floor structural requirements.
Car lift installation instructions should be clear, concise and with graphics illustrating full step-by-step assembly, exploded drawings with part numbers and descriptions, component packing list, site requirements, mounting and anchoring instructions, recommended clearance around and above lift, plan and elevation details of auto lift layout, final pre-check procedure for assembled lift, operational test and inspection and maintenance instructions.
To raise safety awareness for all operators and bystanders, auto lifts should always include pertinent warning labels, and raising and lowering instructions. These labels shall be located at the point of hazard and/or so that they will be plainly visible by the operator when the operator is in position to raise or lower the load.
Jeff Kritzer is senior vice president of sales and marketing for BendPak, a global leader in car lift design, supplying the world with more than 50 lift models ranging from commercial lift systems to home/hobby and parking lifts. www.bendpak.com.