Choosing a Two Post Lift
Due to the increasing popularity of two post lifts, choosing which is right for you can be difficult. Garages, car body shops, entrepreneurs and car owners are now buying them en-mass. Traditional ramps or pits are still used, and some prefer them to hydraulic car and truck-lifting devices.
So what are the advantages of of two post lifts?
Well apart from their functionality – and there are a number of different types of two post lifts – space-utilization is a premium. They are also recommended as a “drive-through” garage solution – drive it in, lift it up, put it down, and drive it out.
There are basically two types of two-post lifts out there. These are the symmetric lifts and asymmetric lifts. (See also Asymmetric Vs. Symmetric Vs. Versymmetric Lift Design for more information).
Recommended Brands and Models Bendpak and Dannmar are both leading brands of automotive lifts.
The BendPak XPR-10C is your basic standard model. Very robust, it handles up to 10,000 pounds and will last for years. It's easy to use and control, and is exclusively designed for long wear-and-tear with minimal maintenance required. It’s built solidly, and is sold at an incredibly affordable price to suit any budget.
The Dannmar Brigadier 10CX is a wider version of the BendPak lift. It gives more clearance between posts, to allow sufficient space for vehicles and to allow doors to open without touching the posts. Also a robust design, it handles up to 10,000 pounds and will work in virtually any type of service scenario. Here Dannmar has built the workhorse of two-post lifts for the automotive repair industry. This rugged, low maintenance lift will give you years of trouble-free service, and will be a great asset to any repair facility where it is installed. Installation and use require minimum effort for the engineer.
Then there is the Dannmar Brigadier 10ACX – with the 'A' in the title that stands for “asymmetric posts.” As described earlier, this allows even more room for opening doors. The posts are rotated at 30 degrees and are spaced even further apart to give additional clearance for a “no-scuff” and “dent-free” two-poster. This is the same as the 10CX, but is the asymmetric version; able to handle 10,000 pounds. It is easy to install and use and is built with your budget in mind - i.e., very affordable.
Exploring The Mechanics of a 2-Post Above Ground Auto Lift
When considering purchasing a 2-post above ground lift, sometimes customers are skeptical about the stability and safety of the design as opposed to another type such as an in-ground lift. This is a common misconception that we here at Garage Equipment Supply would like to put to rest by giving a run down on the mechanics of how a 2-post above ground works and why it is a better choice than most alternatives.
WHY CHOOSE AN ABOVE-GROUND AUTO LIFT?
This answer is simple -- functionality to your shop. The above ground lift was designed as an alternative for shops that that were unable to accommodate in-ground lifts due to being built on property that had solid rock foundation. Installing an in-ground lift at these shops would prove not only to be impractical, but also time-consuming and considerably expensive to install/remove.
On the other hand, an above ground 2-post lift is much easier to install, utilizing a design that simply bolts the two columns of the lift into an already existing concrete surface. To ensure that the concrete you are installing your 2-post lift won’t crack or be damaged while installing, a minimum required thickness is 4 inches of concrete at 3000 psi is necessary, but thicker concrete would be needed for lifts exceeding a 12,000 LB. capacity.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN COMPONENTS OF A 2-POST LIFT? WHAT DO THEY DO?
A two-post above-ground lift is comprised of two upright columns, four adjustable arms (either of symmetric or asymmetric design) attached to a carriage assembly, an electric/hydraulic power unit, two hydraulic cylinders, and the required cables, pulleys, and hoses to get all of those parts working together.
First of all, the most important part of this setup is the power unit. The power unit is comprised of an electric motor (usually between 208-230 Volt single phase 30amp), a plastic reservoir, a dump valve handle, and a hydraulic pump. What happens when you power the unit on is hydraulic fluid is drawn from the plastic reservoir mounted on the power unit into each column’s hydraulic cylinder via two hydraulic hoses. The pressure of the hydraulic fluid is regulated by a factory preset pump valve that has been installed by the factory from which the power unit was shipped. This valve is adjusted to factory specifications to protect the future owner/operator from overloading the lift and MUST NOT BE TAMPERED WITH.
Depending on your make and model, the hoses that deliver the hydraulic fluid to the cylinders on each column are routed either on the ground between the two columns by a diamond base plate or routed through an overhead beam between the two columns. one thing to note is that hydraulic fluid is semi-viscus, so DO NOT get concerned if it takes a moment for the fluid to enter both columns as the column that has the power unit mounted on it (referred to as the “smart column”) will fill first due to it being positioned closer to the fluid reservoir.
The four adjustable arms on your two-post above ground lift utilize a set of equalization cables to ensure that both carriages and all four arms move in-tandem with each other because failure of these cables will cause uneven lifting and serious damage to the lift can occur. The importance of these cables are to equalize all four arms during their rise and descent and to help engage the locking mechanisms simultaneously for each column. The locking mechanisms are engaged automatically when the vehicle is lifted off the ground and disengages when the lift is in the full “down” position.
So there you have it; a complete head-to-toe explanation of how your future 2-post above ground lift operates. You can see why this is a perfectly sound, safe machine, complete with a safety back-up system. Another great feature of a two-post lift: it grants access to 98% of the lifted vehicle, so the user has way more repair/maintenance options with this lift than any other!