Buying an auto lift is a tremendous and rewarding investment for your business. Regardless of this being your first or fifth auto lift purchase, many factors need your consideration.
It is not recommended that one should impulsively purchase such a critical piece of equipment and machinery. From understanding your shop and budgeting limitations to researching lift manufacturers and warranties, acquiring a new auto lift requires shop and business owners a great deal of forethought. In the content below, we explore the top ten things you should know before buying a lift for your auto shop.
Measure Your Shop’s Ceiling Height
Before buying a lift for your auto shop, consider the height of your workspace. Does your shop have low ceilings? In order to ensure a safe lift installation, your shop’s ceiling height must measure at a minimum of 11 or 12 feet, with clearance for overhead hazards such as lights and fire alarms. The higher your shop’s ceiling is, the wider selection of auto lifts you can choose from.
Determine Your Available Floor Space
Though ceiling height may not be a cause for concern, assess the remaining floor space available for the installation of a new auto lift. You may purchase the greatest lift for your auto shop only to find out it’s physically impossible to feasibly install it in your cramped floor space. It is imperative that you measure as many times as needed for you to guarantee that a lift will not only fit but also provide the necessary room to adequately service vehicles. If you are unsure about the minimum space requirement for your new auto lift, consider contacting a local and reliable installer.
Clarify the Intended Purpose of Your Lift
Consider the most common vehicle types your shop services. Are they pickup trucks, motorcycles, or traditional, compact and SUV cars? Making a wise auto lift purchase depends on assessing and determining your typical load capacity, needed lift height, and desired lift speed.
Select the Type of Lift You Anticipate Purchasing
Despite a singular purpose, individual car lifts feature unique lifting mechanisms, bringing strength to various applications. Exploring a complete guide to the different types of car lifts will be in your best interest when considering your intended purposes. For your reference, the main types of car lifts are the following:
- Frame Engaging Lifts
- Two-Post Surface Mounted Lifts
- Four-Post Lifts
- Drive-On Parallelogram Lifts
- In-Ground Lifts
After assessing your shop’s ceiling height and available floor space, you can easily eliminate auto lift types unsuitable for your conditions and applications.
Calculate Your Total Spending Budget
It is important that you get the best value from a newly purchased lift. Often, the car lift best suited for your shop’s needs is neither the least expensive nor the most expensive lifts available. Once you determine the exact type of lift needed for your business, explore the different costs to determine what you can afford. From the lift’s price to warranty and installation expenses and fees, map out your entire spending budget before buying anything to avoid creating a financial burden for your business.
Forecast Necessary Lift Maintenance
Each lift model comes with its own maintenance specifications and schedule. With the model you intend to purchase, explore its weekly, monthly, and yearly maintenance tasks necessary to preserve your auto lift investment. Doing so can help you determine which lift best suits your maintenance schedule and capabilities.
Research the Lift’s Manufacturer and Reputation
A lift is only as reliable as its manufacturer. Before purchasing a lift or any automotive machinery, research and verify the validity of the product’s manufacturer and how long they have been in the industry. Assess client reviews in search of any claims that the product was faulty or that the company is known for scamming unsuspecting customers.
Review the Warranty Plan
Regardless if you purchase the world’s most reliable auto lift, repairs and maintenance will be needed as wear and tear accrues over time. Prior to buying a lift for your auto shop, take some time to review and understand what type of warranty it comes with. Typically, warranties are standard applications to a lift purchase with the option to extend coverage for additional years or even the lift’s lifetime. Manufacturers who offer standard warranties with the purchase of each lift show that they stand behind the products they make.
Solidify the Installation Plan
The great question here is this: Who will be responsible for the lift’s installation? Will you hire a team to drill through your concrete, bring in machinery to transport the lift to your shop, and complete the entire process? If so, be sure to find a reliable installer who will protect your new equipment and guarantee a sound installation. If you intend to assume the responsibility of installing the lift on your own or with your shop’s employees, take the necessary time to develop a thorough plan of action and determine a realistic completion date.
Locate the Lift’s Replacement Parts
One would hope that after purchasing a new lift, you wouldn’t need to worry about replacement parts for quite some time. However, researching the availability and accessibility of spare and replacement parts for your lift’s model helps immensely, especially once your warranty expires. Before buying a lift, explore where you could order replacement parts and how soon they could be delivered. Purchasing older models of an auto lift may save you on expenses at the forefront. However, when you cannot find the necessary replacement parts for outmoded lifts, you might be re-thinking your lift purchase.
SVI International: High-Quality Auto Lifts and Replacement Parts
Finding a reliable auto lift supplier with high-quality products doesn’t have to be difficult. At SVI International, we are the industry’s leading supplier of repair parts for all types of automotive lifts. Besides traditional, every-day parts, SVI is known in the industry as the problem solver – tackling specialty lift concerns with innovative products. Our supply of high-quality products can play a significant role in protecting your auto lift investment.We’re just a phone call away. If you have questions, concerns, or need help placing an order, please reach out at (800) 321-8173 or via our online contact form.