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Different Types of Automotive Scissor Lift

automotive scissor lifts

Car repair demands that you have the right equipment and tools to get the job done right.  Whether it’s an automotive shop or your own home garage you want to make sure you have the right automotive scissor lift for the job. It can be the difference in what repairs you’ll be able to make and could affect how much business you’re able to do or which vehicle you operate on.  By understanding what an auto scissor lift is, and how different types are used, you’ll then know you’re buying the right one for the vehicles you want to repair.

What is an Automotive Lift?

Alignment lifts allow a mechanic better access to suspension components to align your vehicle’s axles, tires and to make sure the steering wheel is straight. Oftentimes auto shops or home garages can run into difficulty when trying to perform complex wheel alignments on a standard vehicle lift. What makes alignment lifts an attractive choice for anyone operating on vehicles are the features. They typically have non-resistant, free-floating front turn plates, rear slip plates, and are built to maintain and assist with accuracy, for the best alignment possible.

A Scissor lift is a type of auto lift that is best when space is a concern.

The Auto Scissor Lift

It can be extremely beneficial to purchase a scissor lift, especially for auto shops or garages with low ceilings. With a scissor lift you can control the exact lift height desired. This type of lift only takes up the necessary space to effectively service a car, without the use of installed external posts. Once returned to its original position, you will no longer have to worry about ceiling height or additional space as the scissor lift will shrink close to the level to the ground. With the understanding of what that automotive scissor lift can provide, it’s time to look at the different types of scissor lifts, and things that should factor into your decision.

Different Types of Automotive Scissor Lifts

There are a few types of scissor lifts. It’s important for you to pick the correct lift that will work with your setup, whether it’s an auto shop or your home garage. Typically, they are broken down into two categories: Electric lifts and Rough terrain Lifts.

  • Electric scissor lifts– are generally intended for indoor work, though they can still be used effectively outdoors. They utilize a battery for power, which as a result gives off no emissions. They are very popular for the lower heights and are suitable for movement over smooth surfaces. They are equipped with non-marking tires, which is especially great for presentation in retail storefronts and home garages with light-colored floors.
  • Rough Terrain Scissor Lifts- will most often use diesel- or gas for power, and can handle uneven, rough, or muddy terrain. They generally can reach heights of 50 feet or more and can have larger work platforms.
  • Hybrid Scissor Lifts- this lift is very uncommon; however, it can allow you to switch from battery to diesel as needed.

Once you’ve established what type of automotive scissor lift you want, it’s important to decide which will best fit your automotive shop or garage.  Automotive scissor lifts can be broken down into 3 categories based on how high they can rise and what vehicles they can operate on.

  • Low-rise lifts are a popular option because they take up the least amount of space. If an automotive shop needs a portable option or a home garage doesn’t have much space to work with—this will be your best option. However, you do not get as much clearance as mid-rise or full-rise lift.
  • Mid-rise lifts are great if you want more height to work with and not be as cramped in the workspace. However, to use them to their ability you will have to make sure you have the overhead space to accommodate the height.
  • Full-rise scissor lifts aren’t nearly as common, because once you get to this height clearance and size, some car enthusiasts or automotive shops will choose a two-post lift instead.  They still offer the versatility of a scissor lift.

Deciding Factors

Now that you know what types of scissor lifts exist, it’s important to look at what you should factor in before making your selection.  Here is a short list of what you should consider:

  • ALI CERTIFIED- Safety should always come first. When purchasing a scissor lift used, you’ll need to make sure your purchase is ALI Certified (Automotive Lift Institute.) An ALI Certification will let you have peace of mind knowing that the lift falls under safety and quality requirements.
  • SIZE- What height do you need? This will obviously depend on the space that you are operating in.
  • LOAD- You will need to make sure your lift can handle the weight capacity of the type of vehicles you’ll be working on.
  • PLATFORM SIZE- The size of the platform can make an impact on your efficiency and safety while working on the jobsite or in your garage. A wider platform offers better access and can save you time by not having to reposition all the time as you continue to work. Of course, you have to make sure it fits your space
  • COST- It’s always smart to factor in cost.  No one wants to spend more than they should.  When it comes to alignment scissor lifts, the cost can vary by build quality, how it’s powered, size, and of course whether you buy new or used.

Find the Right Scissor Lift for Your Operation with SVI International

Whether you decide on an automotive scissor lift, a four-post lift, or any other lift model, it’s imperative that you purchase your lift and lift replacement parts from a highly reputable company. At SVI International, we are the industry’s leading supplier of auto lifts and lift repair parts for all types of automotive lifts.

With over 40,000 products, our diverse product line serves as a one-stop-shop for equipment parts, lifting equipment, fluid delivery products, RELS brake lathes, and so much more.

We know that downtime can be costly, so our 3 ready-ship warehouses provide on-time delivery and same-day shipping for in-stock parts.

An SVI specialist would love to get in touch about serving your needs, including any questions or concerns you may have. To get in touch, give us a call at (800) 321-8173 or complete our online contact form. We always respond quickly!

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