Truck lifts can be a valuable resource for amateur and professional mechanics alike. Many common repairs can be performed much easier with the use of truck lifts. Operating a car lift isn't difficult to do, but you need to use it in a safe manner to avoid what could easily become a tragic accident. This article looks at a few of the hazards associated with truck lifts so you can avoid them.
Understand What The Controls Do
It may sound simplistic, but it is vital that you have a complete understanding of what each control does. In an emergency, what may start out as a minor problem can soon turn into tragic accident if you don't know the controls on a car lift. If you are conducting a repair on a car lift, know these points prior to starting the repair. If any movement appears to be jerking or out of the ordinary, stop the operation of the unit immediately. If necessary, have a professional examine and service the equipment before using it again.
Failing To Use The Right Accessories
A common problem many mechanics encounter is attempting to use truck lifts for vehicles that are larger than the car lift was designed for. This problem can be avoided with the use of special adapters that can extend the lifting system. These adapters can make your equipment more versatile. The truck lifts that are designed with a single post may not be stable when fully loaded. This can be corrected with the addition of security legs for the unit that easily bolt onto the lift. They may have multi-positional locks that can add a layer of safety when you use them as well.
Maintenance Is Required
You change the oil in your car on a regular basis to help guarantee a longer lifespan for the vehicle. You should also perform routine maintenance on your car lift to ensure a longer lifespan. Set up a routine where visual inspections can be performed on a set date. Soon the inspections will become almost automatic in nature. As you check for safety issues, you can also make note of any pieces of equipment that are showing excessive wear or that may need to be replaced shortly. Check over the entire unit to make sure everything is moving smoothly. Keeping truck lifts clean can go a long way in extending the lifespan as well. Check the hydraulic system, looking for any leaks in hoses or fittings. If you see even the smallest leak in hydraulic fluid, have the unit repaired immediately to avoid a massive failure that could result in severe injury or death.
Use As Intended
A car lift may appear simple enough to load, but if not done properly, you're asking for trouble. If the weight of the vehicle is not distributed evenly or is beyond the weight limit of the unit, it can be a disaster in the making. Just because you have driven a vehicle onto the lift so often you no longer think about it doesn't mean you don't have to use caution. Don't become complacent. Make sure you center the vehicle and it meets the weight and size limitations of the lift before you operate it. Once you have achieved the desired height, disengage the lift and lock it into place before beginning your repair.
These are just four examples of where problems may occur if you're not careful when you operate truck lifts. There are many more mistakes you should know about to operate the lifts safely. Follow the instructions that came with your unit so your lift can be operated safely for a long time.
Christine O'Kelly is the author for the truck lifts experts at SVI International. With more than 30 years experience, they lead their industry in car lift, exhaust, and braking equipment as well as parts and service. Whether your vehicle lift is 60 years old or 6, they have the expertise to meet your needs.