Two Post Lift Safe Lifting Practices – Part 2
There are two different types of two post lifts – Symmetric and Asymmetric. Asymmetric lifts position the car further back on the lift. Typically, about 60 to 70% of the car will be positioned behind the columns on an asymmetric lift. Asymmetric car lifts actually balance the vehicle better in most cases because of the fact that most vehicles are front heavy. Some longer vehicles, or rear engine automobiles, or work vans with equipment stored in back will be rear-heavy, and therefore will balance out better when positioned symmetrically. Some manufacturers, like BendPak, designed some of their lifts to position the vehicle either way, depending on the needs of the vehicle.
There are three different types of adapters found on a Two Post Lift. Flip up style adapters are adjustable to several different positions. There are concerns about safety with these adapters because if they are not securely placed into position, they could abruptly flip back down while the vehicle is on it.
Screw pad adapters are infinitely adjustable, which is desired by many users, but can be time consuming to adjust frequently.
Stackable adapters are the quickest and easiest to use, and provide an adequate variety of height adjustments to allow for most possibilities.
All technicians have their preferences, but we’ve found, based on customer feedback, that most customers prefer the stackable adapters. It seems that most manufacturers have noticed this preference, since most have moved toward the stackable adapter option lately.
Most manufacturers provide a rectangular or square lift pad, with a slip on rubber pad over it. The slip on rubber pad is desired in many cases to prevent damaging the underside of the vehicle and it’s rustproofing. Some car manufacturers require special custom adapters for their vehicles as well.
A properly trained technician is a valuable asset to any auto shop. And a technician who maintains safe two post lift practices ensures a safer work environment, and lowers the potential for worker’s compensation issues along with a decrease in damage to customer’s vehicles. It is the shop owner’s responsibility to ensure that all technicians are properly trained. Plus, it’s in you’re own best interest as the shop owner.