How to maintain and ensure safe operation of two-post lifts

Garage equipment brand shares lift inspection check list and tips for garage owners

How to maintain and ensure safe operation of two-post lifts

Boston Garage Equipment has shared its essential list of key points regarding the safe operation of two post lifts.

A Boston spokesperson said: “When operating any vehicle lift, safety must be the primary concern of both the garage owner and the lift operator.

“Whether it’s single post lifts, two post lifts or four post lifts, all lift operators must be sufficiently trained and aware of the potential risks when using such a vehicle lift.

“Unlike platform lifts, two post lifts require correct and accurate vehicle positioning to ensure that the operator can work safely from beneath.”

Regular two-post lift inspection

All vehicle lifts must be installed properly by an experienced fully trained engineer.

Once commissioned, Boston advises that operators should inspect the lift on a daily basis before operation.

Thereafter, a more thorough inspection should be carried out each and every month.

Daily inspection of two post vehicle lifts

  • Check for damage or lack of adjustment to chains or wire ropes.
  • Verify that there are no leaks on the hydraulic equipment and hoses.
  • Inspect the level of wear and tear to support pads and making sure the rubber surfaces are clean.
  • Ensure the correct operation of all arm locking mechanisms.

Monthly inspection of two post vehicle lifts

  • Check that all ropes, chains, rollers and carriage pins are lubricated.
  • Ensure that all floor anchor bolts are sufficiently tightened.
  • Verify that all of the screw and nut lubrication systems are topped up with the correct specified lubricant.

In addition to regular inspections carried out by lift operators, all lifting equipment should also be thoroughly examined by a competent person every six months in accordance with LOLER regulations, and maintained every six-months in keeping with PUWER regulations.

The Boston spokesperson added: “Correct positioning of a vehicle on a twin column lift is critical for safety; it is necessary to ensure that the vehicle is balanced correctly and its weight therefore evenly distributed.

“As the position varies depending on the type of car or van being lifted, the first thing a twin column lift operator must do is identify the vehicle’s centre of gravity.

“For most rear wheel drive vehicles, this is roughly situated around the front seats.

“For front wheel drive vehicles, the centre of gravity is usually slightly further forward.

“The operator should extend or shorten the lifting arms on each of the carriages so that the vehicle can be lifted from the manufacturer’s designated lifting points – in some cases lifting adapters may be required and certain two post lift manufacturers offer a range of adjustable or vehicle specific adapters to enable correct vehicle lifting.

“Lifting arms can be freely adjusted when they are less than 100mm from the ground, but once higher than this, they should automatically lock in place to prevent any sideways movement of the arms.

“To check that arms are correctly locked, you should lift the vehicle a small distance above the 100mm locking point and then apply some force to them.

“It is equally important to check that the pads are properly positioned before fully elevating the vehicle.

“With the vehicle raised enough so that the weight is removed from the suspension, bounce the vehicle from the heaviest end.

“Note how the vehicle is supported by the lift and ensure it is well balanced before continuing to lift further.

“Once the vehicle is raised, it is vital to maintain the vehicle’s balance point.

“This can easily be overlooked when repairs are being made that call for large components to be removed thus shifting the vehicle’s centre of gravity and making it unsteady on the lift.”

According to the GEA, removing the transmission from a front wheel drive vehicle is the most common example of human error that causes vehicles to fall off.

For further information about any type of vehicle lift, including single, four-post and scissor lifts, contact Boston Garage Equipment range, by calling 01708 525585 or select ‘more details’ below.

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