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Five column lift buzzwords de-buzzed!

column lift buzzwords

Column lifts, Vehicle lifts or Jacks?

The very name of this equipment can be the source of some debate, but essentially all can mean the same. Although jacks most commonly refer to the smaller everyday car jacks, some people do still use this terminology for the heavy-duty lifts. Some may also refer to a set of four mobile column lifts as ‘four posts’. This can be confusing when you have products such as the four post lift with a similar function.

We refer to ours as mobile column lifts, as we find this to be the clearest and most specific title, helping us and our customers to communicate about the most suitable applications.



Simply the abbreviation of Safe Working Load, meaning the total weight that the item can safely support. It may seem obvious to some, but it’s important to be clear about this, as it is the abbreviation used on the side of most heavy-duty vehicle lifts. Totalkare’s latest mobile column lifts have a SWL of 7,500kg per column. It’s important to ensure you have the right amount of lifts together in order to raise your vehicle. For example, if you will be lifting a vehicle with a total weight of above 30,000kg, you will require a set of six. Our mobile column lifts can be configured in sets of four, six or eight, providing a total SWL of up to 60,000kg.

IP rating

We provide the option of a water ingress protected mobile column lift with fully galvanised finish. Our G8AC is designed with outdoor and wash bay use in mind and has an IP rating of IP56. This simply stands for Ingress Protection and refers to a standardised scale grading the enclosure of a mechanical or electrical item.

The first digit refers to the level of solid particle protection and the second to water ingress protection. The IP56 rating of our G8AC lift provides dust and powerful water jet protection, meaning rain and wash bay jets will have no harmful effects on the lifts themselves.

Standard lifts are not protected from water and so over time outdoor or wash bay use can be damaging, reducing the lifespan and effectiveness of your equipment. It is important to understand IP rating so that you can decide on the best piece of equipment for your individual needs.


Forks refer to the double prong element of the mobile column lifts which cradle the wheels. This is the part that is manoeuvred into place to hold each wheel and support the vehicle before raising it up.

It’s another term to be familiar with, as different mobile column lifts provide slightly different variations which may be more suitable for your needs. Our latest range of mobile column lifts (including the T8AC, T8DC and G8AC) all feature adjustable wheel forks. This provides the ability to easily adjust the width between the two prongs, adapting the product for use with smaller wheels. This makes it straightforward to use the same set of lifts for working on a variety of vehicles.  If you have older lift types, wheel adaptors can be used to increase the variety of wheel diameters which can be lifted.

Hydraulic technology

You will hear this term applied to the latest in the range of Totalkare lifts. Our T8 and G8 mobile column lifts use state-of-the-art hydraulic lifting technology, which replaces the typical load nut mechanism. In very basic terms, hydraulic technology uses pressurised fluid to power the mechanism, eliminating the amount of small parts involved, which can easily wear over time. This technology is reliable and should help to reduce the frequency in the need for refurbishment and replacement parts.

If you’d like any other terms de-buzzed, or you’d like to speak to us about any of our products or services, call 0121 585 2724.