Lifting in a Wash Bay? Here's How to Choose the Right Lift for Wet Work - Totalkare
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Lifting in a wash bay? How to choose the right lift for wet work

Lifting in a Wash Bay? Here’s How to Choose the Right Lift for Wet Work

If you’re running a fleet of coaches, buses, or commercial vehicles, you need your vehicles to be MOT-ready.  In most cases, that means a thorough cleaning – which means lifting the vehicle to wash the chassis underneath, normally in a wash bay.

But there’s a problem here:

Most standard vehicle lifts can’t handle the moisture of a wash bay.

So what’s the solution?

You need a lift that’s been built from the ground up to withstand the high-pressure jets and constant humidity of the cleaning process – one that’s ready for use in a wash bay or outdoor area.

Along with the galvanised versions of our popular Y-MECH and Four Post Lifts, we’re proud to say that our G8AC model is the only mobile column lift in the UK that’s fit for use in a wash bay.

So if you’re looking for a vehicle lift that’s ready for wet work, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you need to look for before you buy:


1.  Flexibility & lifting capacity

The Heavy Duty Four Post Lift and our brand new Y-MECH Lift are both fixed installations.  If a permanent vehicle lifting installation is important to you, these would be ideal.  With maximum lifting capacities of 33,000kg and 35,000kg respectively, they’re perfectly suited to heavy duty vehicle lifting and can be supplied with lighting and jacking beam as optional extras.

Both the Heavy Duty Four Post Lift and the Y-MECH Lift can be surface or recess mounted too, depending on your preference, and are available in a range of platform lengths.

For those with more occasional outdoor lifting requirements, the G8AC really comes into its own.  It’s everything you’d want in a mobile column lift, with a lifting capacity of 7,500kg per column and adjustable forks to accommodate a variety of wheel diameters.

You can also set these up in sets of four, six or eight columns, meaning the G8AC is capable of lifting up to 60,000kg across four axles.

And what if you also want to lift vehicles indoors too?  When not in use outside, the G8AC can be deployed inside the workshop just as easily, make it a truly versatile solution.  Beware of those offering mobile column lifts with covers, claiming they are suitable for wash bay use.  The simple fact of the matter is they are not.

Here’s a quick snapshot of each lift for comparison:


Type of Wash Bay Lift Lifting Capacity
Y-MECH (Galvanised Version) 25,000kg – 35,000kg (depending on model)
G8AC Mobile Column 7,500kg per column
Heavy Duty Four Post (Galvanised Version) 8,000kg – 33,000kg (depending on model)


2.  Platform Length

With the weight of the vehicle out of the way, it’s time to think about the length. And in most cases, there’s some overlap here – longer vehicles are usually heavier!

With the exception of our G8AC Mobile Column Lift, our wet-work vehicle lifts come in a range of platform lengths, depending on the model of the lift you choose.

The G8AC is a special case, with individual columns (used in sets of 4, 6, or 8) that are placed around the tyres of the vehicle in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. That makes the G8AC suitable for a huge range of different vehicle lengths – but it also means that it doesn’t make much sense to talk about a ‘platform length’!

Here’s a quick guide to help you get an idea of each lift:


Type of Wash Bay Lift Platform Length
Y-MECH (Galvanised Version) 6m – 13m (depending on model)
G8AC Mobile Column Dependent on the vehicle’s safe lifting points
Heavy Duty Four Post (Galvanised Version) 7m – 18m (depending on model)


3.  IP Rating

Now we’re onto the important part – finding out exactly how much water your wash bay vehicle lift can stand.

IP stands for Ingress Protection. It’s a measure of how difficult it is for water and dust to get inside your equipment.

The IP Rating is an international standard that’s used to verify just how waterproof something is. (And if you’re lifting vehicles in a wash bay, you need some serious protection to be sure you’re not going to be shelling out on repairs time after time because of water damage!)

So how do the different wash bay lifts measure up? Let’s take a look:


Type of Wash Bay Lift IP Rating (ex. control panel) What that means:
Y-MECH (Galvanised Version)


Can be immersed in water
G8AC Mobile Column


Protected from powerful jets of water
Heavy Duty Four Post (Galvanised Version)


Protected from powerful jets of water


So which is the best wash bay lift for you?

All of our wash bay-ready lifts can lift a wide range of commercial vehicles – and they’ve all got the IP rating to make them suitable for wet work.

But there are some important differences between them. And these extra details could be the deciding factor in choosing the right lift.

If you’re looking for the highest weight capacity, you probably need a galvanised Heavy Duty Y-MECH Lift.

If you need the longest platform length you should be looking at the galvanised Heavy Duty Four Post Lift.

And if you need a wash bay lift that’s mobile, with adjustable forks to fit different types of vehicle, you’ll need the G8AC Mobile Column Lift (which is only available as a galvanised model).


Looking to get your fleet MOT-ready?

Check out our new online store to see our full range of vehicle lifts – or send us a message to get an expert recommendation from one of our specialists.