Between the lorries and coaches and the six-wheel drives, it’s easy to forget about the lighter side of life in the workshop – the everyday work of lifting light commercial vehicles – and how to choose the right kind of lift for the right kind of job.
If your business is looking to expand, you’ll need to invest in new equipment. And that means you’ll need a proper understanding of the options you have.
So when lifting light commercial vehicles, what should you be looking for in a solution?
Here are the three biggest questions you need to ask before you buy:
1. Do you need a lift that’s mobile or fixed?
This is the biggest deciding factor in the type of lift you choose – and it needs to be the first question you ask before you dig any deeper.
On the face of it, it seems like an easy question to answer: do you need a lift that can be moved around?
But there’s a lot to think about when it comes down to the details. Here’s what you need to cover:
- The space you have in your workshop – If you’re running a smaller shop where space is tight, can you afford to dedicate a permanent spot to a fixed lift?
- How often you need to lift – If you’re not lifting vehicles every day, you might be better off with a Mobile Column Lift that can be moved into storage to free up more space.
- Changes in demand – If you sometimes get too busy for the space you have, a Mobile Column Lift can potentially help you work in new spaces (like outdoor areas) during your busiest times.
- The traffic through your workshop – When they’re used correctly, fixed and mobile lifts are both safe options. But the permanence of a fixed lift means that your workers are always expecting it – and that could mean less confusion and fewer blocked paths.
So what kinds of lift can be moved around? Here’s a quick summary:
2. Do you need to access the wheels after lifting?
The second biggest question is about how you want to go about lifting your light commercial vehicles (or more specifically, where the lift will take the weight of the vehicle being raised).
Most vehicle lifts work by raising the vehicle from its wheels – with the exception of the Heavy Duty Two Post Lift (pictured above), which lifts from the chassis of the vehicle.
So if you’re using a Light Commercial Four Post Lift, you won’t be able to remove the wheels to access the wheel arch area for repairs or maintenance.
When it comes to Mobile Column Lifts, these lift use forks to lift vehicles via the wheels – whether you’re using a small wheel adaptor or not. But you can use support stands to cradle the wheel axle, enabling the mobile column lift on same wheel to be removed.
If you’re using one of our latest Mobile Column Lifts (the T8AC or T8DC), you can use a Light Vehicle Adaptor to raise the vehicle by its chassis – giving you full access to the wheels while the vehicle’s raised.
Here’s a quick rundown of your options for each type of lift:
3. How much weight do you need to lift?
Finally, we’re on to the real meat of lifting vehicles: the safe working load and the capacity of the lift you’re using.
If we’re talking light commercial vehicles, that usually means a weight of up to 3,500 kg.
And if that’s all you need to lift, you’re in luck – because every one of our Totalkare Vehicle Lifts is built to safely handle the weight of a light commercial vehicle.
But if you’re running a business that works with a wider range of vehicles (especially heavy-duty vehicles), you’ll need to choose carefully – because some lifts won’t be suitable for heavier loads.
So what are the limits? Here’s a handy reference to compare the different lifts:
Totalkare does, of course, also offer a range of heavy duty vehicle lifting solutions too, should that be more in line with your requirements.
Looking for help with your next vehicle lift?
Choosing the right lift for your vehicle workshop isn’t always easy. But with the right understanding of their limits and uses, you can narrow down the search to find the best fit for your business.
If you’re still not sure about the best lift for you (or you have a burning question that needs the help of a seasoned expert), drop us a message or jump into a live chat with one of our team – we’re always happy to help!