With each lift having a different set of rules and guidelines, it can be hard to know where to start. With the help from the Automotive Lift Institute, here are some universal tips to easily follow.
Tip No. 1: Give Permission
For starters, only trained and authorized people should position vehicles and operate the lift. With this, training should be documented by the owner or employer.
Tip No. 2: Examine Daily
The Automotive Lift Institute warns to never operate a lift if it malfunctions, makes unusual noises, or has broke or damaged parts. Repairs should be made with original equipment parts, too. This is also to make sure the operating controls are in their correct positions. Do not tamper with, bypass, or otherwise override operating controls. The operating controls are designed to return to the neutral, or off, position when released.
On top of this, make sure to have all lifts inspected at least annually by a qualified automotive lift inspector.
Tip No. 3: Keep It Balanced
Never overload your lift. The lifts rated load capacity is required to be listed on its nameplate. When lifting the vehicle, never lift one end, side or corner of it. ALI says to always lift the entire vehicle unless authorized in writing by the lift manufacturer. On top of this, ALI says to never raise or lower an occupied vehicle. All unescorted customers or bystanders should not be in the lift area.
Tip No. 4: Keep It Clean & Clear
Always keep the lift area clean. Prepare the service bay by making sure the lift area is free of grease and oil, tools, hoses, trash, and other debris. Before loading the vehicle, provide unobstructed clearance to and from the lift. Do not hit or run over lift arms, adapters, or axle supports when moving a vehicle into or out of the service bay, as this could damage the lift or the vehicle. Check for obstructions and adequate overhead clearance.
Tip No. 5: Load with Caution
Carefully load the vehicle onto the lift. When loading, always use the load-holding device (or lock/latch). Use vehicle support stands for stabilizing the load and remove anything that could block the lowering process.
*Information provided by the Automotive Lift Institute