car lift safety rules

What are Some of the Car Lift Safety Rules for Users and Professionals?

Car lifts are becoming increasingly common in workshops and in this industry as a whole due to their ease of use and allowing workers to be more efficient. 

The various types, sizes, and builds of car lifts are making them yet more accessible to the public. Some users (read car enthusiasts) have also installed them in their own garages. 

Now, they do come as a structure that makes car maintenance easier. This is where the car safety rules come in, without which a car lift can prove to be more hazardous than useful. 

Let us dive right into the details! 

What is a Car Lift?

A car lift is precisely what it says – a lift for your car. Now, why on earth would you need a lift that big, and why need it in the first place? A car lift, unlike regular elevator lifts, is built differently in that it provides an open space underneath the car, lifting the vehicle using its tires. 

This is done because car lifts are mainly used for car maintenance, where drivers, users, or engineers must go underneath the car to fix or change parts. 

While this is also achievable in different ways, having the car lift ensures safety. It can lift the car considerably higher, allowing people to work more conveniently. 

Car lifts are primarily found in professional garages or workshops that work more frequently on car repairs. But nowadays, some people also have them installed in their personal garages for ease of use and repair. 

car lift safety rules

Why Are Car Lift Safety Rules Required? 

Like all lifts, car lifts, too, need safety rules to keep them in place and working for us. The safety here is twofold –

Safe for Users

The primary purpose of safety is, first and foremost, for the users so that we do not hurt ourselves while working on the vehicles. 

Proper Maintenance for the Lift

However, ensuring the vehicle is safe for use also means that it is in proper shape, hence acting as a method of maintenance for the lift as well. 

Car Lift Safety Rules 

On to the main point, what are car lift safety rules, and how many? You may have already come across many by now while looking, but here are some of the key points that will help you ensure that your car lift is ready and safe for use! 

Read Up on the Manual 

Every car lift comes with its own user manual, just like yours. Reading the manual thoroughly is the very first step. It will ensure that you are up to date with all the information about the lift. 

Suppose any specific safety measures need to be taken for the particular brand. In that case, it will also be mentioned in the manual, which you may not find online in the more generalized guidelines. 

Check The Maximum Capacity 

Different lifts have different capacities, which is one thing to check before purchasing the lift. The maximum capacity of a car lift should never be exceeded, and as much as this may seem like a ‘no-brainer’ piece of advice, it still needs to be stated. 

Because we often tend to be under the cars, exceeding the maximum weight capacity can cause it to fall vertically, possibly crushing the user. 

Use More Than One Lift Arm 

The maximum capacity that we see on a car lift is the number that represents the weight distribution across the entire lift. This is why it is essential to ensure that we use only one arm, as that will not create an even distribution. 

This is even more important when the car’s weight is distributed unevenly front and back. For example, using more than one lift arm in trucks is crucial. 

Opt for Automatic Safety Locks

All car lifts come with safety locks, of course. Otherwise, it would be impossible to use them without the fear of them falling every other second. However, what makes it even safer is having an automatic safety lock. 

With this, you can work stress-free as the lift has been automatically locked into place. And there are no chances of the lift lowering unless you do it manually. 

Engage Lift Safety Features 

All car lifts have their own safety features and materials that help make them safer. These include things like wheel chocks, arm restraints, and many more that make it easier and safer to work. 

However, a lot of times, we tend to overlook these extra bits and pieces of information, focusing solely on the lift itself. Yes, the lift can be very safe with its safety locks. 

But it never hurts to go all out when it comes to being safe. Engaging with these few extra steps can save you from an unwanted accident. 

For ease of understanding, here is a simple example. If you have a two-post lift, you can use height adapters or pad adapters, allowing you to contact the vehicle’s lifting points. 

Note: In these cases, if you do not have the accessories needed, do not attempt to build them, do source them from proper stores. These accessories are manufactured with a lot in mind, and more than making one in the garage will be required. It can lead to more safety issues instead.

Lift Maintenance

A well-maintained car lift is a safe car lift. Like all lifts, you need servicing, checking, and proper lift maintenance performed by professionals on a routine basis. Since it works to lift such heavy objects, we do not want loose ends and missing screws, no matter how minor. 

Regular maintenance will ensure that these minor mishaps do not occur and keep the lift in its best shape. Now, regular can mean different things to different users. When it comes to car lifts, some need daily checkups. Especially the ones in workshops that go through a lot of work every day. 

On the other hand, some may need weekly or even monthly maintenance checkups. It all depends on how it is built and how it is being used. We suggest referring to your user manual for clarity. 

At Home Checks 

If lift servicing sounds too complicated, we assure you it is not. But, if you want a detailed list of the things that you can do to make sure the lift is safe to use, then go through the following points, and cross them out one by one before using the lift:

  • Ensure that all operating procedures and safety materials are in sight and readable
  • See that you can see all warning signs clearly 
  • Check to see the load capacity of the lift and if it is visible 
  • Go through all the lift controls one by one to see if they are working properly. This includes locking devices, restraints, and synchronizing systems. 
  • Check to see if any distress or wear is visible in any part of the lift. This includes both structural and non-structural components as well as contact points. 
  • Check to see if there are any pneumatic or hydraulic leaks
  • If there is a concrete ground floor with anchor bolts used, check to see if there are visible cracks

Dont Miss Annual Servicing 

Yes, it is a thing! And in some countries, it can also be illegal to not do your annual services, especially if it is a workshop. Get your car lift serviced completely by a professional annually. 

It may seem like an additional cost, but in the long run, it can save you thousands if the car lift does show signs of damage or cause an accident. 

Receive Training

Safety tips are like the cherry on top for someone who is already accustomed to using car lifts or at least knows their way around them. But if you have little to no experience with car lifts but have to work with them regularly, getting training is the best option. 

These safety tips and advice are indeed helpful. Still, for new users who need to be aware of how to handle car lifts physically, the safest way to use one would be to receive hands-on training from professionals. There’s nothing quite like handling the real thing! 

To Conclude

Car lifts are very similar to regular lifts regarding safety – not maintaining the rules can end in damaged lifts and hospital runs. Better to be safe than sorry, and better to know your car lifts safety rules before using it! 

It is pretty simple. Just follow the instructional manual, make sure to not cross the weight limits, and get it checked on a routine basis. These simple steps will help you use the car lift safely and for a long time! 

Eddie Burton - Senior Author
Senior Author: Eddie Burton

Eddie Burton is a passionate car enthusiast and a seasoned mechanic with over 15 years of experience in the automotive industry. He has worked with a variety of vehicles, from classic muscle cars to modern luxury cars, and has extensive knowledge of all types of auto parts and accessories.

Eddie’s love for cars began at a young age when he would spend hours tinkering with his first car, a 1967 Mustang. Since then, he has pursued his passion for cars by working in various garages and workshops, honing his skills and expertise in everything related to automobiles.

As a contributor to our website, Eddie shares his in-depth knowledge and experience with our readers, providing valuable tips and advice on auto parts, repairs, and maintenance. He’s committed to helping car owners get the most out of their vehicles by providing honest and practical reviews of auto parts, accessories, and tools.

With Eddie’s vast experience and expertise, you can trust his recommendations and insights on everything related to cars. Whether you’re a seasoned car owner or a newbie in the world of automobiles, Eddie’s articles and reviews will help you make informed decisions and keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *