7 tips for safe car hoist operation

Make the most of your workshop with Garage Equipment’s helpful guide

If you’re ready to join the many workshop owners who have their own car hoist, here’s a big ‘congrats!’ from all the team at Garage Equipment! We know you’ll love the way it helps you take your car maintenance to the next level.

Yet of course, there’s a serious side to car hoist ownership too. Understanding how to use your hoist safely is so important.

With that in mind, we’ve put together seven tips to help you get the most out of your car hoist, and enjoy many years of safe usage into the future.

1) Forget about buying a used car hoist

You know how when you’re buying a used car, checking out its service history is vital? Well that’s even more the case with car hoists.

That’s because regular maintenance is absolutely critical to preserve your car hoist’s functional lifetime. If you can’t be 100% certain that the previous owner has looked after the equipment spotlessly, it’s a good idea to pass on buying that second hand hoist. The inherent safety risks are just not worth it.

On top of that, you definitely won’t have a warranty on a second hand hoist – so you’re on your own if any issues show themselves. And when you consider that older car hoists just don’t have today’s modern safety features, well, it’s a no-brainer. And speaking of which… 

2) Engage your hoist’s safety features before you begin work

Your brand new car hoist will come equipped with loads of modern safety features, such as wheel chocks, arm restraints, and anti-sway blocks. But remember: these safety features won’t work if they’re not engaged. So take the time to understand how they work – and make sure they’re engaged and working properly before you start work on a car.

3) Never exceed your vehicle lift’s maximum capacity

Now you’re the proud owner of a car lift in your workshop, you’ll probably experience an uplift in business as you get through more vehicle servicing than ever before.

But before you say ‘yes’ to lifting every new vehicle that comes your way, take the time to check – really check – the weight of the unfamiliar vehicle before you lift it. Exceeding the weight-bearing capacity of your car lift – even for a short while – is just not worth the risk.

4) Remember the ground rules before you start work

As we’ve spoken about before, it’s important to make sure the concrete slab underneath your vehicle hoist is built to take the weight of your fully loaded lift. On top of this, remember that installing a hoist near the slab edge, near a seam, or directly over a tension cable is not a good idea. Even if these mistakes don’t lead to an accident, they’ll certainly reduce the effectiveness of your car hoist.

5) “Pinch points” aren’t as much fun as they sound

Far from being just an annoyance, pinch points can easily cause damage to your property or yourself if you don’t treat them with care and respect. The better hoist manufacturers employ engineers to help identify potential pinch points for hoses and limbs, and remove them from their designs. So look for a lift that addresses and eliminates pinch points before they can affect you.

6) Go for a car hoist with automatic safety locks

This safety feature automatically locks the hoist as you raise a car, preventing a sudden dangerous free fall in the unlikely event of a suspension component failure. In our view, it’s a crucial safety feature.

Typically, after you’ve raised the hoist to the required working height, you then lower the lift until it is resting safely on the locks. This helps to minimise wear on suspension components. Once the locks are engaged, the car lift has to be raised slightly in order to release the safety locks and lower the hoist.

7) Stay up-to-date with your car hoist maintenance

No matter how high quality your hoist is, to make sure it stays in top working order you must carry out maintenance and inspections on daily, weekly, and monthly basis – and have it serviced regularly by a qualified technician.

To help you keep track of your car hoist and the inspections and maintenance it needs, we’ve put together a free service logbook. Download your copy free here today.

Get the right car hoist for your needs with Garage Equipment

Use your new car hoist safely and you’ll enjoy years of service from your new equipment. And to make sure you choose the right hoist for your needs, talk to the car hoist experts at Garage Equipment.

Get in touch with Garage Equipment team on 1800 777 318 or fill out the contact form here.

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