Fleet Maintenance - 50

GUEST EDITORIAL

		»Several lift manufacturers
offer longer forks to
accommodate dual rear tires.
Images courtesy of Mohawk Lifts

Considerations
before buying
a mobile lift
Mobile lifts are productive pieces
of shop equipment designed to
make a shop more efficient.

While two-post lifts are the most common
lift type, they have limitations in terms of
capacity and they must be anchored to the
floor. Mobile lifts are used in pairs or sets of
four, six, or more columns, usually lifting by
the tires of the vehicle being serviced.

By Steve Perlstein

PRESIDENT, MOHAWK LIFTS
Steve Perlstein is the president of Mohawk Lifts. A
leader in vehicle lifting technology, Mohawk Lifts
(mohawklifts.com) offers environmentally safe aboveground garage lifts, ranging from 6,000- to 240,000-lb
capacities as well as many lift accessories for this equipment. All Mohawk Lifts are proudly designed, welded,
and manufactured in the U.S.

50 Fleet Maintenance | July 2020

Mobile column lifts offer the flexibility of mobility, increased
capacity, can be used
virtually anywhere,
and don't require a
bay dedicated to a
specific lift type. For
some repair services,
mobile lifts offer the
greatest amount of
under-vehicle access
of any lift type.
When considering lifts of any type,
there are some
basic questions you
should start with:
Ü	What are the
weight ranges of
vehicles being lifted and serviced?
Ü	Does the ceiling of the bay have an adequate
height to fully raise the tallest vehicles?
Ü	Does the bay have adequate power?
Some lifts operate on 220 or 440 AC power
while others just need 110 to recharge the
batteries of DC operated columns.
In determining the capacity of the columns,
it's important to consider more than just the
total weight of the vehicle; also consider the
weight of the heavier rear axle. We've heard
of shops that purchased a set of four columns
and the rear columns wouldn't lift based on the
heavier rear of the vehicle being serviced. The
solution was a heavier set of rear columns. Ask
questions and prepare to be a smart lift buyer.
Ü	How level is the shop floor?
This question is very important given that
some lifts require a perfectly level shop floor.
Some lifts can't be used on floors that exceed
6/10ths of a degree of floor slope while others
can operate on a 3 degree floor slope. The floor
slope may seem inconsequential, but if the
floor is pitched 3/4 or 1 degree so that water
runs into the oil/water separator, don't consider lifts that can't be used on your shop floor.
Ü	Does the lift come standard with retractable wheels?
With retractable wheels, when the lift starts
going up weight is removed from the wheels as
they retract under load. A simple analogy is to
consider whether you'd prefer to do weight lifting exercises while standing on a skateboard
or with your feet planted firmly on the ground.
Retractable wheels versus stationary wheels
make for a safer mobile lift.

Accessory considerations

An engineer at Mack or Freightliner designed
the truck to travel down the road on four tires
per rear axle. Naturally, it's safer to lift by all
four rear tires instead of just the outer tire.
Consider the maximum sidewall rating of the
tires. If the rear axle weighs 26,000 lbs and the
tires have a maximum load rating of 8,000 lbs,
you're now over-pressurizing the tires.
There is only one nationally recognized safety standard for vehicle lifts: the

Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) which can be
found at AutoLift.org.
Several lift manufacturers offer longer 22"
forks to accommodate dual rear tires. Yet, per
AutoLift.org, it's clear that some who offer 22"
forks reduce the capacity from 18,000 to 12,000
lbs, meaning the shop is using the lift against
the manufacturer's stated warnings and ALI's
certification capacities. Some manufacturers wouldn't be overloading the columns or
over-pressurizing the tires.
Most certified lifts offer certified lift options.
The most popular option for mobile lifts are
front to rear bumper adapters which give the
user the ability to use the columns in pairs
to engage vehicles by the bumper and leave
all tires hanging free for tire, brake, or front
end service. The consideration for a mobile
lift prospect is: What is the now decreased
certified total capacity when using the front
to rear adapters?
Again, this option on AutoLift.org shows that
while some companies offer the front to rear
adapter in a 26,000-lb capacity, others offer this
option yet de-rate the columns to barely lift a
pickup truck of any size, and some offer this
option but using the bumper adapter de-certifies the lift. Research at AutoLift.org will help
you make the educated decision. Simply stated, make sure the options you're considering
have an adequate capacity rating to do the job
they're intended to do.
Another popular option is a forklift adapter.
Many shops have a forklift, and many choose
to service their forklifts in-house. A forklift
adapter engages the forklift from between the
front and rear tires. AutoLift.org has verified
that some mobile column manufacturers do
the following:
Ü	Don't offer a certified forklift adapter.
Ü	Some offer this option in a capacity no higher than being able to service a 4,000- or
5,000-lb capacity forklift (a 5000-lb capacity
forklift weighs approximately 8,000 to 9,000
lbs ... think of the counterweight).
Ü	Some manufacturers adequately rate and
certify this option to lift and service a
10,000- or 16,000-lb forklift with certified
capacities as high as 28,000 lbs.
Again, make sure the brand and available
options you're considering have the stated ALI
certified rating to lift and service the equipment you need to repair.
High reach jack stands make mobile lifts
more productive. While awaiting parts, shops
often lower a vehicle onto the jack stands, move
the columns, and lift another vehicle. Make
sure the manufacturers you're considering
offer ALI-certified high reach jack stands. If
the stands aren't certified, you've just de-certified your new mobile lift and bypassed the
only safety standard for lifts.
Mobile lifts are safe, productive pieces of
shop equipment to make your shop as efficient as possible. They can help speed vehicles in and out of the shop faster and be more
productive. Just be sure to compare lifts when
making a purchase, as not all mobile lifts are
the same.


http://www.AutoLift.org http://www.AutoLift.org http://www.AutoLift.org http://www.AutoLift.org http://www.AutoLift.org http://www.mohawklifts.com

Fleet Maintenance

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fleet Maintenance

Uptime: Fleet feedback from electric truck adoption
Editor's Note: Future-proofing your fleet
Engine idle reduction systems and solutions
In the Bay: Technician training in the digital age
Shop Operations: How fleets can use ELDs to improve preventive maintenance
Volvo LIGHTS establishes path to managing service and maintenance of electric heavy duty trucks
The right fit
Management: Getting in the zone
Diagnostics: How aftermarket diagnostic tools can assist with DPF maintenance
Economic Outlook: The seven percent solution
Fleet Parts & Components
TMC Fall Meeting and National Technician Appreciation Week 2020
TMC Special Section: Letter from the Technology & Maintenance Council
TMC Special Section: Celebrate the individuals who the trucking industry could not survive without
TMC Special Section: TMC Membership - A stepping-stone to the future
TMC Special Section: VMRS - Charting new horizons to improve cost equipment reporting
Tools & Equipment
Guest Editorial: Considerations before buying a mobile lift
Fleet Maintenance - 1
Fleet Maintenance - 2
Fleet Maintenance - 3
Fleet Maintenance - 4
Fleet Maintenance - 5
Fleet Maintenance - 6
Fleet Maintenance - 7
Fleet Maintenance - Uptime: Fleet feedback from electric truck adoption
Fleet Maintenance - 9
Fleet Maintenance - Editor's Note: Future-proofing your fleet
Fleet Maintenance - 11
Fleet Maintenance - Engine idle reduction systems and solutions
Fleet Maintenance - 13
Fleet Maintenance - 14
Fleet Maintenance - 15
Fleet Maintenance - 16
Fleet Maintenance - 17
Fleet Maintenance - In the Bay: Technician training in the digital age
Fleet Maintenance - 19
Fleet Maintenance - 20
Fleet Maintenance - 21
Fleet Maintenance - 22
Fleet Maintenance - 23
Fleet Maintenance - Shop Operations: How fleets can use ELDs to improve preventive maintenance
Fleet Maintenance - 25
Fleet Maintenance - 26
Fleet Maintenance - 27
Fleet Maintenance - Volvo LIGHTS establishes path to managing service and maintenance of electric heavy duty trucks
Fleet Maintenance - 29
Fleet Maintenance - The right fit
Fleet Maintenance - 31
Fleet Maintenance - Management: Getting in the zone
Fleet Maintenance - 33
Fleet Maintenance - Diagnostics: How aftermarket diagnostic tools can assist with DPF maintenance
Fleet Maintenance - 35
Fleet Maintenance - Economic Outlook: The seven percent solution
Fleet Maintenance - Fleet Parts & Components
Fleet Maintenance - TMC Fall Meeting and National Technician Appreciation Week 2020
Fleet Maintenance - TMC Special Section: Letter from the Technology & Maintenance Council
Fleet Maintenance - 40
Fleet Maintenance - 41
Fleet Maintenance - 42
Fleet Maintenance - 43
Fleet Maintenance - TMC Special Section: Celebrate the individuals who the trucking industry could not survive without
Fleet Maintenance - TMC Special Section: TMC Membership - A stepping-stone to the future
Fleet Maintenance - TMC Special Section: VMRS - Charting new horizons to improve cost equipment reporting
Fleet Maintenance - 47
Fleet Maintenance - Tools & Equipment
Fleet Maintenance - 49
Fleet Maintenance - Guest Editorial: Considerations before buying a mobile lift
Fleet Maintenance - 51
Fleet Maintenance - 52
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