|Key Questions To Ask When Purchasing A Car Lift
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With the wide variety of choices when it comes to automotive lifts and truck lifts on the market these days, it can get confusing which manufacturer to choose.
There are many good manufacturers of lifts, however ask many auto shop owners, and they'll tell you, there is a glut of cheap, inferior lifts as well. There is also a variety of over-priced lifts on the market as well. So how do you choose a good lift, without breaking your budget? What factors should come in to play in your decision-making process?
Unfortunately, selecting the perfect car lift can often times be challenging. Once you start looking for places that sell lifts, you will find that there are dozens of different brands and styles available. This can make determining which one is the best for your needs a bit of a challenge.
First, the best advice is buyer beware. Find a reputable manufacturer. There are dozens of manufacturers that have popped up over the last several years and while some may be of good quality, while most are inferior, low quality bargain lifts that leave the user disappointed. Some manufacturers make inflated claims that they are the biggest and best lifts on the market, yet they've only been in existence for one or two years and are of questionable quality. Many of these lifts are made in the same non - ISO-9001 compliant factory in Asia and shipped over to the USA to the same distributor, and once they arrive here in the states, various distributors slap their sticker on them.
What is the warranty? Many of these inferior lifts come with less than satisfying warranty. Typically, the warranty is one year on parts only. So if you have a problem that cannot be resolved by troubleshooting by phone and sending you out the parts, you're on your own after that. Not to mention parts availability, or lack of it. With manufacturers that have only been around for a few years, you run the risk of needing parts several years down the road, and not being able to get them. These are all valid concerns, but the biggest concern should be the quality of the lift. Inferior welds, low quality components and lack of quality control are common issues that buyers complain of. We've seen countless posts on various car enthusiast forums on the web complaining about these issues. There are all kinds of pictures on the web showing unlucky buyers who had lifts that collapsed. These are scary circumstances that can be potentially devastating when you consider you can lose more than your car if your lift were to fail while you were under it.
Then there are some top name manufacturers who consider their reputation reason enough to charge top dollar for their car lift.
If your looking for the best blend of quality and affordability, check out our BendPak Lifts. BendPak is one of the largest lift manufacturers in the industry with over 40 years of experience. They also manufacture a wide variety of other types of shop equipment, such as tire changers, air compressors, parts washers and floor jacks. But they are known most throughout the industry as of of the premier names for car lifts and truck lifts. Bend Pak lifts are made in ISO-9001 compliant factories, and most of their two post and four post lift models are ALI Certified. What does it mean to be ALI certified? It means that the lift meets very strict quality and safety standards, in many cases exceeding the industry minimum standards. It also means that the lifts are tested not just by anybody, but by the recognized authority on this subject, the Automotive Lift Institute. The ALI uses an independent lab, (ETL) to assure that the testing process is impartial. ETL is a worldwide testing organization nationally This process also requires periodic and frequent inspections of the factory and manufacturing facilities to ensure tight quality control standards are being met.
Beware lift manufacturers or distributors Beware other manufacturers out there that claim their lifts meet ANSI standards, and then tell you how they had an independent lab test them. The labs were hired directly by the manufacturer. That's like putting the fox in charge of the hen house! Only the top lift manufacturer's automotive lifts are tested and certified by ALI and ETL. Whether you get a BendPak Bend Pak Lift or not, make sure you only get a lift that has been tested and certified by ALI and ETL. The recognized industry body for testing and certification.
Longevity is also an important factor when purchasing an automotive lift. What happens four or ten years after you purchase it, and you need a part? Will the manufacturer still be in business? We've seen many lift manufacturers and distributors arise and then go under over the past ten years. And with the economy taking a downturn recently, we suspect many of these fly by night internet names we've seen pop up over the last few years will be gone when the dust settles. BendPak parts are always available. Even when they have discontinued models, they still continue to provide parts for them. BendPak also has one of the most comprehensive warranties in the industry as well. All two post and four post lift models have a limited five year warranty which includes on-site service for the first year. So if you do have a warranty issue, you know somebody will be able to come out and fix it if needed.
BendPak two post lifts have some innovative and very desirable features that most of those bargain lifts don't have. First, all clearfloor models are a "direct-drive" design. This means that the lift carriage is lifted directly by the hydraulic cylinder. This is the preferred design over chain or cable drive lifts. This is for two reasons. First, because it is safer, and second, because it saves you money on expensive wear parts every few years, (like cables, chains and pulleys). The latest Bend Pak two post lifts have all kinds of new features that are more user friendly and improve long term performance. For instance, the new XPR models have improved arm restraints and larger equalizer cable pulleys, (which means your equalizer cables will last you twice as long). They also have a sturdier, beefier design. But the most popular new feature is the triple telescoping front arms. This is a truly great feature that allows you to retract the arms further so that you can get at the wider vehicles jacking points that you would not be able to get at with the standard two stage arms that most lifts have. Bend Pak offers both symmetric and asymmetric models. Once again, BendPak is always looking to offer the best features. They created their asymmetric models so that the arms can be configured symmetrically as well. This allows you to balance vehicles that have more weight in the rear and would not balance out well on traditional asymmetric lifts. This is a very versatile design. Basically, you get the best of both worlds!
Bend Pak Four Post Lifts are also light years ahead of the competition when it comes to quality and features. For instance, check out their very popular HD9, 9,000 lb. series of lifts. Even though these lifts are marketed toward the home / hobbyist, they are a true commercial quality lift. They are packed with all the features of their 12,000 lb. garage lifts, but in a scaled down version. They are one of a limited few lifts designed for the home / hobby market that are ALI certified. They have dual safeties. This means they have not just a typical mechanical safety. They also have a slack-cable safety as well. This means that if there is a cable failure during the lifting / lowering process, the slack cable safety will instantly and automatically engage. Thus protecting you and your car far more than a lift with only a mechanical safety feature. Plus, the BendPak lifts mechanical safety is the superior ladder safety system. This type of safety system is not only safer than the typical stepped safety system found on the home / hobby lifts out there, but it is also adjustable. This means that if you have a floor that isn't quite level due to a drain or for some other reason, you can adjust the locking height positions to maintain the runways in a level position. This is also an important safety feature.
We've got thousands of satisfied customers from over the past 12 years. But don't take our word for it. The proof is in the feedback. You can view our customer testimonials along with pictures from them. You can view these testimonials at the following links: Two Post Lifts and Four Post Lifts
These reasons illustrated above are why such respected industry leaders such as Hemmings Motor News, Rich Evans Designs, West Coast Customs, the LAPD Race Team, and Jay Leno all use BendPak lifts. Don't trust your shop to just any lift. Get a lift that you can relay on. Make sure it is made by a reputable manufacturer and that it is ALI certified. The time to cut corners is not when it relies on safety.
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