Two-Post Lift Guide
Which Two-Post lift is Right for you?
Two-post lifts are the most common type of lift in commercial shops, as they provide unrestricted access to the underside of the vehicle and the wheels. Additionally, they cost less and take up much less floor space than a four-post. Below we will cover some basic styles and terms of Bendpak 2 post lifts, and continue on with some of the features that we consider make BendPak the most desirable two post lift on the market. The discussion below primarily relates to 10,000-lb capacity lifts, as this is most common in the industry.
Lift capacity is only one thing to consider when buying a lift. Babco's line of BendPak lifts offer increased reliability and versatility, in addition to impressive lifting capacity. Each lift comes in a variety of widths and heights. The Clearfloor two-post car lift models (e.g., XPR-15CL, XPR-18CL) provide unobstructed floor space. This design makes it easy for technicians to move toolboxes, transmission jacks, oil drains and other automotive equipment under the elevated vehicle.
However, if you have a low ceiling or find yourself lifting high-profile trucks and vans, you may want to opt for a floorplate two-post lift model. These are made without overhead obstructions, which increases headroom. You may even want to open a vehicle's doors while it's still on the car lift. In that case, you'll definitely want to check out an asymmetric car lift. No matter your auto equipment needs, Babco supplies a BendPak high-capacity two-post lift ready to ship and install to your garage. Many of the lifts are ALI Certified, so please ask us if you aren't sure.
Note that weight capacity has nothing to do with whether or not a vehicle lift is certified. From the hydraulics design to the quality of the lift carriage; from the telescoping arms to the single-piece column construction, BendPak never, ever skimps on quality and we here at Babco are proud to be the exclusive Canadian distributors for these world renowned lifts.
2-Post Lifts: Clearfloor Vs. Floorplate
When it comes to almost any 2-post lift on the market, there are two models to choose from; one being the clearfloor design and other being the floorplate model. Both of these types of lifts will lift vehicles but it is best to understand the pros and cons of each when deciding on the right lift for your shop or garage. Let’s dive into the differences as well as the benefits of each.
With a clearfloor design, the hydraulic hose and equalization cables run along a metal bar that connects both columns together at the top. Purely there to run the hose and cables, the top metal bar is not used to support any lifting weight.
Benefits of a Clearfloor Design:
A lift that features a clearfloor design is great for keeping your working area beneath the vehicle clear and free of clutter, enabling you to wheel oil drains and other equipment easily and without hassle - saving time and increasing mobility. Another huge benefit of a clearfloor design is the ability to accomodate asymmetric or symmetric arm configurations which we'll discuss in detail further.
With a floorplate model, the hydraulic hose which supplies hydraulic fluid to the cylinders in the columns and the equalization chain runs along the ground and is covered by a steel floorplate.
Benefits of a Floorplate Design:
A lift featuring a floorplate design is perfect for shops and garages that have a lower ceiling height. With no top cross-bar in the way, servicing taller vehicles is much easier and is usually the preferred lift design for longer vehicles as well due to having a true symmetric arm configuration.
Symmetric VS Asymmetric
2-post lifts are either considered symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetric lifts are easy to identify because the posts or columns face each other dead-on, and the support arm assemblies each hold 50% of the load. Asymmetrical lifts feature arms that are shorter in the front and usually have 30° rotated columns enabling better clearance for vehicle doors and giving the operator direct access to the automobile interior while raised but usually have a narrower drive-thru clearance, which may be a disadvantage if your mainly working on wider vehicles such as pick-up trucks.
An asymmetrical lift has uneven-length lift arms and require the vehicle to be positioned with 30% of the length past the front columns and 70% past the rear columns. Most FWD vehicles fall under this category with most of their weight being in the front, so an asymmetric lift can lift with weight evenly distributed. With columns that are usually rotated 30 degrees, an asymmetric lifts allows for easier access to the inside of a vehicle, making them a great choice for busy shops who are constantly bringing vehicles on and off the lift throughout the day and need to perform electrical and diagnostic work.
Symmetric lifts are usually best used for long and heavy vehicles like trucks and SUV’s. A symmetric lift also has the added structural integrity thanks to its top cross-bar that takes the weight strain off the back 2 bolts on the columns and more evenly distributes it. With a symmetric lift, you must pay attention to height clearance, as the majority of them use the top cross bar setup as opposed to the clearfloor design.
Let us help you choose
If you have any questions at all about the benefits of a clearfloor or floorplate model 2-post lift, please contact our knowledgeable sales staff and they would be happy to discuss your lifting needs and aid you in making the right decision for your shop or garage.