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Operator’s Instruction, Inspection & Maintenance

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1 Operator’s Instruction, Inspection & Maintenance
Vehicle Lift Safety Operator’s Instruction, Inspection & Maintenance Welcome from everyone at You are about to learn how to safely operate, maintain and inspect your automotive lift. Please pay attention, feel free to take notes. Apon completion of this course there will be a timed 25 question test in which you will need a score of 90% or better to earn your certificate. If there is something you don’t understand please feel free to go back and go over it again. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

2 Why we need Lift Safety To prevent injury and death
Because it’s the law Majority of accidents are operator error To get respect and maintain respect for the lift Accidents are becoming more common YOU HAVE A FEW THOUSAND LBS OVER YOUR HEAD Being in the field of Automotive service you probaly are aware of the dangers envolved in lifting a few thousand lbs over your head. How ever you would be surprised how many people / business’s do not follow proper operation procedures, maintenace procedures and inspection procedures or even know that these rules and laws exist.

3 Types of Lifts Surface Mount In ground 2 Post 4 Post Parallelogram
Scissor Mid-rise Mobile Column In ground Single Post with swing arms Dual Post with swing arms Fore and Aft Single-double-triple Adjustable Posts There are many different types of lifts. As of lately the surface mount lift has become the most popular especially the twin post or 2 post lift. A two post lift uses two fixed towers or posts that enclose a moveable carriage usually equipped with four arms or two pads to make contact with the vehicles frame or under carriage. A four post lift uses 4 fixed towers that enclose a moveable cross rail. Lifts the vehicle from its tires, auxillary jacks have to used to perform wheel work A parallelogram lift is a lift that uses a hinged base and auxillary arms to pivot in a upward but slightly forward motion making the shape of a paralleogram. Like the 4 post the Parallelogram lift lifts the vehicle from it’s tires A Scissor lift uses a hydraulic ram to force two arms apart from each other moving like a pair of scissors. Like the 4 post and the Parrallelogram lift the Scissor lift lift the vehicle from its tires Mid rise lifts are lifts that only lift a vehicle 48” usually like a mini scissor lift except you are lifting the vehicle from the under carriage (good tire shop or body shop lift) A Mobile column lift is a multi post lift that is not anchored to the ground. These lifts are usually for heavy duty lifting and are wheel enguaging lifts however there are some adapters out there to make them frame enguaging lifts Inground lifts are flush mount pistons that are plumbed underground and have a super structure with adapters to lift a vehicle from its under carriage. Usually has one fixed post and one moveable post.


5 Lift Descriptions- 2 Post Lifts
Most popular Inexpensive Easy access to removable parts on vehicles The two post lift is the most common of them all because it is inexpensive and the vehicle is exposed fairly well for service work

6 2 Post Lift Types Cable Equalized Hydraulic Equalized Chain Equalized
Lift Cable (One Cylinder) Mechanical (Screw Type) Overhead Beam Base Plate Bump-over To make 2 separate posts travel upward together we need some kind of equalization or syncronization. If we didn’t have this we would just be flipping vehicles over instead of lifting them. These designs all in there own way attach the two separate carriages and make them one. The cables or chains can be located over head or on the ground this determin’s if your twin post lift has a overhead beam or bumpover. If your lift is hydraulically syncronized then it may be neither a bump over or an over head beam it just has a hydraulic hose conecting the two post’s which can be ran over head or on the ground.

7 Cable / chain equalized
Cables / chain are attached from the top of one carriage to the bottom of the other Properly adjusted: the cables / chain, force the lift to raise and lower equally even if the weight differs from side to side Many moving parts High Maintenance design Most popular 2 post design Animation courtesy of Girolift USA Most twin post lifts use cables are designed like this: They attach two wire cables or chain from the bottom of one carriage to the top of the other this forces the lift to operate equalized.

8 Hydraulic Synchronized
Fluid on top side of main ram flows to offside ram in a closed hydraulic system (blue) Power unit pumps oil into the bottom of main side cylinder Rams are different in size and mathematically designed to distribute the exact amount of fluid to raise both sides equally Low maintenance design Very few moving parts Animation courtesy of Girolift USA

9 Symmetric Lifts Symmetric Posts are parallel
Arms are usually the same length Car’s centre of gravity is positioned approximately at midpoint of the lift

10 Asymmetric Asymmetric
Posts are tilted approximately 30degrees for easier access to car doors Short arms in the front Car’s center of gravity is positioned further rear

11 Safety Features of 2 Posts
Owner’s Manual ALI Literature, Lifting point guide, ANSI/ALI ALOIM Current Standard, Lifting it Right Locking Latches Arm Restraints Overhead Limit Switch Emergency Electrical Shut-off Pressure Relief Valve Hydraulic Fuse

12 Owners Manual Should be present when lift is delivered
Has manufacturer contact information Has proper maintenance procedures Shows parts list and operation procedures To be READ! from cover to cover Any question you have with the content of the manual or the lift can be answered by the manufacturer. Every lift comes with a manual but very few people read it. Your life depends on this piece of equipment! Knowledge is power

13 WHAT IS A.L.I. The Automotive Lift Institute, Inc.
ALI’s mission is to promote the safe design, construction, installation, service, and use of automotive lifts. ALI has set the standard for automotive lift manufacturers ALI certifies the construction of lifts The only specialized organization of its kind For more info Visit A.L.I. was started years ago by rotary lift. It is now a separate entity and focus’s on lift safety in its entirety

14 The ALI Gold Label Certified Automotive Lift ETL Listed
Conforms to ANSI/UL Standards 3rd Party Tested Manufacturer is a ALI Member The A.L.I. gold label means that this model of equipment has passed all structural tests and this company complies with A.L.I.s rules and regulations

15 ALI Literature ANSI/ALI ALOIM (current) The standard for Automotive lifts Safety requirements For The Operation, Inspection And Maintenance This is the standard in which we must follow as a Employer / Employee. This apply’s to anyone who uses Automotive lifts in business

16 ALI Literature Vehicle Lifting Points (Current) Quick Reference Guide
Too be used to look up proper lifting points for frame engaging lifts The Lifting point guide shows twin post operators the proper manufacturer recommended lifting point of every make and model of vehicle on the market. You must update yearly.

17 ALI Literature Lifting It Right
A Safety manual from the Automotive Lift Institute Describes types of lifts Properly spotting a vehicle Safety procedures Lifting it right is a Automotive lift users hand book. This book goes over safety awarness while operating a Automotive lift.

18 ALI Literature Automotive Lift Safety Tips Placard
To be posted on every lift where the operator can see them. Generic list of safety tips for use with all Automotive lifts The safety placard is a reminder of the dangers involved when lifting a vehicle

19 ALI Literature Safety Decal Used to illustrate hazards
To be placed in a spot where it is visible to the operator The safety decal is a warning much like a poison label or corrosive label on a chemical. LIFTING A VEHICLE IS A CRITICAL TASK

20 Description of Safety Features for 2 Post Lifts
Locking Latches A mechanical device that latches the lifting carriage to the post by using a spring loaded locking dog and locking ladder A Load holding device Not a back-up in case of failure Locking latches, locks, safeties what ever you call them have a big misconception around mechanics. They are not a back up device! they are to be engauged with the load rested on them everytime you get under a vehicle. Most technicians just raise the vehicle hear them “click” and think its safe to be under the lift. It is extremely dangerous to get under a lift that is not on its locking latches. To be used EVERY time the hoist goes up

21 Description of Safety Features for 2 Post Lifts
Arm Restraints: (Not A Arm Lock) Designed to hold the arm in place before it makes contact with the vehicle (not to hold the arm out when the vehicle’s weight is on it). An Arm Restraints job is over when the lift makes contact with the vehicle Another misconception Arm restraints are used for pad placement not to secure a vehicle

22 Description of Safety Features for 2 Post Lifts
Overhead Limit Switch Will shut the hoist off when the roof of the vehicle makes contact with it. Do not rely on it to determine when to stop or use as an automatic stop Many mechanics operate there lift untill it stops automatically for them. That’s not the proper use of a overhead limit switch. The overhead limit switch is there incase of operator error. You should always be watching the vehicle on the way up and stop before the limit switch kicks out.

23 Description of Safety Features for 2 Post Lifts
Emergency Electrical Shut-off / Disconnect Should be a twist plug connection or switch / breaker within reach of the operator Every lift should have one but few do. Sometimes when your switch gets old the contact in the switch burn out causing the lift to ascend with your finger off the button. It is important to be able to kill the power to a lift in a emergency

24 Description of Safety Features for 2 Post Lifts
Pressure Relief Valve Located within the power unit Factory set to bypass when you over exceed the lift’s weight limit Not to be relied on as a capacity gage A Power unit is NOT a load holding device. A power unit it used to raise the lift. The locking latches are used to load hold. This is a internal part that kicks out when your pump builds too much pressure or when trying to lift something too heavy for your lift.

25 Description of Safety Features for 2 Post Lifts
Hydraulic Fuse Normally located at the base of the cylinder Designed to lock out it’s device when there is a sudden spike in pressure If you blow a hose or fitting a hydraulic fuse recognizes the spike in pressure and locks up the cylinder from coming down.


27 Lift Descriptions- 4 Post:
Runways (no arms) Can be equipped with rolling jacks Used mainly for Alignments, Undercoating, & Oil Changes 4 post surface mount lifts are

28 Types of 4 Post Lifts Chain Lift Cable Lift Fully Hydraulic
A chain lift usually uses a overhead beam with a cylinder pulling chain up one side of the lift and a cross chain attached from the bottom of one post to the top of the other forcing the oposite side up evenly with the crossbeam side. A cable lift usually uses four lift cables of different lengths routed to each of the four posts and attached to a hydraulic ram Hydraulic sycronized is the same basis as a twin post. One cylinder displaces its top side fluids into the other cylinder as it goes up

29 Safety Features of 4 Posts
Owner’s Manual ALI Literature Primary Locking Latches Secondary Locking Latches Wheel chocks Emergency Electrical Shut-Off Pressure Relief Valve Hydraulic Fuse

30 Description of Safety Features for 4 Posts
Primary Locking Latches Usually one on each post Normally single point release (air activated) Not to be used every time the hoist goes up

31 Description of Safety Features for 4 Posts
Secondary Locking Latches Equipped on most 4 posts Will engage if chain or cable becomes slack Wheel chocks to prevent vehicle rolling. To be used in sets of two every time a vehicle is placed on a lift using runways

32 Description of Safety Features for 4 Posts
Emergency Electrical Shut-Off Pressure Relief Valve & Hydraulic Fuse Same descriptions as for the 2 Post

33 Description of Safety Features for 4 Post Lifts
Emergency Electrical Shut-off / Disconnect Should be a twist plug connection or switch / breaker within reach of the operator

34 Description of Safety Features for 4 Post Lifts
Pressure Relief Valve Located within the power unit Factory set to bypass when you over exceed the lift’s weight limit Not to be relied on as a capacity gauge Is the power unit on your lift its original?

35 Description of Safety Features for 4 Post Lifts
Hydraulic Fuse Normally located at the base of the cylinder Designed to lock out it’s device when there is a sudden spike in pressure


37 Lift Descriptions- Scissor Lifts, Parallelogram, & Mid-Rise:
Low maintenance Good for heavy lifting Used for alignments, lube rack, undercoating Can be equipped with rolling jacks Usually has one cylinder on each side

38 Lift Descriptions- Scissor Lifts, Parallelogram, & Mid-Rise:
Scissor lift lifts straight Parallelogram lifts up but also moves back or forward a couple of feet

39 Safety Features of Scissor Lifts, Parallelogram, & Mid-Rise:
Locking Latches located on the floor with a foot pedal release and / or air/electrical operated lock release Hydraulic Fuses Equalized hydraulically / electronically or fastened together

40 Mobile Column Lift

41 Lift Descriptions- Mobile Column or Wheel-Engaging:
Used for heavy lifting Can be used in sets of 2,4,6 and on Mechanical screw types Fully hydraulic Usually equalized (visually) by the operator

42 Lift Descriptions- In-Ground:
Used for heavy lifting No obstructions Cleaner shop Low maintenance

43 Safety Features of In-Ground
Newer models have locks and non-rotates Locking Latches, manual pin, air/electric/ manual operated locks, inner safety leg-locking dog Most swing arm models do not have arm restraints

44 Properly Lifting A Vehicle

45 Center of gravity Every vehicle has a different centre of gravity
Ex.. rear wheel drive vehicles are heavier in the rear this differs the centre of gravity from a front wheel drive vehicle Rear wheel drive vehicles centre of gravity is usually spotted under the drivers seat where as a front wheel drive vehicles centre of gravity is usually spotted under the steering wheel The vehicles center of gravity is ALWAYS to be spotted midway between the front and rear arms on a two post lift.

46 This Lotus Elise flipped when the tech removed its front wheel
Center Of Gravity The center of gravity of a vehicle with the engine in the rear is totally different from a vehicle with its engine in the front Always check the trunk of a car or the back of a truck or van for a load This Lotus Elise flipped when the tech removed its front wheel

47 2 Post Operation Inspect your lift
Make sure bay is free of debris, tools Ensure that arms of lift are out of the way Check vehicle’s weight with hoist capacity Look-up vehicle’s lifting points If all above is good, drive car into bay

48 2 Post Operation con’t Check lifting points to make sure vehicle is in good enough condition to be lifted Position all 4 arms on manufacturer’s lifting points. Use adapters if applicable. Raise lift until pads are 1-2” from vehicle Re-check lifting points Lift vehicle until tires are aprox 1’ off the ground Go to back of vehicle and shake moderately

49 2 Post Operation con’t Re-check lifting points
Raise vehicle to desired working height Lower to Locking Latches (use stands if possible) Perform work If you need to do any heavy pulling, hammering, or prying, or if you are removing or installing a major component of the vehicle, use appropriately rated jack stands.

50 Jack stands / Supports To be used in sets of four whenever possible
Make sure stands have a high enough capacity rating DO NOT LOWER VEHICLE TO STANDS Always heighten the stands to height of vehicle that is currently on the primary safety latches.

51 2 Post Operation con’t When job is completed check for tools, debris, stands, transmission jacks etc.. left behind Raise lift off latches, release latches, and lower the lift Re-position arm to “home position” Remove or lower adapters if applicable Drive off

52 Maintenance & Inspection

53 Maintenance & Inspection
Your lift has many components to allow it to work safely and properly. Knowing these components, inspecting these components, and maintaining these components will reduce your risk of injury and death.

54 Maintenance & Inspection- Components to Check:
Cables and Chains: Check cables for frays, kinks, crushing, bird caging, heat damage or rust While wearing a leather glove, run a rag down the cable, the rag will grab frays that may not be visible to the eye Check end attachments for wear, damage, cracks and deformations Equalizing cables have to be adjusted properly. With the lift on the locks adjust the cables so they are taught and have equal tension on each side (locking latches should engage at the same time when cables are adjusted properly. Any question consult your lift repair specialist

55 Common Cable Failure

56 Chain (only as strong as the weakest link)
Check chains for rust, glazing, cracks, twist, elongation & separation Chain wear should be checked where chain runs on load sprocket or roller Check the fittings or master links make sure fasteners are in place. If you see any wear or have any question Consult your lift repair specialist

57 Maintenance & Inspection- Components to Check:
Hydraulics: Check hoses, fittings & cylinders for leaks, wear and cracks Locking Latches: Check that they fully engage & fully disengage Check for wear and cracks Check their fasteners

58 Maintenance & Inspection- Components to Check:
Arms and Pads: All 4 arms are within ½” of being level Check operation of the arm restraints, check for wear on gear and teeth Check that the arm limit stops are working (i.e. see if they can be pulled out- they shouldn’t) Check arm pins for play If equipped with rubber pads check for cuts and tears

59 Maintenance & Inspection- Components to Check:
Electrical System: Visually check Test that safety shut-off is working Test to ensure overhead limit switch working Anchor: Check concrete around bases for cracks Torque anchor bolts to manufactures specs, (usually ft/lbs)

60 Maintenance & Inspection- Components to Check:
Flashing: Check posts for rust or damage (especially at bottom of post where water lays) Inspect carriage inside post- slider blocks or carriage rollers Check chains, cables, fasteners on each end Hardware: Check bolts and fasteners for tightness

61 Maintenance & Inspection- Components to Check:
Power Unit: Max out power unit by putting hoist up all the way to show oil leaks. (maxing out hydraulic system simulates maximum capacity) Make sure you have all literature ex ALI Lifting it Right, Lifting points guide, ANSI/ALI ALOIM National Standard, ALI Safety Tips placard. Look for capacity rating, safety decals owner’s manual and operator instruction Make sure your lift has been inspected by a lift service specialist within the year (minimum)

62 Lowering Speed The standard lowering speed is 20 feet per second
Restrictions in the lowering valve control the lowering speed After you have inspected your lift you can position a vehicle on the lift of a appropriate weight. To check the lowering speed of your lift raise a vehicle to the top of your lifts rise (commonly 68” or 5’ 6”) It should take seconds to lower a vehicle from 6’ The standard lowering speed is 20 feet per second

63 When Should You Inspect Your Lift?

64 When should you inspect your lift?
The operator should visually inspect their lift every day before lifting a vehicle. Who knows what the last mechanic over ridded or jury rigged. The operator should document a physical inspection weekly The operator will perform monthly maintenance and inspection monthly Continued…….

65 When should you inspect your lift?
Your lift has to be inspected by a qualified lift repair specialist yearly in most States and Provinces. This is the minimum, semi yearly or quarterly is a better practice and becoming more and more popular. Make sure your lift service specialist is: Factory trained by a major manufacturer: make them supply certificates Insured : usually 2 million liability minimum on company and all vehicles In good standing with Workers Compensation Board (Canada) Competent and knowledgeable. Your lift repair specialist should have all your answers to any lift related questions you have.

66 Overview Primary locking latches are to be used every time the lift goes up. Vehicle manufacturer recommend lifting points are the ONLY lifting points to be used Never over load your lift Never use a damaged lift Never lift a vehicle with someone inside the vehicle or someone underneath

67 Overview Never override or jury rig self closing controls
Always position vehicles centre of gravity in the mid point between two arms Use appropriate rated stands whenever possible and ALWAYS when removing / installing major vehicle components Proper positioning of pads and adapters is key in lifting a vehicle safely and surely GET OUT OF THE WAY if a vehicle is in danger of falling

68 Overview Lifts are dangerous pieces of equipment respect the maintenance, inspection and operation procedures associated with the Manufacturers supplied operators manual. Only trained operators are authorized to use automotive lifts.

69 Overview If you have paid attention to the course thus far you are now knowledgeable about the safety devices and maintenance of the most common automotive lifts. This is a generic course and cannot cover all types and all devices however if you have any questions regarding the safety and or maintenance of a specific automotive lift please contact us from the homepage and we will get you the answer you need.

70 Exam You are now ready to write your exam and become a trained operator of a automotive lift There will be 25 multiple choice questions followed by a short survey You will need a mark of 85% or better to pass the exam. If you feel you need to go over the course again before you write the test please do so. Your confidence in operating and maintaining your lift safely is our main concern at GOOD LUCK AND LIFT SAFE!

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