Knowing that a bay with a lift is worth approximately $500 more per day than a flat bay, it’s an investment worth researching for most garages.

First and foremost, be sure the lift you’re looking into has American Lift Institute certification. The ALI is a third-party organization that runs lifts through a rigorous battery of tests to ensure that the lift is properly constructed and has all the necessary safety features to keep your team and assets safe when lifting vehicles.


A Bay with a Lift

Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred lift type, you’ll want to get a specification sheet and look at the dimensions.

Two-Post Lifts: Some lifts have one minimum height requirement, but If the cylinders of a two-post lift protrude above the top of the columns, you may have two height measurements. One is the height of the cross beam that goes from column to column and another can be height of the cylinders at full lift height.  Be certain to ensure that there is proper clearance in both areas.

Four-Post Lifts:  This one could be a little trickier.  The safest bet is to add the tallest vehicle that will be on the lift to the lift’s published rise-height. If something tall comes in, always be sure somebody is watching the top of the vehicle for obstructions.  If you’re installing a four-post parking lift, add the thickness of the runways, height of the vehicles you plan to park on and under, and a safety margin.  If these numbers are less than your ceiling height, you’re in the clear, but if you have a low ceiling, keep an eye on the vehicles while lifting.

The specification sheet will also provide width measurements.  Be sure that the lift will fit in the bay, and that you can maneuver around a car to complete the services you provide. For example, if you’re pulling axle shafts out of a differential, you’ll need a little clearance on either side.

Concrete depths should also be evaluated.  Minimum requirements can also be found on the specification sheet.  4” thick, 3500psi, steel-reinforced concrete cured for 28 days is a common specification at Challenger Lifts.  You’ll also want to be sure you stay at least 8” away from a concrete crack, edge, or expansion joint. Keep that 8” minimum in mind when determining if a lift will fit within the length and width of your space.