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What brand of car lifts do you guys use?

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:36 AM   #1
Sean Dunshee
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Default What brand of car lifts do you guys use?

I have been kicking the idea around of purchasing a 4 post car lift to try and get 20 lbs of crap in my 10lb garage..lol. I have a 3 car garage with a tandem bay so the tandem bay is 42 ft deep so its really a 4 car garage and I want to put the lift in the very back bay. I just read the post under mine about the new lift and didn't want to hijack that thread.

I see many vendors at all of the car shows we have around here and have heard some crazy horror stories from the vendors about the cheap competitors products, I know it is obviously a sales tactic but have any of you had any problems with your lifts. My main concern is with the legs flexing and the locks coming out of the notches. I think it was an ad placed by backyard buddy in a magazine that started my concern where it showed "the competitors" lift and the corvette on top was sitting on top of the corvette on the bottom. I have heard on some of the cheaper brands that with the weight on the top the legs can actually flex enough to allow the locking mechanism to slip down a few notches. One of the vendors I was talking to said he was at a show and somebody leaned against "the other guys" display and the car slipped a few notches and everyone scrambled. I really don't want to come out and see my vette sitting on top of my 60 caddy or my 66 Nova.
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:11 AM   #2
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I have had an Eagle Lift since 1996 with no problems. The lift columns are made of thick steel and I cannot see how they could buckle.
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:25 AM   #3
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I have had a 7000 lb. Direct Lift for approx. 6 months. It is really well made and it would definitly not flex. Price in Canada 6 months ago was 2200 plus tax and 300. shipping. They are now down to 1800. plus tax and shipping. Try greg smith equipment in U.S. for details. It is called Pro Park 7. Regards, Bob
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Old 11-23-2007, 11:53 AM   #4
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Default Bend-Pak Lift

Hello Sean,

I purchased a bend-pak. They are made in the U.S.A. (Southern CA)and have been in business for quite some time. I did a lot of research and found costs can vary substantially. The bend-pak lifts are definitely not the cheapest, but like all items, you get what you pay for. I figured I'm only going to purchase this item one time, so I wasn't too concerned over an additional few hundred dollars. Addiitionally, I purchased the rolling hydraulic air jack that "hangs" on the lift. Of course that was an additional cost (1K) also.

Whatever brand you decide upon, you're going to wonder what the heck took you so long.

See Ya, Pat
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:02 PM   #5
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I bought Autolifters, now All American Lifts. American made and same locking as Backyard Buddy. I understand Rotory Lifts makes a home unit too. You will spend around $3000 for a lift, give or take. I would not go the cheaper (china) route, they can't get toys right..
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Old 11-23-2007, 12:12 PM   #6
John McGraw
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I have had a DirectLift 7000 lb 4 poster for about 5 years, and it has performed flawlessly. I have heard some of this same B.S. at shows, and it is usually coming from the Backyard Buddy guys. I guess that they can't even come close to competing on price, so they spread fear and false rumors. I am only aware of one lift failure, and it was caused by failure of the operator to pay attention. He was bringing down the car, and did not have the lock release fully depressed. It hung a lock on the way down on this one corner which allowed this cable to go slack. He realized what he had done after about a foot when the lift started twisting, and started back up with the lift. The cable had come off the pulley due to it going slack,and went along side the pulley bolt instead of the pulley groove. As he went back up, the tension of the cable snapped the bolt off which made that corner of the lift drop.

The manufacturer of this lift has since installed guard bolts on all their lifts to prevent the cables from coming out of the pulley. Lifts can be extremely dangerous if you do not pay attention to what you are doing, but operated properly, any of them will give you years of safe, trouble-free service. They do need service and adjustment on a regular basis. I have never seen a lift design that I would classify as unsafe, and I do not believe that Backyard Buddy is any safer than any other lift. They make a big deal about the lock blocks being welded on the majority of other lifts, but that is total B.S.! If welds are so unsafe, why do they weld so much of their lift together? Almost every lift on the market uses welded-on lock blocks except for them, and these lifts have a proven history of safe operation.

If you look at most lifts, you will see very little difference in most of them. They look like that all came off the same assembly line, and a lot of them did! The same exact design is used on at least 10 different name-brand lifts. The DirectLift 4 poster can be bought for less than $2000, and will include the casters, drip trays and jack bridge. I move mine from one shop to the other at my house on a regular basis, and the portablitiy is a great feature. Spen the extra money for aluminum ramps, as you will get tired of dragging the steel ones around pretty quick, if you use it a lot.

Regards, John McGraw
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:36 PM   #7
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I just got teh Direct Lift Pro Park 7- works great, I think the quality is good for a storage lift. Best part $1750 with tax...

Tom
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Old 11-23-2007, 01:50 PM   #8
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Please check the archives as this subject appears weekly.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kobi67 View Post
I bought Autolifters, now All American Lifts. American made and same locking as Backyard Buddy. I understand Rotory Lifts makes a home unit too. You will spend around $3000 for a lift, give or take. I would not go the cheaper (china) route, they can't get toys right..
I have two of the Autolifters, and I bought them for their lock design. If I were looking to purchase another lift, I would get another Autolifter (All American Lifts, now).

Last edited by JoesC5; 11-23-2007 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 11-23-2007, 02:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kobi67 View Post
I bought Autolifters, now All American Lifts. American made and same locking as Backyard Buddy. I understand Rotory Lifts makes a home unit too. You will spend around $3000 for a lift, give or take. I would not go the cheaper (china) route, they can't get toys right..

I AGREE!!

I bought a lift from All American Lift a few months back and can't imagine life without one now. I settled on All American lift for a couple reasons. THE FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT IT IS NOT ONLY BUILT IN THE UNITED STATES, BUT IT IS ALSOMADE WITH U.S. GRADE STEEL NOT IMPORTED STEEL FROM CHINA!! There are many companies out there now that say they are "Made in America" when they actually mean "assembled in America". Does it really matter if it was put together in China or the U.S. if it is still made with "China Grade steel"?

At the last 2 Bloomington Golds I checked out the lifts there for sale. I liked the Backyard Buddy but didn't much care about the way the salesman was ripping about all the other lifts being junk. I did like the fact The Backyard Buddy was made with U.S. Grade Steel. One thing that stuck in my mind was when he said the others were made with Chinese steel which is stuff like "our-old sunglasses" and junk the Chinese buy back to rekindle and use again. I did some checking after B.G. and found All American Lift was not only put together in the U.S. but was made with U.S. Grade steel!! Autolifters was selling out so some of their employees decided to buy and changed the name to All American Lifts. Earl, one of the owners will probably be who you will deal with if you call. This is the kind of dedication they have: When I was putting the lift together I had a couple questions so I called the number at All American Lifts and Earl answered. After answering my questions I asked how things were going and he said fine that he was in Colorado on vacation. When I told him I didn't realize he was on vacation and apologized for calling he said don't worry about it that he is available 24/7 and WANTS to know when I have a problem with the lift so he forwards the calls to his cell phone when he's out, even on vacation!

I don't know how many others are made with U.S. Grade steel but I don't think you will go wrong with All American Lifts. Cost was about $4000 and is worth ever penny.

Shooter
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Old 11-23-2007, 04:51 PM   #11
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I have a Rotary 4 post lift in my garage.

It was a little pricey but its my *** (or one of my other cars) under the lift
Scott
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Old 11-23-2007, 04:58 PM   #12
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I wouldn't get too carried away over the"steel" issue; a good portion of the steel made in China is made in VERY modern steel mills, with the latest process control technologies. What matters more is the fabrication quality, weld penetration, etc.

I've never seen a 4-post "lift failure" that wasn't the fault of the operator, as John noted up above; any lift can cause a disaster if you don't pay attention to what you're doing.

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Old 11-23-2007, 07:10 PM   #13
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Purchased a Direct Lift - Pro Park 7000 from Greg Smith Equipment earlier this year, the price at that time was $ 1,595.00 with jacking tray, casters & drip pans.

There is no sales tax in DE and the shipping was only $ 175.00 for 2 units!

Very pleased with the operation, would recommend to others.
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:09 PM   #14
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I got a Mohawk from AClifts. Terrific service!!!!!!
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Old 11-23-2007, 08:11 PM   #15
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I've had a 2-post 7000-pound "Teamlift" for about 8 years. I use the heck out of it, and lift everything and anything my friends and neighbors bring over. It's been fault-free - one of the best tools I've ever puchased.

Here my Teamlift is making a quick process out of a body removal:


Note that I did add what I call my "chicken bar" (the bar is a steel 2"x2" angle, and I'm the chicken...) across the tops of the posts:

This keeps the posts from flexing inward when I have a heavy load on the lift.

But this is sure the way to work on a car:
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:20 PM   #16
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There are a lot of good lifts out there, but there are some that are just not built the same. Not to offend anyone but totally disagree with the earlier post that all 4 post lifts seem to be made in the same factory. But do agree that probably 99% of the accidents have been to operator error. I choose a two post for my needs but if number one issue is storage then you need a 4 post. I found Rotary to have excellent products. I went to garages and saw first hand what the professionals were using. But again, many good ones out there. Picture of my two post Rotary 10K assymetrical lift with three stage arms (for getting under low cars like our corvettes) just installed this month.

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Old 11-23-2007, 09:53 PM   #17
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Go back and read my post. I did not say that all 4 post lifts were made in the same factory. I said that many were built in the same factory, and they are! The welded lock-block design is the overwelming design used on the vast majority of residential 4 post lifts, and many brands just put their label on a lift built by others. There are many good lifts out there and there are many that are built like a tank and meant for commercial use. My directLift 4 poster is a residential lift and has made literally thousands of up/down cycles over the years, and still operates flawlessly. If I was in the car repair business, I would probably buy a more robust, and expensive lift, but this lift meets my needs quite well.
The issue was wether the lifts are safe, and I would assert that thousands and thousands of this design lift in use for many years would pretty much prove that they are.


Regards, John McGraw
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:16 PM   #18
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I installed a Back Yard Buddy almost ten years ago and could not do without it.
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Old 11-23-2007, 10:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John McGraw View Post
Go back and read my post. I did not say that all 4 post lifts were made in the same factory. I said that many were built in the same factory, and they are! The welded lock-block design is the overwelming design used on the vast majority of residential 4 post lifts, and many brands just put their label on a lift built by others. There are many good lifts out there and there are many that are built like a tank and meant for commercial use. My directLift 4 poster is a residential lift and has made literally thousands of up/down cycles over the years, and still operates flawlessly. If I was in the car repair business, I would probably buy a more robust, and expensive lift, but this lift meets my needs quite well.
The issue was wether the lifts are safe, and I would assert that thousands and thousands of this design lift in use for many years would pretty much prove that they are.


Regards, John McGraw
Sorry about that John, but when your wrote "They look like that all came off the same assembly line, and a lot of them did!" I thought same assembly line and same factory went hand in hand.

Chick
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Old 11-24-2007, 04:21 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I wouldn't get too carried away over the"steel" issue; a good portion of the steel made in China is made in VERY modern steel mills, with the latest process control technologies. What matters more is the fabrication quality, weld penetration, etc.

I've never seen a 4-post "lift failure" that wasn't the fault of the operator, as John noted up above; any lift can cause a disaster if you don't pay attention to what you're doing.

John,
You may be right. I believe you are one of the most if not the most knowledgable members on this board. Your advice is almost always right on target!

I've never been to China or had dealings with their steel manufacturing process 1st hand. With their state of the art plants is the steel the same grade as that made here in the states? What goes into the finished product? I'm not trying to be a smart*** but you've heard the saying you can't make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.

I agree the fabrication of the lift is important also. The way the locks are made on the All American Lift to me seems to be one of the safest. I am headed over to the shop in a little while and I'll try to get a couple of pictures of it. Basically they don't weld a piece of metal on the post for the lock to catch on. Instead they cut a slot in the post for the lock to catch in. They don't have to take the chance of a weld breaking on their locking system.

Shooter
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