Mobile column lifts: The key factors to consider when lifting any vehicle
Before positioning mobile column lifts, you must first consider the load distribution and axle loads of the vehicle, the load capacity of the tyres and where the lifts are being positioned to ensure the columns are not overloaded.
Although a set of four mobile column lifts may well be able to lift the vehicle, the key factors to consider are weight distribution and preventing damage to the vehicle. This is true when lifting any vehicle, but it can be more pertinent when lifting multi-axle vehicles.
Mobile column lift columns all have an individual safe working load (SWL) capacity and this must never be exceeded. Before using any mobile column lifts you should seek advice from the vehicle manufacturer to confirm the correct lifting positions for your truck, bus or coach.
When lifting vehicles, the front and rear axles must be used to distribute the weight of the vehicle. This ensures that no side load is applied to any column.
The best way to picture this is to imagine a seesaw. The centre of balance on a seesaw is in the middle. If the centre of balance was to move, this would alter the force needed to balance the weight.
Why is it necessary to use six mobile columns when lifting a tri-axle vehicle?
When a tri-axle vehicle is lifted by the front and rear axles, the middle axle is left unsupported. When the weight of the vehicle is only being spread between four columns rather than six, it creates an increased side load on the rear axle – which can then cause damage to the vehicle and the airbags underneath.
In terms of the seesaw, the centre of balance has moved to the rear of the vehicle, resulting on a greater force on the rear axle.
Sets of six column lifts will distribute the load of the vehicle evenly and protect the vehicle and the mobile column lifts from damage from the unsupported axle. In the long term, lifting with sets of six lifts can save the expense of costly repair bills and unnecessary health and safety risks.
For more information on a range of workshop equipment including mobile column lifts, fixed post lifts, wash bay column lifts, brake testers, headlamp testers and supporting ancillary equipment, call 0121 585 2724 or visit the TotalKare website.