Seeking wisdom from those who have installed a lift

Righty Tighty

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The pics may be deceiving, but it looks like a pretty good sized shop. I would do some measuring to see if the lift will fit kitty cornered just a little bit back by the bathroom. That will keep a lot of floor space open on that side if it will work. You may have to move 1 light, but that shouldn't be too big of a deal. Wherever you put it, see if you can figure out where the water and sewer pipes are before you go to drilling holes for the bolts that hold the lift in place. If they run under the slab, that may limit your choices of where to put the lift. If you haven't already done it, I think I would see if you could reach an agreement with the landlord that if you guys ever move out of the building, he will give you X number of months free of rent just prior to moving if you leave the lift in place when you go. That may be a win-win for both of you.
It's pretty decently sized, so I have that working in my favor.

We haven't talked about an exit strategy yet, but I have definitely thought about the possibility of leaving it just like you mentioned. He's a very reasonable man and I wouldn't be surprised if he was open to an agreement like that.

It's not only the thickness, but the composition and where the rebar or reinforcement is. Seek out the requirements as set forth in your lift. Most of the ones I've seen require minimum 4" 3K psi concrete...that's what mine is, and I've had no issues. Overtorquing the anchors, poor reinforcement, and porosity in addition to overloading is what makes the floor spall crack and fail.

My footers are (i think) 18", so if yours are 12", you might wanna find a way to verify what you have for a pad...if it's anything less than 4" consistently, you'll need to remedy that first...

I have a 10K overhead beam Atlas lift in my 30x40x12 shop. There is always a car in the air and one parked under it. I had to use the lower of the two beam settings because it was about 5" too short to accommodate the higher setting for the crossover cables...YMMV, but if you have less than 10' walls, choose your lift wisely as most of them require a minimum of 11' walls, unless you go with the non-joined versions specified for low ceilings

I also check the anchors periodically to make sure they haven't shifted or loosened.

Make damn sure your posts are perfectly flat (shimmed) before drilling/setting anchors

Measure twice, drill once-can't say this one enough...if you're not positive, remeasure. Everything needs to be square, parallel, and plumb

The lift will always be a little in the way because of it's footprint, but give yourself at least 24-30" in every direction...enough room to push a toolbox through or carry something somewhat awkward.

Depending on the model, you'll need at least a 30-40A 230V dedicated breaker...make sure your box can handle that.

Probably the best thing I ever did for my shop...
I walked around the perimeter yesterday and I saw at least 12" of stem wall, so it's likely thicker than that. The landlord seems much more on board than I had anticipated -- he's going to check to see if he can pull up the plans from when his dad built the shop and he also mentioned drilling a pilot hole to confirm thickness.

I'm definitely anticipating the lift being somewhat in the way, but I'm banking on its usefulness off-setting any inconvenience the posts might cause.
 

furyus2

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I have a Bend Pak 10k 2 post lift.
2 things I reccomend. First, get a clear floor model. You don't want the cable cover on the floor making it a b*tch trying to push a disabled vehicle over it.
Second, get àn asymmetrical lift. This clocks the main posts so its easier to get in/out of the vehicle.
Third is buy much bigger than you think you need. I have put full sized Ram trucks on mine with no worries. Also, if you work on trucks, you can get a extra wide lift.
 

missing linc

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I have a Bend Pak 10k 2 post lift.
2 things I reccomend. First, get a clear floor model. You don't want the cable cover on the floor making it a b*tch trying to push a disabled vehicle over it.
Second, get àn asymmetrical lift. This clocks the main posts so its easier to get in/out of the vehicle.
Third is buy much bigger than you think you need. I have put full sized Ram trucks on mine with no worries. Also, if you work on trucks, you can get a extra wide lift.
Excellent advice there, especially getting a bigger lift than you think you'll need.
 

Steve welder

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If I was the owner of this building and saw that chain fall on a trolley up on that roof beam, it would be taken down immediately.
 

Righty Tighty

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That chain fall doesn't belong to me, I think the owner is the one who put it up there. I'm assuming you say that because the beams aren't meant to carry loads like that?
 

Ironracer

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If I was the owner of this building and saw that chain fall on a trolley up on that roof beam, it would be taken down immediately.
My old Drummer and Best Friend (RIP) dad had a fleet maintenance ( semis) shop in Channelside. Same deal, with a remote, it could run from one end of the building back to the other, AND Side to Side. That Red Iron is strong as heck. I've shot a lot of metal to that stuff over the years.
 

str12-340

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regarding the lift failure in post#13 (how appropriate): I would avoid this lift design. all the pressure works to pull the top of the lift posts toward the middle. If you look at some of the other lift pictures there is a design with a piece that bridges the tops of the posts. That way all the force is straight down, because the posts can't tilt toward each other. My 2 cents...
 

Tooljunkie

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regarding the lift failure in post#13 (how appropriate): I would avoid this lift design. all the pressure works to pull the top of the lift posts toward the middle. If you look at some of the other lift pictures there is a design with a piece that bridges the tops of the posts. That way all the force is straight down, because the posts can't tilt toward each other. My 2 cents...
Doesent always load that way. End to end with a diesel pickup is a good example, or the guy with a 4x8 sheet of 5/8” thick steel plate under all the junk in the box. Or the farmer with 1000 pounds of fuel in his slip tank. Seen them all. I dont trust any hoist with my life…
 

Tooljunkie

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That being said, i have a 4 post 9,000lb hoist. Going on 9 or 10 years now. There is nothing i cant do on that hoist where a 2 post is better. Not bolted down,and a wheel kit. As far as the gantry goes, there is no advantage to have one above a hoist unless its x/y. Shop crane is easier to work with. I do this work for a living and really cant stand when a simple job becomes a pain in the *** due to limitations. I.E. gantry isnt in right place. I have a portable gantry, very handy.
 

Tooljunkie

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A two post lift also takes up less floor space than a four post.
Great for smaller shops.
My garage is 24x32. I would say its tight. And 32 deep is the biggest problem. 40 would have been better, clearance for overhead door when car is on hoist. 10 foot door goes 10 feet into shop.
 

clementine

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Not sure if this has been mentioned, if you go 2 post, having the one that ties in the tops of the posts, (no bump to roll vehicle over) seems a little more sturdy. Its the style I have and you wont have anchors pulling out of the floor, if you make sure the 'beam' isnt collapsable


$0.02
 

george joseph reid

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You might want to check the height under the gantry. I need 13 ft. to get a van up.
Drill a hole to find concrete thickness.
Where I didn't have sufficient footprint thickness, instructions recommended a 4 ft. piece of sufficient size angle iron welded alongside footpad, to spread load, - 20+ yrs, lotsa different vehicles, no drama .

Pic later
Worked at a shop and used a 12k lift that had those extensions. They were about 4ft long and built in from the factory with the same thick steel as the floor plates. Very good idea for lifting heavy trucks ect.
 

jamesmcclain340

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Buddy almost died under his lift at his personal shop. Anchor pulled the 4" concrete up when his girl's truck was on it. Ended up having to repour the slab with rebar.

Test drill first and make 100% sure you have adequate depth with every anchor. 4'-6" depth without rebar is okay as long as you're not lifting a tank. Keep an eye out for stress cracks and retorque the anchor bolts every once in a while.

View attachment 1715968323


no wonder he almost died. the anchor bolts were improperly installed. the bolts only pulled up 1.5 to 2 inches of concrete. if he had sunk them the full 4 inches you wouldn't have that issue. also remember to vacuum out the hole post drilling and blow out for extra measure. run the nut on the anchor one nut width so the stud is flush with nut and drive home with a sledge hammer and tighten down to spec. the lift drawing should give you all the parameters of floor and anchors.
 

Righty Tighty

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This is my concern. I have too many cars, and not enough garage. Also, I would have to change to rollup doors.
Not enough garage seems to be the never-ending problem. Not enough money is the other problem, which could solve the garage problem....haha. I'm lucky to have roll up doors at my shop and 12 foot ceilings at the very lowest point.

I thought I was set on a two post lift until posting this thread. I'm glad I asked the question, because now I've got input from folks who have experience and I can make an informed decision.
 

Swinger 340

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This is my concern. I have too many cars, and not enough garage. Also, I would have to change to rollup doors.
If you have too many cars, stacking them is the way to go.
Attaching a larger base plate will give you more stability at the posts. I had a two post lift installed in 4" concrete for over 40 years. The concrete was High strength. I also use "RED HEADS" for anchors
 
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volaredon

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Look at the different brands.
I have a Weaver from the good old days built in 1986. Rotary bought them out in 89.
Symmetrical style and it has the floor plate, which I thought might be an issue but in 10 + years never has been. 9k cap.
It's built like a brick $#1t house. Solid plate, not thin stamped bolt together columns, and the column bottom plates are huge. Spreads the load out further.
I look at the 10 or so year old rotary I work off of at work, same capacity, and like tin as compared to mine.
The only newer one that comes close to being as stout is a Mohawk. And those ain't cheap.
As far as concrete specs it's funny how that the different lift companies vary in their specs for how much concrete is needed for 2 lifts of different brands and same supposed capacity
 

Tooljunkie

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I never mentioned my 4 post is free standing,with a wheel kit. I can move it if i choose. One air jack and 2 trays.
 

inertia

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I've had both 2 and 4 post, I've found the 4 post has such a large footprint, and your always stepping over, or ducking under something, especially in a small shop.
The 2 post has a relative small print, the supports on either side extends the load. The arms swing out and "park" nicely alongside the extensions.
I had those welded to the lift as per their instruction if you had 4" concrete, but weren't sure of it's mix, I had It at a previous site, then moved it here, pad poured to spec .
Here's a pic of the support extensions I mentioned in a previous post

 
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