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Why Should I buy A Certified Car Lift?

By Jonathon Cole

When purchasing a car lift there are many options available in regards to shape, size, lifting capacity, etc. One of the questions that often comes up in this industry is, “why should I buy a certified lift?”

To put it simply, certified lifts are designed to work beyond their intended capacities. Certified lifts go through hundreds of hours of designing and testing for not only normal but also abnormal usage to ensure that the car lift is operating safely. Think of the car lift certification testing as preparing the car lift for a “real world” environment and not just laboratory conditions testing. There is no guarantee that a non-certified lift is tested beyond their rated lifting capacity where all certified lifts are all required to be tested beyond their rated capacity.

In shops vehicles in various shapes and sizes come and go, technicians use their car lifts multiple times daily. One of the most overlooked aspects before car lift a vehicle is the total weight that is being lifted, for example a car with a truck with a total weight of 8,900 lbs comes into the shop for service and your shop has a 9,000 Lbs. capacity lift. You’re safe to lift the vehicle right? WRONG! The front and rear of the vehicle have different weights which is commonly found on the VIN placard of your vehicle, lets say the front weight of the vehicle is 4300 Lbs. and the rear end weight is 5250 Lbs. Your 9,000 Lbs. lift can safely lift 2,250 lbs. per lift arm, where the back end of the truck is loading each arm at 2,625 lbs. each, in this scenario you have overloaded the rated capacity of the car lift. On any car lift this could have turned into a dangerous accident. Luckily a certified lift is tested

beyond the rated capacity since these scenarios do in fact happen, however it is no guarantee and not recommended to intentionally overload your car lift. Always read the product manual and have your technicians properly trained before operating a lift.

Now that you understand why certified car lifts exist how do you know if you are purchasing one? All certified car lifts will be clearly marked with the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) gold label. This decal is more than just a fancy sticker to make the lift look better, the ALI gold label is an authorized seal meaning that the car lift it is attached to has passed a serious of rigorous testing to keep you and your shop technicians safe. The ALI gold decal cannot be bought by anyone who asks as there are strict requirements and handling procedures to protect the industry and car lift customers from market fraud. In our industry there is an increasing shift in building code enforcement agencies requiring that vehicle lifts that are installed within their jurisdiction be certified car lifts. On top of that the state you live in may have a state wide OSHA requirement, or even your insurance provider may require your shop to have certified car lifts installed or they could potentially deny you coverage. Remember, a few extra dollars spent today can not only save you several more dollars in the future, it could also be the difference in keep you and your employees safe.

Popular Certified Lifts

Atlas Platinum PVL-10

A heavy duty certified overhead commercial grade lift that features the revolutionary Double S column design. This lift will easily handle vehicles from a Smart Car® up to and including a one ton extended cab diesel dually.

  • • Lifting Capacity - 10,000 LB
  • • Overall Height - 139 7/8" (11' 7 7/8")
  • • Overall Width - 139" (11' 7") (Asymmetrical)
  • • Drive Thru - 91" (7' 7") (Asymmetrical)
  • • Between Columns - 107 3/4" (8' 11 3/4") (Asymmetrical)

Atlas Platinum PVL-9BP

The Atlas Platinum PVL-9BP can lift a range of the most common vehicles on the market, both foreign and domestic, while also having the capacity to handle both full-size pickups.

  • • Lifting Capacity - 9,000 LB
  • • Overall Height - 111 1/8" (9' 3 1/8")
  • • Overall Width w/ Motor - 144" (12')
  • • Drive Thru - 230" (19' 2")
  • • Runway Width - 22" (1' 10")

Atlas Platinum PVL-12

The Atlas Platinum PVL-12 is an ALI Certified overhead 12,000 lbs two-post lift designed to accommodate both long wheel base trucks and passenger cars. The symmetrical columns will allow for the widest vehicles.

  • • Overall Height - Low Setting: 165" (13' 9")
  • • Overall Width (with motor) - 156 1/2" (13' 1/2")
  • • Drive Thru - 110 1/2" (9' 2 1/2")
  • • Clearance Between Columns - 123 3/4" (10' 3 3/4")
  • • Maximum Lift Height w/ Adapters - 85 1/2" (7' 1 1/2")