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2 Post Lift Guide

2-post lifts are the most common type of lift in commercial shops, as they provide unrestricted access to the underside of the vehicle and the wheels. Additionally, they cost less and take up much less floor space than a 4-post. Below we will cover some basic styles and terms of Bendpak 2 post lifts, and continue on with some of the features that we consider make BendPak the most desirable two post lift in the market. The discussion below primarily relates to 10,000 lb capacity lifts, as this is most common in the industry.

Clearfloor vs Floorplate

Clearfloor models provide unobstructed floor space allowing technicians to easily move toolboxes, transmission jacks, oil drains and other equipment underneath the elevated vehicle. Floorplate models are less popular, and are generally used where ceilings are low or raised roof vehicles/campers are commonly worked on.

Clear floor car lift

Symmetric vs Asymmetric

Two-post lifts are either considered symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetric automobile lifts are easy to identify because the posts face each other dead-on, and the support arm assemblies each hold approximately 50% of the load. Asymmetric lifts, on the other hand, feature arms that are shorter in the front, and true asymmetric lifts have a 30° rotated column design.

The benefit of these asymmetric differences is better clearance for vehicle doors, giving the operator direct access to the automobile interior even when the car or truck is raised. An asymmetric lift has a narrower drive through clearance, which may be a disadvantage if you work on wider vehicles, such as pick-ups.

Symmetric True Asymmetric
Symmetric 2 Post Lift Diagram Asymmetric 2-Post Lift Diagram

The illustration below shows BendPak's XPR-10AS, which is a true-asymmetric lift.  It demonstrates the benefit of the 30°rotated columns for added clearance when opening vehicle doors.

Two post asymmetric car lift

Arms

Terms you will hear are two-stage, triple-telescoping and low-profile. Two-stage would be the traditional arm and is standard on most lifts. The disadvantage of these arms is that on a shorter wheelbase car, you may have to rock your vehicle to get the arms in/out of position. Manufacturers came up with triple-telescoping arms to get around this problem-BendPak makes these standard while some manufacturers charge extra.

Low-profile arms are typically two-stage. As implied, the arm and the pad are lower to the ground, allowing access to low-profile vehicles. These will work for any vehicle and are becoming very popular. Their limitation is as mentioned above for two-stage arms.

Why we think BendPak makes a great 2-post lift

Let's consider things that may wear out or go wrong on a two-post lift and see what BendPak has done to minimize the risk.  

Cable Sheaves - Larger sheaves make cables last longer. A smaller sheave creates a tighter bend that the cable has to make and puts more stress on the cable causing wear. A larger sheave also makes for greater strength efficiency. BendPak has 5" sheaves, while most other brands have 3" sheaves. Also, BendPak's sheaves are made of metal, with oil impregnated bronze bushings. Some other brands use nylon sheaves.   

BendPak and Challenger lift comparison BendPak and Rotary lift comparison

Cables - Aside from lifts pads, cables are the main wear item on a 2-post lift. As noted above, BendPak has larger sheaves than most brands, which lessens cable wear. They also use 3/8" cable (1/2" cable on higher capacity models), while some others use 5/16". Regardless of the brand, some tips to ensure you maximize cable life are to tighten the cables periodically and lube them monthly.

Gussets - Let's face it, anybody can build a lift that goes up. The challenge is when you want to tackle a seized bolt and have to stick a pipe on the end of Johnson bar...last thing you need is for the vehicle to act like a pendulum - what we call the "wobble effect". Gussets are used to stop this. The diagram below shows the gussets used by Bendpak and Rotary.

Rotary Two Post Lift Comparison
Two Post Lift Comparison

Cylinders and Direct Drive Technology - BendPak was not satisfied with the off the shelf cylinders that most manufacturers use, so went out and engineered their own. These dual HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) cylinders minimize leakage and offer better reliability, smoother operation and less maintenance costs throughout the life of your lift. HVLP equates to less workload placed on the entire hydraulic system.

Direct-Drive technology is preferred on commercial-grade two post car lifts as it has it has fewer moving parts than a chain-over-roller cylinder configuration. Pressurized hydraulic fluid flows from the power-unit, through the hollow cylinder rods then enters the cylinder body and fills the inside cavity. The pressure of the hydraulic fluid extends the piston rod downward raising the cylinder body and lift carriages.

Direct-drive technology

Carriage - Take a close look at our lift carriages (the lifting assembly that the arms are attached to) and then take a look at the competition. You'll notice our 53" tall carriages are considerably taller than most, which minimizes the stress placed on the load bearings and columns.

BendPak Rotary BendPak Rotary
Asymmetric taller lift carriages

Warranty

So now you are aware of some of the design and quality differences to look for in choosing your lift. As a final consideration, let’s look at the warranty coverage.

Component

BendPak

Rotary

Challenger

Forward

Tuxedo*

Atlas (Greg Smith)

             

Structure

60 month

60 month

24 month

60 month

60 month

60 month

Hydraulics

24 month

12 month**

24 month***

18 month

30 days (then seals only)

24 month

Power Unit

24 month

12 month**

24 month***

18 month

12 month

12 month

Wear & Tear Parts

12 month

12 month**

12 month

12 month

12 month

90 days

Shipping

12 month

12 month

12 month

18 month

none

none

Labor

12 month

12 month

12 month

6 month

none

none

             

* - Tuxedo Distributors LLC dba Ideal Automotive Equipment has two 2-post models that are ALI approved.

** - increases to 24 months if installed by Rotary Authorized Installer (RAI)

*** - certain models are limited to 12 months

To better assist our customers in making an informed decision, we have put together the resources below - take some time to explore further and as always, our knowledgeable staff are available to help you to choose the right product for your needs - click on the "Live Help" button to the left or Contact Us by phone or email and we will be happy to help.

Also, please be aware that all comparisons to other brands, and other representations such as warranties, etc. are accurate to the best of our ability but are subject to change. They are intended as a guide and please consult directly with manufacturers' websites for the most current information.

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2-Post Lift Comparison - BendPak vs. Cheap Two-Post

2-Post Lift Comparison - BendPak vs. Rotary Lift

2-Post Lift Comparison BendPak vs. Challenger Lift