Most professional stores have two and four above ground lifts in their service areas. Unlike these commercial stores, many individual customers will only purchase one lift for their home garage, and we also recommend that you choose the one that best suits your needs to save space and money. So by comparing the pros and cons of both types of lifts, you should be able to choose the right lift for your needs.
What Do You Buy A Lift For?
Typically, individual homeowners buy a lift for one of two reasons; they either want to “store” a vehicle that they don’t drive often, or they are car enthusiasts who want to be able to do their own maintenance work.
If you just primarily want to store your car and occasionally do a little cleaning and polishing. We recommend that you use a four-post lift.
A four-post lift supports the entire “wheel” of the car better than a two-post lift. Imagine yourself hanging six feet in the air. Would you rather have your entire body supported (like lying on a bed) or just your torso supported (lying in a hammock) and your arms and legs hanging in the air? A four-post lift acts much like a bed, supporting the entire vehicle. A two-post lift is like a hammock, supporting only the torso and allowing the four-wheel assembly to “dangle”.
If you want to do all types of repairs on your vehicle and are on a budget. Then you are better off with a two-post lift!
A two-post lift is the cheapest way to lift the most weight. A two post lift allows the operator easy access to all parts of the vehicle, including the wheel assembly, while a four post lift requires an auxiliary lift (for an additional charge) to lift the car off the track (to allow for wheel repairs) .
In addition to the primary reason for purchasing a lift, there are several other factors that should be considered when making this important decision:
- Four-post lifts can be portable (most come with free caster kits). Four-post lifts can also be permanently fixed. Two-post lifts must be anchored to the ground.
- Four post lifts are usually equipped with 110 volt motors and do not require special wiring for installation. Two-post lifts will be equipped with a 220 volt single phase motor.
- Four-post lifts take up more space than two-post lifts.
- A two-post lift will “raise” the car in a low ceiling garage. This is because the four-wheel assembly hangs below the four lift arms (the vehicle is lifted by the frame). For example, a 72″ tall vehicle (from the bottom of the tires to the luggage rack) will remain 72″ tall when lifted on a four-post lift. However, the same vehicle may only be 55 inches tall when lifted on a two-post lift because 17 inches may be “hanging” under the arms. If you have a 10-foot ceiling, a two-post lift will raise most vehicles to a height of about 6 feet above the floor.
- Four-post lifts make loading and positioning vehicles much easier. The runway of a four-post lift allows the operator to drive up to the lift with ease. There is no need (as on a two-post lift) to get out of the vehicle, kneel down and position the arms properly to ensure the vehicle will be lifted evenly.
- Vehicles with very low ground clearance are easier to load on a four-post lift.