Heavy duty car lifts have been around for a long time, but there are still some veterans who feel more comfortable working under a bus or truck with solid ground support. What they may not realize is that there are far more health and safety risks associated with a vehicle pit than a vehicle lift.
Why is the use of pits not recommended?
- When not in use, there is a real risk of people falling into them and even if you are careful or have put protection such as fishing nets over the hole, they still havea huge risk.
- Once inside the pit, the engineer is exposed to other risks, such as fuel leakage. And in such an enclosed environment, it is difficult to escape in an emergency. Fire and smoke are particularly dangerous. Likewise, if someone is involved in an accident or becomes ill, rescuing the person using the pit may be more difficult.
- An argument often used to defend vehicle pits is their ease of use and speed of use. Driving or rolling a vehicle over a pit is quick and easy, but even this has its drawbacks. When in position, the vehicle is at a fixed height and the engineer or mechanic does not have the flexibility to work at a comfortable height to complete the task.
- In addition, moving auxiliary equipment into and out of the confined space of the pit can be a waste of time rather than simply rolling or lifting into the correct position under the vehicle.
- Perhaps the most important factor to consider when considering the pros and cons of pits, especially in economic times, is cost. The cost of installing a pit can run into tens of thousands of pounds and, more importantly, it can cause weeks of disruption to shop operations. The cost of reduced productivity can add significantly to an already large bill, and it is unlikely that any of these costs will be reimbursed – in fact, if the workshop needs to be restored to its previous state, additional costs will be incurred.
Why choose a heavy duty car lift?
- Heavy duty car lifts can work on vehicles in a more open environment, with easy access from all sides.
- Mobile column lifts can be moved out of the way when not in use, allowing for better space utilization.
- The latest cable-free models further reduce the risk of trips and falls. Even static, stationary column lifts pose less risk of falling than open pits.
- While there are always inherent risks associated with working under vehicles weighing several tons, when operated correctly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and health and safety guidelines, lifts can provide significant health and safety benefits.
- Cost-effective installation. A well maintained and regularly serviced liftmay take less than a day to install, but will retain much of its value for many years. In most cases, the initial purchase cost will also be much less than the cost of a pit installation.
So, by choosing an elevator over a pit, operators such as coach and bus, commercial and specialist vehicles can enjoy greater flexibility, better health and safety, more efficient workshop operations and better value for money.