Types of automotive lifts
Here are the different types, available from garage equipment supply dealers:
On the floor
This type of vehicle lift is assembled under the garage floor. It consists of one or more pistons, depending on the maximum weight capacity. One or two piston lifts are used for compact, medium and large cars. Lifts with three or more pistons are used for larger vehicles such as buses and RVs.
Two-post surface mount
The most common vehicle lift in use today is called a two-post surface mount lift. On each column, there are lift arms. These are controlled mechanically, electronically or hydraulically.
Multi-post track Automotive elevator
The most common type is the four-post lift, which is widely used in oil change, transmission, and muffler service shops. You will also find this type of auto lift at wheel alignment service stations. The car is driven to both tracks and rises, exposing its underside.
Active low / mid-height frame lift
This type of vehicle lift hooks the frame of the vehicle on lift. There are two ways this type can work. One way is the scissors style, moving upward. Another is the parallelogram style, which moves forward or backward as it rises or falls. This type is commonly used for brake, tire, and wheel services, as well as auto body repair.
The Drive-On parallelogram is a surface mounted vehicle lift. It has two catwalks where the wheels of the car should be placed. It has a lifting mechanism that moves the vehicle a short distance forward or backward while going up or down. The direction depends on the way the lift is mounted.
The scissor lift can be of the fixed pad type or of the roll-up / underbody frame hitch type. It has a lifting mechanism similar to the parallelogram elevator. Its main difference is that the scissor lift goes up and down in a straight vertical path.
Mobile Type Wheel Gear Elevator
This type of vehicle lift is used for vehicles that are longer than conventional cars, such as buses and trucks. It consists of several lifting columns in sets of two, four, six or more. The columns can be moved and connected with the other columns so that their movements are synchronized.