Learn about 2 Post Car Lifts


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There are several varieties of vehicle lifts, but the 2 post lift is one of the most common due to the relatively small space that you need to have one installed, but it will still give you the stability, strength and lifting capacity far exceeding that of mobile or ground-based car jacks.

What is a 2 post car lift?

A 2 post car lift, is a large steel structure, consisting of 2 folded or rolled steel columns, or posts with 2 arms on each post used to raise cars for each access to the wheels, side and underside of the vehicle.

Screw lifts, each post contains a large screw inside the columns, each of which has a lifting nut and safety nut at each side. The lift nut is what supports the arms of the 2 post lift, and rollers on either side support a smooth lifting process.

The two posts of the car lift are also connected via a set of cables or chains, often referred to as equilibrium cables, which run either above or below between the posts and ensure that each of the 2 post lifting screws are synchronised and that they raise and lower at the same rate, to keep the car being lifted stable, despite any weight differences on the 2 sides of the vehicle.

What are Symmetrical and Asymmetrical 2 Post Car Lifts?

The 2 main types of 2 post car lifts are known as symmetrical and asymmetrical and can be easily identified by examining the length of the 2 arms on each side of the car lift.

The symmetrical arm two post car lift has arms of equal length, and the vehicle sits at the centre between the 2 arms. 
The asymmetric 2 post car lift has one arm on each side of the lift slightly longer than the other, and this allows you to position the vehicle slightly different depending on the center of gravity of the vehicle.

Note when using a 2 post lift the Centre of gravity of the vehicle must be maintained at all times between the 2 post so as to not apply to much force on any arm/s and the vehicle does not become unstable whilst working on it.

How thick should concrete be for a 2 post car lift?

The minimal concrete depth that we recommend for a two post car lift installation is between 150mm (6 inches) and 250mm (10 inches).

Lift manufacturers must specify the minimum recommended as part of the original CE approvals so may be different from supplier to supplier,  but due to the excessive weight and forces imparted by a 2 post lift on the floor bolts and base, we would always recommend deeper concrete.

A two post car lift is usually mounted onto an existing concrete surface, though this must be tested and confirmed as both level and of a suitable depth prior to beginning the lift installation. On occasions where the depth of concrete is found to be too thin, not structurally sound, or uneven, the existing floor may need to be dug out and re-laid with deeper and correctly levelled concrete to meet the minimum requirements.

Your 2 post lift supplier or engineer will be able to test the concrete and advise if the depth and concrete are suitable for the two post lift you are planning to install. You can speak to Concept Garage Equipment and we can help with this prior to any purchase or lift installation taking place.

How much ceiling height do you need for a 2 post lift?

Generally, to install a standard full-rise 2 post car lift you need a ceiling height of at least 11 feet (or 3400mm).
There are 2 post lifts that will work with a lower ceiling height, which are called low-rise or mid-rise lifts, so please be aware of the 2 post car lift you are purchasing and the specific height requirements for it, which you should be able to either see online or by calling Concept Garage Equipment today. Note you must also have a minimum of 600mm to any adjacent fixed object / wall to meet your H&S regulations on site.

Find out more about two post car lifts

For more information read our full blog post, or to discuss your two post lifting requirements or just for some free advice on these please contact Andy at Concept Garage Equipment today on 0113 469 0572.