Aiming for higher safety levels
The range of garage lifts
Two-or four-posts, electro-hydraulic or electro-mechanical, single or double scissor, independent column lifts: the range of garage lifts on the market seems endless. However, product evolution is moving in the direction of improved ergonomics and increased safety.
It is such a common and widely used piece of equipment in the automotive aftermarket that it might even go unnoticed. Yet hardly any operator in the sector would be willing to work without a lift, as it plays a key role in vehicle servicing, allowing one to work underneath the vehicle comfortably and, above all, safely.
There is clearly no shortage of options for the specialists in the market; we find lifting systems for any type of vehicle, from mopeds to the bulkiest and heaviest vehicles, fixed or mobile solutions, some can rise as far as two metres off the floor or literally disappear into the workshop floor when not in use. Other solutions can be installed inside a spray booth or outside a workshop.
Over the last few years, the relentless technological evolution in the sector concerned more than the technical features of the product. “This sector is quite mature, especially if you look at certain segments - says Fausto Manganelli, Ravaglioli's technical director and Aica and Egea manufacturers' group coordinator. The current development of new products is moving in three distinct directions. Firstly, garage lifts, like all aftermarket equipment, must keep pace with the automotive market, for example by taking into account the evolution and spread of vehicles such as SUVs, hybrids or electric vehicles. In addition, projects are increasingly focused on design: customers are increasingly looking for ergonomic and functional solutions, which are also aesthetically consistent with the architectural design of the workshops, as it often happens with service centres belonging to premium car brands. Last but not least, safety! This is the focus of attention of all players involved whether manufacturers, consumers or institutions".
Safety is anything but a secondary issue when it comes to garage lifts. “A safe product must not only meet specific construction requirements, but also be user-friendly," explains Manganelli. On the European market, it is not uncommon to find lifts that fall outside of the accepted safety parameters. However, accidents also occur when someone fails to use a product correctly.
For more than twenty years, the European standard UNI EN1493 regulated the development of garage lifts following the most common requirements set by the market. “The standard was created at the end of the 1990s and since then it has been revised every five years," explains Fausto Manganelli, and we are currently busy with the latest updates”. The process of revising the current EN 1493:2010 standard, which will lead to the new EN 1493:2020 standard - which should see the light of day in August 2021 to become operational from the following February - began at the end of 2015. "The process took a long time due to the many comments and opinions received from different European countries based on the experience of using the current standard. At the beginning of 2020, the final draft of the standard was finalised and submitted to a public enquiry, which ended last October, with a formal vote by the various Member States. In early 2021, the observations received will be discussed, leading to the final version”.
Safety will be a key issue in the new regulation. "We were urged to take the necessary steps following an initiative called PROSAFE, promoted by the European Commission at the beginning of 2016 following a report by the HSE (Health and Safety, UK) of accidents caused by lifts that did not comply with safety requirements". This initiative highlighted several critical issues (e.g. malfunctions in the support arms stop systems in two-post lifts, incorrect interpretations of the standard, etc.) that pointed the development of lifts in a new direction with structural improvements, the identification of supporting devices (consent controls, cameras, etc.) and put a curb on dubious interpretations of the standard, promoting clear rules for everyone whether manufacturers or users. "The new rules will leave no room for misunderstandings. From the moment these are implemented, production methods will have to be revised accordingly. We are convinced that if all manufacturers really take the safety issue at heart, resolving it will not affect the competitiveness of the individual company," says Manganelli, who concludes: "We have tried to look beyond the five years timespan separating us from the next revision of the standard. We have put ourselves on the line as manufacturers. On the issue of safety, we are playing a crucial game. We need to make a solid distinction between what constitutes a premium and a budget product”.
Butler's (Vehicle Service Group) offer in the lift segment includes a comprehensive range of products for passenger cars, trucks and even agricultural vehicles. The latter category includes the Mobi (electro-mechanical) and Movi (electro-hydraulic) mobile posts lifts for tractors. Movid wired and wireless, on the other hand, is designed for work on heavy vehicles: a cable-free electro-hydraulic mobile column solution with electronic synchronisation device and is available in 4, 6 or 8 posts configuration. The range of truck lifts includes the Mobi electromechanical independent column lifts, the Logic Truck electromechanical four-column lifts and the Cisor Truck scissor lifts. For cars we find the Cisor series vertical and scissor lifts and the Ergax double scissor lifts, the Torec (electro-mechanical) and Hydros (electro-hydraulic) two-posts decks, the Logic four-column decks and the Alvar in-floor cylinders.
Car Bench solutions are the result of approvals and collaborations with some of the main Italian and international car manufacturers. The “Turtle” bench is produced accordingly to the most rigid safety rule (CE-certification). Its air-hydraulic lift can be fixed on the floor or eventually embedded thanks to a special embedding kit; it can be installed inside any type of spray booths or preparation areas. With its maximal height of 1200mm and through its loading capacity of 2500Kg from ground level it can do any type of job. The cylinder mounted on the lift is covered by a special protection to avoid any damages due to the painting work. The Turtle is equipped with a special pump for lifting operations with remote control and with 4 special axle stands which are positioned directly on the regulating arms.
CMO’s portfolio includes six different vehicle lifts. Up To Paint is specifically designed for preparation areas and spray booths. The maximum load capacity is 3,000 kg with a ground clearance of up to 1,000 mm. CMO's Spider Rolling Lift is an innovative piece of equipment that, thanks to a system of double-acting pistons and four pivoting wheels attached to the arms of the lift, allows the vehicle placed on the lift to be moved to different working areas.
Twin Split is a mobile lift with two independent electro-hydraulic or air-hydraulic operated platforms. Double Lift is an electro-hydraulic low-profile lift for vehicles with a ground clearance of just 95 mm. The range is completed by Slift, a lift with hydraulic jacks and Easy Lift 3000 a mobile hydro-pneumatic jack with column structure.
One of the latest innovations from Corghi (Nexion Group) is the Erco XT6500 CTLT electro-hydraulic scissor lift. The innovative "lift table" can lift any type of vehicle with a maximum load capacity of up to 6,500 kg. The control electronics have an alphanumeric display with numerous functions, including the possibility of displaying the height of the lift and setting the lift stop at the desired height. The recesses for the turn plates and slip plates are adjustable to ensure perfect planarity of the runways. Erco XT65000 CTLT’s innovative 8-movement play detector with plate that can be positioned at the centre of the play detector and low friction dual rear slip plate. The vehicle’s front axle is positioned in a lift’s fixed point (where there are the turntables), independently from the vehicle wheel base and without any further regulation.
Cormach offers a wide range of electro-hydraulic scissor lifts for tire dealers, body shops and garages. The L 3300 EVO double scissor lift has a capacity of 3,000 kg at a maximum lifting height of 1,900 mm. It is equipped with removable access ramps and a safety photocell for out-of-plane control. For heavier loads there is the L 3400, a hydraulic double scissor lift with tilting platforms that can lift up to 4,000 kg at a height of 1,900 mm. The L 3000 is an electro-hydraulic scissor lift with a maximum lifting capacity of 3,000 kg. It is equipped with a mobile control box and “dead man” controls. The Cormach range also includes the L 95 Bike, an electro-hydraulic lift specifically designed for motorbikes with a lifting capacity of up to 700 kg at a maximum height of 1,200 mm.
The latest Effemme lifts are called Safe Up 35 and Evolution Up 35. The first is an electro-hydraulic scissor lift designed mainly for body shops. Suitable for flush-mounted installations, the Safe Up 35 has a load capacity of 3,500 kg and a lifting height of 1,600 mm. The Evolution Up 35 is an electro-hydraulic low-profile (100 mm) double-scissor lift, reversible and equipped with a double hydraulic safety system with a load capacity of 3,500 kg and a maximum lifting height of 2,000 mm. The Effemme range also includes an electro-hydraulic double-scissor lifts called Energy Up 30 and 35 and two electro-hydraulic single-scissor lifts, Power UP45 and 50.
The Emanuel catalogue presents solutions for lifting large vehicles, such as buses or trucks. Available in different models depending on the maximum capacity - from 5.5 up to 10 tonnes -, MCL lifts are electromechanically operated mobile road columns. They are available in 4, 6, 8 and 10-post configurations and are equipped with a computerised control unit. The MCL-G are hot galvanized electromechanical mobile columns perfect for washing bays and lifting heavy duty vehicles, such as buses and trucks. Thanks to a lower electrical power installed compared to other equivalent equipment and to the columns start up sequence system a lower absorbance at the start is guaranteed. Furthermore a high efficiency of the kinematic and of the electronic control, allows a lower usage of the network power.
Among Fasep's most recent innovations we find the FEW-CT-LT and FZ31 four-posts electro-hydraulic lifts with capacities of 4,000 and 4,200 kg, and the FZ41.3S and FZ51.3S two-column electro-mechanical lifts with capacities of 2,700 and 3,500 kg respectively. Two additional lifts are the FZ42 and FZ52 with two electromechanical columns connected by an upper crossbeam. The lifting capacities are 2,700 and 3,500 kg respectively. The FZ63 and FZ61, on the other hand, are lifts with two electro-hydraulic posts connected by a suspended and a ground crossbar, respectively, with lifting capacities of 3,500 kg. Other new additions to the Fasep catalogue include the scissor lifts UF45.VX (4,500 kg) and UF50.VX (5,000 kg) for wheel alignment and UP42 with body contact (4,200 kg) and two double scissor lifts: FZ25 with a capacity of 3,200 kg and the low profile FLP-30.
In the HPA-Faip (Nexion Group) catalogue, the SUPERLIFT range stands out, a series of electro-hydraulic scissor lifts for commercial vehicles, with five models - 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500 - depending on the lifting capacity (from 10 to 50 tons). The HPA-Faip SUPERLIFT range is distinguished by its particularly low minimum height, which makes for easy access, and a flush and floor mounting option. The lift is equipped with mechanical safety racks, an acoustic safety signal when lowering the lift, an overload safety valve and a safety valve on each cylinder in case of damage or leaks. Also available on request are: double lifts, platforms with recess for turntable or with six-movement play detector with longitudinal or fixed movement. The lift can also be supplied with or without lift tables. The 200/7.5, 200/10 and 300/11.25 models (with or without "LT") can work separately or combined to lift particularly long vehicles.
Among the most interesting proposals by Mondolfo Ferro (Nexion Group) are the two underbody double-scissor lifts Titan X2035 T and Titan X2040 T, with lifting capacities of 3,500 kg and 4,000 kg respectively and a floor height of up to 1,900 mm. Both models are equipped with automatic runway levelling system with MASTER/SLAVE hydraulic circuit, a photocell safety system which automatically arrests the lift in the event of misalignment between the runways, self-lubricating bushings on all rotating parts as standard equipment, a set of 4 rubber pads and on request a pair of cross-pieces and pads for off-road vehicles and pipe extension kit.
OMCN introduced its 199/EV electromechanical scissor lift in 2020 equipped with forks for lifting vehicles from the wheels for total underbody accessibility. The latest additions include the 551 (floor mounted) and 551 I (flush mounted) scissor lifts. The latter are equipped with extractable extensions to guarantee min-max length and allow the lifting of SUV and commercial vehicles without extra accessories, low voltage 24 V “man standing-by” controls and a safety acoustic signal when platform go down. On the new 718 M (floor-mounted) and 719 M (retractable) models, the lift immediately starts lowering with pinpoint precision when lowering pushbutton is activated. Finally, one of the most interesting new features of OMCN’s 199RX and 199WRX is the special forks to lift the vehicle from under the wheels and allow free access to the underbody.
The latest addition to the O.ME.R range for HD vehicles, the MCO 86 is a wireless-battery operated electro-hydraulic mobile lift. The synchronisation between posts can be managed via cable or wirelessly. A 7-inch colour touch screen allows the operator to control, from each post, the entire system, or each individual lift. Small but strong: the Fly 35 and Fly 35 D electro-hydraulic double scissor lifts – respectively with one single cylinder on each platform with pneumatically activated safety lock (FLY 35) or two cylinders on each platform without safety locks - are the ideal solution for confined spaces. Both have low-profile underbody grips with oversized platforms capable of lifting any type of vehicle.
Finally, the Fortis 35 Speciale is an electro-hydraulic two-post lift with a load capacity of 3,500 kg and a lifting height of up to 2,014 mm. It is suitable for small cars but also for trucks. It is available with "overhead" and "ground" connection.
Founded in 1958 and part of the Vehicle Service Group (VSG) since the end of 2016, Ravaglioli offers the market one of the widest and most complete catalogues of specialized equipment for garages, tire specialists and body shops such as lifts, tire changers, wheel aligners etc., able to meet the most diverse service requirements. In the company's manufacturing tradition, garage lifts, and especially 2-posts models stand out the company’s best-seller. Ravaglioli's offer in this segment includes several solutions depending on the operating principle (electromechanical or electrohydraulic), load capacity (from 3,000 kg to 6,000 kg), ease of access for different types of vehicles and increasing ergonomic values. Other significant Ravaglioli lifting products include the 600 series long platform scissor lifts (also suitable for long wheel base commercial vehicles) in different configurations and with load capacities up to 9,000kg, and the 500 series short platform double scissor lifts. The 8000 series platform lifts specifically for cars and the 800 series specifically for trucks are an evolution of the scissors lifts. The special "Y" structure of the lifting elements increases accessibility and improves the mobility of the operator when the vehicle is above the ground.
The production signed Sice (Nexion Group) offers several lifting solutions, including low profile double scissor lifts such as the PSC 3000/3500/4000 which differ from each other in their capacity configuration from 3,000 to 4,000 kg, runway design (with extension or flaps) and the type of hydraulic circuits (double pair of master/slave cylinders without racks or with two cylinders and mechanical racks). Unique arm geometry allows maximum stiffness and minimised space usage. Runway and base with generously sized, self-lubricating sliding blocks. Special lift linkage, for lifting loads even from the lowest lift height. Four-stroke limit adjuster screws for minimum runway height from floor, for perfectly level runways when lowered. Runways with suspended flaps which also act as vehicle access ramps. Runway with slide-out extension for precise length adjustment. Hydraulic runway levelling system with dual master/slave circuit (two cylinders per runway) for total safety without the need for mechanical racks
Mapower II, a two-post electromechanical bridge available in the 3.0, 3.5 and 5.5 versions, is the latest addition to the Sipav lift range. The 3.0 and 3.5 models have low-profile lower lifting arms, 100 and 105 mm respectively, along their entire length. Mapower II 5.5. has double extension telescopic arms with a wide range of adjustment to suit a wide range of vehicles and is equipped with symmetrical support arms that are ideal for vans. All three models are equipped with a braking system, USB interface for technical service, anti-squeeze protection with an acoustic signal, height control via inductive sensors, microprocessor control of synchronisation and all the necessary safety functions. An IoT module to connect the lifts to the Maha service cloud is also available as option.
The rather wide range of Sirio Equipment (Vehicle Service Group) lifts includes two-posts electromechanical lifts with base some with shaft drive (SR05HE/06HE, SE44HE, SR24H2/26H/27H/29HE); two-posts baseless lifts (SR 235ELLK with two motors and SR35/45/49/245 and SR50LIK with maximum capacity ranging from 3. 700 kg to 4,200 kg, SR37/43/15 with lifting height over two metres, SR5 Baseless); electro-hydraulic two-post (SRJ370. 55 LIKT/LIKTA, SRH370. 70 LIKT/LIKTA, SRH370); in-ground piston lifts (SRI); motorbike lifts (SRB 1394 and SRB 1395); low-profile double scissors (SRS 018/035/040, SRS 035L, SRS 035LI, SRS 007/008/009/010); electro-hydraulic mid-rise lift (SRB 1450/1380/1153), electro-hydraulic scissor lift (SRS 6352, SRS 6351, SRS 1350/1400/1500/1600), electro-hydraulic four post (SRQ, Open Front SRQ5060 and SRQ5060F LT); electro-mechanical mobile columns (SRM 62AGR, SRM 385H. 2 WSAGR for tractors) and electro-hydraulic mobile columns (SRM97H) also without cable (SRM355HWS, SRM375HWS, SRM385HWS) or with independent columns (SRM 12/22/32/42/62/72); platform lifts for industrial vehicles (SRS 8500/8600/8000/7000); electro-mechanical four-column lifts (SRQ 40NE.9/42NE/42e/DUO/75E).
Hofmann lifting platforms (Snap-On Equipment) are designed to meet, efficiently and safely, the maintenance needs of vehicles ranging from microcars to medium-sized vans. The Hofmann product range, which will see a further expansion in early 2021, includes two- and four-post lifts. Among the latter, the brand's latest innovation stands out: the quattrolift® 4000 WA. This four-post lift was developed in symbiosis with market-leading wheel aligner manufacturers. The integrated rear slip plates guarantee that a four wheel alignment can be performed on all vehicles with wheel bases from 1.930 mm up to 4.150 mm. For best sliding performance each slip plate is equipped with 3 sections with a total of 120 rollers. The ramps have been designed to allow cars with lowered chassis to drive on the lift without any damage. The brass pulleys of the rope system ensure a long product life. As with all Hofmann products, the 4000 WA was developed paying particular attention to the safety of the operator and the vehicle. The mechanical safety of the 4000 WA is guaranteed by safety locks every 100mm to set the runways in the locked position for wheel alignment. Clear and easy to understand, with emergency switch and comfort lowering, the 4000 WA allows the automatic release of the carriage from the safety lock when lowering the lift. An optional sliding crossbar is also available, allowing the 4000 WA to be used on brakes and maintenance.
SDH identifies a series of electro-hydraulic lifts made by Space (Vehicle Service Group) which includes models such as 370.50 and 370.55 with three-stage short arms and two-stage long arms for asymmetric lifting of vans and off-road vehicles. The SDE series of two-post electromechanical lifts includes models such as the SDE 5, which can lift to a height of more than two metres, and the special SDE 2235LLK super sports car lift. The SQ four-post electromechanical series includes open-front models such as the SQ 505 OFS/SQ 506 OF with Multi-Position access. For heavy loads, we find the SF8000 vertical lifts and SF8800 and SF770 platform lifts dedicated to commercial vehicles.
The wide range of products and equipment designed and developed by Symach for workshops and body workshops could not neglect to include a couple of state-of-the-art lifting solutions. Symach Carlift is a particularly robust lift capable of offering truly exceptional performance. The product has in fact been specially designed to bear significant loads, particularly useful in dealing with traditionally “muscular” vehicles on American soil (not by chance the company's main target market). Just under two metres long (exactly 1,950 mm), Carlift boasts a load capacity of up to 3,500 kg and reaches a maximum lifting height of 1,140 mm from the floor. Symach Liftpull, on the other hand, is an innovative two-in-one product. The dimensions and load capacity are similar to those of Carlift, but this special equipment can function not only as a lift, but also as a quick-pull bench.
The range of TECO Automotive Equipment (Nexion Group) lifts includes the new low-profile underbody scissor 300 and 350 with maximum capacities of up to 3,000 and 3,500 kg respectively, both equipped with runways with suspended flaps (only for teco 350F ) which also act as vehicle access ramps. The hydraulic runway levelling system with dual master/slave circuit (two cylinders per runway) for total safety without the need for mechanical racks. Runway realignment performed automatically at each cycle. Stability when lifting vehicles with Teco 300 & Teco 350 is guaranteed by a large structure.
Werther produces mid-rise scissor lifts for cars, quads and motorbikes. Electro-mechanical and electro-hydraulic solutions are included in the range of two-post lifts. These include the 245BF model with load-bearing base and the asymmetrical 280A, 301 and 301/32 chain-driven lifts. The Stratos line of super-heavy-duty lifts also features prominently in the catalogue. The Werther range also includes various models of electro-hydraulic four-post lifts, single-post lifts and mobile colu