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There are many types of vehicle lifts available today, from single-post, 2-post and 4-post lifts, to scissor lifts for cars, motorcycles and light commercial vehicles.

The use of scissor lifts has been on the rise due to the affordability, flexibility and space-saving of this type of garage lifting device.

In this article we delve deeper into the world of vehicle lifting and uncover how scissor lifts work, and whether a scissor lift is a right choice for your garage or MOT Bay.

What is the car lift in a garage called?

While there are many different types of automotive lifts used in garages, three of the most common are four-post lifts, two-post lifts and scissor lifts.

As the names suggest, the two and four-post lists have either 2 or 4 supporting columns, within which the edges or corners of the platform are supported, and the hydraulics within the lifting mechanism safely operates to raise or lower the lift.

The scissor lift does not have posts on the edge or side but instead has a scissor-like mechanism which raises and lowers the vehicle from directly beneath the platform upon which it rests.

Another type of vehicle lift is explicitly made for motorcycle lifting and is known as a motorcycle lift, and this is a different style of scissor lift specifically made with the size, design and weight of motorcycles in mind.

What is a car scissor lift?

A car scissor lift is a type of hydraulic or electric vehicle lift found in garages, MOT Bays, workshops and body shops.

Scissor lifts, which are typically self-propelled machines, get their name from the design of the beams underneath the platform which do the work to raise and lower the platform.  When viewed from the side, the mechanism appears as a stack of crossed tubes or metal rods that work in a scissor-like fashion when the platform is raised and lowered.

What is a scissor lift used for?

A scissor lift for cars and vehicles is a machine made to move vehicles in a vertical direction. These lifts can handle most jobs that would normally require a two-post car lift or a 4-post vehicle lift.

How do car scissor lifts work?

Vehicle scissor lifts are usually powered by a hydraulic system and operate by raising and lowering the platform.

These kinds of vehicle lifts are a great option for those who have limited space or are unable to use a traditional vehicle 2-post or 4-post lift.

Scissor Lifts work by lifting the weight on the two sets of scissor-shaped arms and pivoting the arms toward the centre to lift the weight. The two sets of scissor arms are connected by a hinge at the centre, allowing the arms to rotate and lift the weight. This hinge makes it possible for the lift to lift both heavy and light vehicles.

What are the different types of vehicle scissor lifts?

There are three main types of garage car scissor lifts:

  • Recessed scissor lifts
  • Surface-mounted scissor lifts
  • Mobile Scissor lifts

A scissor lift is a popular model of aerial platform lift which is often used in garages in place of a 2-post or 4-post lift, where the space is limited, however, the scissor lift, depending on the design and weight capacity will often need to be recessed into the floor so this is an additional consideration before choosing this as your garage or MOT Bay lifting solution, some are designed to be surface mounted, and yet others can be mobile, but the weight and size of vehicle these mobile types of scissor lifts can support tends to be lower than recessed scissor lifts or surface mounted scissor lifts.

There is one other type of scissor lift used in garages, and these are

Motorcycle lifts, sometimes called motorcycle lift tables or motorcycle ramps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on the type, engine size and weight of the motorcycle you intend to work on.

Are car scissor lifts good?

Car scissor lifts have become increasingly popular in recent years. Their popularity is due to a variety of factors, including their price, versatility, portability, and safety.

Also if you’re tight on space, scissor lifts are a great option to consider compared to a 4-post lift for example.

Scissor lifts can be used for many of the jobs that would be done by both garage mechanics, as well as tyre fitting and alignment shops or indeed for any kind of mechanical work.

Are car scissor lifts safe?

When operated correctly, they are perfectly safe. However, like any other machinery, there is always the potential for accidents to happen. That being said, there are a few things that you can do in order to help prevent any accidents from happening. Here are a few tips:

First and foremost, you should always ensure the lift has been installed correctly and that any cables, cords or hoses are properly routed.

When using the lift, ensure you have had the correct training and are familiar with the controls. Make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s instructions and do not operate the lift in a way that could potentially cause it to malfunction.

When using the vehicle scissor lift ensure that you lower the lift down to the stops, this will help prevent any drops whilst the vehicle is on the lift and when you are potentially underneath it. You don’t want the lift dropping, even a few inches, while you are working under it.

Always be sure that the car is properly supported, that it is balanced on the lift and that everything is clear before lowering it.

Ultimately any lift is dangerous. But if you take the right safety precautions, the risk of injury is minimal with a quality scissor lift.

Which vehicle scissor lift is best?

This very much depends on your requirements and restrictions, some things you need to consider and discuss with your scissor lift or garage equipment supplier before ordering your next vehicle lift:

  • Where will the lift be used?
  • What space do you have for this lift and will it fit?
  • What weight of the vehicle will you be lifting with the scissor lift?
  • What height do you have available above the lift?
  • What is your available budget?

All of this will help determine what size, make and model of vehicle scissor lift will be right for your garage, and this may also determine if you need a full height and mid-rise scissor lift, or indeed whether a scissor lift is the right thing for you, as space or weight may mean that a 2 post lift or 4 post lift could be better meet your needs

How much is a car scissor lift?

The cost of a car scissor lift can range from several hundred to several thousand pounds in cost.

The cost will be determined by the age of the lift (older second-hand ones are available to buy online but not recommended), the make, model, type (surface mounted or recessed, mid-rise or full-rise), and weight capacity.

Speak to your garage equipment supplier to help you decide on the best scissor lift choice for your garage or MOT Bay needs.

What is a mobile scissor lift?

As the name suggests, this is a scissor lift that is mobile or can be moved around as it’s not anchored to the ground.

Though this is a very appealing and versatile kind of scissor lift, in the world of garage equipment, due to the weight of the vehicles being lifted, the mobile scissor lift is not the most popular choice, and the surface-mounted scissor lifts or recessed scissor lifts tend to be the most popular for daily use in garages and MOT Bays around the UK.

Help with your car scissor lift or motorcycle lift

If you are considering or even in the process of purchasing or setting up a car scissor lift, motorcycle lift or any other vehicle lift, either as a stand-alone piece of garage equipment or as part of an MOT Bay build, and need some information, helpful free advice or additional garage or MOT equipment just give Concept Garage Equipment a call, we would love to help you get your garage equipment set up and paying for itself as soon as possible.

We can offer you advice over the phone at 0113 469 0572, we sell scissor lifts online and over the phone, including delivery, installation and staff training in the correct use of the scissor lift or any other garage equipment up to a full MOT Bay.

Call us today on 0113 469 0572 or use the website contact form today, we are here to help.

Scissor Lift 3.5 Tonne Short Full Height Recessed by Concept Garage Equipment

Short Full Height Recessed Scissor Lift

Scissor Lift 3.0 Tonne Short Full Height Surface Mounted by Concept Garage Equipment

Full Height Surface Mounted Scissor Lift

Motorcycle Lift Table Eurotek BL500 from Concept Garage Equipment

Motorcycle Scissor Lift Table