“All things considered, if you were going to buy a lift, would you buy certified, uncertified, or don’t care?”
You probably already have a general idea of where we stand on the subject, but it’s still a topic that is hotly disputed throughout the industry. For instance, you could easily argue that a BendPak lift would be equally safe without the snazzy gold sticker. We’re also sure that there are well-engineered lifts that simply do not partake in the ALI program. But we think that it’s a potentially missed opportunity.
Just because you know and love cars, doesn’t mean you should have to be a lift expert too. That’s why ALI exists. It can be tricky to spot a substandard lift among well-built ones if you don’t know what to look for. So ALI protects the consumer by offering a baseline for all the lift designs they review. At the end of the day, the consumer knows, “At the very least, this lift has X features and Y safety mechanisms.” That’s something that can be very valuable to a lift buyer. At the time of this posting, 60.92% of the Garage Journal members who answered the poll thought so, too.
But there’s another side to this: BendPak opts to participate in ALI certification to both inspire consumer confidence AND to get feedback from inspectors. ALI inspectors have literally seen it all, so we would be foolish not to adopt their specialized perspective. By employing a third party organization like ALI, we ensure that we don’t get stuck in a bubble, “blinded by our own brilliance,” as they say. Why would we pass on an opportunity to make our products even better?
Some people are okay with taking a risk–particularly if they just plan on using a lift for their home instead of commercial garages where liability is greater. Or if they know exactly what a bad weld looks like. Or how to spot a potential weakness in a design. That’s fine, the choice exists and automotive enthusiasts will decide with their dollars, as they always have. As for us at BendPak, we just want to ensure we’ve done all we can. The rest is up to you guys.
We look at it this way: no one is ever going to walk away thinking, “Man, I really wish I would have gotten a NON-certified lift, instead.”
Anyways, head over to Piper’s GarageJournal poll for a really great summary of all the viewpoints on this topic. It’s worth a full read, all the way to the bottom.