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The REAL STORY behind this Car Lift Photo that went Viral

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This article has been heavily edited from its original form.

A few things raced through our minds when we first saw the internet’s latest car lift fail. (Most of them are not safe for work.) BendPak has been in the car lift industry for over 30 years, so this would not be the first mistake we’ve encountered. Only this time, the photo went viral, with BendPak’s name clearly in the shot. Most of our customers are excellent when it comes to safely installing their car lifts. If they aren’t able to do the installation themselves, they hire a certified BendPak installer. This photo SEEMED to represent the exception, not the rule.

But we were WRONG.

Text message sent of car parked under BendPak four-post car lift, and left column has anchor bolts sticking out of the ground.
Unsafe… or just unfinished…

So, let’s clarify something right off the bat: no BendPak installer would EVER install a car lift like this. Today was a reminder of a hard truth. The internet can be full of foul play. This photo popped up at least 24 hours before we decided to comment on it, and it was really gaining steam across different channels. After we posted this article as a way  clarify our position on dangerous-looking installations, Chris, the owner of the lift, commented directly on our BendPak Facebook page. He posted this image and commented (below photo) on it:

Car under BendPak car lift with custom blocks under posts.
The REAL, final car lift installation

“Gotta love the internet. This pic must have been taken minutes before they (professional company) laid the slab concrete pedestals which can easily hold up the lift. No car ever went on this rack pre-concrete. Also worth noting that those bolts are 12″ long into the foundation plus [and now have] concrete pedestals.The rack is 100% level and we have custom ramps that work perfectly. Hope everyone can remain calm now…”

We definitely feel calm now. While it’s always safest to drill anchor bolt holes directly into the flooring, his custom installation should be fine. Anchor bolts are designed to fasten themselves deep into concrete. Once the bolts are turned in the concrete, they wedge themselves against the bolt hole. They’re now basically part of the concrete. The force of a vehicle lifting and lowering on the lift is dispersed throughout the columns and the concrete. When the bolts are sticking up in the air, you’re not only losing the surface area of the base plate, you’re applying force directly to loose bolts that aren’t designed to handle load in that manner. It’s quite to know the car lift was installed with all this in mind!

Chris, we all owe you an apology! We were just worried about your safety, as well as the safety of others. You did what you were supposed to do, as did your installation team. We’ll make sure to do a better job tracking our sources in the future. You never know what’s real and what isn’t these days, and in this case, we clearly came to the wrong conclusion. Hopefully the internet helps get the word out. False alarm. This lift looks great.

Please see Step 15, Page 26 in this HD-9 four-post lift instruction manual for proper anchor bolt drilling/installation.

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