How to Correctly Use Alignment Lift Turnplates
If you have an alignment lift in your shop, you're going to benefit from a car lift that serves as an all-purpose storage and parking lift, as well as a tool for wheel alignments. They're extremely versatile, and they're absolutely essential for any full-service auto shop. However, there are a few things to know before loading vehicles on and off the platforms. The turnplates need to be stabilized when pulling vehicles over the loose plate, and vehicles should not be haphazardly pulled over the plates. This article covers what you need to know about correctly using your alignment lift's turnplates.
Secure the Turnplates
One of the most important aspects of alignment lift operation involves the protection of the slip-plates. To provide accurate wheel alignments, the slip-plates need to be able to move freely. However, if they slide around at the wrong time, the plates can be damaged. To keep them still, ensure the locking pins found on each turnplate are secure before pulling a vehicle onto or over the plates. There are two locking pins per plate. Next, place the rubber "popsicle stick" gap stops around the sides of each turnplate. This will provide a level surface.
Do Not Drive Over the Turnplates
Turnplates are highly specialized equipment. When your vehicle drives over them, the sheer weight and force of the vehicle can weaken, damage or break the turnplates. To properly load a vehicle for alignment or parking purposes, ALWAYS stop the vehicle before the front tires make contact with the turnplates. Furthermore, ensure the rear tires are fully level on the runways (not the angled approach ramps). Place a wheel stop behind the rear wheels to prevent the vehicle from sliding back once it is placed in neutral. Now you may gently roll the vehicle forward by hand. It may require two techs to accomplish this task safely.
Remove Lock Pins and Gap Stops
To perform an alignment, you'll need to remove each turnplate's locking pins and gap stops. This allows the slip-plate its full range of movement. Once alignment and rollback procedures are complete, put the pins and gap stops back in place. Remember, do not turn on the vehicle until the front wheels have rolled back, past the turnplates. Once the front wheels are clear of the plates and the rear wheels are still fully on the runways, stop the vehicle, put it in park and remove any remaining rear wheel stops. It is now safe to turn on the vehicle and drive off the alignment lift.
To summarize, there are two important safety steps that must be followed at all times in order to correctly use your alignment turnplates.
- Ensure the pins and rubber stops are in place when rolling a vehicle across the turnplates.
- Turn off your vehicle before rolling it over the turnplates.
Follow these two simple rules, and you're going to have years of productive use out of your BendPak alignment lift and turnplates. Always call BendPak or consult your owner's manual if you are unsure about any aspect of this article, or any other alignment procedure.