Do 4-Post Lifts Need to be Bolted Down?
The question of whether or not to bolt down a 4-post lift has been asked many times, and many answers have been given. Essentially, people want to know if lifting and lowering vehicles can put enough pressure on the columns to cause them to bow, slide, bend or otherwise create a dangerous mess.
Unlike 2-post lifts, which absolutely need to be bolted down, 4-post lifts disperse weight across a wider surface area and are engineered to lift vehicles with or without drop-in anchor bolts . The decision to bolt down a four-post lift or other parking lift is often based on personal preference, so here are a few things to consider.
Residents of California, parts of Canada and other regions worldwide beware: earthquake danger is an everyday concern. In fact, since BendPak is based in Southern California, our production facilities take special precautions to protect us (and our equipment) in the event of an earthquake. Additionally, many homeowners around here tend to bolt down their lifts.
Even in less earthquake-prone zones, professional auto shops often prefer to bolt down their equipment for increased safety, peace-of-mind for customers and possibly even insurance purposes. While BendPak lifts are extremely stable when free-standing on level ground, an earthquake that would literally knock you off your feet could also jostle a raised vehicle.
HD-9 optional caster kit
BendPak's HD-9 4-post lift can be purchased with an optional caster kit, converting your lift into a portable four-post lift that's easy to roll around the garage, even with a vehicle raised on top. The casters feature an ergonomic, foot-activated lock that lifts wheels off the ground when disengaged, so there's no chance of the wheels "slipping" out of position when not in use.
Make sure your floor is level
If you are going to leave a lift unbolted, the car lift must be completely level on your concrete. This is important no matter what, but it's especially important if you're not using anchor bolts. Additionally, if you have a caster kit, be sure all parts of your garage are level before rolling your car lift. It's pretty easy to rig up reinforced concrete blocks at each corner of the lift, so please do so if there's any slope whatsoever in your garage.
Whatever you do, rest your mind
When BendPak lifts undergo ALI/ETL testing, they are tested with and without bolts. A 9,000-lb. capacity HD-9 lift remains safe and ALI certified without bolts. That means even high-volume auto repair bays can safely lift vehicles on lifts that are not bolted into place.
If you really can't gain peace-of-mind without bolting down your equipment, then by all means, bolt it all down. There are some technicians out there who only get that "warm, comfy feeling" when they take extra precautions. If you never plan to move your 4-post, go ahead and bolt it down. If you've got the caster kit, roll on worry-free for as long as you lift. Either way, the choice is really up to you.