This is one of most frequent questions we hear. Unfortunately, there is not one single answer that is correct for all customers.
There are many factors that will determine the best place to mount your two post lift. If you have unlimited garage space, then there is really no restriction as to where you can install your lift…assuming you have the correct ceiling height and an adequate amount of space in front of and behind the columns.
The question about where to position the lift becomes relevant when the customer does not have unlimited floor space. (Especially bay length)
One thing to consider is that it is possible to stand the columns up without anchoring them. If you are restricted in the amount of space you have, our suggestion is that you stand up your columns in the approximate area that you think you want your lift and then walk around the lift area – to see if the space available is sufficient for your needs – before you anchor the columns in place.
Follow up questions to the above question:
How far from the front wall should I put the columns?
What about cracks in my concrete; will the anchor bolts hold?
How close can I drill to the edge of my concrete floor and still be safe?
How Far Should The Columns Be Set From The Front Wall?
If your lift has asymmetric arms, then we recommend the center of the columns should be set about 9-10 feet off the front wall. If your lift has symmetric arms, then we recommend that the center of your columns should be about 12 feet off the front wall.
If your lift has either the Atlas exclusive super symmetric arms or the versa-metric arms , then we recommend to install the center of the lift columns about 10 feet off the front wall. The versatility of the above arms will allow the customer to “fudge” the position of the vehicle to allow the owner to walk around the front or back of the vehicle.
If a vehicle is to be asymmetrically positioned on the lift, then 30% of the vehicle will be in front of the columns and 70% of the vehicle will be positioned to the rear of the columns.
If your work bay is only 25 feet long, and the vehicle is 18 feet long, the front part of the vehicle will be about 4-5 feet in front of the columns. If your columns are about 9 feet from the front wall, you will have about 4 feet of space between the hood of the car and the front wall.
If the vehicle is to be symmetrically positioned on the lift, then 50% of the vehicle will be in front of the lift and 50% behind the column. If the vehicle is 18 feet long, then there will be about 3 feet between the front of the vehicle and the front wall.
Important Things To Consider:
If you have a service bay that is 25 feet long and you are lifting a dually crew cab with an eight foot bed (total length of 23 feet)…you will have only one foot to spare from each end of the truck.
If you weigh over 500 lbs., and your pant waist size is 67, then the three feet that you have allowed in front of the columns may not be adequate.
If you have a $20,000.00 tool box that is the size of a small home, you may need additional space between the front of the vehicle and the front wall.
We would strongly recommend standing the columns up in your bay and then driving the longest vehicle that you think you would lift between the columns into a position that would allow the lift arms to reach the correct lifting points. If you can position this largest vehicle in a “safe” lifting position (and still have enough room to maneuver), then all smaller vehicles should be a piece of cake.
When in doubt, let common sense prevail.
Cracks In The Concrete…Will They Affect The Stability Of My Lift?
Cracks come in all sizes. Once again…use common sense. Is it really a crack or is it an expansion joint? How deep is the crack? Is the crack a result of “another pour” that resulted in bad adhesion to the first pour?
Most of our above ground lifts (2-post) require 4 inch deep cement with 3000 PSI integrity.
The bottom line is this:
The bolts are what hold the lift to the concrete. The bolts provided with our above ground lifts will do their job, if your concrete has not been compromised. If you think your concrete is not suitable. You may need to pour new concrete pad areas where your columns will be mounted.
There is also an epoxy available that helps to secure the bolts into concrete that may have small cracks or imperfections.
When you drill the holes, pound in the anchor bolts, and tighten the nuts, you will get a real good idea of whether the bolts are doing their job.
As the nut screws onto the bolt threads, the head of the bolt (in the concrete) begins to swell against the sides of the hole and this provides the “adhesion” for the bolts to stay anchored.
How Close To The Edge Of The Concrete Can I Drill?
We really cannot answer that question without all the facts. Is the concrete only a “slab” or was this concrete poured inside a “footing”? What is the thickness of the concrete?
If you drill too close to the edge, the concrete will break apart.
A concrete slab will be more susceptible to breaking at the edges than concrete that is poured inside a footing.
Rule of thumb would be to drill no closer than 6-8 inches from the edge.