If you’re a car enthusiast or a mechanic, you’ve likely heard of wheel alignment hoists. But what are they, and how do they work?
This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about wheel alignment hoists, including how they work and why they are important for proper vehicle maintenance.
What is a Wheel Alignment ?
A wheel alignment is an automotive tool used to adjust the castor, toe and camber on a vehicle to align the car. It can also be used for other purposes such as changing tyres, inspecting brakes, checking shock absorbers, and general servicing.
An alignment consists of four posts which are held together by a front and rear cross member and two runways. They have two slip plates at the rear of the runways, and moveable infill plates at the front with turntables for the front wheels to sit on. They may also come with rolling jacks which allows the technician to lift the vehicle up off the runway if any suspension work needs to be done. An alignment hoist could also be a scissor lift, which takes up less floor space and comes in a low profile version to allow lowered vehicles to drive on to the runways.
Why Are Wheel Alignment Important ?
Wheel alignment hoists used together with an alignment machine ensures that your wheels are accurately aligned, improving both the performance and longevity of your tyres. Wheels often become misaligned by hitting potholes, bumps, kerbs, driving on uneven surfaces and through general wear and tear. It is therefore essential to maintain accurate alignment of your wheels, to ensure their quality and performance remains optimal.
Additionally, if your vehicle isn’t properly aligned, it can cause excessive tyre wear and the vehicle pulling left or right. If the steering wheel is off centre this may lead to premature wear of parts such as ball joints and tie rods. Ultimately, having your vehicle’s suspension system aligned with a wheel alignment hoist will help keep your car running safely and efficiently for many years to come!
How to Choose the Right Hoist for Wheel Alignment ?
Performing a wheel alignment is an important part of any vehicle maintenance schedule. For the highest level of accuracy and safety, it is essential to have the right hoist for the job. Consider these criterias before purchasing so that you can rest assure that you have chosen a reliable hoist for all your wheel alignment needs! But with so many different hoists on the market, how do you know which suits your needs?
Capacity and Size
Important factors to consider when selecting a hoist for a wheel alignment includes vehicle capacity and size, as well as facility layout and available space. You need to ensure that the hoist can handle the weight and dimensions of most vehicle’s wheel base length, as well as any additional equipment or tools that might be needed during an alignment job. When selecting, consider the maximum lift capacity and total platform size. Your choice of four post or scissor lift may rely on the layout of your facility.
Ease of Use
Another important factor to consider is the ease of use. You want to ensure that you select a hoist with user-friendly features such as adjustable height settings, intuitive controls, and automatic shutoff in an emergency.
You should also check that it has sufficient clearance between the platform and crossbars so that technicians can easily access all four wheels without worrying about hitting their heads or bending over too far. It will help ensure a smooth and efficient process during each wheel alignment job.
Last but not least, make sure that you select a hoist that comes with all necessary safety features, such as an overload protection system, non-slip pads on the platform, and easy-to-read control panels with clearly labelled buttons or levers.
It’s also important to choose one that meets all applicable industry standards to ensure optimal performance and prevent accidents or injuries caused by faulty equipment.
How Do You Use A Wheel Alignment ?
Using a wheel alignment hoist is relatively straight forward but requires patience and attention to detail.
First, drive the vehicle onto the runways of the hoist, stop short of the front turntables and leave vehicle in neutral.
Next, roll vehicle onto the front turntables and remove securing pins from turntables.
Next, put wheel chocks on rear tyres to stop it rolling forward or backwards, and release securing pins from rear slip plates.
Finally, raise the hoist and make sure that you stop the hoist onto its first lock to ensure hoist is level.