Page 1

BUSRIDEMAINTENANCE.COM

THE EXCLUSIVE MAINTENANCE RESOURCE FOR THE TRANSIT AND MOTORCOACH INDUSTRY

Lift design, safety and maintenance


Table of Contents About Mohawk Lifts

3

What constitutes a good heavy-duty lift?

4

By Steve Perlstein

Five crucial tips for safe lifting & compliance

5

By Steve Perlstein

Maintaining a lift

6

By Steve Perlstein

Choosing the right lift for the job

7

By Steve Perlstein

2

BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | M O H A W K L I F T S

busridemaintenance.com


MOHAWK LIFTS Mohawk, the leader in lift technology, offers environmentally safe above ground garage lifts ranging from 6,000 to 240,000 pound capacities and many lift accessories. Since 1981 Mohawk has manufactured the highest quality, safest auto, bus and truck garage lifts available. We say this with confidence because we have thousands of lifts in the field today that are 25+ years old, and still used every day and will still be used for years to come. Mohawk is the #1 lift supplier for all government, state, utility, and fleet lifting requirements. Mohawk’s popularity is based on a combination of safety systems, design, construction, and the most inclusive warranty in the lift industry. Mohawk Lifts are proudly designed, welded, and manufactured in the U.S.A. Mohawk Lifts factory is located in upstate N.Y. and has grown to employ 75 people. Mohawk also helps to support many U.S. based companies by purchasing products throughout the U.S.A. Mohawk supports many distributors throughout the U. S that sell our products and have our products in stock and ready to ship. Purchasing products made in the U.S.A is important because it helps to support the U.S economy and ensure future parts and service availability. Also known as the “Mohawk Family” Mohawk is extremely grateful for their devoted employees and distributors. Mohawk Lift’s customers are those lift buyers seeking the lowest cost of ownership vs. the cheapest lift. That’s because Mohawk Lifts are built to last forever. Mohawk customers include General Motors, The Department of Defense, the FBI, Verizon Telephone, United Airlines, The U.S. Post Office, General Service Administration, as well as hundreds of utilities, thousands of private fleets, car dealerships, and repair garages.

Our Products Mohawk manufactures two post garage lifts scissor lifts, turf lifts, four-post lifts, mobile column lifts, parallelogram lifts, many specialty items and lift accessories. Mohawk is one of the few lift manufacturers whose products have passed rigid third party compliance testing to the most current ANSI/ALI ALCTV to meet the one and only nationally recognized safety standard for vehicle lifts. Certification of ANSI compliance has become important to lift specifiers & users. Demand certification by looking for the ALI Certified and ETL Listed marks. For more information on lift safety please visit the Mohawk Safety Section to watch our new safety presentation. Mohawk’s hydraulically equalized two post lifts (U.S. Patent #4500071) allow the overhead hydraulic lines to be set at any height or routed in-floor, allowing full lifting of all tall trucks and vans. All Mohawk two post lifts incorporate all position mechanical safety locks in both columns, infinite position hydraulic safeties, truck adaptors as standard equipment, a 25 year structural, 10 year mechanical, plus limited lifetime cylinder seal warranty. Mohawk columns are constructed of 3/4” thick “ ” shaped forklift mast sections. All Mohawk carriages ride on 16 double sealed self-lubricating steel ball bearing rollers (not plastic slide blocks). These design features give the Mohawk lift an infinitely longer life cycle than other lifts and make Mohawk lifts the heaviest built lifts in the industry.

busridemaintenance.com | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE

3


FOCUS ON:

Heavy-Duty Lifts

What constitutes a good heavy-duty lift? By Steve Perlstein When a transit vehicle or motorcoach needs to be serviced, agencies and operators want to be sure the lift that is being used to service the vehicle is safe and also efficient so the vehicle can return to operation. Before purchasing a heavy duty lift, such as mobile columns, a four-post or parallelogram, operators should determine it is safe and properly designed, efficient and will provide longevity in a maintenance facility. As mobile column lifts are common (because they can be moved from one service bay to another) in the maintenance of motorcoaches, commuter, and shuttle buses, let’s focus on the features to look for before purchasing. One of the most important things to look at is the column construction. Are the columns made out of fork lift mast or bent sheet metal? Fork lifts are designed to go up and down continuously with a heavy load and not wear out, which is exactly what operators want for their vehicle lift when they are lifting 35,000 pounds. Also very important to determine is if the mobile column has 22-inch long forks to raise both rear tires on the vehicle and if so, how much is the capacity decreased by? With vehicles that have heavy rear axles, if the rear lifting capacity goes from 36,000 pounds down to 24,000, that may be insufficient for some vehicles. Shorter forks that don’t grab both rear tires can dangerously over-pressurize the rear tire’s maximum load rating. The efficiency of the lift is also important to consider, since the faster operators are able to get the vehicle out of the shop, the faster it can return to generating revenue. When comparing mobile hydraulic lifts and screw-drive lifts, look at the total cycle time. For a hydraulic lift, based upon four raises per day 200 days per year, operators spend approximately spend 26 hours a year lifting and lowering the lift. Doing the same for a screw lift, operators would spend an additional 54 hours per year. Assuming a $75/hour overhead, that’s a $4,050 time savings! What would your shop do with that additional 54 hours? Heavy duty drive-on lifts, like four posts and parallelograms, are advantageous in the fact that no time has to be spent positioning swing arms or placing forks against the tires before the vehicle can be lifted. Just drive on and begin working. Four posts are great for preventative maintenance and adjustable runways accommodate any wheelbase. Options such as rolling jacks can be used to raise the tires off the tracks for tire and axle service. In general, no matter which type of lift you are considering, you

4

BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | M O H A W K L I F T S

should consider where the lift is manufactured. This includes where it was both welded and assembled. Years ago most vehicle lifts were much heavier built and also lasted much longer with less necessary repairs. Having service support in the U.S. if your lift needs to be repaired is crucial. A motorcoach that cannot be repaired due to a down lift costs the company revenue. Investing in a lift that may have a higher initial price is worth it when considering the safety and quality of a more expensive lift, downtime you may experience if you purchase a lift that will often need parts replaced. Instead, the total cost of ownership should be evaluated. Someone once said that “if you are going to spend less money on some of the equipment in the shop, spend less on the equipment you stand beside instead of the equipment you stand under.” Before purchasing a heavy duty lift for your maintenance facility, evaluate all facets of the lift, including the quality, productivity and how long it will last in your facility. Investing in a higher quality lift that is safe for your technicians to work under for the next 20 years is worth the slightly higher cost. While a lower priced lift may seem like a better choice, it may cost more over the long term. Steve Perlstein serves as sales manager at Mohawk Lifts, Amsterdam, NY. Visit the company online at www.mohawklifts.com.

A motorcoach that cannot be repaired due to a down lift costs the company revenue.

busridemaintenance.com


FOCUS ON:

Heavy-Duty Lifts

Five crucial tips for safe lifting & compliance Whether it’s using two-post lifts for cars and light trucks or parallelograms, mobile columns or in-ground lifts for medium to heavy-duty vehicles, follow these basic rules. by Steve Perlstein If there were an incident in your garage involving a vehicle lift, the OSHA investigator would have three broad questions: What did you know? When did you know? What did you do about it? Following these rules is the key to keeping vehicle lifts at the highest possible safety level, sending technicians home safely at the end of each shift and avoiding write-ups or noncompliance fines. 1. Buy certified equipment and options There’s only one nationally recognized safety standard for vehicle lifts: ANSI-ALI/ALCTV, administered by the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI/ETL). ETL testing labs verify that a manufacturer’s lifts meet the national safety standard for vehicle lifts. The ALI working through ETL testing procedures involves rigorous third-party testing to verify manufacturers comply with current ANSI requirements as well as the International Building Code, which almost every state requires local governments to follow. To verify equipment status, look for the gold ALI/ETL certification tag next to the lift’s control functions. Although certification is good for the life of the lift, older models may not meet the most current standards, which typically change every five to seven years. Some lifts and options that were certified in 2000 wouldn’t pass the 2012 standard. Beware that using an uncertified option or accessory voids the lift’s certification. ALI/ETL standards for Operation, Inspection, and Maintenance (ALOIM 8. Replacement Parts) and Installation and Service (ALIS 6.2.6 Repair Service Parts) require all accessories, such as rolling jacks, truck adaptors, lighting for runway lifts, and special lifting pads to be certified. 2. No locks = liability There’s a phrase, “Never use a jack without a jack-stand.” The same is true for vehicle lifts. Always raise the vehicle and then lower it onto the lift’s mechanical locks as required by ANSI. Refer to ALI safety manual Lifting it Right or the manufacturer’s operating instructions for detailed information. When walking through the shop, make sure techs are using the proper procedure. An easy way to visually verify the locks are being used is to include a weight gauge. The weight gauge must be made by the same manufacturer to ensure it’s properly calibrated to the lift cylinder size. If the weight gauge on a two-post reads anything but “0”, the tech in that bay has not lowered the lift onto the mechanical locks.

3. It’s easy to overload Manufacturers of the most common two-post, side-byside lift models mandate that none of the four swing arms be overloaded. For example: Many people would think that a 12,000 pound lift that’s loaded with an 11,500 pound paratransit vehicle isn’t near capacity. They would be wrong. The paratransit vehicle has a front axle weight of 4,500 pounds and a back axle weight of 7,000 pounds. The per-arm capacity of a 12,000 pound-rated lift is 3,000 pounds. If the heavier rear end of a vehicle weighs 7,000 pounds, each swing arm needs a minimum capacity of 3,500 pounds for safe lifting. Multiply this by four swing arms and the minimum capacity of the lift for this vehicle should be 14,000 pounds. It’s easy to see why two-post, side-by side lifts are often overloaded, even though the total lift capacity hasn’t been exceeded. 4. Inspect equipment annually ANSI/Automotive Lift Institute ALCTV Standard for Automotive Lifts – “Safety Requirements for Construction, Testing, and Validation” requires technicians to perform a daily operational safety check. The code also requires an annual inspection by a qualified individual. Failing to do so exposes your agency to liabilities that could be associated with an injury if an accident were to happen. Contact the manufacturer or garage equipment sales company to schedule an inspection. 5. Training and testing Like any product, lifts vary in style, type, capability, longevity, and warranty. But ANSI/ALCTV regulations – and all 21 ALI certified manufacturers- suggest annual maintenance and technician training to remain in compliance with safety regulations. ANSI requires technicians to be trained annually in proper lift use. This may seem unnecessary, but think of everyone who drives a forklift in your facility. Every year the operators watch a safety video and take a test. The test results are added to each employee’s personnel file for documentation in case of a forklift incident. The same applies to vehicle lifts. Contact the Automotive Lift Institute, your lift supplier or a local lift inspection company for a copy of the 20-minute Lifting it Right video hosted by legendary NASCAR driver Richard “The King” Petty and his son, Kyle. The course can now also be accessed online at: http://www.autolift.org/store.php#liftingitright.

busridemaintenance.com | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE

5


FOCUS ON:

Heavy-Duty Lifts

MAINTAINING A LIFT Tips and best practices that ensure optimum performance and safety at all times By Steve Perlstein Ensuring vehicle lifts are performing at optimal performance and safety levels helps guarantee motorcoaches, paratransit, commuter and shuttle buses spend less time in the shop and more time on the street. Vehicle lifts must be maintained properly so techs can leave safely after each shift. Following these tips and best practices is the key to optimum performance and safety at all times. Each lift type has efficiencies that provide increased productivity and performance. For example, there are two types of mobile column lifts: screw drive or hydraulic drive. While a screw-drive lift takes six minutes for a full up/down cycle, hydraulic mobiles take as little as two minutes for a full cycle. If a technician raises and lowers the lift four times per day over 200 days, there is a 54-hour time savings by using the hydraulic mobile lift. If the internal overhead shop rate is $75 per hour, the difference in these two types of lifts is $4,050 per year. Now multiply this over five years. What would an extra $20,250 mean to your department or an extra 270 hours of productive repair time for your techs? When it comes to maintaining mobile-column lifts, some require more frequent maintenance and parts to be replaced than others. For screw-drive lifts it is recommended that once a month the main screw is checked to make sure it is receiving grease and that the lube cup is filled with grease. As most know, grease builds up and can attract dust and dirt. With a directdrive mobile lift, no grease is required nor would any expensive drive screws ever need to be replaced. To safely lift a vehicle using mobile columns, check to be sure the forks are fully supporting both rear tires. If not, the rear tire’s maximum load rating is being dangerously over-pressurized. Some manufacturers have 22-inch long forks available to accommodate floatation or dual rear tires, while others only offer 12 inches. Also make sure the column capacity and each lifting point can accommodate the vehicle being lifted. Regardless of which type of mobile column is being used, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations. Additional resources for safe lifting can also be found on the Automotive Lift Institute’s (ALI) website (www.autolift.org), including the Periodic Lift Inspection Checklist. The checklist goes through all lift types and what to check, such as examining all accessible structural components and electrical wiring. The ALI site is also the place to locate a Certified Lift Inspector by zip code. According to ALI President R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman, “the Inspector Program provides third6

BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | M O H A W K L I F T S

Optimally-performing lifts ensure that motorcoaches spend less downtime in the shop.

party assurance that an ALI Certified Lift Inspector has been tested and proven competent to thoroughly inspect an installed vehicle lift and report on its suitability for continued use and/or the need for maintenance or repair.” In addition to mobile columns, four post and parallelogram lifts are used to lift heavy-duty vehicles like motorcoaches. Both of these lift types allow vehicles to simply be driven onto the lift without having to position the mobile lifts. Before purchase, make sure the approach ramps and tracks will accommodate the vehicles that are going to be lifted. Common options purchased in conjunction with four-post lifts, like rolling jacks or track light kits must also be certified to maintain the lift’s certification. If the option is not listed on www.autolift.org then it is not certified. High reach fixed jack stands must also be certified in accordance with ANSI/ASME PASE (ASME PASE has replaced ASME PALD). A vehicle lift helps your fleet vehicles get back onto the street, so make sure it is being inspected and properly maintained per the manufacturer’s recommendations and is certified to the ANSI/ALI ALCTV-2011 standard (along with any options that are also being used on the lift). Making sure your lift is functioning properly and safely — it will not only protect techs but will extend the life of the lift and prevent downtime. Steve Perlstein serves as sales and marketing manager for Mohawk Lifts, Amsterdam, NY. Mohawk, a leader in lift technology, offers environmentally safe above ground garage lifts ranging from 6,000 to 240,000 pound capacities and many lift accessories. Visit them online at www.mohawklifts.com. Get the full story by reading the Mohawk Lifts eBook at www.busride.com/ebooks

busridemaintenance.com


By Steve Perlstein

Determining which lift is right for the job not only dictates which types of vehicles can be serviced in the facility, but can also ultimately affect the shop’s productivity and bottom line. Each lift type has advantages and may be better suited for the types of vehicles and maintenance and repairs that take place most often. Evaluating the following factors will ensure you purchase the right lift for your shop. Most lift manufacturers offer a site survey to make sure the right lift is being ordered, there is adequate concrete on the floor to safely bolt down a lift, adequate electricity to operate the lift and enough ceiling height with no obstructions (in order to fully raise all vehicles). This is important to take advantage of because, for example, once a four post lift with 30 foot tracks is delivered, it is too late to realize there is only room for 25 feet. If the repair facility is not conducive to bolting down a lift, which is required for four posts and parallelograms, mobile column lifts are a good alternative. Not only do mobiles offer the flexibility of movement from one bay to another (or out of the way completely when not in use), they can be used for brake service with the addition of a chassis lifting beam or use of low, mid or high rise support stands. These options permit the vehicle to be raised by the frame and leave the wheels hanging free. While mobile lifts do offer flexibility, four posts have their benefits, especially if alignments and quick preventative maintenance are done often at the facility. Additionally, as all shops are concerned with productivity, it is important to evaluate which lifts are more productive than others. Drive-on lifts offer the ability for the technician to immediately start working on the coach without having to position the forks (as would have to be done with mobile columns). Four post or parallelograms also come available with track lights, which give the technicians a clear view of potential problems. This option not only benefits the techs to help them do their jobs better, but reduces the potential

Parallelogram lifts must be bolted down in the shop.

for a vehicle leaving the shop with unseen issues (and having future disruptions in service). If the lift will be in a wash bay, ask about galvanization, which holds up in corrosive environments. Also to be considered is whether the lift is certified to the current ANSI/ALI ALCTV standard, which is the one and only nationally recognized standard for vehicle lifts and options. In order for a lift to be certified, it must pass rigorous third party mechanical, electrical and load testing. To determine if a lift has received certification, go to the Automotive Lift Institute website at www.autolift.org. If a lift or lift option is not listed on the website it is not certified. Considering the facility where the lift will be installed and possible constraints is imperative to making sure the correct lift is chosen. Most manufacturers offer drive-on lifts with varying track lengths to accommodate the layout of the shop and vehicles being worked on. If a site survey is not done, make sure to communicate any floor or other restrictions that would rule out a certain lift type. Most importantly, check www.autolift.org to make sure the lift and lift options are certified and passed third party testing! Steve Perlstein has been with Mohawk Lifts for 34 years. His previous experience in family repair shops provided him with both technical and lift knowledge for the motorcoach industry. Visit www.mohawklifts.com

busridemaintenance.com | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE

7

Lift design, safety and maintenance  

A new eBook presented by Mohawk Lifts

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you