Can an 8,000 LB. Lift Safely Lift 8,000 LBS.?

This question would appear to have a very simple answer: 8000 LB. However, that answer is not the COMPLETE answer.

A two post lift has four arms (symmetric or asymmetric design) that are meant to be positioned under the correct lifting points of the vehicle.

These four arms have an effective weight capacity of 2,000 LB each. To safely lift an 8,000 LB vehicle, the operator must position the vehicle so that each arm is supporting 2,000 LB.

Consider the following situations:

Will my 8000 LB. two post above ground lift safely lift my forklift that weighs only 6,000 LB?

Short Answer: Probably not!

A forklift has the majority of its weight located in the rear of the body. This rear weight acts as a counterweight to the front of the forklift where the load is lifted. A forklift has a weight dispersion much like a pickup truck with a load of sand or gravel in the bed. Both vehicles have a disproportionate amount of weight in the “rear end.”

A forklift that weighs 6,000 LB. may have 5,000 LB. of its weight concentrated in the back 25% of the forklift’s wheelbase.  The lift operator must position a vehicle so that the weight on any of the four arms does not exceed 25% of the total lifting capacity of the above ground lift.

Will my 8000 LB. lift safely lift my One Ton Pickup Truck?

Short Answer: Maybe

A loaded ONE TON pick truck, much like a fork lift, may have a disproportionate weight located in the back 30% of the truck’s wheel base.  The lift operator must understand that the “loaded” pick up truck will be positioned differently than that same truck without a load. Common sense is a must when using an above ground lift!

You may own a ONE TON pick up truck that weighs only 6,000 LB., but if loaded with beans or corn may weigh 8,000 LB.

Because the bed is now fully loaded, the rear end of the vehicle may weigh 5,000 LB. and the lifting points may have changed from when the truck was NOT loaded.

An 8,000 LB. lift WOULD NOT be the correct choice to lift this loaded vehicle.  You would be better served to use a 10,000 LB. lift. The 10,000 LB. above ground lift has individual lift arm weight capacities of 2,500 LB. each.


At Greg Smith Equipment Sales, we think you should consider the above situations when purchasing your new two post above ground lift.

Straight answers from the Lift Professionals at Greg Smith Equipment Sales

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