Choosing the Best 2-Post Lift for Your Needs

Spend five minutes reading this article and you will have a much better understanding as to what 2-post lift best suits your needs. Whether you buy the lift from us or a competitor, we want you to buy a lift that will “more than do” what you expect it to do!

Our recommendations are based upon our experiences from selling thousands of two post lifts over the last 30+ years.

Rules of the thumb (and some sage advice):

If you have adequate ceiling height, buy an overhead lift for greater stability. The bar across the top helps add rigidity to the columns when lifting a vehicle.

If you want to lift a one-ton diesel dually with a load of pea gravel in the rear end…the PV-10P is the smallest (least expensive lift) you can buy from us. Take out the load of pea gravel and we will sell you the OH-10X.

When you ask us (or we ask you) “what is the largest vehicle you want to lift”…what we mean (and what you want) is: “What is the largest vehicle you want to raise all the way up…walk under the vehicle…wrench on the underside of the vehicle…and not have your knees start shaking”.

Do you have neighbors that will be “borrowing your lift” ?  If so, you need to buy a little larger capacity lift to compensate for their “inadequacies”

Do you have employees that will be “using the lift”? If so, see above answer.

Important question to ask yourself: “What is the largest vehicle you are going to lift”? Not what the vehicle weighs, but what type of vehicle. Wheel base lengths are important. Quad cab pickups with 8 foot beds require a longer “arm reach” than a Ford Fiesta.

We don’t want to hear you rationalize.. “Hey, I am only going to lift my diesel dually once in a while. MOSTLY I AM JUST LIFTING CARS AND LIGHT TRUCKS”. This statement is like the guy proposing to his girlfriend….”Let’s get married…I only want to date once in awhile”. Not going to work.

One of our favorite questions: “I am sure your lifts are underrated…my truck only weighs 9200 lbs. Go ahead and sell me a 9,000 lb.” Normally a guy who asks those type of questions is the same guy who “never” would lift a loaded diesel dually on a 9,000 lb. lift. Actually, the power units have a hydraulic “by-pass limit switch” that will prevent an “overweight truck” from being raised.

Yes, our lifts will SUPPORT more than the rated capacity (if perfectly balanced)…BUT will NOT RAISE more than the rated lift capacity.

The simple chart below offers some guidelines as to the “lightest capacity lift” (normally the cheapest lift) that would accommodate the largest vehicle. Depth of concrete (strength to be a minimum of 3000 PSI) needs to be at least 4 inch for all lifts up to 10K capacity. For the 12K and 15K lifts, the concrete depth must be at least 6 inches.

* The chart below is to be used only as a guide line. To get all the facts, you need to call the professionals at Greg Smith Equipment Sales to find out which lift is the best for your application.


* The above chart is to be used only as a guide line. To get all the facts, you need to call the professionals at Greg Smith Equipment Sales to find out which lift is the best for your application.

True Net weight of the vehicle and balance of load in the bed of the pickup truck will affect lifting points. A diesel truck weighs considerably more than a gas truck (in the front), so “loading” a diesel truck may require different placement on the lift arms than a gas engine truck. Remember that a 10K capacity lift does not mean that the lift will lift 10,000 lbs. The 10,000 lbs rating means that each arm will lift 2500 lbs. Your vehicle needs to be positioned on the lift for the best possible equal weight distribution.

There is a difference between net (curb) weight of your vehicle and gross weight. Please read:

Curb Weight:

The curb weight of your vehicle is the weight of the car with all of the standard equipment and amenities, but without any passengers, cargo or any other separately loaded items in it. Thus, the curb weight is the amount that the vehicle weighs when it’s resting on the curb and not in use. This is generally the standard weight that the manufacturer assigns to the car.

Gross Vehicle Weight:

The gross vehicle weight is the combined weight of the vehicle and all passengers and cargo pieces in “gross,” that is to say, in total. Gross vehicle weight is especially important if you’re driving in a delicate area or if you’re carry exceptionally heavy cargo. Gross vehicle weight is particularly important for truck drivers, who may be carrying huge quantities of cargo that might alter the total weight of the vehicle considerably.

3 Comments on “Choosing the Best 2-Post Lift for Your Needs”

  • May 19th, 2013 9:49 am
    lloyd samaroo

    Do you sell used lifts and ship to Toronto, Canada.
    Is there a price list for the lifts on the website.

  • July 13th, 2013 2:21 pm
    gary vellers

    I’m interested in purchasing a two post lift in the next month. My shop height is 12’4″ and have a 4″ concrete floor. I own a Ford F-350 diesel crew cab, which is the largest and heaviest vehicle I have.
    What is your advice on the type of lift I need?

  • November 14th, 2013 7:17 am