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When something is as low maintenance as an auto lift, you don’t really notice when it’s operating correctly. That’s just what it does. Until it doesn’t.


Lift downtime can mean shop downtime, and that’s something nobody wants – not you, not your mechanics and definitely not your customers. That’s why it pays (literally) to take the steps to reduce lift downtime. Here’s what you can do:

1. Choose a Lift That’s Built to Last

Step one in reducing downtime is choosing the right lift to begin with. Set yourself up for success by opting for one that’s durable and well-built, with certifications to prove it. Look for:

  • A model with ALI/ETL certification
  • ISO-9001 certification in the manufacturing facility
  • Excellent warranty coverage
  • A time-tested reputation for quality
  • Long-term support with easy access to genuine parts 

2. Make Sure It’s Installed Properly

Maintaining your lift starts on day one. The first step is to make sure it’s installed the right way. Rotary Authorized Installers (RAIs) can ensure our lifts are put in and set up correctly. After that, everyone who will operate the lift needs to be trained to use it. Your distributor can provide an initial demonstration for current employees. Any new employees need to have hands-on training as well to ensure they’re using it safely and appropriately.

3. Use the Right Lift for the Job

It’s important to stay within the given weight limits of a lift. Never cut corners and exceed the stated capacity. Doing so can seriously damage the lift – not to mention the vehicle or the lift operator. Even if it does seem to work at first, you’re probably causing unseen damage, which is sure to be a problem down the road.

4. Only Use Approved Adapters

Stick to the adapters made by the manufacturer, specifically for your lift. Using homemade adapters or ones intended for a different lift can really backfire. DIY or retrofitted adapters won’t work as well, and they’ll take a toll on the equipment by causing imbalance and distributing weight and pressure incorrectly. All that can lead to breakage, excessive wear and tear over time and even dropped vehicles.

5. Schedule Lift Inspections with an ALI-Certified Inspector

Plan to have each of your lifts inspected annually. A certified inspector will make sure the lift is working properly and safely. Along with being required by the ANSI/ALI ALOIM:current edition, the national standard covering vehicle lift operation, inspection and maintenance, these periodic checks will ensure your lifts will keep on lifting. To find a Rotary Lift-affiliated certified inspector near you, see our current list.

It takes some effort and planning to maintain your auto lift, but it’s well worth the time. When you fend off downtime, you’re ensuring your shop stays up and running – and that you’re generating income.

Download the light duty lift buyer’s guide for more info on choosing the right lift for your shop.