You Need a Shop Lift

The Tallest “Lift” We Have Ever Installed

Verne SimonsPhotographer, Writer

The old adage says you ought to have the right tool for the job. The right tool can make repairs go quicker and easier, and generally speaking the repair will better and will last longer when the correct tool is used. But if you are like us, for years you’ve been learning how to make do with what is without a doubt the wrong tool in one way or another.

One time when making do has really been a pain in the, uh, back was when we needed to lift a vehicle off the ground to get under there and make repairs and improvements. Sure, having suspension lift helps, as do a creeper, a floor jack, and an ample supply of jackstands, but there’s a reason every repair shop across this great country uses a vehicle lift. Vehicle lifts safely and securely allow you to get under your 4x4 rigs to make repairs and improvements, and to clean stuff up. Also, now that more and more types of vehicle lifts are available, the price on this tool, either used or new, has come within reach of most people who regularly work on a 4x4. All this adds up to a story that really makes our backs feel great thanks to one of the titans of the vehicle lift industry, BendPak.

Buying a vehicle lift isn’t necessarily easy if you don’t know much about vehicle lifts, but we had done some research so we had an idea of what we wanted. A quick call to BendPak’s toll-free 800 number confirmed what we were thinking, namely a 10,000-pound two-post symmetrical lift with a top beam (BendPak also has lots of info online to help you decide what is right for you).

First, we knew we wanted a two-post lift because we change a lot of tires and do a lot of axle work. A four-post is great for transmission, exhaust, and other repairs where the tires stay on the vehicle. Second, the top beam means there will be nothing to drive over or slide transmissions/transfer cases over. From there we also decided we wanted a symmetrical lift. Unlike an asymmetrical lift, a symmetrical one allows the user to load the vehicle forwards or backwards on the lift.

From there it was just a matter of deciding how large of a lift we needed. We hemmed and hawed between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds so even the largest rigs we built would fit, but BendPak’s Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) certification (which tests structural integrity, manufacturer quality control, overload protection, and more) helped assure us that even our 3/4-ton to 1-ton trucks would be safe when up on the 10,000-pound unit.

With all this in mind, BendPak sent us the XPR-10S/10K capacity lift with an adjustable width top beam. This lift has lots of features, including dual hydraulic direct-drive cylinders for lifting, telescoping arms with drop ends, a single‐point safety release, a four‐piece 63mm stackable adapter set, and two types of pads. We then leaned on Boggs Equipment to install the lift. Check it out.