Auto repair shops are filled with equipment, which most of us only see as background items not currently in use. The equipment has an air of mystery about it which lends itself to the auto mechanic as well, and none more so than the automobile lift. The auto lift is the first piece of equipment most of us think of when we conjure the image of a repair shop in our minds. Auto lifts come in many shapes and designs, usually separated into two main categories depending on whether they are installed into the ground or simply on the surface.
One of the most popular is the two-post, surface mounted lift. The name of this lift says it all, really. It has two columns which are operated and synchronized either pneumatically, electronically, or mechanically. It is mounted on the surface, rather than in the ground, making installation a bit easier. The lift contacts the car on the frame.
Other types of surface mounted lifts include scissor lifts and parallelogram lifts. Scissor lifts are drive on lifts which raise the vehicle in a straight, vertical direction, distinguishable from the very similar parallelogram lift. As stated once again in the name, they use a scissor motion to raise the platform holding the car.
Some repair shops will have in-ground lifts. In an in-ground lift, the driving mechanism is located under the garage floor. They can have anywhere from one to three columns depending on the size and weight of the automobile being lifted.