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Close Call in my Shop today!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by TinShed, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. TinShed
    Joined: Mar 3, 2011
    Posts: 547


    I work alone in a small auto repair shop I own. Today, while lifting a car on a Rotary brand car hoist one of the hydraulic lines burst. I will say thank God for the safety stops built into the hoist, they saved the car and possibly me. The moral of the story...check the safety stops on your lifts. I cannot count how many times over the years that I have seen the safetys bypassed or broken in shops or garages. I have never had 1 close call till today! :(
  2. Soviet
    Joined: Sep 4, 2005
    Posts: 729


    Thank the engineer that designed the safety stop system instead.
  3. AutoArt66
    Joined: Apr 3, 2010
    Posts: 274


    Amen brother, glad your safe.... Can't be to careful!
  4. ParkinsonSpeed
    Joined: Oct 11, 2010
    Posts: 429


    I worked in a shop building dynos and they had their lift sink with the safety stops non functioning, the owner of the 2012 ZR1 was not happy.... When the lift sank it tried pulling the car in half (the rear still on the dyno that is about 30 inches high) and the front ties were connected to the lift and to the front wheels through the rim which both failed. Lots of money replacing alot of parts, in the end it took about 15 minutes to adjust the rods after it was all said and done. Totally worth the time to check everything and always over looked but have a good fire extinguisher because with fuels and light materials a small fire can spread quick while your searching for something to put it out.

  5. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    from florida

    We keep talking about how nice it would be to have a lift in our shop and then I read threads like this and rethink the whole thing. I have just never felt comfortable with a ton or two perched over my head. :eek:

  6. twisted-metal
    Joined: Apr 13, 2010
    Posts: 18

    from san jose

    I am going to set up my used "Rotary" lift tomorrow. Makes me think I should replace the hydraulic lines before I set it up.
  7. Big_John
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 333

    from Upstate NY


    This one landed right behind my son who was walking through the shop at the time.
  8. ditto
  9. Tacson
    Joined: Jul 14, 2006
    Posts: 836


    Hey Don I wholeheartedly agree. I have been around lifts and cars for almost 30 years. I have seen guys underlift pullling and prying on cars on 2 post lift when I worked at a salvage yard.

    If I did have a lift it would be four post for this picture reason above. True enough something bad could happen on a four post but I would take my chances with a four post
  10. Jimbo17
    Joined: Aug 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,778


    Thanks for posting that information.

    Working safely should always be the number one concern for all of us.

    When things go wrong they only take a matter of seconds but the recovery can take months from some very simple accidents.

  11. I had worked in a shop when the electric lifts were fairly new. Someone was raising a car up and one of the cables or something else let go and the car fell over sideways. It had to be extricated with a tow truck. I think if it was reached the point where the safety would actuate it wouldn't have fallen. Still scary when good lifts go bad.

  12. Camel
    Joined: Apr 9, 2008
    Posts: 83

    from oroville

    I'm not trying to be an a$% but, a 4 wheel drive, extended cab with a lift gate on a two post lift? Not surprised it dropped.
  13. I installed a used alignment rack a few years ago. Well worth it to have all new lines made up. I think the cost was less than $200.00.
  14. DoubleJ52
    Joined: Jul 15, 2007
    Posts: 238

    from Belton, MO

    Exactly. That is probably a 7000lb lift with more than 7000lbs on it.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 28,354


    I agree with Jimbo17, working safely should be a prime concern for all of us. We often forget to to the simple things like making that the contact points on the lift are in the right spot on the frame of the vehicle we are lifting. It looks lie whom ever lifted the silver truck that Big John posted didn't take the weight of the Tommy lift on the back into consideration when they were setting the truck on the lift.

    The old single post air over hydraulic hoists are/were the worst though. I've been around more than one that would drop several inches due to air or hydraulic leaks and around some that had the safety catch disabled "because it was too much trouble to deal with every time.
  16. b-body-bob
    Joined: Apr 23, 2011
    Posts: 475


    My first job we always sat the lift back down on the catch because it was going to go there anyway and it was best to make sure it stopped the car instead of finding out otherwise while under it.
  17. Big_John
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 333

    from Upstate NY

    Not being an a$% to me, my son used to sell cars there and never worked in the shop.

    I didn't hear the details but I believe there was some issue with the rearmost arm not locking in place. The tech had complained about it, but the management didn't do anything about it.
  18. Glad you are ok, sounds like a close one for sure. It seems odd to me when the idea of what a lift does, wigs people out. A lift is like any other piece of equipment in a shop it is nothing to be concerned over (unless you plan on being stupid with it). Have respect for it, use your brain, and pay attention to its condition. If you do those things you are more likely to not have a problem. Think about it, you wouldn't use a dull blade on an under-powered saw to cut a big ass piece of wood; why not apply the same logic to all tools and equipment. Every place I have worked at has serviced their lifts annually because the owner figured a law suit would be more expensive, and the only time there was a problem the lift wasn't being used properly.
  19. banjeaux bob
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 5,995

    banjeaux bob
    from alaska

    It all boils down to the human contribution to the situation.Rotary is one of the premium brands in hoist manufacture.There is a whole set of instructions for safe operation.

    One of them being REGULAR inspection of the hoses,cables and adjustments,retorquing the anchor bolts.etc.

    When a tech notifies management of any safety issue(hoist or other)and it is ignored,then it is the tech's responsibility to either red tag the piece of equipment or sitaution or leave.Loss of a job is not a reasonable exchange permanent damage or a dirt nap.
  20. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 47,783


    heh..... :)

    But beware the safety stops too, a friend lost the end of his thumb when he got it in the stop on his lift, when something got stuck and he was trying to fix it.
  21. bobj49f2
    Joined: Jun 1, 2008
    Posts: 1,804


    I just installed a used Manitowoc 9000 in my shop. I've never used one before so I asked a lot of questions of many different sources. friends who who have had lifts, the Garage Journal was a very valueable resource and had my newphew, who is a machanic and has worked with lifts for the last ten years, come over and give me a training course on the proper use. When you've been around a while it's sometimes hard to have some young puke show you something but with something like a lift you just have to swallow your pride and open your ears. I am lot older than my nephew and have been working on cars way before he was born but I knew lifts aren't something you just start using without proper installation and training.

    The two big pieces of advice I got from everyone, first raise the vehicle so the tires are about 6" off the ground and then grab the bumpers and rock the hell out of the car, better to find out it's not balanced 6" off the ground than 6' in the air and you under it. Second thing is to raise to the height you want and then lower down onto the safety catches. I will admit I will cut corners when it comes to some things, safety wise, but not with the lift.
  22. PinHead
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 243


    Where did it let go? Was it resting in the air, or while moving up or down?

    I will echo what others have said, the very first thing we were taught about lifts in tech school - don't ever get under a car until you've let it down onto the stops, every time, no matter what.
  23. TinShed
    Joined: Mar 3, 2011
    Posts: 547


    I have had the lift for about 8 years in good working order. It blew a line at the base of the cylinder by the floor. The car was on the way up and about 5 feet up. I called a local rotary dealer today and decided to get new cables for it just to be safe and the guy I was talking to said they never have problems and those cables and hoses should last the life of the lift. :rolleyes: I am not taking chances, my local NAPA store made both hoses new for $240.0. There was no warning at all just a snap noise and the car dropped to the safety stop and made a hell of a mess:mad:
  24. lakeroadster
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 604

    from *

    As my good friend Forest would say "Stupid is as stupid does". Perhaps a tool (screwdriver, pliers or whatever) would have been better than an appendage.

    Perhaps the term "tool" in this case is redundant?

    When it comes to lifts Rotary is top notch. Once you have one in your shop you'll wonder how you ever lived without one.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  25. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,383

    from Oregon

    Don't get too comfy withy those safety stops either! There's been more than one lift that had a safety stop failure, so stay clear while it's going up!
  26. Retro Jim
    Joined: May 27, 2007
    Posts: 3,859

    Retro Jim

    I never trust any damn lift ! I have seen enough of them that have let loose for one reason or another . Problem is , you just never know till it hits the ground !
    The ones I used when I was a mechanic back in the 70's was a piston in the front and one in the rear and you had 2 separate controllers for each piston . It lifted the car by the front end and the rear end . They were pretty good and never had any problems with them . Other than that style the other one I liked was the single center piston that lifted the car . Never had any problems with those either .
    Maybe I was just plain lucky !

    Retro Jim
  27. Scarynickname
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 151

    from Toney, Al

    Yeah, I always get a little nervous when I have a 20k lb forklift on a 25k lb lift.
  28. onlychevrolets
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 2,307


    opened the shop one morning to find a customers Kia Rio setting on top of the boss's drag car....yep. the latches where not wasn't me!!
  29. hudson48
    Joined: Oct 16, 2007
    Posts: 2,767


    I have a Direct Lift 4 post and my rules are to keep out from under until the after the car is up and I have set the safety locks and go around and check all 4 are in place.

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