Auto Service World
News   November 30, 2009   by CARS Magazine

Dont Let Inspector Clouseau Near Your Vehicle Lifts

Madison, Ind. (Nov. 30, 2009) – All lift inspectors are not created equal. Considering that the safety and productivity of your shop’s technicians ride on your lifts, you want only a qualified lift inspector to make sure the equipment is functioning properly. But how do you know if you’re getting Sherlock Holmes instead of Inspector Clouseau?


Many provincial regulations require that vehicle lifts be professionally inspected by “qualified lift inspectors” at least once a year, but there are no official lift inspection licensing or certification programs in Canada. Some guidance is provided by the ANSI standard covering vehicle lift operation, maintenance and inspection, ANSI/ALI ALOIM-2008, which is incorporated into several of the regulations. It offers a list of minimum standards for qualified lift inspectors.


“We understand that there is a need for independent vehicle lift inspection and that there currently are varying levels of lift inspector experience and qualification,” says R.W. “Bob” O’Gorman, president of the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI), the independent trade association for the North American lift industry. “The association is currently working toward the development of a program for lift inspection resources. But for now, it’s a buyer-beware environment.” ALI recommends contacting the lift manufacturer to find a qualified lift inspector.


At a minimum, in order to be considered qualified under the ANSI lift inspection standard, a lift inspector must meet the following requirements:


Knowledge of personal safety practices necessary to perform routine and periodic inspections of existing equipment.
Familiarity with industry terminology, including the terms defined and used in the ANSI/ALI ALCTV (current edition) lift safety standards.
The ability to read and understand equipment manuals, drawings and parts lists.
Knowledge of the purpose and function of all components, devices and accessories commonly employed on automotive lifts.
Working knowledge of electrical and electronic control circuit principles as applied to the operation of pumps, motors, valves and switches.
Working knowledge of mechanical principles as applied to structures, machines, mechanisms and the effects of traction on wire ropes, chains and sheaves.
Working knowledge of hydraulic principles as applied to the operation of valves, pumps, cylinders and piping.
Working knowledge of pneumatic principles as applied to the operation of valves, compressors, cylinders, pressure vessels, air-bags, bellows and piping.
Knowledge of the many and varied types and styles of automotive lifts, their uses, and any limitations or restricted applications pertaining thereto.

Vehicle lift manufacturer Rotary Lift suggests that maintenance managers also ask representatives of any lift service and inspection company under consideration about the firm’s lift inspection/maintenance experience, insurance coverage, OE parts availability and factory training.


“In the past, maintenance managers have had to roll the dice when choosing someone to inspect their lifts,” says Ron Lainhart, Rotary Lift parts and service manager. “Unfortunately, there are people out there calling themselves ‘lift inspectors’ and performing lift inspections even though they do not meet the requirements outlined in the ANSI standard. But now, through Rotary Lift’s new Inspect to Protect™ program, shop owners need only to make a single phone call to be connected with qualified, local lift inspectors through the Rotary Authorized Installer and Distributor network.”


To find a qualified lift inspector in your area through the Rotary Lift Inspect to Protect program, call (800) 640-5438 or visit


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