Mohawk “Lifts” the Future of Mobility with the Local Motors Olli

Mohawk Lift’s President Steve Perlstein & Business Development Manager Zach Perlstein at Local Motor’s Sales & Service Facility in National Harbor

Mohawk Lifts is excited to announce that Local Motors has chosen Mohawk’s System-1 to support assembly and service of the highly-anticipated autonomous, 100% electric, partially 3D-printed shuttle, Olli.

Olli is transforming urban mobility by offering a local travel solution for densely populated areas, including in the public spaces and urban centers where Mohawk has been doing business for nearly 40 years. Local Motors is addressing an increasingly urgent need: providing a transportation solution for the elderly and those with physical disabilities.

Local Motors’ microfactory strategy leverages Mohawk’s 10,000lb System-1 Two-Post Lift for both production and maintenance. “Having visited their facilities, Local Motors is clearly investing for the long-term,” said Mohawk President Steve Perlstein. “As with our best customers: when they invest in the future, they invest in Mohawk. When you need dependability and longevity, there’s no comparison.”

#AccessibleOlli’s 3D Printed Body and Frame Engaged with Mohawk’s System 1, 10,000lb. Two-Post Vehicle Lift

“U.S. manufacturing is at the core of Mohawk’s DNA, and it’s encouraging to see emerging companies like Local Motors manufacture domestically.” Perlstein added, “I’m excited to soon see Olli in the city and municipal garages that Mohawk has been serving for years.”

Since 1981, Mohawk has manufactured the highest quality, safest auto and truck garage lifts available. There are tens of thousands of Mohawk lifts in the field that are 25+ years old, used every day, and that will be for years to come.  Mohawk is the #1 lift supplier for all government, state, utility, and fleet lifting requirements. Mohawk’s popularity is based on a combination of safety systems, design, construction, longevity, and the most inclusive warranty in the lift industry. 

More information on Local Motors and Olli can be found at

Olli on a Mohawk System-1 at one of Local Motors’ microfactories in Chandler, AZ

The Right Lift: How lifts contribute to shop productivity

Click to download the original article as PDF

By Steve Perlstein

The type of lift chosen for a shop can dramatically impact the facility’s productivity level. For example, of the different types of mobile lifts, the faster raising and lowering hydraulic lifts—as opposed to the slower operating electromechanical lifts—can add 54 man-hours of productive repair time per year to your facility based on the one minute up/one minute down cycle time vs lifts that take three minutes up and three minutes down (54 hours assumes you raise four vehicles per day). If this is extended over five years, that’s an extra 270 hours of productive repair time.

While the previous example is specific to mobile lifts, the most common lift type is the above ground two-post frame engaging lift for light vehicles and mid-size trucks. Each time the lift is raised, the shop technicians must bend down and properly position the four individual swing arms and the sliders at the proper lifting points of the vehicle. But, what if you didn’t have to position the swing arms?

Some lift companies offer a lifting pad instead of four swing arms, since the pads speed up certain routine maintenance jobs, such as oil changes. However, these pads are also limited, as they get in the tech’s way on services. Yet, there is a solution.


The Mohawk Speedlane, unlike pad-type two-post lifts, gives shops the versatility of using the lift as a normal swing arm lift or a drive on pad lift for tire or brake service. Like a pad-type two-post lift, the Speedlane can improve turnaround time without limiting what services can be performed.

Two Post Automotive Lifts
Two-post lifts are the most common lift type, servicing small and mid-size vehicles.

Doing exhaust work and want the exhaust system to “hang” at ride level? Of course, yet a swing arm lift doesn’t allow this due to the hanging suspension. Tire engaging wheel adaptors can be added to the ends of the swing arms to speed arm placement and raise vehicles faster.

Two-post lifts are the most common lift type, servicing small and mid-size vehicles. Yet, as municipalities and landscaping fleets need to also service turf maintenance equipment, some two-post lifts have the versatility to service light vehicles, trucks, and turf equipment. Ask the manufacturer what lift options and accessories are available to assist in servicing different types of vehicles and equipment.

Mobile lifts offer the versatility of not having to dedicate a bay to a fixed position lift. When using high reach jack stands, the columns can be moved to another bay with the first vehicle remaining in the air for service. The disadvantages of mobile lifts is the few minute setup time to position columns at each tire, yet they offer the flexibility to service light vehicles, raise vehicles front to rear or, used in pairs, to service forklifts.

Having the lift manufacturer do a site survey in advance of purchasing can help to determine where the lifts should be located based on traffic flow and proximity to tool storage. The survey also ensures there is adequate concrete to safely bolt down the specific lift model, proper electricity for operation, and sufficient ceiling height to fully lift all vehicles.

Request a site survey to avoid a four-post lift with 30-ft tracks being delivered when there is only room for 25 ft. Upon completion of the site survey, one should be confident that the type of lift they have decided on will successfully work in his or her shop.


Mobile Column Vehicle Lifts
Have the lift manufacturer do a site survey in advance of purchasing to help determine where the lift should be located and ensure there is adequate concrete to safely bolt down the specific lift model.

To justify a lift purchase, the 94th Army Command needed to purchase lifts for 10 of their facilities in the northeast. The person in charge compared the time savings between using floor jacks, jack stands, and creepers vs two-post lifts. The determination was that based upon the number of vehicles being serviced, the lift purchase equated to a $140,000 cost saving in just the first year. There was a 40 minute time savings per vehicle when using a two-post lift vs jacks and creepers.

Shop efficiency is all about getting the repair job in and out of your garage faster to increase the percentage of vehicles on the road and working. Since “time is money,” keeping your fleet on the street will do the same for your operation.

Steve Perlstein has been with Mohawk Lifts for 35 years and brings the experience of growing up in the family garage.

Mohawk Awarded NASPO ValuePoint Contract for Lifts & Garage Associated Equipment

Amsterdam, NY (February 21, 2017) – Mohawk Resources Ltd. has been awarded with NASPO ValuePoint contract #05316 for vehicle lifts and garage associated equipment. In addition to the ability to purchase two post, four post, mobile column and parallelogram lifts off the contract, government agencies can also purchase Hunter’s wheel service equipment under Mohawk’s contract.

This contract was competitively bid and awarded, giving government agencies the ability to issue purchase orders directly, without the need to constantly go out to bid every time for each piece of equipment.

Steve Perlstein, Government Sales Manager at Mohawk Lifts, spoke of Mohawk’s awarded contract saying, “Mohawk has been involved as an original vendor to the WA state contract, which was used by over 34 states.”

The contract is effective through February 10, 2019 at which point there is the option for a three year extension.

About NASPO ValuePoint

NASPO ValuePoint is a unified, nationally focused cooperative aggregating the demand of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the organized US territories, their political subdivisions and other eligible entities spurring best value, innovation and competition in the marketplace.

Mohawk Can Help you Visualize Your Maintenance Facility in 3D

Using Ecdesign software, Mohawk can assist you with planning a new shop layout, or help you to optimize your current space. Based upon your requirements, a 3D layout can be created to help you visualize your facility.

In addition to lifts for service bays, the layout can include work benches, exhaust reels as well as oil and lube equipment. This is especially beneficial if you’re in the planning stages and are still determining the most productive shop setup. Large lifts, including four posts and parallelograms, require more shop space than two posts. Seeing a layout before the lift is purchased helps determine if the lift will adequately fit in the space.

Mohawk Announces Turf Kit with Dual Trough Accessory

Amsterdam, NY (September 14, 2016) – Mohawk  Lifts announces the release of a new accessory to service cars, trucks, zero turn mowers, turf equipment and four wheelers. The turf kit with dual trough has a 6,000 lb. capacity and can be used on Mohawk 10,000 through 18,000 pound two post lifts, including those lift models with optional three stage arms. The dual trough gives versatility to shops and facilities that need to service cars, pick-up trucks, as well as turf equipment without having to dedicate a service bay and lift to just one type of equipment. For additional information, contact Mohawk at 800-833-2006.

Mohawk at SEMA 2016


Mohawk Lifts will be showcasing a two post lift in booth #10154 (North Hall) at the SEMA show in Las Vegas November 1-November 4, 2016. According to the show’s website, the SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more.

The 2015 SEMA Show drew more than 60,000 domestic and international buyers.

To get more information on the show and exhibiting companies, go to

Mohawk Announces Responsive Website

Mohawk-Responsive-2postAMSTERDAM, New York (September 28, 2015) – Mohawk Lifts has launched a newly designed website with a responsive design at The new site displays content depending on the device of the user. This provides users with the ability to view product information and photos more easily.

According to Steve Perlstein, Sales Manager at Mohawk Lifts, “we have seen an increase in the number of people accessing Mohawk’s website from mobile devices and want to make the site user-friendly for those researching vehicle lifts and other garage equipment.”

The homepage provides users with links to go directly to a specific lift model without having to click through multiple pages. There are also separate tabs for architects and those looking to purchase under Mohawk’s government contracts. Each market segment is looking for a different type of information and the new site has been organized so it can be accessed directly from the homepage.

From the website users can view product brochures, specifications, CAD layouts, lift photos, and recent news. To learn more about Mohawk call 800-833-2006. You can also connect with Mohawk on Facebook at and on Twitter at
Media Contact:
Taryn Farewell
(518) 842-1431

NJPA Awards 4 Year Contract to Mohawk Lifts

njpa-award-2Staples, MN (July 21, 2015) – The National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) recently re-awarded Mohawk Lifts a nationwide 4 year contract to supply government agencies across the U.S. with Mohawk vehicle lifts. In addition to Mohawk Lifts, the contract also offers Hunter Engineering wheel service equipment, Westmatic vehicle washes, Samson lubrication equipment, Gray Manufacturing jacks, Trans Tool automotive transmission repair tools, John Dow Eurovent vehicle exhaust extraction systems and Vidmar/Lista (Stanley Company) who provides heavy duty storage solutions.

Steve Perlstein, Government Sales Manager of Mohawk Lifts, spoke of Mohawk’s second awarded contract stating, “We’re proud of the efforts put forth to both again become the awarded vendor for garage equipment to NJPA members and to support members in their garage equipment needs.”

About NJPA:
NJPA’s cooperative contract purchasing leverages the national purchasing power of more than 50,000 member agencies while also streamlining the required purchasing process.

Increase service department productivity While cutting expenses

fixed-ops-coverBy Kenny Smith

As a Service Manager and Service Director in new car dealerships for many years, I can remember, on occasion, looking forward to a profitable month in the Service Department and then being disappointed because a major shop expense changed everything. I’m sure many of you have had a similar experience. If your pay plan was or is tied to net profit, then it really stands out in your memory. Service on vehicle lifts can be a major part of those expenses. However, while necessary at times, it can be detrimental to both Service Department profit and productivity.

Many two post lift companies in the industry use slide/friction blocks between the carriage and column of the lift. This is the point of contact when the lift goes up or down. The blocks wear, not unlike a set of brake pads, and they must be replaced periodically. This service requires that the lift column be disassembled, resulting in a major expense and lost productivity because of Service bay down time. Many Service Departments have a shop labor rate of over $100.00 per hour and several hours of productivity are lost during this type of service. When you multiply the repair costs, lost revenue due to a down Service bay times the number of lifts in your Service Department (maybe 20-30?), you can quickly see how costly this can become. There are also other factors that are difficult to measure, such as the potential for poor customer satisfaction because a promised vehicle completion time could not be met.

Instead of slide/friction blocks, some vehicle lift manufacturers utilize a forklift mast design with dual sealed, self lubricating roller bearings. Forklifts are designed to go up and down continuously, with a heavy load, and not wear out. A perfect design for a vehicle lift!

safety-lockTo put this into perspective, consider the service / replacement intervals for a set of front brake pads on a vehicle versus a front wheel / hub bearing. Brake pads get replaced on a regular basis and are considered a maintenance item not unlike a friction / slide block on a lift. Front wheel/hub bearings rarely get replaced and if they do, it’s usually after the vehicle has well over 100,000 miles on it.

Additionally, plastic rollers and cables can also create unwanted service needs. The plastic rollers break and cables stretch and fray and must be replaced on a frequent basis. Engineering out these weak points results in a much stronger lift with fewer overall service needs.

At one point several years ago, the majority of vehicle lifts were built much heavier and used the forklift mast roller bearing design. You may still have some older lifts in your shop from various manufacturers with this type of construction. In many cases, these older lifts continue to remain in service when lifts that were purchased more recently end up getting replaced.

The perceived need for a cheaper lift, competition and the introduction of Asian made lifts into the marketplace caused many lift companies to seek lower production costs, which resulted in a lower quality lift that now requires additional service. Because the lift is initially less expensive, it gives the perception to the customer that they are saving money. However, when you figure in additional service costs, bay downtime, lost productivity, etc., the total cost of ownership is the same or more than what you would have paid initially for a higher quality lift.

You should also keep in mind that a higher quality lift normally carries a longer warranty because the manufacturer is aware that it will require less service and fewer repair needs. For example, a heavily constructed lift with heavy gauge welded steel (not lighter gauge bent steel) and a forklift mast roller bearing design can carry a structural warranty as high as 25 years and a mechanical warranty as high as 10 years. Larger hydraulic cylinders and rods, commonly seen in higher quality lifts, are able to operate at a lower pressure, which results in fewer seal, pump and motor repairs and replacements.

broken-pulleyThere are many commonly used lift components that do not require a lot of attention. For example, leaf chains, unlike cables, do not stretch and fray and do not require frequent replacement. Mechanical locks are heavily construct ed and typically not a high wear item. However, routine inspections and maintenance should still be performed on all of these components.

In-ground lifts have experienced renewed popularity in recent years be cause of the aesthetically pleasing view they provide across the Service Department and the perceived bay space savings. Although, some things to consider are that you must still have a bay of the same width to be able to accommodate the vehicle itself, open doors and to have room for equipment to pass between adjoining bays. There’s also additional expense and effort for excavation. And what happens to that custom shop floor if the lift has to be removed or replaced?

Since many vehicle services require the vehicle to be in the raised position, an inoperable lift equals lost productivity. Keeping your vehicle lifts in good working condition is key to high productivity in your Service Department. Regular lift inspections will identify needed areas of service and parts replacement and will result in less bay downtime due to a major lift failure. It’s a well known fact that a Service Department customer that has routine inspections and re pairs performed has fewer breakdowns and experiences longer vehicle life. Unfortunately, this same philosophy is not always applied to the equipment in the shop. Be sure to practice what you preach.

Regular lift inspections create a much safer work environment and are becoming a more prominent focus in regard to shop safety. While annual lift inspections have been a requirement, it was only recently that a National Certification Program for lift inspectors was implemented.

(Visit for more information on vehicle lift inspections and the Certified Inspector Program. Click on the inspector locator, under the “Certified Inspector Tab,” to locate a “Certified Inspector” in your area. The section on purchasing a vehicle lift is also very helpful if you are in the market for new lifts along with information regarding OSHA and other topics of interest. This site provides a wealth of information and is a great reference tool for vehicle lifts.)

Some key points to remember:

  • When considering lift purchases, be sure to look at the total cost of ownership and not just the initial purchase price. While the lower priced lift may look attractive on the surface, it may end up costing you more in the long run.
  • The equipment will be in use for years to come and is a tool to help you generate profit in the Service Department. Your technicians buy the best tools available and take good care of them because they know their livelihood depends on them. That’s a good example to follow.
  • Major equipment purchases normally get depreciated over several years. A price difference that may seem like a large dollar amount gets much smaller when it’s spread over seven years.
  • Equipment service and repairs normally get billed to your Department the following month and for the entire amount.
  • Someone once said, “If you’re going to spend less money on some of the equipment in the shop, spend less on the equipment you stand beside instead of the equipment you stand under.”

In summary, higher quality lifts provide increased productivity, less overall expense and more money in your pocket. They may cost a little more up front, but will be the least expensive lifts you’ll ever own.

Kenny Smith has spent the past 30 years in the automotive industry and is the National Distribution & Key Account Manager for Mohawk Lifts based in Amsterdam, New York.

Mohawk's Automotive Lift News & Journal Blog

Mohawk Lifts has announced the release of a new blog site that will cover auto lift news, garage equipment reviews, vehicle lift safety, common auto lift questions and much more. With contributions from industry experts, the site will be a resource for individuals researching lifts for their home garages, owners of general repair shops, and fleet managers who may be looking to outfit his or her maintenance facility.

To access the site, visit and subscribe to get the latest news and blog posts via email.