Reprinted with permission of Motor Magazine, September 1996
Electric and alternate-fuel vehicles are on the way – courtesy of the Clean Air Act amendments. And make no mistake about it, we’re all in for a lengthy learning curve before we get comfortable working on them. That’s assuming we can get them up into the air to work on them!
You see, electric and alternate-fuel vehicles (CNG, LNG, etc.,) have one major service drawback – their underbellies are so crammed with battery packs, external storage tanks and the like that it’s just about impossible to access the frame contact points using a traditional two-post lift. That leaves the four-post runway lift as the only safe, reliable method of getting these vehicles off the ground for routine service and maintenance…until now!
The folks at Mohawk Lifts have taken a novel approach to the problem of frame access with their radically new wheel-engaging adapters. In a nutshell, what these contraptions do is convert a typical two-post frame contact lift into a versatile four-post ramp-style job, allowing you to lift a vehicle by its tires without tying up lots of floor space and at a fraction of the cost of investing in another expensive lift. And although the technology is geared to electric and alternative-fuel vehicles, the company points out that it can also save you lots of time when working on traditional vehicles (especially trucks) because it negates the special adapters and setup time required to properly spot a vehicle.
At present, the wheel-engaging adapters are available only for Mohawk-made two-post lifts with 9,000-, 12,000- and 15,000-pound working capacities. The company says the technology is adaptable to other lifts, however, and that they’ll begin building adapters for these units if demand warrants it. Stay tuned!