The Risks of Under-Chassis Washing with Regular Column Lifts

When you’re lifting heavy vehicles, safety is the top priority.

But when it comes to wet work (like under-chassis washing), there’s a lot more going on than meets the eye.

We’re all aware of the risks involved with weight, balance, and stability. But working with water has its own hidden dangers – and using the wrong equipment could lead to higher repair costs, unnecessary maintenance, or even serious danger to the people working on your vehicles.Under-Chassis Washing

Here’s what you need to know about using mobile column lifts in wet environments like wash bays:

What’s the Problem with Water and Lifts?

Just like any other metal equipment that’s used around water, your mobile column lifts are at risk of developing rust.

That rust can cause moving parts to become stuck, or even create holes in thinner sheets of metal.

But worst of all?

When metal starts to rust, it becomes structurally weaker. And when you’re relying on a lift to safely raise heavy vehicles for your workers, any rust that develops could cause a serious risk of harm to your technicians.

In some cases, the risk of rust can be reduced by immediately and thoroughly drying your mobile column lifts after they’ve been used for wet work (like under-chassis washing).

But there’s a deeper problem when it comes to mixing regular lifts and water – and it’s a problem that can’t be fixed at the surface level:

And that’s the problem of water ingress.

What’s Water Ingress?

In simple terms, water ingress is when water works its way inside your equipment – penetrating the outer shell and reaching the delicate electronics inside your mobile column lift.

And as we all know, water and electronics are never a good mix.

On top of the more visible problems of rust, any equipment that’s used around water can suffer from serious hidden problems with its internal electronics if it’s not built to be water-resistant.

So if you’re using regular mobile column lifts for under-chassis washing, your lifts are much more likely to start failing before they should – and you’ll be paying for their repairs and maintenance much more often.

To help combat this, manufacturers build some of their equipment to be resistant to water ingress, with an IP rating (Ingress Protection) to show the different levels of resistance to water and dust getting inside the equipment.

What about Waterproof Covers?

Some suppliers of mobile column lifts – including ourselves – offer the optional extra of waterproof covers along with their standard lifts.

Totalkare’s covers include a flap at the top for the carriage to pass through when the lifts are in operation, and they provide a good level of protection for the control panel.

For occasional use in wet weather and outdoor storage, covers are fine… but they are not a truly fit for purpose solution and do not guarantee 100% protection from water ingress.

So Which Mobile Column Lifts Are Safe for Wash Bay Use?

There are all kinds of lifts that say they’re suitable for under-chassis washing.

But there’s only one UK mobile column lift that’s genuinely fit for the purpose:

And that’s our own Totalkare G8AC Wash bay Mobile Column Lift.

So what sets our wash bay-ready lift apart from the others?

With a G8AC, you’ll get:

  • fully galvanised finish – for a protective coating that guards against rust
  • Sealed bearings – giving you long-term protection from water ingress
  • Columns with an Ingress Protection Rating of IP55
  • And a control panel, power socket, plugs, and both fixed and mobile cases rated at IP67.

And most important of all:

Unlike other mobile column lifts, the G8AC doesn’t rely on waterproof covers – which means your lifts are always protected from rust and water ingress, even when they’re in use!

Want to Know More about Safe Lifting for Under-Chassis Washing?

We’re proud to say we’re the only UK suppliers of a mobile column lift genuinely suitable for under-chassis washing.

So if you’re looking for a safe and reliable way of washing under your vehicles (without the safety risks and repair costs of damaged equipment), check out our wash bay-ready G8AC in our new online shop – or speak to one of our experts to find out more.

This article was originally published by Totalkare.

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