Monthly Archives: April 2014

Backyard Buddy’s Boat Lift

Boat Trailer, storage, car liftIf you own a boat and live in the Great Lakes area like we do, you know that every winter you have to find a place to keep your boat out of the elements. This can mean expensive indoor storage at a marina, getting your boat wrapped and stored outside and hoping it survives the elements, or giving up a bay of your garage to store your boat, just in time for your car to be covered in ice and snow every morning.

This is why we created the newest addition to the Backyard Buddy line: the Boat Trailer Storage Lift. We have long heard from customers that they would love to have a lift to accommodate their boat, but couldn’t practically lift their trailers with their regular-width lifts. The Trailer Storage Lift allows you to keep your boat out of the weather without taking up half of your garage’s floor space. At its full height, the lift offers 63 inches of clearance, allowing you to store a car, snowmobiles, power equipment, motorcycles, or other garage essentials under your boat.

This 7,000 pound capacity lift has specifically been designed for boat trailers, and is almost a full three feet wider than our standard lift to ensure your trailer can be easily rolled on. An adjustable stand to support your trailer tongue is included, keeping your boat level and safe while on the lift.

Having your boat out of the way but also accessible is a great way to get the “best of both worlds” in the winter. Your boat is stored without getting in the way, but is still convenient for out-of-water repairs and improvements all winter long. By turning your garage into a virtual dry dock, you can easily take care of your boat’s needs all winter to make sure you can get into the water on the first warm day without sacrificing floor space.

If you think a Backyard Buddy Boat Trailer Storage Lift is right for you, give us a call at (800) 837-9353 between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM to talk to a live, knowledgeable person.

Safety You Can Eat Dinner Under

If you’re like the vast majority of our customers, probably the biggest factor in your decision when buying a vehicle lift is safety. While we love to talk about all the great features found on our lifts and all the great accessories we make, our most important priority is the safety of you and your vehicle. We know in most cases you’re both irreplaceable.

We’re very proud of the safety features on every Backyard Buddy lift and we go to great lengths to engineer a product that we are happy to stand behind (and under!).

Unlike a lot of our competitors, our lifts start with four steel box posts with a full sleeve around them to hold up our deck. These are connected to a vehicle deck constructed of plate steel with a full frame. This provides a much larger margin of safety than our competitors’ U shaped legs and stamped steel vehicle decks. This solid construction is why our lifts won’t wobble, and why they are still solid and safe even when not bolted to the floor.

Our hydraulic system is also one of the safest in the business, unlike some of our competitors who use it as a place to save a few bucks. Our American-made heavy-duty hydraulic rams are a full 1 ⅜” in diameter and have the strength to never sag even under a full load. Most of our competitors use a flimsy ¾” hydraulic ram. We use hard pressure lines for our hydraulics, instead of cheaper hydraulic hoses, to help minimize the risk of puncture or hydraulic failure. Maybe most importantly, we add to the safety with a high-quality pressure relief valve that forces that lift to lower in a controlled fashion in case of a hydraulic failure, instead of sending your vehicle plunging to the ground, or even worse, onto you!

Once you’ve got your vehicle up on the lift, we make sure it’s only coming down when you want it to with robust platform locks featuring precision lock linkages made of steel that’s 50% thicker than most of our competitors.

But safety in your garage or shop isn’t the only place that Backyard Buddy shines. If you go into some of the locations of a certain automotive-themed restaurant that’s known for its wings, you’ll find people enjoying their dinner sitting under some fine classic cars. If you look closer, you’ll see that familiar red lift is one of ours.

If Backyard Buddy’s safety features are so robust that a restaurant (and more importantly, it’s insurance company) will let its patrons eat dinner under it, shouldn’t you trust it with your safety as well?

No Holes in Our Feet

If you want a simple way to tell the difference between our lifts and the foreign competition, look down.

Our lifts do not have any holes in the column bases, because they are manufactured to be stable and safe while completely freestanding.

Backyard Buddy column padsNow look at our competition. What do you see on their column bases? Holes to bolt the lift to the floor. Wonder why they have these holes? Is it for your convenience? Are we skipping a step to save money? NO!  It’s because their lifts are not stable unless the columns are bolted to the ground. Their stability comes only from being bolted down, which means more work and expense for you to sink bolts into whatever surface you plan to use the lift on. Oh, and good luck if you want to move it easily.

And if you don’t bolt our foreign competitors’ lifts down? Good luck. One good bump can send it to the ground if you’re not careful.

We wish it wasn’t true, but it happens more often than we can count: people who come and buy a Backyard Buddy lift after they tried to save some money and buy a foreign-made lift.

The best case is that they come to us after putting a car up and getting a little worried about how wobbly their cheaply-made foreign lift is under a load. Unfortunately, sometimes they come to us after a design flaw in their foreign-made lift has caused it to fail, dropping their vehicle to the ground and damaging it, the lift, or both.

We sometimes ask our customers  to show us pictures of their failed lifts, and we can attest to the damage being pretty horrific. More than once we’ve been left looking at a pile of twisted blue metal.

Luckily, most car guys obey basic safety rules and aren’t standing under our competitors’ lifts when they fail, but the idea that there are people out there right now trusting their lives to failure-prone foreign lifts doesn’t make us happy.

The next time you see a Backyard Buddy lift, give it a shove. You won’t be able to move it an inch. Oh, by the way, we sell castor sets and an attachment that lets you use your lift as a 1,000 lb crane. Let’s see you try that with any of our competitors.

Hydraulic Rolling Jack Platform

Built in Rolling jack platformIn our previous blog post, we talked about the great accessories that are available to make our lifts even more versatile and useful to you. One of the best accessories, and one deserving of its own blog entry, is our built-in hydraulic jack.

Our lifts are one of the best investments you can make for your garage or shop, allowing you easy access to the underside of your vehicle, and a fairly simple way to store multiple vehicles in the same space. We know from talking to customers that our lifts completely change the way they work on their vehicle. We’ve also heard that adding the built-in hydraulic jack opens a whole new world of ease and convenience while working with our lifts.

At the most basic level, the built in hydraulic jack lets you do almost anything you can do on the ground on our lift. Platform jack crossbar adapterThe jack allows you to take weight off the wheels and suspension of your car while it’s on the lift. Imagine doing a brake job without having to bend down, or replacing suspension components at eye level. The jack’s arm socket accepts a wide variety of jack pads and adapters, allowing you to lift and support just about any part of your vehicle and giving you the freedom to work however is comfortable and convenient for you.

Our built in hydraulic jack is incredibly easy to use. The jack assembly slides back and forth between the lift platforms, allowing you to position it under any part of your vehicle, and then locks into position with a lever lock. The jack itself uses the same hydraulic power unit as your Backyard Buddy lift, which lets you raise and lower the jack by simply throwing a switch. One of its best features is that it is designed to lie completely flat and be unobtrusive when not in use.

As with everything we make, we know that the jack will be able to handle any challenge you throw at it, with a 4,000 pound capacity and positive, self-engaging locks ensure your safety and that of your vehicle. Since the jack uses the lift’s hydraulic system, all of the hydraulic safety features, such as rugged hydraulic tubing and a blowout safety valve, also protect the jack.

The jack is built in the USA to the same rugged standards as our lifts, and has a durable powder coat finish.

We’ve been working on cars for more years that we’d like to admit, so we can tell you that being able to do a brake job while comfortably seated, or the freedom to replace suspension components while standing tall can make a huge difference in the amount of enjoyment we get from working in our shops. We developed this jack to be simple to use and to allow our customers to work easily and comfortably on their vehicles, no matter what part they are working on

Backyard Buddy Accessories

As the fall turns to winter, and the garage floor gets colder, there’s never been a better time to get a Backyard Buddy Auto Lift. Especially as we get older, we really appreciate not having to lay on the floor to work under our vehicles.

We’ve already told you why our lifts are the best, and why we stand behind everything we make, so today we wanted to show off some of the excellent lift accessories that make your life even easier.

First up is the Backyard Buddy crane accessory. This is available for all 10, 11, and 12 foot ceiling models, and Remove a car body with the crane attachmentfeatures bolt-on tracks and a rolling crossmember that can lift 1,000 pounds. This makes is easy to pull out engines, take a body off a chassis, or pick up a heavy load off your garage floor. The tracks also extend beyond the frame of the lift, allowing you to clear your vehicle and put an engine down on the garage floor.

Lift casters for Backyard Buddy LiftsWhen you combine our crane with our caster set, you can maneuver your Backyard Buddy lift to pick up and move heavy objects in your garage or driveway. Our caster set is an excellent way to make your Backyard Buddy lift even more useful, allowing you to move it around easily, even when loaded with a vehicle.

 

Another accessory that will make your life easier, and your lift more useful, is our Built in rolling hydraulic jackhydraulic rolling jack. Our jack rolls between the lift platforms allowing you to lift any part of your vehicle, yet lays completely flush with the platform and stays out of the way when not in use. The jack uses hydraulic pressure from the lift power unit to lift up to 4.000 pounds, and accepts many different adapters and jack pads to safely support almost anything on your vehicle.

If the rolling hydraulic jack is overkill for your application, we also make a rolling jack platform that provides a solid Rolling jack platform for car liftjacking surface between the vehicle platforms. This accessory allows you to use your own jack, whether hydraulic, scissor, or bottle, for light-duty applications. If the rolling jack platform doesn’t allow you enough access for your jack, we also make a sliding version with a recessed platform that allows more clearance.

Ramp extensions for car liftWe offer other ways to make your lift more useful and safe as well. Our platform extenders add a full foot to the length of the deck and use the existing wheel stops. Our key lock switch increases your safety by requiring a key to raise or lower the lift, stopping unauthorized people or children from operating the lift. For our commercial customers, we also offer a 220 volt, two horsepower power unit, which cuts lift time to about 45 seconds.

For more information on our lift accessories, check out our website: http://backyardbuddy.com/lift-accessories.html

Not only do our lifts make it easier to store and work on your vehicle, but our accessories help you customize your lift to meet your exact needs. As always, if you have any questions about how Backyard Buddy can help, give us a call between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern Time at (800) 837-9353 to talk to a knowledgeable, helpful person.

Backyard Buddy safety is designed in from the beginning

We pride ourselves on quality construction and features at Backyard Buddy, and it’s what sets up apart from the imported competition. But why do we build like we do, instead of cutting corners and making a cheaper product? The main reason is safety.

Backyard Buddy lifts are packed with safety features that the competition can’t touch:

Backyard Buddy safety lock designLeg and Lock Design: This is what keeps your car in the air, and off you, and our design and materials will keep it that way. Our legs are a solid four-sided metal box with an external metal sleeve and cam design that supports the deck and securely locks it to the legs. The competition uses a u-shaped leg with an internal slider (often made of plastic). Our lifts are solid and square. If you push on one of our lifts’ legs, you won’t be able to make it wobble. We can’t say the same for our competition. Our solid steel construction gives you the confidence you need to stand under thousands of pounds of metal without a second thought.

Hydraulic System: When you’re moving a lift up and down, it’s the hydraulic system that is taking the weight and doing the work. This is a part of the lift that most customers pay too little attention to, but that has the most effect on longevity and reliability. We use an industrial grade 1¾” hydraulic cylinder and a hard pressure line. Most of our competitors use a ¾” cylinder that can bend and sag, and a flexible hydraulic hose that is much more likely to fail than our hard line. Even worse, a failed hydraulic line on our competitors’ lifts may mean mean your car crashing to the floor (hopefully with nobody under it). Our lifts include a pressure relief valve that safely lowers the hydraulics without harming your vehicle in the unlikely event that one of our hydraulic lines fails.

Cables: The cables in our lifts are designed for safety. Most of our competitors test their cables to hold 1.5 times the maximum lifting capacity. This isn’t good enough for us. Our cables are all tested to three times the maximum lifting capacity. We also leave our cable ends exposed and properly swedged so that they are easy to inspect for wear or any other safety issues. Most of our competitors cap their cable ends, which is cheaper and makes them almost impossible to inspect.

Car Lift deckVehicle Deck: Much like our lifts’ legs, our decks are built to a much higher standard that those of our competitors. Most of theirs are formed steel with no frame, which can flex and lead to wobble and instability in the lift, or even the lift moving far enough out of square to fail. Ours are built with a steel tube frame under plate steel to ensure the maximum rigidity and strength. We build our decks this strong to keep out any wobble or instability.

We stand behind the quality, safety, and American craftsmanship in our lifts. What puzzles us is why anyone would trust their safety and that of their vehicles to our competitors.

Backyard Buddy Warranty

Car Collection displayed on Backyard Buddy lifts

This collector trusts Backyard Buddy

We know we have the best lift in the business, and we back it up with a standard five year warranty on every lift Backyard Buddy sells, one of the best warranties you will ever find.

There’s no fine print. No exceptions. No weaseling. Plain and simple, we offer a 100% comprehensive satisfaction guarantee on the parts and workmanship of our lifts for five years. We are so sure of the quality of our lifts that we will cover and repairs or replacement parts and even pay shipping for any parts covered under the warranty.

To make our warranty even better, buyers can extend it to a nine year warranty for only $229 at the time of purchase, or $599 any time during the initial five years. That means you get nine years of worry free operation for as little as 7 cents a day.

How does this stack up to our competitors? Many other lift companies, especially foreign manufacturers, don’t even come close to our comprehensive five year warranty. They will try to make it seem like they can compete, but often have one year or 90 day warranties on the parts most prone to failure, such as the power unit or the cylinder. Some even require you to send the cylinder back to them (not an inexpensive or easy task) to test before they offer warranty service.

Other competitors boast a “five year warranty” but on closer inspection you will see that it only applies to the actual steel structure of a select few of their lifts. The structure of other lifts in their lineup only get a three year warranty, or a two year warranty, and all of the lifts’ power units and cylinders are only covered for a year. Some will go so far as to only pay shipping or cover labor on any defects for one year. If you think you’re getting a good deal with a five year warranty on structural steel, you may want to look at some 100 year old bridges while thinking about how likely that one component is to fail.

Nobody with a business that makes money is dumb. Our competitors’ warranties are all based on their assessment of how likely a product or component of their product is to fail. They’ve figured out that after a year some very important pieces might fail, and stop covering them in their warranty. What does it say that we cover every piece of every lift we make for five years for free, or for less than 50 cents a week for nine years.

Everything we do at Backyard Buddy has one goal in mind: getting you the best lift possible for your vehicles. Our industry-leading warranty is just one of the ways we put our money where our mouth is.

New Accessory! Now you can pull engines and move heavy loads with your Backyard Buddy Lift

Engine Hoist, Crane accessory

Pull engines and car bodies with our new crane accessory.

 

Backyard Buddy, crane system, engine hoist

Hoist slides across cross beam and along tracks the length of the lift.

“Backyard Buddy has developed a new accessory for our four post car lifts. This is a 1,000 pound capacity crane system that bolts to the top of any existing Backyard Buddy car lift. It makes your Backyard Buddy lift even more versatile and a greater value. Now you can use your lift to easily pull engines, unload heavy items from your truck, remove a car body from the frame and move heavy items around your shop with the use of the optional casters.

The crane system consists of heavy-duty trussed tracks, extensions that allow the crane to move out past the end of the lift and a trolly that rides along the track that supports the hoist. The hoist can slide sideways on the trolley for convenient positioning. A number of different hoist options are available. The crane system has a durable baked enamel finish that will stay looking sharp for years. The tracks are available in three different heights for different ceiling clearances.

This addition to our lifts is a useful tool for the hobbyist working on a restoration project at home. This is really great for pulling the engine and transmission from your car or truck. Now you can raise the car on the lift, comfortably remove and unbolt everything that needs to be from below, then lower the car and remove the engine with the easily positioned hoist. Because the hoist glides front to back and side to side, it’s a piece of cake to maneuver the engine to just the right spot. With the track extensions, the hoist and engine can then be rolled out in front of the lift and lowered to the engine stand or a pickup truck bed.

Another home project that can be a real nightmare is removing the body from a car or truck chassis. This is still a big job, but the Backyard Buddy crane system makes it easier. The car can be raised up to the crane tracks and all the body bolts and attachments removed/unhooked from below. The body can then be strapped to the crane tracks and the chassis carefully lowered out from under the body. With the chassis out of the way, the body can be lowered with the lift platform and moved with the crane hoist or lots of friends.

Got a new air compressor or other heavy shop tool that has to be moved. Since the Backyard Buddy lift rolls so easy on it casters, it’s easy to pick up a heavy item with the hoist and roll it around the shop or pick it up and load it in your truck.

This is a great addition to our line of shop accessories and we’re really excited about it. We can’t wait to see what neat ways people come up with to use their new crane and lift system. Please write us with your ideas!”