Tag Archives: auto lift assembly

Working With Dad

Nobody was better with a wrench than Dad…

As we celebrate Father’s Day, we here at Backyard Buddy can’t help reminiscing about learning to work on cars with our dads, and thinking about some of the ways we can pass a love of wrenching on to our kids. A lot of us had great times working with our dads, whether it was handing him tools while he did routine maintenance on the family’s Olds 88, or him helping us keep the pile of junk that was our first car running so we could go out on a saturday night.

For a lot of us, it seems like nobody was better with a wrench than Dad, although we suspect that he thought the same thing about Grandpa. If you’d like your kids to think the same thing about you, there’s no better way than to have them help you take care of your vehicle, whether it’s the family minivan or your fully-restored 58 Vette, or for you to help them take care of theirs.

For young kids, or kids without much interest in “how things go”

Take them on a “tour” of your family’s vehicle. They’ve likely never given much thought to how a car works (Mommy or Daddy sit up front and we get where we need to go!), but if you ask them how they think a car goes, they may suddenly be very curious about how it works.

The key is to keep it simple and fun. Show them that the gas pedal makes the car go and the brake makes it stop (you can show them the clutch, but good luck explaining the transmission. There’s plenty of adults that don’t get how that works), let them turn on the wipers and the turn signals, and as long as you’re sitting in the driver’s seat, let them turn the engine on and off. For the finale, let them pop the hood (if they can) to hear the satisfying “thunk” of the release, and lift them up to look into the engine bay. If they’re still curious, you can talk with them about how the engine works and show them the major components.

Once you’ve shown them the basics, Invite them to “help” whenever you’re working on something, but be fully aware that they’re probably going to wander off or stay and ask 100 questions, so be prepared to not get much done.

For school kids

This is the classic “hold this flashlight for me. No, point it there. No THERE” age that we all survived. Unfortunately, this is not the best way to get kids to fall in love with wrenching.

Instead, try holding the flashlight for them. Give them simple tasks that you know they can manage (break a lug nut free and then let them take it all the way off, have them check the pressure on the tires, let them pour the oil in during an oil change), explain carefully what they need to do to complete it and what tools they need to use, help them if they get stuck, and encourage them when they are successful. It can take the patience of a saint, but the worst thing to do is to take over the job from them when they’re too slow, or doing something wrong. The investment in time and patience will be worth it!

When you’re working on a project, bring them over and explain what you’re trying to do (“I need to change the parts that make the car stop”) and give them a simple overview of the steps you need to take to do it, then ask them if they’d like to help. Odds are they’ll wander off in 5 minutes anyway, but it can be hard to tell what will strike a child’s curiosity. We’ve seen a first grader with no interest in cars suddenly decide that she was going to be an expert in changing out a dead brake light bulb after asking her dad what he was doing to the car, and she became a lifesafer getting into the confined space with her little hand.

Also, don’t overlook teaching them to fix their things. Instead of fixing a flat tire or squeaky brakes on their bike, work with them to help them fix it.

Like most skill building with kids, the keys are to be patient, explain things thoroughly, and let them learn from mistakes (this may not be the time for them to help with the Vette mentioned above), while celebrating their successes. They’ll have plenty of time to curse at a stuck bolt when they’re older. For now, try to keep it fun and enjoyable.

For older kids

Hopefully by now you’ve sparked an interest in wrenching, but don’t be disappointed if your teenager doesn’t want to get a junked car and rebuild it for their first car.

Many of our households had a “you drive it, you fix it” rule, and while we may not have appreciated it at the time, we learned a lot from it. Although modern cars are getting harder and harder for backyard and shade tree mechanics to repair, you can still help your kids do basic maintenance on their own vehicles. Again, be patient, but teach them how to change oil, change air filters, swap out a battery, replace dead bulbs, check tire pressure, and fix the basic little problems that come up with their car. Always be there to help, but make sure they’re the one doing the work. Even if they’ve never shown an interest before, once their ride is on the line, teens may suddenly be all ears about how to maintain and fix their car.

After all this, your kid may not end up being the type that can tear down an engine or fix anything with spit and bailing wire, but they will at least know the basics of working with their hands to take care of their own vehicle. That’s a Father’s Day gift for all of us.

As always, we’re here to help you work on your vehicles with lifts and accessories that even the youngest mechanic can appreciate. Give us a call at (800) 837-9353 from 8:00 to 5:00 Eastern time so that we can help you find a lift that your kids are likely to inherit.

Assembling a Backyard Buddy Lift

Assembling a Car Lift: Tips & How To from Backyard Buddy

We make Backyard Buddy lifts to be strong, reliable, and safe. One of the side benefits of this is that because we make such solid products, Backyard Buddy car lift assembly is easier than you’d anticipate. Most customers report back that they’ve assembled theirs in an afternoon or over a couple of evenings.

Unlike other lifts that wobble in a slight breeze or that have to be bolted into your garage floor to stand up safely, a Backyard Buddy car lift goes together as easily as following the instructions. Since our lifts are self-supporting, they can also be assembled at your leisure, with very few critical steps that must be performed together.

Why Assembling a Car Lift from Backyard Buddy is Simple

Every one of our lifts comes with detailed car lift assembly instructions that take you step-by-step through assembling your new lift. The instructions are written in plain English, not wordless drawings like some of the flat pack furniture you may have had the “pleasure” of assembling. We also include detailed diagrams that show how all the major components and systems of your lift go together so that you have a visual reference to compare your work against to make sure you’ve assembled everything correctly.

We’ve even made our car lift assembly instructions and diagrams available to download through our website (http://www.backyard-buddy.com/instructions.html). This way, people interested in buying a Backyard Buddy lift can see exactly what they need to do to put one together, and can also see how well-built our lifts are. We’ve also found that a lot of our customers like to download the instructions while their lift is being shipped to them so that they can get a sense of how the lift goes together before it is sitting in their garage waiting for them. Frankly, we think some of our customers download the instructions to help with that “night before Christmas” feeling they get while their lift is being shipped.

If you’re buying a car lift from Backyard Buddy, you’re probably pretty handy with your tools and don’t shy away from a do-it-yourself project. Even though we know you can do it, if assembling a car lift doesn’t sound like fun (but trust us, it is), or you don’t have time to put it together yourself, our staff is available every weekday from 8AM until 5PM EST to recommend a professional installer in your area to complete your car lift assembly. Our staff is also available to assist you if you run into a problem assembling your lift as well.

Since a picture is worth a lot of words (the last we heard, the exchange rate was somewhere around 1,000), we’d like to show you how easy it is to assemble a car lift from Backyard Buddy. Take a look at Sam Memmolo, from the TV and Radio shows “Shade Tree Mechanic,” “Two Guys Garage,” and “Sam’s Garage Radio Show” assembling his Backyard Buddy car lift: http://www.backyard-buddy.com/assembly-photos.html

We know that Sam is a well-respected mechanic, but don’t be intimidated. Just like he did, you too can put one of our lifts together in a couple of evenings.  Assembling a car lift from Backyard Buddy is simple and intuitive, another great reason to choose one of our high quality, proudly American made products.


Ordering Your Car Lift? What’s the Process?

assembling a car liftSo…you have done your research, and you are ready to purchase your car lift from one of the largest and oldest freestanding lift manufacturers in the country.  Now what?  Let’s take a look at what the Backyard Buddy process is from order placement to assembly and utilization.

When you call to place your order…

A knowledgeable Backyard Buddy representative will walk you through the following steps:

  • The first thing we will do is discuss your individual needs with you to determine what size car lift will serve you the best.
  • Next, we will figure out the cost of shipping the car lift to you.   We show your freight charges upfront, along with the maximum savings available by shipping from point to point.  Or, if you live near our factory and want to forgo freight charges altogether, you are welcome to pull up your car trailer and pick up the lift yourself!
  • Now we are ready to place your order!  We require 50% down, and we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, business checks, personal checks, and money orders.
  • When your car lift is finished…
    Backyard Buddy will call you to make sure that you are ready to receive your new car lift:
  • The balance of your bill is due upon the readiness to ship the auto lift to you.  If you are not ready to receive the lift, we will hold your auto lift until you are ready.
  • Upon payment, your car lift will be set on a truck and shipped to you.  We package our lifts in steel end crates for easy off-loading, and they arrive as ready-to-bolt together factory assembled sub-assemblies.
  • If you are not ready to receive it, our representative will dialogue with you to determine the reason for the delay.
  • When you receive your Backyard Buddy car lift…There are two options for assembly:
  1. Self assembly:  Most of the major components are pre-assembled at our factory and ready to set up.  It typically takes two men approximately 2-3 hours using common hand tools.
  2. Professional assembly:  Our professional installers are available in most areas.  Not only will they will put the car lift together for you, but they will also demonstrate how to operate the lift.

As you can see, Backyard Buddy is committed to making your purchasing experience as smooth as possible from start to finish.  If you are ready to place an order or simply have further questions, please feel free to contact us by calling 800-837-9353.  Our normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM EST.  You may also fill out our online contact form, and someone will contact you by your preferred method within one business day.