Tag Archives: safety

5 Things to Consider When Buying the Best Car Lift

Buying a new car lift is not exactly as exciting as a buying a new car. However, picking the best car lift is nearly as important as picking the car you’re going to put on it.  There is nothing worse than thinking you’ve picked a quality product, only to learn later that it is substandard in design and, crucially, safety.

But with so many companies and brands of auto lifts to choose from, making the right choice for your auto needs can be difficult.  It’s necessary to understand the differences between lift designs, and make decisions based on the quality of the lift and its manufacturer.  Just like a car, if you want find out how well your auto lift will function, you need to “pop the hood”!  Whether you’re a mechanic working in a full-scale garage or a car collector who needs a car lift for the home garage, you’ll want to consider these 5 things to buy the best car lift:

Car Lift Column and Lock Design

The Column and Lock design is one of the most important things to consider as relates to the safety of your auto lift.  The leg and slider combo of a lift determines its rigidity— will it wobble, or will it stand firm under the pressure of your vehicle? To know for sure, all you really need to consider is whether the column and lock is designed as an “inside plastic slider” or an “outside steel sleeve.” The inside plastic slider is the design to avoid! These designs have a smaller plastic material block that rides inside an open-sided, bent thin gauge leg, to keep the sliders and lock inside the leg. Unfortunately, this means the legs can also pivot and wobble where the sliders meet the leg. On the other hand, outside steel slider joints are engineered much differently, because they use steel tubing to wrap around the outside of the leg instead of plastic blocks on the inside. Steel equals rigidity! An outside steel slider creates a solid joint that eliminates wobble and keeps your vehicle secure.

Power Unit

Picture this: you push the button on your lift to engage the power unit, and begin lifting your classic car. You’re approaching the garage ceiling, and it’s time to shut off the power. But instead of stopping, the motor keeps running— and your car keeps rising. In a matter of seconds, you’ve turned your classic into a crunch of scrap metal. How could this happen? Probably because your lift’s power unit came from an overseas distributor whose power units are prone to failure. A lot of Chinese units pull upwards of 30 amps, and only offer a 90-day warranty on the life of the power unit. You’re probably planning to own your auto lift for more than 90 days… so you should have a power unit that is also designed to last for much longer.  Before making a lift purchase, do some digging to find out where the power unit has been constructed. For companies like us at Backyard Buddy, American-made power units (and our 5-year warranty) are the standard put into all our auto lifts.

Construction

What kind of stuff is your lift made of?  From the cables to the lock linkage to the shape and material of the metal, how your auto lift is constructed will speak to its quality and safety.  In considering cables, a respectable rule of thumb is: if you cannot see cable coming out of the lift’s threaded end cable, they aren’t good cables.  Good cables have flexibility, strength, and intelligent design. Since cables are responsible for hoisting the weight of your car, these are three vital components you want your cables to possess!  Lock linkage is another little detail that will give you a good indication of a lift’s quality, but it’s also one of the most underrated. Steel rods that are 3/8 inch, with precision rod ends, offer positive locking and a smooth quality feel. This kind of rod engages properly so your lift locks every time. In contrast, cheaply-made lifts usually use 1/4 inch rods with cheap ends; these rods can bend and fail to activate the locking mechanism on a lift— a safety hazard waiting to happen. Don’t overlook those little details! Finally, what metal makes up your lift determines the lift’s durability.  American-made steel lift frames have been proven to outlast foreign steel, and be much stronger, because they lack the impurities that make “off-shore” steel difficult to weld properly.

Functionality

No matter what you intend to use your lift for— working on your car, storing multiple cars, conserving space in the garage— you want a lift that has functionality within its space, and also compatibility with accessories that can increase lift functions.  For example, if you’re a city dweller, where real estate is limited and storage is expensive, a residential car lift should afford you an increase in storage by stacking two vehicles safely on top of each other (so
you’ve got room for the minivan and the Maserati!). But what else can your lift do? Being able to add accessories, like hard rubber casters, increase functionality by making that auto lift easy to move around your space, so you can work in or organize your garage efficiently.  The more customizable the lift, the better it’ll suit your lifestyle.

Warranty

As mentioned earlier, you’re probably planning to own your car lift for a long time. Which means it needs to maintain working order for a long time.  Any distributor that has a warranty full of caveats and asterisks, or a “ship and wait policy,” should automatically raise a red flag.  An auto lift that offers a free, no-questions-asked policy, or has an extended warranty period, is going to give you the best (and most long-lasting) bang for your buck.  For example, at Backyard Buddy, we offer a warranty of 5 years top to bottom, with no fine print to wade through.  Extended warranties are also available at the time of lift purchase.  When buying your lift, always ask about the warranty!

Once you’ve considered these 5 things while buying a car lift— column and lock design, power unit, construction, functionality, and warranty— you’ll be on the right track to choosing the best lift to fit your needs and your life.  When it comes to car lifts, you truly get what you pay for. Considering the key elements that go into an auto lift, from the initial construction to the after-purchase warranty, will help you determine what is worth the most— a lift’s price, or its value? When you’re driving your car, you want that car to be safe, reliable, and maybe a little bit impressive. You should expect the same from your car lift!

Backyard Buddy’s Easy-Access Rolling Jack System

Easy-access rolling jack stand system

Easy-Access

We love telling you all about our Backyard Buddy four-post lifts and all of the ways they can make your life easier, but did you know that our lifts have a little brother than can also help you out, either by itself or used as a space saver with one of our lifts?

Backyard Buddy’s Easy-Access

gives you all the portability of jack stands with the durability, safety, and ease of movement that you’d expect from our full-sized lifts. This two-piece system unobtrusively slides under your vehicle and can be placed just about anywhere you can lift with a floor jack.

With a variety of different stands, pads, and bars, the adjustable Easy-Access can be used to hold a frame, body, or complete car, and can hold a vehicle more than 2 feet off the ground for easy access. This gives you enough room to work underneath your project on a creeper, while also saving your back when working from above.

Easy-Access is also stable and strong enough to be used as a dolly for a partial build or a full vehicle. You can easily roll your project around the shop on Easy Access’ heavy-duty casters, allowing you do things like move it outside for dirty jobs, or even stash your project under a car on a four-post Backyard Buddy lift when you’re not working on it.

Just like our full-sized lifts, Easy-Access uses American certified structural steel, making it strong enough to hold 6,000 pounds and stable enough to roll even the heaviest load on its casters. Its tough powder coated finish will take just about anything you can dish out, and provides excellent resistance to damage and rust.

One of the best parts about Easy-Access is that when you’re done with it, it’s small enough to fit under a workbench until it’s needed again. And just like all of our products, it’s proudly made in the USA by American workers.

To learn more about Easy Access, check out its page on our site: http://www.backyardbuddy.com/backyard-buddy-easy-access.html. To watch a video of Sam Memmolo from Sam’s Garage demonstrating Easy-Access, click here: https://youtu.be/Xg6BXPvv7qI?t=261

As always we’re happy to show off any of our products in our showroom in Warren, Ohio, or to help you find the best product to fit your needs any time during business hours at (800) 837-9353.

Trump is the Answer

If you’ve followed Backyard Buddy, you know our strong position on cheap, imported steel; especially steel coming from China.  No cheap, foreign import steel used in our lifts like with so many of our competitors.

Foreign steel, produced with minimal regard for quality or worker safety has flooded the worldwide market, putting thousands of Americans out of work. Cheap, imported steel is not only a bad product, it’s bad for our country.  It’s time we stand up to China…and there’s only ONE person willing to fight for American businesses and workers – Donald J. Trump!

In short, his plan “is a negotiating strategy to bring fairness to our trade with China.”  Trump supports threatening China with a significant tariff on its exports.  To fully understand his position on US-China trade reform, visit his site, https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/us-china-trade-reform.

As Americans, we have an incredibly important decision to make concerning the future of our nation. For so many reasons, this country needs a strong business and world leader, not another Washington insider, status-quo, establishment politician.  Trump is the answer.

The “establishment” certainly doesn’t like him because he’s different, and frankly, that’s a good thing.  He’s not reliant on donors so no one “owns” him.  And let’s face it, Trump says what most people are thinking; he’s just not afraid to say it.  What’s wrong with encouraging his fellow Americans to boldly stand up for their beliefs about what’s best for our nation?  He’s given us our voice again!

“Make America Great Again!”  Vote for Trump!

Come See Backyard Buddy in Atlantic City!

We’re always happy to have customers visit us at our factory and showroom in Warren, Ohio, but we also love going to car shows and auctions to show off our lifts and meet our fellow “car guys.”

One of our favorite places to go is the Classics in Atlantic City auction and car show put on by G. Potter King Auctions. If you’re particularly astute, you’ve already guessed where it is. The event runs from Friday, February 26th, to Sunday, February 28th, 2016 at the Atlantic City Convention Center. Tickets for the event are $25 for the weekend, and can be purchased online (http://www.acclassiccars.com/tickets.php).

The Classics in Atlantic City show is the largest indoor car show and auction in the United States, and has been a mainstay of the annual show and auction calendar for more than 40 years. Each year if fills the 500,000 square feet of the convention center with nearly 1,000 cars up for sale and auction, a huge vendor area (we’ll be in booth #s 818, 819 & 820, so stop by and visit), and thousands of people who are as into cars, trucks, and other vehicles as we are.

Last year’s three-day event drew 70,000 people, and featured more than 100 years of automotive history with about 500 cars up for auction and 450 for direct sale in the large Car Corral area. This year’s full catalog hasn’t been released yet, but if past auctions are any guide, there will be something for everybody, from Model Ts, to luxury cars of the 20s and 30s, to 60s American Muscle, to modern European performance cars. Among the cars already listed are a 1931 Ford Model A, a 1939 Packard Sedan, and more than one 1967 Corvette.

One small tip: if you’re planning to attend and bid, it’s about ⅓ less expensive to register as a bidder online before the auction ($195 until 2/15/16) than to do it at the show ($295).

For more information on the event, check out it’s webpage at www.acclassiccars.com. We hope to see you there!

Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed

Most of us live by the concept that “the customer is always right” especially when we are the customer.  In business, it’s important to stick to this philosophy so that you remember you are there to serve your customers and their needs.  You provide products for other people to benefit from and use.  Often these days, business owners worry more about making a profit than the actual relationship with their clients.  The rules of customer service seem to have gone by the wayside a bit with modernized technology, the internet and everyone’s desire for instant gratification.  However, there are some tried and true things that show people they are a valuable part of your business rather than just a source of income.  Here are a few important key factors in making sure your customers are satisfied and enjoying the products you provide to them.

• Quality – Most people want to be absolutely sure that they are getting the best quality product for their money.  They want to know that their purchase is durable and functional as promised.  Backyard Buddy has been manufacturing car lifts and products for 25 years and is committed to great customer service and satisfaction.  We are the largest manufacturer of four-post freestanding car lifts for the residential and commercial business in the U.S. which keeps us committed to serving our customers well.  We are committed to always manufacturing a quality car lift.

• Integrity is defined as the adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.  Honesty and integrity are absolutely key in building a strong business foundation.  It is vital that customers know they can trust a business to be absolutely honest with production of their products.  That’s why at Backyard Buddy we are committed to using only American and Canadian certified structural steel – because we know the integrity and quality of the product.

• Safety – in knowing how and where our products are made, we are able to guarantee that our lifts are the safest available.  We are proud of our safety record that now stands the test of time.  We are committed to using the very best materials, designs and engineering in order to build the safest product available for each and every customer.

• Loyalty – We value our customers and loyalty is very important to us.  Loyalty means that we are faithful to our commitments to you as a customer.  If we make a promise, we will follow it through.  If we cannot deliver on our promise for reasons beyond our control, we will ensure proper communication and take responsibility for it.  We desire to keep each client happy with Backyard Buddy.

• Timely Response and Communication – We know that timely responses and communication is important to every individual.  We live in a fast paced society and decisions are made rapidly and answers are often needed quickly.  We commit to quick and accurate customer service response times in order to make the best use of your time.  We are committed to being available to you and your needs as a client.

• Customer satisfaction guaranteed.  At Backyard Buddy we are committed to making sure you are absolutely satisfied with your product each and every time.  We desire that our product not only suits your needs, but makes your life easier and more enjoyable.  We hope that you will in turn tell friends about our great product and send them in for their very own purchases.  We are committed to you and our future business together.

To find out more details about a Backyard Buddy Lift or one of our other great products or to get more information on how to purchase one of our great products today, visit our website at:  http://backyardbuddy.com.

 

Everything we design, make, and sell at Backyard Buddy is made in the USA.

Best American made car lift

Backyard Buddy: Home of the Best U.S.-Made Car Lift

It seems like a simple claim, but those of you with a good eye might notice that more and more companies are finding ways to weasel around their own “Made in the USA” claims.  Not Backyard Buddy, of course. We make entirely U.S.-made auto lift products, parts and accessories, no ifs, ands or buts about it.

Why an All American-Made Car Lift Matters

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), who enforces “Made in the USA” claims, states that in order to make the claim, “all or virtually all” of the product must be made in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and US Territories and possessions.

There’s where the first level of deception begins. “All or virtually all” allows for some foreign parts, though according to the FTC they must be “negligible.” “Negligible” does not mean “non-existent.” In its own example on how to assess the “all or virtually all” statement, the FTC states that a grill with its main components made in the USA, but with knobs made in Mexico is still considered “Made in the USA.”

That seems like splitting hairs compared to the definition of what comprises the USA. If you read carefully, you will note that it also includes US Territories. This means that a product made in American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands can also be called “Made in the USA.” If you think we’re being too picky with this distinction, consider this: while these are technically US territories, they enjoy few of the labor, safety, or environmental protections that we take as a matter of course on the mainland. As you may imagine, American entrepreneurs are smart, and have taken advantage of this situation to produce products that can boast “Made in the USA” but are produced in conditions that would be unacceptable in the 50 states.

If you still think we’re being picky, consider a new type of label we’re seeing lately — “Designed in the USA” and “Assembled in the USA.” The first, “Designed in the USA” is almost meaningless. Most companies design their products in the USA; and then send them out for bids to foreign manufacturers who ruthlessly cut corners in quality, labor costs, and safety to come out with the lowest bid.

The second “Assembled in the USA,” is a little more tricky. To its credit, the FTC does not allow products with a trivial assembly operation performed in the US to be considered “Assembled in the USA.” A product’s principal assembly as well as its final “substantial transformation” must occur in the US for this label to apply, but a substantial amount of foreign-made components (potentially all) are still allowed in the product.

Now that you know all of that; know this. Backyard Buddy’s products are made in the USA. Period. We machine American steel, assemble American components, apply American finishes, and ship our products by American carriers. All of our lifts are designed, tested, and assembled in our factory in Warren, Ohio by American workers. 

That’s a truly American-made auto lift in every sense of the term.

Looking to buy a U.S.-made car lift? That’s all you’ll find from Backyard Buddy.

Made in the USA. Full stop.

Our Backyard Buddy Story: Dave and Denise Tucker

crowded garage

Crowded garage is hard move cars around in

1932 Chevy roadster, Backyard Buddy Lift

Lots of room now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

new camaro and oldsmobile on a Backyard Buddy liftLiving in Michigan, we aren’t able to enjoy our cars all year round and need a place to store them for the winter. We have a garage we use to store our three cars but it was difficult to do without having one of the cars turned sideways, and once full there was no room for anything else.

To help solve this problem, my wife and I decided several years ago to buy a drive-on hoist, so the search began for the perfect hoist. One of the benefits of being active members in a local car club is knowing lots of people with different hoists. In looking at the hoists others have and talking with them about what they likes and dislike about their hoists, we came to one conclusion: buy a good one.

Many of the hoists we looked at were not very robust and seemed weak and cheap. They needed to be bolted to the floor and still appeared flimsy. In looking at how they were assembled and constructed, many looked like they might actually fall. So not being happy with the hoists we saw, we started researching hoists on line. We looked at dozens of them. Even though we are amateur car collectors, we do still have a great deal of money invested in our hobby, and with that comes the fear of a damage if a hoist were to fall or fail. We knew a hoist would let us store additional cars in our garage, so we had an added fear of damaging someone else’s pride and joy if a failure of a cheap hoist were to occur. We were not willing to take these risks.

Backyard Buddy car lift shipping crateOur main interests were:

  • Made in USA
  • Solid/Robust
  • Safe
  • Never going to fall or fail
  • Built-in safety systems
  • Easy to use
  • Easy assembly and maintenance
  • Quality construction using high grade materials, welds, and hardware
  • Free standing (not needing to be bolted to the floor)

Cost was very important, but we were willing to pay a bit more for a high quality product that met our needs. Having wheels and portability was not on our original list of needs–until we ran across the Backyard Buddy and saw the features it had. A jack platform was also not on our original list of needs–but we are glad we got that option for our Backyard Buddy as well. We had not even thought about total lift height, until we saw the Backyard Buddy had a taller lift option.

We gathered information on all the hoists we were interested in, got quotes, and made phone calls. In the end, there was only one clear choice.

It was obvious the Backyard Buddy was a far superior product to anything on the market. It’s offered in cool color combinations too (we got the USA color scheme: red, white and blue). We ordered our Backyard Buddy, and when it showed up we were so excited. 6 hours later it was up and we had put the 1st car on it.

new camaro on a Backyard Buddy liftOur Buddy’s features:

  • Extra tall height
  • Rolling jack platform
  • Drip trays
  • Wheel chock
  • Extra long ramps
  • USA color scheme
  • Casters for portability

Having never owned a hoist and not being familiar with how to set one up, we were concerned, but we found assembling it much easier than expected. It was very well packaged and easy to figure out. The only warning we have for people is that some pieces are very heavy and you do need to make sure you have the proper equipment to move the very heavy parts around. Knowing the right people with the right tools and equipment helps a ton.

Attached are several installation and usage photos as well as one that shows the improved garage layout we now have. We went from difficulty fitting in 3 cars to being able to fit 5 easily.

We have told everyone we know looking to buy a hoist about the Backyard Buddy and we are 100% confident ours will provide years of safe, reliable service. We can sleep well knowing our investment in our cars is protected while our Backyard Buddy is on the job.

What a great product, and it’s even made in the USA. Can’t get any better than that!

Dave and Denise Tucker

Proud and happy owners of a Backyard Buddy–the best hoist for your home. Period.

Backyard Buddy Easy-Access to The Rescue

Easy-access rolling jack stand system

Easy-Access

We’ve been working on getting our friend’s son’s 1979 Jeep CJ7 back on the road.  It has been off the road for about 15 years and consequently, by sitting that long it did not do the old CJ any favors.  Once we took a close look at it, what we thought would be a quick job of cleaning out the gas tank and changing the fluids has turned into a major project.

We’re currently working on replacing the body and patching the rear of the frame.  Jeep CJs are notorious for rusting in the rear frame kick up and shackle area, and this one is definitely not an exception. The main problem is that the frame’s design has manufacturing holes that allow dirt, moisture, and other crud inside the frame.  This thus provided free housing to many generations of mice.  Subsequently, we learned that mouse nests are excellent at holding in moisture and causing the frame rails to rust from the inside out.  Luckily, the sides and front of the frame are in good condition, therefore keeping this from being a total loss.

Since the garage is full of other projects, we’ve been working on the Jeep outside on the concrete driveway.  We have been using our Backyard Buddy Easy-Access system (http://www.backyardbuddy.com/automotive-lifts/backyard-buddy-easy-access/) to support the frame and to allow us to move it around so that we can easily work on it.

Easy-Access rolling jack stand system

Easy-Access

The Easy-Access jack stand system is a great tool for anyone who needs to support their vehicle but doesn’t have the space or the need for a full auto lift.  Easy-Access has many different attachments that make it conducive to set up for any frame, axle and body combination.  It has heavy-duty rubber casters which allow it to roll on uneven surfaces easily.  It is very rigid, safe and much better than having the frame sitting on jack stands.  (Jack stands often wobble, they are hard to get level, and they are almost always unsafe to leave on dollies so that the vehicle can be moved around.)

The Easy-Access system is the next best thing to having an auto lift because it allows flexibility in moving around the frames and chassis.  We know people who have both an auto lift and the Easy-Access system, and as you probably well know by now, there are advantages to owning both.