Vehicle maintenance: Tips for choosing the best vehicle lift battery
Fleet maintenance: Each battery type offers different advantages; Rotary Lift helps you select the right one for your application to maximize a lift’s potential.
Vehicle lifts: Battery-operated vehicle lifts are fast and convenient. Their DC power units drive quick rise times, and battery-powered mobile column lifts provide heavy-duty technicians with complete portability. All battery-powered lifts work during power outages, so there is never any risk that a vehicle will be left stranded in the air.
There is one other important advantage that battery-operated lifts offer over traditional wired lifts: the ability to adapt the lift to a specific application using the right battery type. Advances in battery technology have made it possible for facilities to tailor their battery-operated lifts to meet specific needs. For instance, some battery types are more suited for quick service applications than others.
What options are available for lift buyers today? Rotary Lift, the vehicle lift manufacturer that offers more battery-operated models than any other lift maker, provides expert guidance.
“Rotary Lift revolutionized the market in 2011 with the introduction of patent-pending Shockwave technology that makes its battery-powered two-post surface and inground lifts the fastest in the world. Shockwave technology is now also available on our light-duty four-post and alignment lifts,” says Doug Spiller, heavy-duty product manager for Rotary Lift. “On the heavy-duty side, our battery-powered Mach Series mobile column lifts have long been preferred by heavy-duty customers for their speed and ease of use, and last year we introduced fast heavy-duty four-post lifts with DC power units. We know what it takes to build an efficient battery-powered lift, and recognize the significant impact choosing the right battery type and style can make for the customer.”
Rotary Lift engineers thoroughly cycle test lifts with a variety of battery types at Rotary Lift’s North American headquarters in Madison, Indiana, and also monitor the performance of lifts in use in vehicle service facilities. Based on extensive research, they recommend two types of batteries for vehicle lifts:
• Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM): While AGM battery technology is not new, its cost has only recently come down enough to make these batteries feasible for installation in vehicle lifts. AGM batteries are maintenance-free and offer longer battery life at faster cycle rates; however, they should be connected to an AGM-compatible charger to maximize their potential. For frequent-use, quick service settings where a vehicle is fully raised and lowered at least once every 15 minutes, AGM batteries may be worth the higher initial investment.
• Flooded Lead-Acid: These standard batteries have wet cells that require monitoring and maintenance, but they offer an economical option for customers.
Once a customer has determined the type of battery, he or she can then choose the style of battery that fits the particular service.
• Deep Cycle Style: Deep cycle marine batteries are the most commonly used batteries for mobile column lifts. That¹s because they can operate for days or weeks between charges, meaning the mobile column does not have to be plugged in continually. This enables technicians to move the lift to a location that is convenient for the vehicle being lifted and then leave the lift in place for an extended period of time. Constant charging applications will typically shorten the lifespan of deep cycle batteries.
• Starting Style: Standard car and light truck batteries are economical and powerful, providing the best bang for the buck for light-duty lifts under normal operation. They are ideal for facilities that can benefit from fast rise times, but that do not typically cycle the lift every 15 minutes. Automotive batteries should be continuously charged. Continuous cycling without a charger can damage these batteries.
Each of Rotary Lift’s battery-operated lifts comes with a smart digital charger that works with any of these styles and types of batteries. The charger not only senses the battery type, discharge rate and how close the battery is to fully charged, but also the ambient temperature, which can affect charge settings.
“Some lift manufacturers ship all lifts with a basic charger and pre-determined battery installed, which limits the customer’s ability to choose the right type for his or her application,” says Spiller. “At Rotary Lift, we have learned that it is best to give the customer flexibility. That’s why our standard charger works with all of the popular lift battery options. All of our lifts can be shipped without batteries, enabling the customer to determine which style and type should be installed. Customers should consult their owners manuals for size and amp requirements.”
About Rotary Lift
Rotary Lift is the leading brand of vehicle lifts designed to increase technician productivity. Celebrating 90 years in 2015, Rotary Lift was founded in 1925 by the inventor of the first automotive hydraulic lift and now offers the broadest line of lifts for use in professional automotive service, commercial truck and transit applications. There are more Rotary Lift products used in vehicle repair facilities around the world than any other brand.
Rotary Lift is a Vehicle Service Group (VSG) brand. VSG comprises nine global vehicle lifting and collision repair brands: Rotary Lift, Chief®, Forward® Lift, Direct-Lift®, Hanmecson®, Revolution® Lift, Elektron, Blitz® and nogra®. With its American headquarters in Madison, Indiana, VSG has operations worldwide, including ISO 9001-certified manufacturing centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. VSG is part of the Engineered Systems segment of Dover Corporation, a multi-billion-dollar, global producer of innovative equipment, specialty systems and value-added services. Rotary Lift is a GSA contract holder, GSA contract #GS-07F-8953D (Dover Industries, Inc., DBA Rotary Lift). Rotary Lift products are also available through a number of other government procurement programs, including NJPA, HGACBuy, CMAS, TXMAS and KCRPC.