Automotive Lift Certification: Another Level of Safety

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Automotive Lift Certification

An auto repair garage is one of the most dangerous places a person can go. One misplaced tool or simple mistake, and the consequences could be absolutely tragic. That’s why, in most cases, garages are subject to stringent safety rules and anyone who enters the garage must have proper training and, when appropriate, safety equipment.

One type of tool that requires training before use is the auto lift. Auto lifts are the devices that raise vehicles above a technicians head, allowing easy access to the underside of the car. While the design and operation of one of these tools may seem simple, their dangerous nature requires proper technique to ensure the safety of both the operator and everyone in the garage.

In fact, many commercial garages will only purchase auto lifts that are certified by the Automotive Lift Institute. When you install a certified lift, it’s a sign to customers and employees that you take safety seriously and want to ensure your auto lifts are used properly.

Automotive Lift Institute Certification

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Automotive Lift Institute Certification

When someone wants to open a restaurant, they can’t simply open their kitchen and start serving food. There is a complex series of rules and regulations to follow that ensure that the food and food preparation areas are as clean as possible and run properly to ensure the safety of those preparing the food, as well as, those who will eat it.

ALI lift certification serves a similar purpose. The organization uses government standards to evaluate and determine the safety of automotive lift machines. These standards look at the lift’s design, construction, installation, maintenance and operating procedures to ensure everything is done properly and with safety in mind. The certification not only gives you peace of mind that the lift your considering for  your shop is as safe as can be for those working on the cars, it’s also safe for the cars themselves. Imagine the costs associated with a vehicle that falls off the lift; not only are injuries likely, but such an event can irreparably damage a vehicle.

Certification Process

Getting an ALI certification for a vehicle lift is not a simple process, however. A lift manufacturer cannot simply call and request a certification, or apply for the designation.

To be declared a certified lift, the machine must undergo a thorough inspection by a qualified professional from ALI. To even be considered, the lift model must be listed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL); this listing indicates that the lift was manufactured by a recognized company in strict accordance with established design and construction protocols.

Qualifying lifts are then inspected by an ALI representative. The inspection is thorough, and the inspector will test the operation of the lift using established governmental standards. Every nut, bolt, screw and button is inspected and tested, and any deficiencies must be corrected before the lift is certified. The shop must also have easily accessible and up-to-date manuals and instructions, as well as operator safety guidelines, on hand in order to pass inspection.

The process does not end with a successful inspection, though. ALI certification is an ongoing process, and a lift can lose its designation if the manufacturer does not properly continue a commitment to quality and safety in the design and manufacture of their product. After a lift earns the credential, ALI representatives perform regular audits and inspections to ensure that roper quality control procedures are followed within individual shops and that the lift continues to be well-maintained and safely operated.

Important Considerations

While it’s important to purchase an ALI certified lift for your shop, there are some similar designations that are often confused for ALI certification. Avoid lifts that are listed as Certification Pending, as the ALI does not allow for any such designation; lifts designated as CE are also not truly certified by American standards, as the designation is European and the electrical standards are not the same. When buying lifts, read the documentation carefully and know exactly what you are buying, keeping in mind that a used lift may have been repaired with non-original manufacturer’s parts, thereby negating the certification.

Choosing a certified lift for your shop is a good choice for the safety of your employees and customers, and protects against serious damages or injuries. Before you buy a lift, do some research to ensure the model you’re considering is certified, and enjoy the peace of mind that the designation offers.

How to Drive in Snow Without Crashing

Kết quả hình ảnh cho driving in winter

Probably the most difficult and certainly the most dangerous conditions that the average driver regularly has to contend with is snow. Should you live in an area with annual freezing Winters, there a number of simple things that you can do to greatly reduce the chances of you getting into a collision.

Winter Tires

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Winter Tires

Regardless of how many articles you read about correctly driving in snowy weather, you simply cannot handle ice without adequate grip. Adequate grip can only be found in tires that have a thread depth of at least 6/32inches. You may notice that your apparent all weather tires don’t possess such a depth and that unfortunately means that they do not possess enough grip to handle the roads on a snowy day. You’re only option for adequately handling ice is tires that are designed specifically for the purpose, they are imaginatively named Winter tires.

Winter Lights

Kết quả hình ảnh cho car winter light

When I say Winter lights, I don’t mean that you actually need to equip your car with new lights, rather that you both drive with front lights that are on and that are cleared of any snow. When driving in snowy conditions, you really want to have as few unexpected things on front of you as possible and short of beeping your horn like a madman on the way to the shop, keeping your lights on at all times is the best way of achieving this.

Plan your Route

This of course is not completely possible but a large portion of the danger involved in driving to work in the snow can be avoided with a few minutes of thought before you set off about where you should and should not drive. If you have lived in an area for enough snowy Winters, you are likely to be aware of the places that tend to get the most ice. Simply avoiding such areas could be considered the most effective tip on this list.

Leave as Much Time to Stop As Possible

As you are likely aware, stopping in a hurry on an icy road can at times be impossible. Regardless of the tyres that you are using or how good of a driver you consider yourself to be when it comes to driving in snowy conditions, the easiest away to avoid having an accident is to simply leave ample space between you and other vehicles. You never know when they will have to stop in a hurry and it is also worth noting that regardless of whose fault a collision is, the driver of the car behind is always the one that has to foot the bill.

Don’t Drive Blind

One of the key aspects of driving safely in Winter conditions is to take all necessary precautions before you set off. You need to make sure that your visibility is near perfect when first setting out as it is only likely to get worse, not better as you drive.

  • To start with, you can get rid of all condensation by turning the heater on. This should be done a few minutes before you start your journey and you should not turn it off until you reach your destination.
  • When it comes to the outside of your windows, you not only need to make sure that they are clear but also that they will remain so. Always test your windshield wipers before leaving home and carry both an extra pair and extra wiper fluid should you run out. This may sound unnecessary but you certainly wouldn’t think so if you found yourself attempting to drive through snow without working wipers.

Don’t Over Steer

Finally, if you do get into a sticky situation and you find that your front tires have lost their grip, the first thought that enters most peoples minds is to attempt to turn. This will almost always make things worse however because once your front tires regain their grip, they are likely to jerk in the direction that they are currently pointed in. Therefore always try to change the direction of the steering wheel as little as possible when you find that you have lost your grip on the road.

Nine Ways To Add Years To Your Car Life

Kết quả hình ảnh cho maintain your car

Should you be worrying that your car is getting on a bit or you’ve simply recently purchased a new car and want to keep it in top condition, there are a number of easy steps that you can take. Each one only takes a few minutes/dollars at a time but could easily save you thousands in the long run.

Only Use Quality Fuel

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Quality Fuel for car

While discounted gas may save you money in the short term, over the long run cutting corners in fuel quality will reduce the lifespan of your car. Many discount chains such as Costco can afford to offer such big discounts as they are selling dated fuel. Such fuel is significantly more likely to contain sludge which leads to nasty engine blockages.

Wash Your Car During Winter

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Wash Your Car During Winter

Many car owners don’t bother to wash their car during the Winter as the generally lousy weather tends to cause that newly washed look to barely last the journey home. The fact is however that washing your car is not only about aesthetics, it is also about getting sand and debris off of your car before it can cause serious damage. The fact that Winter leads to more road debris is actually a reason to wash it more rather than less often.

Don’t Ignore Your Cooling System

Hình ảnh có liên quan

While oil and water levels are generally looked after by almost all drivers, your engines cooling system is equally important and at times forgotten. Regular checks are essential together with frequent coolant top ups. And while many drivers happily use water or coolant alone, doing so will damage your cooling system over time. If you want your cooling system to last, the correct ratio of fifty percent coolant and fifty percent water should be used.

Follow Your Maintenance Schedule

Most cars come complete with a maintenance schedule including particular checks that should be performed at various mileage milestones. Many car owners don’t bother following them however. Not only will keeping to your cars maintenance schedule make your car last longer, it is also likely to save you significant time and money in terms of visits to your local mechanic.

Break Your Car in Gently

The first thousand miles of any cars life are highly significant as it is at this point that the engine is at its most fragile. Wherever possible stay below sixty miles per hour and switch the engine off rather than leaving it idle for long periods of time. Putting too much pressure on your cars engine during the first one thousand miles may not show any immediate damage but over the long run, it’ll become all too apparent.

Check Your Car Every Time You Fill Up

Spending two minutes doing important checks every other time you fill up the tank can add years to a cars life. A quick check of the tyres, a quick wipe of the battery with a damp cloth and a brief look over the engine as a whole will have you going again in no time but it can make all the difference, particularly if you spot a problem that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Look After Your Tyres

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Look After Your Tyres

While regularly keeping your tires in optimum condition and changing them when needed is well known to be important when it comes to fuel efficiency, it is also important to the overall health of your car. Driving with poor tyres lowers the life of your suspension, transmission and even your engine.

Find a Mechanic That You Trust

While you can visit almost any doctor and get the same quality of care, the same can sadly not be said about mechanics. And while most people are aware of the potential increased costs incurred by visiting a dishonest mechanic, a lazy mechanic who fails to spot potential problems before they happen can cost you even more.

Drive Smarter

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Drive Smarter

Finally, drive with caution. Not only are you less likely to have an accident which would render all of these points pointless but driving aggressively lowers your cars lifespan significantly. In particular, avoid the following:

  • Never race your engine during start up.
  • Shift to neutral while at red lights.
  • Avoid high speeds and/or rapid acceleration during extreme weather conditions, both hot and cold.
  • Avoid potholes while driving and curbs while parking.
  • Don’t hold your steering wheel in the extreme right or left position for more than a few seconds at a time.
  • Remember that the most damage to your engine occurs during the first ten minutes of any journey.

In conclusion, most of the tips in this list are very much common sense. The key to a longer lasting car is all about preventing damage occurring before it happens. And while many of these tips will cost money in the short term, over the long run the savings are significant.