Using a Two-Post Hoist

The objective of this procedure is to show you how to lift a vehicle using a two-post hoist. The lifting capacity of the hoist you are using must be rated for a vehicle weight greater than that of the vehicle you are intending to lift. Check the hoist rating and compare it with the weight given in the vehicle service manual.

Part 1. Preparation and safety


  • Lift a vehicle using a two-post hoist.

Using a two-post hoist

Personal safety

Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

  • Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
  • Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
  • Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
  • Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
  • Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

  • Make sure that you understand and observe all legislative and personal safety procedures when carrying out the following tasks. If you are unsure of what these are, ask your supervisor.

Points to note

  • Before lifting any vehicle, make sure the frame is structurally sound. If you see rust or signs of major repair, lifting the vehicle with a hoist may cause damage to the vehicle or may be dangerous to you.
  • The lifting capacity of the hoist you are using must be rated for a vehicle weight greater than that of the vehicle you are intending to lift. Check the hoist rating and compare it with the weight given in the vehicle service manual.
  • Make sure you know exactly how to operate the hoist. Take particular care that you know exactly where the "stop" control is so that you can use it quickly in an emergency. Refer to the operations manual for the correct procedure.
  • Be sure the hoist is fully lowered before positioning the vehicle over it. Check the amount of clearance under the vehicle. Driving a low-slung vehicle over the lifting mechanism may result in damage to the underside of the vehicle.
  • The lifting points on a vehicle are typically located under the jacking points. Check the vehicle service manual if you are not sure where the lift points are. The lifting arms must be positioned under the center of the lift points, so that the weight of the vehicle is distributed evenly.
  • Make sure that there will be adequate headroom above the vehicle after it has been raised. Taller vehicles, especially those fitted with roof racks, may need more headroom than you think.
  • The hoist should be raised so you can comfortably work under it. Lock the lift in place before moving underneath or working on the vehicle.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction

  1. Read instructions
    Read the safety instructions that are provided with the hoist. They should be displayed near the lift operating controls. Check the hydraulic system for leaks. Make sure there are no oil spills around or under the hoist.
  2. Prepare the hoist
    The hoist should be completely down before you attempt to drive the vehicle onto it. You should also check the arms and pads for any signs of damage. Check under the vehicle to make sure there are no parts which will interfere with the hoist operation and that the vehicle is structurally sound and not badly corroded. Check the vehicle’s service manual or your workshop service manual and locate the correct contact points for the lifting pads.
  3. Position the vehicle
    Carefully drive the vehicle onto the hoist and position it centrally. Leave the vehicle in neutral with the emergency brake off. You may need to move the car forward or backward to allow the arms to swing under the car. Position the lifting pads under the vehicle lifting points. Make sure the lifting pads are adjusted to the same height for both sides of the vehicle.
  4. Raise the hoist to the vehicle
    Move to the operating controls and raise the hoist just far enough to come into contact with the vehicle. Make sure that the lifting pads are positioned centrally under the contact points.
  5. Raise the vehicle slightly
    Make sure nobody is near the vehicle, and then raise it just far enough for the wheels to be off the floor. Check the position of the lifting pads to make sure they have not moved, and shake the vehicle gently to confirm that it is stable on the hoist.
  6. Raise the vehicle completely
    Once you are sure the vehicle is safely positioned on the hoist, lift it to the working height.
  7. Engage safety device
    With the vehicle at the correct height you should now lock the hoist in place and engage whatever safety device is used with it.
  8. Lower the vehicle
    Before the hoist is lowered, remove all tools and equipment from the hoist area, and wipe up any spilled fluids. Remove the safety device or unlock the lift before lowering it. Make sure nobody is near the vehicle on the hoist before lowering it. Once the vehicle is on the ground you can remove the lifting arms and drive it away from the hoist.