Hero Hoists hears this question a lot. There’s no correct answer to this question! However, by comparing advantages and disadvantages of both styles of hoists, we can make your choice a little easier.
Most professional workshops know what type of hoist will work best for their business. They have both 2-post and 4-post above ground hoists in their service bays. Unlike these workshops many people will only buy one hoist for their home garage.
Hero Hoists Australia wants you to make the best choice…
Why are you buying a hoist?
”I just want to store my car and do a little cleaning and polishing once in a while. I am not a "big car guy", and really only want a lift to store a car that I will not be driving much."
If this sounds like you, and if "storing a car" is the primary reason for owning a hoist, we would recommend a 4-post hoist. That’s definitely not to say a 4-poster isn’t good for all kinds of servicing (especially true when you option it with a Jacking Beam or 2) and we know many mechanics who swear by their 4-posters for ANY kind of servicing… as they’re much quicker to position the car - and in a home situation (where other people may have access to the garage) are considered a much safer proposition.
The 4-post hoist supports your vehicle’s entire ‘wheels’ much better than a 2-post hoist. Imagine yourself suspended 1.80m in the air. Would you rather have your entire body supported (as if lying in a bed) or would you rather have just your torso supported (lying in a string hammock) with your arms and legs dangling?
A 4-post hoist acts much like the bed, supporting the entire vehicle. The 2-post lift acts like the hammock, supporting only the torso, and allowing the four wheel assemblies to "dangle". That may end up putting too much strain on the suspension, and on some vehicles the chassis / bodywork will suffer as a consequence too…
"I want to do all types of repairs to my vehicles, and I’m on a limited budget."
Then - depending on width & height constraints - you’ll probably prefer a 2-poster. The 2-post lift is the most inexpensive way to raise the most amount of weight. The 2-post hoist allows the operator to easily access all parts of the vehicle, including the wheel assemblies, whereas the 4-post hoist requires an auxiliary scissor lift (usually at extra cost) that will raise the car off the runways (to allow wheels-free service).
Keep in mind however that while the overall footprint is less than a 4-poster, you’ll need a wider and higher space to install a 2-poster. The minimum height requirement is about 2.85m, and the minimum installed width is generally 3.45m to 3.55m.
Or, you might choose a storable 2-poster instead. They generally don’t allow full working height - but our 3.20T model gets close to it, and installs into just 2.014m height - a nice space-saver choice…
A typical standard-sized 4-poster will install into less than 3.0m width and under 2.30m height. Individual models vary and high-lift models need more space.
Your hoist has specific requirements to secure safely to a concrete base. Make sure your concrete is thick enough to support your hoist, minimum thickness is 100mm. Also, ensure your concrete is in good condition with no major cracks. For example, concrete anchors must be at least 150mm from the edge of the concrete or any seam and the hoist cannot be anchored to the concrete if there are any cracks within 900mm of the base plate.
A domestic 4-post hoist can be portable (most come with a free castor kit). That means if you decide to reposition it, or transport it to another location, it’s easy. Standard-sized 4-posters can be transported on the back of a tilt-tray truck with a ‘wide-load’ permit. We do that when we go to car shows…
The 4-post hoist may also be permanently anchored. A 2-post hoist MUST be anchored to the ground.
A 2-post hoist will raise a car "higher" in a low ceiling garage. This is because the four wheel assemblies hang below the four lifting arms (the vehicle is lifted by the frame).
For instance, a vehicle that is 155cm tall (from the bottom of the tyres to the luggage rack) will remain 155cm tall when lifted on a 4-post hoist. However, this same vehicle may only be 115cm tall when lifted on a 2-post hoist, because 40cm may be "hanging" below the arms. If you have a 3.0m ceiling, the 2-post hoist will raise most vehicles to about 1.80m off the ground.
* We do stock ‘low’ clearfloor models - which can sometimes fit a lower ceiling garage… they install into less than 3.50m ceiling height. Or, our 1-Post Portable Service Hoist might also be an option for you…
Bottom-line is that a 4-post hoist makes it much quicker & easier to load and position the vehicle. The runways of the 4-post hoist make it easy for the operator to just drive onto the hoist. There is no need (as on a 2-post hoist) to get out of the car, kneel down, and correctly position the arms to ensure that the vehicle will be lifted safely and evenly.
Extremely low ground clearance vehicles are much easier to load on a 4-post hoist. Some owners self install their 4-posters - as it’s definitely easier to do (as they don’t need to be bolted down). On the 2-posters we highly recommend professional installation.
The consequences of a faulty installation on a 2-post hoist can be dire…
And, while measuring your garage or workshop, take into account any obstructions such as garage door openers, door tracks, stairs, etc.
How wide is your garage?
Make sure your garage is wide enough to fit your new hoist. Survey your garage or workshop area for such items as shelving or work benches that will prevent the hoist from being installed or properly operated.
How deep is your garage?
You must be able to fit the hoist within your garage and the depth of your garage will determine which hoist is most suitable. Once again, think about any potential obstructions that may prevent the hoist from being properly installed and operated.
What is the height, width, weight and wheelbase (measure from centre of front wheel to centre of rear wheel) of your largest vehicle?
Make sure your vehicle will fit onto the hoist and that there’s adequate clearance when the vehicle is in the hoisted position. Also, make sure the hoisting capacity of the hoist is properly matched up with your heaviest vehicle.
What is the width of your widest vehicle?
You need to make sure your vehicle will fit onto the hoist.
You’ll need to consider your power requirements, 240V or 3 Phase?
For home use, the domestic power supply (240V) is fine. Lifting time is not determined by a single-phase or 3-phase power supply.
However, please discuss with an electrician, or speak to us first. Most of our hoists are available with either a 240V or 3 Phase power unit (an additional cost may be charged for 3-phase, and whether the hoist was supplied that way or not) - and you’ll need an electrician to wire the unit.
What type of oil do you recommend?
Hydraulic Fluid / Mineral Oil 32 or 46.
What size drill bit do you recommend?
Our installers use a 20 mm drill bit to drill the holes for the dyna-bolts.
So which hoist is right for you? Only you can make that decision. We just hope that your new hoist will come from us…
Q: Which hoist should I buy? A 4-Post or 2-Post model?
Q: As a general guide, how much height do I need in my garage to stack my cars?
A: If you were going to stack 2 modern sedans - for example 2 x VE Commodores you need about 3.25 metres. If you have sports cars, you need less. If you have a sedan and a 4WD, you need more...If you have a lower garage, but it’s a double or triple configuration, you can swing the Lift King hoist around after driving on the first vehicle, (because we supply it as standard with a castor kit) - raise that supported vehicle up high enough to only clear the bonnet of your second car - and then park your second vehicle at right angles to it...
Download (above) or request our ‘Required Height Calculator’ which we can email to you so you can work out EXACTLY how much height you need for your particular vehicles/boat or other equipment...
Or, please measure the heights of your cars accurately - and send to us for an answer…
Q: Are your Lift King 4-post models good for working on my cars too?
A: Absolutely - both the Lift King 9 and 9XL are rated at 4,000kgs - more than enough for most vehicles out there - however that really isn’t as important as the quality of the construction - once you get over 3,000 kgs it’s a moot point - what really matters is that the hoists are built to last and not flex or deform in any way…
Both models come with Jack Trays - and they accept our Rolling Jacking Beams (internal scissor lifts) which run along tracks welded to the inside of the runways - so even though we DO sell to the ‘hobby’ market - these hoists are ‘cut above’ the cheaper ‘hobby hoist out there...
Q: Can I really install it myself?
A: Yes, for many of the 4-Post models. We provide Assembly Manuals - as well as unlimited phone support - just call us anytime for advice... If you prefer, we can organise installation for you in the Sydney region - and professional installers are available Australia wide...
On 1 and 2-Post hoists we strongly advise professional installation.
Q: Honestly - isn’t most stuff made in China rubbish?
A: Sure, some of our competitor’s hoists are less than we’d be happy to own ourselves... that’s why we don’t sell lower-capacity ‘hobby’ hoists..
Our manufacturers are ISO-9001 (International Quality Controlled and Certified) - so realistically the factories could be located anywhere - Europe, Scandinavia, Australia etc - as the standard is the same - keep in mind many so-called ‘Made in America’ hoists are in fact made in Asia, then ‘assembled’ in order to deliberately mislead the consumer into believing that the units are made locally - we‘re upfront about our product and any shortcomings are quickly addressed - Hero gives feedback from our customers and ourselves to constantly improve the products... and they’re pretty damned good already! For that simple reason we’re more than happy to refer potential customers to happy owners...
Q: Come on guys - they’re all made the same way, aren’t they?
A: Definitely NOT – appearances can be VERY deceptive. That’s why we’re happy to provide close-up pictures if requested… how many other manufacturers are so confident? Cheaper lifts use inferior, lighter weight sheet metal and questionable safety systems – and that’s usually reflected in their price...
Safety should be paramount in your decision when purchasing this type of equipment - ask yourself - what’s your life (or the life of a loved-one) worth?And - how much have you invested already in your prized vehicle/s? Is a cheap, flimsy hoist gonna cut it under your pride and joy?
Bottom-Line: We actually encourage potential customers to view our cheaper competitors’ products - because even a quick visual inspection will satisfy you that a lower-capacity, cheaper hoist is false economy - and as we say elsewhere on this website, quality is remembered long after a small difference in price is forgotten...
Q: There are other blokes selling car hoists; why should I purchase from Hero Hoists?
A: You get the BEST warranty and after-sales service. We know our products, and can advise you accordingly. We’ve been in the hoist industry for over 13 years.
We don’t import cheap, untested hoists from the bottom-dollar supplier - but a product range that is of a superior quality expected by Australian owners.
Q: Do your 2 & 4 Post hoists comply with Australian Standards AS/NZ 1418.9?
A: Yes, the Worksafe Design Registration numbers can be provided for each product on our website with the exception of some of the equipment which is only designed for domestic parking purposes and not to be installed in a workplace or for working underneath a vehicle.
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: We accept direct deposit and cheque payments (subject to clearance). Visa or Mastercard are also accepted..
Q: Can you offer finance?
A: Yes, please contact us and we can give you some finance options. Please keep in mind most finance companies have a minimum amount they will consider… so this is an option requested by commercial buyers purchasing multiple hoists and/or garage equipment.
A value of $10,000.00 is generally the minimum amount financed.
Q: Are the 4-post models REALLY safe as freestanding units?
A: Yes. However if you have an uneven, or slightly sloping surface, bolts are provided to fix the units permanently...
Keep in mind that the Lift Kings are safe and stable under normal conditions and given a reasonably level surface - in fact they’re even more stable with a vehicle supported...
* No hoist should be installed on asphalt or an anything other than a gentle slope…
* Please get an experienced installer to evaluate your garage if unsure…
What is the minimum concrete foundation required for my hoist?
Please refer to the installation manual but generally for most vehicle hoists a minimum of 100mm concrete floor depth and 32Mpa is required. Base frames are available as an optional extras on some models should your concrete floor not be thick enough.
Q: As a private buyer - do I need to worry about compliance to Australian design rules?
A: No. However... they comply with many overseas standards (for example European CE and/or German TUV – for your peace of mind...
Q: Why are the Hero AutoHoists a little more expensive than some of the others?
A: Heavier-duty, quality construction and attention to detail are the main differences. We’d rather sell a slightly more expensive hoist - and keep away from the cheaper ‘hobby’ lifts... some of which have proven to be dangerous and reflect badly on the whole field...
Realistically, over the lifetime of the hoist, it’s a small factor - and we know you’ll be delighted with the quality, performance and flexibility of a Hero AutoHoist - rather than simply satisfied...
We don’t aim to be the ‘biggest’ - we aim to be the best - and if eventually we do become the biggest - it will be through our reputation for quality - not as heavy discounters of ‘ordinary‘ products...
An Interesting Quote
"It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money - that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot - it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."
(1819 - 1900)
Q: Do you ship to all parts of Australia?
A: Yes. For direct delivery a forklift is needed on-site at time of drop-off.
If that’s not convenient, we can send your hoist to the closest depot, so you can collect there. Use a local tilt-tray service, or hire / use your own car trailer.
Or, we can send to a local business which has a forklift capable of extracting a large flatpack from the side of the delivery truck - which has agreed to accept on your behalf…
Is the equipment on your website always in stock?
Yes, most of the items on our website are available immediately. Occasionally we will have items sell out - which means there will be a short wait for our new stock to arrive, generally from 6-8 weeks.
Special made-to-order items such as pit and multi-unit parking car stackers are custom made and therefore are not stocked items.
What is the usual shipping time?
Shipping time varies, it usually takes from 4 - 9 days depending on where you are located. We can email you a tracking number once your goods have been collected by the freight company.
Q: Is there a strict Maintenance Schedule I need to perform as a private owner?
A: In a private garage - no. Simply lubricate all cables occasionally with Dry Lube and WD-40 / Silicon-Based Spray on the rollers... however you should get the hoist serviced and safety inspected every 2 to 3 years, or yearly under regular, heavy use.
We provide detailed instructions and guide you as to how and where to maintain the hoist - we also never assume you know what to do - so please ask any questions you like - the only ‘silly’ question is one you haven‘t asked yet - so if we’ve missed anything here in our FAQ’s please just let us know!