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How-To Guide: Choosing the correct Car Hoist

Mechanic struggling without a vehicle hoist

Are you tired of having to constantly jack up cars and deal with axel stands only to lay on your back on the cold concrete under them?

There is a reason that most automotive workshops use vehicle hoists. But can you have the same luxury in your shed at home?

Absolutely! Joel’s Garage Gear has helped hundreds of our customers take their hobby to the next level by doing exactly that.

I want a hoist but I don’t know if it will fit?

This is a question we frequently get asked at Joel’s Garage Gear. So we decided to put together this article to help you choose the most suitable hoist for your work space.

How high does my ceiling need to be to install a hoist?

This is dependent on two limiting factors:

  1. The ability to install the physical unit within the height of your workshop
  2. The height that you will be able to lift the vehicle once it is on the hoist

First use the table below to check which hoist is compatible with your ceiling height:

Hoist Model Min Ceiling Height Max Lifting Height
5 Ton Clear Floor 2 Post Hoist 4.40 meters 1.99 meters
4.5 Ton Clear Floor 2 Post Hoist 3.80 meters 1.99 meters
4 Ton Base Plate 2 Post Hoist 3.00 meters 1.85 meters
3 Ton Scissor Lift Hoist 2.50 meters 1.00 meters
4 Ton Standard 4 Post Hoist 3.50 meters 1.90 meters
4 Ton Extra Long & High 4 Post Hoist 3.90 meters 2.25 meters
3 Ton Narrow Width 4 Post Hoist 3.50 meters 1.90 meters
Motorcycle Lifting Table 2.50 meters 0.84 meters

Once you’ve chosen a hoist that will fit with your ceiling height the next limiting factor will be the height of your vehicle.

This will determine how much space you will have to work underneath the vehicle.

In order to calculate this you will need to measure the height of your vehicle from the jacking point to the roof and add it to the maximum lifting height of the hoist.

This will then give you the height your ceiling needs to be in order to achieve maximum lift with that particular hoist.

It is worth noting however that in most cases you will not need to lift your car this high to work on it comfortably.

So as long as the hoist fits the shed you should have adequate lift for most standard sized vehicles. You just may not be able to walk freely underneath it without ducking your head.

How deep does my concrete need to be to safely hold up a car on the hoist?

Our 2 post hoists and 4 post hoist models each have their own concrete requirements as recommended by the manufacturer. Please check their individual specifications. You can check the depth of your existing concrete by drilling into a discreet area of the slab in your workshop.

Do I need special 3 phase power to operate a hoist?

No. All of the equipment we sell at Joel’s Garage Gear operates on standard 240v single phase power. You will however need a qualified electrician to wire up the connection to a 20amp outlet.

2 or 4 post — Which is the better hoist?

This completely depends on what you want to use the hoist for.

4 post hoists are generally better as a vehicle storage solution whilst 2 post hoists offer better access to work on suspension and drive-train components.

Our scissor lifts are also a great solution for work spaces with low ceilings.

Ready to make your choice?

When it comes down to it any of our vehicle hoists are guaranteed to make your life easier to work on your pride and joy. But hopefully this guide has helped you decide which model is best suited to the space you have available.

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