Should I get a two or four-post lift?

February 1, 2010 | By Richard Prince


I am building a new shop and am considering an auto lift, but can’t decide between a four-post or two-post design. I can see advantages to either based on certain processes or procedures.

Will you please share your experiences on this topic?


Based on lengthy experience, I would recommend an above-ground, two-post lift with adjustable arms and no aboveground base plate extending from one post to the other.

Two posts with adjustable arms, as opposed to a four-post with drive-on ramps, will give you maximum access to your vehicles.

While lifts with drive-on ramps are arguably sturdier, they make it difficult to remove the wheels for access to the brakes and suspension.

If you were going to use the lift for storage only and not service, I would definitely recommend a four-post model with ramps. But if you intend to work on your cars you can’t beat the two-post model with adjustable arms.

A lift with a base plate that sits on your shop floor is not the end of the world but it’s a nuisance to push cars over the plate, especially by yourself. Some lifts eliminate the need for a thick base plate by extending an overhead support from one post to the other.