mgfoster Reader
2/25/21 9:27 a.m.

Well, despite it being possibly the worst time in history to build a house, I have started on my dream "house". I thought the space would be plenty, but its truly never enough! After parking a truck (short bed, regular cab too!) in the form boards of the slab, I realized I wont have the luxury of having ample space in front and behind the car that is on the lift. It's going to be tight, and I would like to only bolt down a lift once.. 

The plan is to get an Atlas symmetrical 9K Base Plate lift from Greg Smith Equip. The largest vehicle I plan on needing to lift with the garage door shut is my 72 C10 long bed. I've never put it on a lift before, so where do you think the posts would need to be lined up on a symmetrical lift? I was thinking middle of the doors (ish). 

Here is the Floor Plan, I am going to put the lift in the middle bay. 


All the workbenches will obviously be on the back wall, there is 27' 4" of depth to work with, and the C10 is 17.5 ft overall length with an 8 ft bed. 


SO, How many feet from the garage door wall should I put the center of the lift posts? 




Karacticus GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/25/21 9:56 a.m.

I don't have an answer, but the desired location could also depend on overhead clearance to your bay doors (and the door type) and whether you want to be able to have a vehicle up on the lift with a door open.

mgfoster Reader
2/25/21 10:00 a.m.

In reply to Karacticus :

I am planning on doing "high lift" doors so the door will be as close to the ceiling as possible, but yes that could very well be another limitation. 

Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter)
Gearheadotaku (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/25/21 11:24 a.m.

How tall is your "finished" ceiling? Is it flat or sloped?

How tall are your garage doors?

This will give you an idea of how far your garage doors will enter your raised car height. 

Measure your floor from the garage door to the front of the work bench. Mark the center of that for a post placement, now figure your longest vehicle centered at that point. Are you happy with what you see? Adjust as needed. Remember, a pickup has a shorter body height in the back than a wagon or utility so you can get higher without hitting the garage door.

Use door openers that mount to the wall, no center track to get in the way.

Consider putting the lift in the right side bay. You'll save room and make the other bays more useful. Also less chance of opening a door into a lift post. (Pad them!). If you can walk between the post and the wall easily (even if you have to turn sideways a bit) you"ll have plenty of room to do anything you want on a car. I've pulled axle shafts without an issue.

earlybroncoguy1 New Reader
2/25/21 11:35 a.m.

I put my 2 post lift 12' away from the 10'x10' vehicle door, centered on the opening. Works great. The largest vehicle I've had on it is my extended cab GMC, it's about 20' long. My shop is 40' deep and 60' wide, with 10'x10' roll up doors in the center front and rear (lift is near the back door), so I can drive all the way through, handy for pulling trailers through and using the lift to remove or place items on the trailer.  If your lift has an option when you install it for a "narrow" or "wide" post locations, I'd go with the "wide", if you have room. That's what I did with my Bend-Pak and I can pull travel and utility trailers through between the columns without the tires rubbing, and the arms still extend in enough I can use them to lift my riding mower to clean the deck and change the blades.   

jharry3 GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/25/21 11:49 a.m.

Does the lift manufacturer have a design guideline document for determining space around and above needed?

I suspect they do as architects that design shops need something to go by when choosing these dimensions. 

The design guideline may be from another manufacturer than the one you choose but its a start.

Streetwiseguy MegaDork
2/25/21 12:08 p.m.
jharry3 said:

Does the lift manufacturer have a design guideline document for determining space around and above needed?

I suspect they do as architects that design shops need something to go by when choosing these dimensions. 

The design guideline may be from another manufacturer than the one you choose but its a start.


Also, remember that stuff gets bigger all the time.  20 years ago, I had tons of room behind all my hoists.  Now, not so much.  If I replace them, I'm moving everything west a foot or two.

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
2/25/21 12:13 p.m.

Be aware that "asymmetrical" lifts position the car more rearward than a standard lift.  (to allow the doors to open more easily).  Just in case an asymmetrical lift was in the plans.

Edit: just re-read your post and saw you are getting a symmetrical lift.  nevermind.


APEowner GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/25/21 3:22 p.m.

It's been a while since I used a symmetric lift on a regular cab 8' box pickup but my recollection is that the posts were somewhere between the middle and the back of the door. 

californiamilleghia SuperDork
2/25/21 3:28 p.m.

How thick is the concrete going to be ?

and my old shop the owner positioned the lift for import cars ,  when I put my full size PU on the lift it was too long for the roll up door to close , 


purplepeopleeater Reader
2/25/21 3:45 p.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

You are correct, Sir. Make sure that the concrete is thick enough & dense enough or you are looking for an expensive heartache. Find out who does installs & has a good reputation in your area. Talk to them BEFORE you place your order, there may be deals to be had, plus, digging up part of the floor & repouring it to meet safety specs can get pricy.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/25/21 4:21 p.m.

Base plate lift has to be symmetrical. BUT why are you thinking baseplate vs overhead if you have the height? The OH are lighter, and cheaper, and more stable.

mgfoster Reader
2/26/21 7:44 p.m.

In reply to purplepeopleeater :

Pouring the slab 6" thick but am thinking about pouring 18" footings underneath the 2 posts the whole depth of the garage for added security. 


In reply to Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) :

Don't have the height... 10ft ceilings because i have a second story living quarters to contend with. 

SkinnyG (Forum Supporter)
SkinnyG (Forum Supporter) UberDork
2/26/21 9:57 p.m.

I placed my hoist forward enough that I can park a vehicle with both doors open and not hitting the posts.  My "vehicle area" in my shop is 25' deep, so about the same as yours.

I have an asymmetrical lift, but I still balance the vehicle on the posts so the posts are loaded vertically, not back-heavy.  The -arms- are asymmetrical which makes it easier to swing them under the car. I may be wrong about this, but it's what I do and I will continue to do so.

Buying the lift was the best thing I ever did for the shop. And my knees and back.

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