Alignment rack

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

Automobile repair businesses provide a variety of valuable services, including wheel alignments. If you're looking for new ways to create money, this is the strategy to take.

Time is your worst enemy in this business if you're working with outdated equipment that behaves more like a competition than a buddy. Each vehicle will take extra time for service, making you unable to take care of more vehicles and burden your financial situation. 

If you have this problem and it is impacting your business, then keep reading because we will solve it in the article. 

Alignment rack - what is it?

An alignment rack is a special type of equipment used to carry out wheel alignment. 

When choosing, remember that not all models are created equal. It's important to find one that meets your standards and expectations. The safest option is the custom shop or factory outlet, but you will spend big money on it.

If there is no possibility for this, then you should buy at the manufacturer's official site if possible (the most reliable ones will be specified below). 

What do I need to know about the alignment rack?

It's important to remember that alignment racks are not actual car lifts. They should be used in conjunction with a hydraulic lift that can raise your vehicle to the necessary height for you to do the front and rear alignments. In addition, try to get one that is easy to operate so you can complete other tasks while your customer's car is being lifted from the floor.

Significant parameters: what do you need to know?

Before buying an alignment rack, you should learn some basic technical details about it - here they are:

Spindle Distance

This distance limits how large of an object can pass through it. For example, many models of the racks are created for rear axle alignment - that's why they can handle wheel rims up to 35 inches. On the other hand, the axles of the front wheels are smaller, which is why you need a rack with a small spindle distance (less than 20 inches). 

Maximum load

This parameter shows how heavy an object is allowed to pass through the rack. Models with large maximum loads are more common for industrial purposes, but it can also be used at home. However, industrial models come with several limitations - for example, they cannot be easily installed or moved by yourself if needed. 

Work lines  

Usually, this parameter is specified in degrees. It's generally recommended to choose a model that allows adjustment of the angle in increments that do not exceed one degree.

Types of alignment lifts: what are they?

The most popular types of lifts can be divided into three groups: Hydraulic, Mechanical, and Pneumatic. Of course, you should first decide on the type that suits your needs best - based on the following explanations.

Hydraulically operated rack

This is a basic model that features an unobtrusive operation. After all, even an inexperienced repairman should not have any problems with it. The transport system works without the noise because there aren't many moving parts. Also worth mentioning is the low cost of hydraulic racks compared to other variants.

If you buy it from an authorized dealer, installation may take half a day or less. After this period ends, you will be able to adjust suitable angles by yourself at any time.

Pneumatic rack

This type of lift is a bit outdated, but it can accept a wide range of wheels, from small to large sizes. In addition, you do not need as much space to place them as with hydraulic models. If you want an affordable variant that's easy to use, this one will be your best choice.

However, keep in mind that they are loud and take more time to adjust the angles than other types. Despite this fact, they still retain their popularity due to a number of advantages: perfect for simple alignment tasks and installation costs next to nothing (compared to the aforementioned models).

Mechanical lift (only front wheel alignment)

If you don't need more than the front alignment, don't want to spend too much money, and prefer professional-looking equipment, then mechanical racks are for you. Their main advantage is that they are very easy to use, which means even beginners can manage it.

Some of the models have a special design that makes them useful not only for car alignments but also for other purposes - such as changing oil or tires. You should consider one drawback, however: mechanical rack is more difficult to transport than hydraulic lifts because of its larger size.

Meet the alignment lift. With an extremely quick and accurate wheel aligner, your alignment rack services will become significant for many years of high-quality service. 

List of some quality alignment lifts to consider for your business

  • Atlas 414A Commercial Grade 4 Post Alignments Lift

According to the manufacturer, Atlas 414A has the capacity to lift 12,000 lbs. This is one of the best commercial-grade lifts and will be your companion for a long time. With a 76 1/4" lifting height and other exclusive features, the Atlas 414A provides you with complete and unlimited access to your automobile.

  • Dannmar D4-12A

Talking about post-alignment lifts, we can not ignore the Danmarr D4-12A. Its unique slip plates are embedded with industrial-strength, and the quality turn plates work in synchronization to offer maximum results. It can carry 12000 lbs max to a height of 77.5", and the wheels are highly responsive to every adjustment you make.

  • BendPak HDSO14AX HDSO14

The HDSO14AX is an ergonomic alignment lift with a 14,000-pound capacity and is designed for easy access. The "open" design makes it easier to access the front turn plates and undercarriage, and the runways are equipped with front turn plates and rearward slip plates that are incorporated into the runways themselves. The wheels offer little resistance as the adjustments are carried out.

  • AMGO  Hydraulics PRO-ASX

This 4-post alignment lift from AMGO has many discerning features that make this model worthy of being placed on our list. Its cable-breaking protection, safety locks (air release), mechanical self-locking system, and the whopping 12,000 lbs lifting capacity are some of the features that distinguish this model from the rest of its peers.

In addition, it also offers rear slip plates with extra length and turnplate pockets that can be adjusted according to your needs.

  • BendPak HDS-14LSX (5175171)

In addition to serving as a car lift, the recognized HDS-14LSX alignment lift has a 14,000-pound capacity and may also be used as an alignment system. It has integrated modern engineering slip plates and turn-plates precisely into the runways to make things even more convenient. The wheels respond to every adjustment with only a minimal amount of resistance.

  • Challenger Lifts AR4115XAX

The company claims that this lift would be the best addition to any shop. This improved lift has a capacity to carry around 15,000 lbs and is precisely engineered to maximize productivity and safety. 

Another plus for this model is that it can accommodate a range of different vehicles, from passenger cars to medium vans, and quickly increase your customer base.

What alignment rack is better for your garage?

Depending on the number of vehicles you intend to lift, 4-post racks are more effective. This way, most of your time will go into fixing cars since their alignment is done with a dedicated system. 

While they can be used in commercial garages, they are also perfect for small repair shops with only one or two lifts. They come in 6 different sizes to ensure that you get exactly what you need without any excess space or weight capacity. Each unit comes with all the necessary equipment including slide plates, front turn plates, and rear slip plates which means there is no need to spend extra money on parts when getting this model.

All of the car lift models mentioned above are manufactured by reputable companies with a reputation for their quality products. It is difficult to go wrong when you opt for any model from these brands, but it all depends on your intended use. If you are undecided, ask our experts for help!

Where can I get alignment rack pictures?

A number of sources including Google Images offer great pictures of alignment racks. You can also take some pictures yourself using your smartphone or tablet. However, make sure that the images you find are either free to be used or watermarked before taking them to ensure that they can be used in your future blog posts without violating copyright laws.

Did you know?   

AMGO makes a pair of 4-post alignment racks specifically designed for vans or mini-vans

BendPak has a variety of high-quality products including alignment lifts made from steel and aluminum depending on your needs and budget

Challenger Lifts AR4115XAX comes with heavy-duty casters that quickly adjust to uneven floors

A 4-post rack is more expensive than its 3-post counterpart because of the extra post, which results in greater stability and easier installation

AMGO Hydraulics PRO-ASX is capable of lifting up to 12,000 lbs or 4,535 kg allowing for heavy cargo load capacity

It is important to note that cars with larger wheels may require additional space above the frame to ensure adequate clearance. For this reason, you should not buy a rack designed for smaller vehicles just because you service bigger ones occasionally.

However, if your shop's main business is big rigs with oversized tires, make sure that any product you choose can handle it. Failure to do so will lead to unnecessary costs and frustration since the unit cannot be used normally.

Bottom line

A good alignment rack is a must-have addition to any garage, regardless of its size and clientele. Choose the best car lift for your money and feel free to contact us if you need any help or advice!