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Should you choose a pit or a hoist for your workshop?

What you should consider before you invest

As a workshop manager, you understand the critical impact of access options like pits or hoists on productivity compared to working solely on the ground. The potential return on investment for your business is evident: a workshop hoist or pit can condense a job from a full day to just ¾ or ½ a day, saving valuable technician time (valued at a $100,000 salary) and potentially paying for itself in about 6 months with savings.

While in an ideal scenario, you’d have both a pit and a hoist to cover all servicing needs, real-world constraints like space and budget often necessitate choosing one over the other. Engaging in discussions with workshop technicians and managers reveals a plethora of opinions on the matter. It’s crucial not to base decisions solely on individual perspectives, considering the potential turnover of staff and the need for a solution tailored to your workshop’s specific needs.

Therefore, selecting the right access option—whether a pit or a hoist—requires a careful assessment of your workshop’s unique requirements for optimal productivity. In this article, the Levanta team provides valuable insights on how to navigate this decision-making process effectively.

Is a hoist or pit best for a heavy vehicle truck or bus workshop?

When determining the optimal solution for your heavy vehicle workshop, it’s essential to align your choice with the specific tasks you need to accomplish beneath the serviced vehicles.

A workshop pit serves excellently for routine service tasks, like grease and oil changes, particularly in high-volume workshops. It simplifies the process: drive the vehicle onto the pit, conduct the service, and drive off. Additionally, a pit allows for dual-team efficiency, with one technician underneath and another on top. However, it’s crucial to note that a prefabricated service pit is a permanent fixture; once installed, relocation isn’t an option should you move your workshop.

On the other hand, if you’re doing a lot of heavy mechanical work – such as taking out an engine – it’s best accomplished with the help of a truck hoist.

Consider also the vehicle types predominant in your workflow. For single assets like buses, coaches, or trucks, a knuckle lift offers straightforward access—drive on, lift up. Conversely, dealing with heavy combination vehicles like B-doubles or road trains can pose some logistical challenges. You usually won’t want to split it up, as it’s a prohibitively big job to disconnect all the trailers (and reconnect them after the service. In such cases, options include column lifts or accommodating the entire combination in a long pit, typically 27 to 30 meters.

Then there’s the ‘hybrid’ option of an in-ground lift that can offer you the best of both worlds. It gives you the versatility of being able to lift a whole rig on up to five lifting points, while still providing all the advantages of a hoist (such as working at ground level and making the most of available natural light).

An alternative lifting option when space is at a premium

In situations where space constraints limit options like pits or hoists, such as operating out of a small shed with only two bays, Levanta range of Mobile Column Lifts emerge as a viable alternative.

Mobile column lifts offer a distinct advantage: their mobility allows easy relocation when not in use, freeing up valuable floor space in your workshop.

While column lifts may entail a slightly slower process compared to a 4 Post Hoist, they still deliver a significant boost in productivity over ground-level work, making them a practical solution for workshops with spatial limitations.


Need advice on the right lifting option for your workshop?

Considering the array of options for servicing vehicles in your workshop, making the right choice between a pit or a hoist requires careful consideration. Before you decide, consulting with the Levanta Team is highly recommended. Our experience enables us to evaluate your current setup, potential expansion plans, and the nature of your workload to provide tailored advice on the optimal lifting solution for your needs.

For advice on choosing a pit or hoist for your light or heavy vehicle workshop, call Levanta now on 1300 577 541 or fill out the contact form here.

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