Vehicle Lift Certification: What Is It, and Why Does It Matter?

Vehicle Lift Certification: What Is It, and Why Does It Matter?

State and local building codes in every U.S. state, plus Washington, D.C., now require that all installed vehicle lifts be certified to meet ANSI/ALI ALCTV-2006 safety standards. This requirement is found in the International Building Code (IBC Chapter 30, Section 3001.2), as adopted at the local and/or state level. So what is ANSI/ALI ALCTV-2006? It is the recognized American National Standard governing the design, construction, testing and validation of automotive lifts ....

State and local building codes in every U.S. state, plus Washington, D.C., now require that all installed vehicle lifts be certified to meet ANSI/ALI ALCTV-2006 safety standards. This requirement is found in the International Building Code (IBC Chapter 30, Section 3001.2), as adopted at the local and/or state level.

So what is ANSI/ALI ALCTV-2006? It is the recognized American National Standard governing the design, construction, testing and validation of automotive lifts.

ANSI = American National Standards Institute (This organization approved the standard.)
ALI = Automotive Lift Institute (The trade association which developed the standard and sponsors a certification program for vehicle lifts.)
ALCTV = Automotive Lift Construction, Testing and Validation
2006 = The year that the current standard was updated and adopted.

Among other things, ANSI/ALI ALCTV-2006 provides:
• General requirements for strength of all vehicle lift components.
• General requirements covering drive components, electrical components, control devices and speeds.
• Specific requirements for a wide variety of elements, including welding, runways, adapters, swing arms, travel limits, load-holding devices, accessory equipment and other safety considerations.
• Quality assurance systems and procedures, testing and validation.
• Requirements governing lift instructions and labeling.

How do you know if a lift meets the ANSI/ALI ALCTV standard?
Look for the gold label. Responsible lift manufacturers contract with an independent nationally recognized testing laboratory like Intertek Testing Services (ETL) to test their vehicle lifts in accordance with the standard. Testing includes verification of the structural integrity of all the lift’s systems and components, proper function of its controls and load-holding devices, proper lowering speeds and overload protection. The lift manufacturer’s production facility also has to meet quality control requirements. Only lifts that pass these tests can carry the gold “ALI Certified/Validated by ETL” label.

Do lifts sold in the United States have to be certified?
No. Certification is voluntary — there are no legal requirements that lifts sold in the U.S. be certified to meet the standard, regardless of where the lifts are manufactured. Therefore, responsibility for buying and installing certified lifts rests with the customer.

“Now that all states require that any lift installed be certified to meet the ANSI/ALI standard, it is possible that a dealer or shop owner could buy a non-certified lift, but not be able to have it installed legally,” explains John Rylee, director of marketing for Rotary Lift. “In addition to risking having the lift tagged out of service at a subsequent shop inspection, installing a non-certified lift also puts technician productivity and safety at risk. For this reason, Rotary and our distributors recommend looking for the gold label whenever you’re thinking about buying a new vehicle lift. Without that label, you have no guarantee that the lift meets accepted safety standards. ”

Rotary Lift offers a full line of ALI Certified/Validated by ETL vehicle lifts, including two-post and four-post surface lifts, and environmentally friendly inground lifts. For more information about any Rotary Lift product or service, contact your local Rotary Lift distributor, visit www.rotarylift.com or call (800) 640-5438. For more information about vehicle lift certification, visit the ALI website at www.autolift.org.

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