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Life in the shop is so much better when I can stand up working on my BIG REDS. The days of bending over and twisting my body at weird angles has been over for many years now and I don’t want to go back to that. Once you use a lift table you will not want to work without it. I actually have two Handy lifts in my shop. If you are like me and plan on working on atv’s, atc’s, and motorcycles for the foreseeable future a lift table may be a worthwhile investment. For me it has been a great investment. It keeps me comfortable while working so I can work longer. It increases my production as compared to working on the floor. Being comfortable and increasing production (i.e. seeing results) makes me happy and that is also worth something. At the time I bought the lifts I bought Handy. In my opinion I think these lifts will outlast me. I like buying things once and buying things that can be repaired if necessary. Many other brand lift tables are available and prices and quality vary. Handy lifts are used at many motorcycle dealerships. If dealers use these lifts and trust them to perform on a daily basis I know that they will work for my part time shop.


The first lift I bought was a Handy standard 1000 lb. lift. When I purchased this lift I also bought the side extensions, wheel vise, scissor jack, and dolly. The side extensions widen the lift table so you can put 3 and four wheelers on it. The wheel vice is used to brace motorcycle wheels. It will not open up far enough for the front balloon tires are most three wheelers.  The scissor jack is a used to lift the vehicle up when it is up on the lift table. The jack comes with frame adapters for most motorcycles and atv’s. The dolly is used to move the lift. I have found all of these accessories very helpful.


My second lift is a 1,500 lb. capacity. I don’t need to lift this much but it lifts to a taller height which makes me more comfortable. It also has a drop out panel used for removing motorcycle tires. I don’t use the dropout panel very often but it does come in handy. I bought the same accessories for the 1,500lb lift as I did for the 1,000 lb. lift (except the dolly) however they are not interchangeable.


Both of these lifts are operated pneumatically (compressed air) so an air compressor is required. Electric/hydraulic lifts are available if you don’t have compressed air. Maintenance for these lifts is simple. There are grease fittings for some of the bushings and the cycle vice will need some lubrication. The maintenance concern for me is to make sure the compressed air going to the lift cylinder is clean and dry. Moisture in the cylinder can condense to water and cause rust and other issues in the cylinder. I have a filter and water separator for my air compressor to avoid problems. I have owned the standard 1000 lb. lift for about 10 years and the 1500 lb lift for 3 years and have not had any issues with either of them.


There are some other things to consider with lift tables. You need to make sure that you have a high enough ceiling so you can use the full height of the lift table. Also these lifts are heavy and require freight delivery so you will need to plan for this. I am sold on the idea of having a lift table- just writing this has got me thinking about a third lift table.

The standard 1000 lb. lift

Cycle Wheel Vice

The 1500 lb. Lift

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