I guess the search is over. Ready to order the Wildfire lift 9000XLT. Just have to wait until the ground thaws a little bit more, so I can dig up some cash, literally. Any haters for this brand, now's the time. As with a lot of other brands, they are waiting on the boat to dock.
Mark,90 percent of the 30 brands I contacted were out of 9000# 4 post lifts. No stock until 2020. These were mostly C channel column look alike foreign sourced. The half dozen brands that have manufacturing plants in the US only make the 10000# and larger here. They buy 9000# and smaller to sell under their name. Of the Tube column lifts, Advantage said they had stock but were over $700 shipping to me. I chose Wildfire because they are much closer, so less than half of shipping cost, about the same features and price as Advantage. The Wildfire owner returned emails and calls promptly. So did the Advantage salesman. Also the tube column lifts are narrower width wise but can still gat a 3/4 ton pick up on them. I need the narrower design to not intrude into my next bay.
Lift Tech sold by M1M Equipment said they had inventory.LT9K-XLT.
In 9000# there are standard lifts for cars, Extra Tall and Extra long, and then Extra Tall, Extra long and Extra Wide. Extra tall lets you store a pick up underneath. Extra wide has wide ramp width up to 80" but width is 123" plus the pump out to 132". A WildFire has 114" width with option to mount pump 90 degrees, 76" ramp width. Advantage has 2 width patterns 74" and 78"
I did not look at the 7000# models.
Prices may go up in 2020 again due to Tariff supposedly. Unless you buy now to hold price.
Greg Smith in Indianapolis says they will have the Garage Pro 9000# 4 post lift in late January. They have 8 locations. Atlas brand seems to be their private brand name. 90 percent of the other brands are similar. They are about $500 cheaper than the column tube brands.
I did not investigate any 2 post lifts.
Rotary seems to be a good company. I spoke to one of their engineers They bought out 3 of their foreign competitors and still sell them under their original names. Direct lift, Forward lift and Revolutio lifts.
Bendpacs new brand, Grand Prix, is a tube column style like Back Yard Buddy, Advantage and Wildfire.
Could not find out much about Back Yard Buddy. Seems to be bought out and reorganized but did not find any for sale. They are maybe the original tube column style. Their columns were 4" x 4" versus 5" x 5" of the others.
There are two adjustments on the top of each column on most 4 post lifts. Cables adjustment for leveling,and lift ladder adjustment,for fine tuning the mechanical release. Both adjustments are threaded. At least that's how it is on my Lift Tech.I remember when I was looking to buy a 4 poster that to disengage the safeties to lower it required an air compressor. This still true? A friend had a Backyard Buddy 4 poster, never ran an air compressor to lower a car, but............ sometimes you would have to stop and raise it again, one safety would not disengage and you would see the thing trying to come down crooked. Obviously would be a disater if you tried to continue! Maybe this is why some companies use air to disengage the safeties in case the cables are not adjusted correctly in all four corners?
I would bet a pancake compressor would run the locks. They should be small air solenoids (small volume to activate) and when everything is new (tight and correct) they shouldn't leak any air, so no continuous air flow. Just think it's like 4 air shifters in your race car, how big of a compressor do you carry in it?So what is preferred, air-release locks or cable? For the air-release, how much compressor do you need? I assume my little 20 gallon 100 psi would suffice. I rarely use any air tools so I never had the need to buy a "real" compressor.