Some lift companies use a single hydraulic cylinder and cable to raise both carriages. The single cylinder lifting method requires lifting power to the off-side post. To do this, cables or rarely chains are run through a set of pulleys, they must be greased and kept lubricated so they don’t freeze up and stop rolling.
Cables have a limited lifespan. Cables stretch, fray, need regular replacing, and on occasion have been known to snap. A cable-lifting system is not as long-lasting, nor as easy to maintain as a chain-lifting system. Any lift that uses cables to raise the off-side puts an undue strain on those cables at each location that the cable changes direction.
When a cable needs replacing, a shop owner can lose a lot of business waiting around for the lift repairman (who is probably busy replacing somebody else’s cable) to show up. The total cost of production would be at least $500/day lost income, plus $400 – $500 to have the cables replaced. Furthermore, cables must be run through an overhead cable cover or routed to the off-side post across the floor covered by an obtrusive piece of diamond plate. Either of these two lift designs interferes with the everyday movement of people and tools around the lift and shop.
Mohawk Lifts 10,000-lb capacity-and-below lifts use a #646 leaf chain (1 5/8” thick with 24,000-lb. tensile strength) lifting over the yoke bearings where they use two bearings to raise the carriages. Compared to other competitors’ cable lifting systems: chains don’t stretch, fray, and there is virtually no maintenance required on a chain-lifting system.
On top of the cylinders of the Mohawk Lifts 7,000 & 10,000 lb. capacity two post lifts is a yoke with two bearings that act as a chain guide for lifting carriages. The entire load is on these two bearings, through the chains. Mohawk is the only lift manufacturer that uses two chain guide bearings on top of the cylinders. Like their carriage bearings, these are hardened steel, self-lubricating, maintenance-free bearings. All other lift manufacturers use one lonesome bearing. Some manufacturers don’t even use a bearing but a hardened steel roller, which is why you’ll see their rollers wearing away after only a few months in operation. Another way to look at this Mohawk feature: two bearings as opposed to one equals half the lifting load or twice the life from the bearing.
Looked at on either a short or long-term basis, the first time the cable fails, that cheaper lift costs more than a lift made with a chain-lifting system.
Below are images that illustrate obvious design shortcomings when using “nylon” pulleys to route equalization cables.