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Author Topic: Car Ramps?  (Read 1974 times)
Tuco
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« Reply #25 on: January 11, 2017, 08:13:27 AM »

This makes me think that a business model I've thought of that would be nice to try, just need $$$$$.

Open up a DIY auto repair shop, like the ones you see on a military base.  Have 4-5 bays, a couple with lifts, and then rent them out for a few bucks an hour.

Have a bunch of common tools and then a few of the more special ones that someone might need.

I've run numbers on this.  The killer for me, assuming zoning works and there is no debt service on the real estate, is the fact that you need to pay someone to be there all hours (because a working guy can only get to a garage after the day job, or night shift, or on weekends) and the inevitability of it morphing into an auto salvage yard full of discarded projects.

The insurance guy I talked to suggested that from an underwriting perspective it wasn't much different than renting a wood chipper or mini backhoe or banquet hall or a dune buggy.  /ETA/ I ASSUME /ETA/ All standard waivers would be required.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 11:35:19 AM by Tuco » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: January 11, 2017, 08:17:55 AM »

I have owned stamped steel ramps and the plastic Rhino ramps.  I prefer the latter.

Like others, I supplement the ramps with jack stands.  Just in case.  Heck, any time I get under the truck I have one or more backup. 
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Tuco
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« Reply #27 on: January 11, 2017, 08:19:53 AM »

I have owned stamped steel ramps and the plastic Rhino ramps.  I prefer the latter.

Like others, I supplement the ramps with jack stands.  Just in case.  Heck, any time I get under the truck I have one or more backup. 

Back on topic.
I'll only go under a ramped car if there is a solid foundation under the ramp, such as an 8x8 timber, chunk of concrete, jackstands, etc.
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MillCreek
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2017, 08:53:16 AM »

All standard waivers would be required.


The sticky wicket is whether the statutory or case law of a given state recognizes the validity of such waivers.  In many states, liability waivers are not worth the paper they are printed on in terms of preventing a claim from being filed against you.  Much of the time, such waivers are invalid on grounds of being against public policy to shield someone from tortious conduct or unequal bargaining power.  But then again, some waivers are valid in some states, so you cannot dismiss the concept out of hand.
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Firethorn
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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2017, 11:12:14 AM »

The sticky wicket is whether the statutory or case law of a given state recognizes the validity of such waivers.  In many states, liability waivers are not worth the paper they are printed on in terms of preventing a claim from being filed against you.  Much of the time, such waivers are invalid on grounds of being against public policy to shield someone from tortious conduct or unequal bargaining power.  But then again, some waivers are valid in some states, so you cannot dismiss the concept out of hand.

You wouldn't be able to waive damages caused by your facility or tools failing, I think. 

What you're trying to do is protect yourself when Joe Blow comes along and manages to hurt himself through the improper use of your facility, or even the tools and such he brought himself.

Let's say you have a car lift, and Joe's under it when the hydraulic line goes and it drops on him.  You're probably liable.

If he pokes the lower button with a broom handle and drops his car on his foot, you shouldn't be.  Especially if you have a policy of "vehicles are lifted and lowered by shop staff, not clients" and he had to remove the safety pin for it to go down at all.
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Cliffh
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« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2017, 11:52:19 AM »

I used to do the oil changes on my truck.  Still do some maintenance, (just changed out the water pump, thermostat, idler & tensioner pulleys and belt on the truck), but after running the numbers I don't do oil changes.  It costs about $10 more to have a shop do it than if I do, and I don't have to worry about cleanup and used oil disposal.

As for ramps, I haven't used them for cars/trucks in decades.  Judging exactly when to stop and making sure one or both of the ramps don't slide while trying to drive up on them are more stressful than jacking it up and using jack stands with the jack as a backup.  I did build a set out of 2x4's & 2x12's for the riding mowers - including stops at the end of the flat part and a hole in the ramp to pin them to the ground.  Can't drive off the end and they don't slide.
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KD5NRH
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« Reply #31 on: January 11, 2017, 12:17:13 PM »

Can I get some recommendations on good car ramps?

You're doing it wrong; instead of raising the car, you should be looking at ways to lower the floor under the oil pan.  There's a reason all the oil change places do it that way.

If you insist on picking up heavy stuff, my preferred method involves a forklift and whatever size chunk of structural steel will prop the forks at the right height just in case of catastrophic hydraulic failure.  Forklifts rarely fall over when you're only lifting <36" and then bracing under the forks.
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #32 on: January 11, 2017, 12:28:15 PM »

I used to do the oil changes on my truck.  Still do some maintenance, (just changed out the water pump, thermostat, idler & tensioner pulleys and belt on the truck), but after running the numbers I don't do oil changes.  It costs about $10 more to have a shop do it than if I do, and I don't have to worry about cleanup and used oil disposal.

As for ramps, I haven't used them for cars/trucks in decades.  Judging exactly when to stop and making sure one or both of the ramps don't slide while trying to drive up on them are more stressful than jacking it up and using jack stands with the jack as a backup.  I did build a set out of 2x4's & 2x12's for the riding mowers - including stops at the end of the flat part and a hole in the ramp to pin them to the ground.  Can't drive off the end and they don't slide.

99% of the reason I stopped doing my own oil changes.
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roo_ster
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« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2017, 12:43:47 PM »

99% of the reason I stopped doing my own oil changes.

Not a problem if you have a fire pit in the back yard.  Burns warm....
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MechAg94
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« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2017, 01:06:08 PM »

This makes me think that a business model I've thought of that would be nice to try, just need $$$$$.

Open up a DIY auto repair shop, like the ones you see on a military base.  Have 4-5 bays, a couple with lifts, and then rent them out for a few bucks an hour.

Have a bunch of common tools and then a few of the more special ones that someone might need.
I heard an interview with a guy on the radio on a while back.  Supposedly, there was a sort of machine shop somewhere in the North Houston suburbs that was similar to what you are talking about.  You could buy a membership to use the equipment and/or get training.  They talked about training for teenagers and adults.  I thought it was interesting at the time.  I don't recall too many details beyond that. 
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KD5NRH
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« Reply #35 on: January 11, 2017, 01:22:32 PM »

Not a problem if you have a fire pit in the back yard.  Burns warm....

Lots of waste oil forge burner plans out there.  Basically, it amounts to dripping the oil into the airflow from the blower, and usually using propane for a preheat so you avoid the hassle of getting it lit and having it smoke for a bit until the heat picks up enough for clean combustion.  Never got around to building one, but at least a couple of the guys who did said that once word got out people would even bring them empty 55 gallon drums as a bribe to have a place to ditch their used oil for free.  Forced air burning is an EPA approved disposal method, so you should even be OK if someone decides to tattle.

Only thing I might be worried about is people like me that tend to have one waste bucket for all the car fluids, though I'd think a pint of ATF or even a quart of solvent in a 5-10 gallon gravity feed tank shouldn't amount to a problem once you're burning at forge welding temps anyway.
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Boomhauer
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« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2017, 02:01:52 AM »

The self service shop idea is a non starter not just due to insurance/liability but the *expletive deleted*hole quotient of users. You'll have tool control issues, them showing up and leaving *expletive deleted*it, vehicles that "didn't get done" hanging around, people starting jobs outside their skill level and then expecting someone else to finish them, etc.

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wmenorr67
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« Reply #37 on: January 12, 2017, 05:08:34 AM »

The self service shop idea is a non starter not just due to insurance/liability but the *expletive deleted*hole quotient of users. You'll have tool control issues, them showing up and leaving *expletive deleted*it, vehicles that "didn't get done" hanging around, people starting jobs outside their skill level and then expecting someone else to finish them, etc.



Actually you can limit a lot of the *expletive deleted*hole quotient by first like a range, you have levels of membership.  You charge by the hour for the bay and if you have a credit card on file and signed releases then you get some of the money.  Unfinished projects left after x amount of days without arrangements gets sold off at auction.
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« Reply #38 on: January 12, 2017, 05:23:08 AM »

Not a problem if you have a fire pit in the back yard.  Burns warm....

I have no problem getting rid of waste oil, most of the shops up here have waste oil furance so they take all the used oil they can get. I change my oil oil in my truck, motorcycles and riding lawn mower and take jugs to them when full. They change my work car's oil.
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Chris
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« Reply #39 on: January 12, 2017, 06:15:03 AM »

On the liability waiver thing, the waivers are almost universally used, and then almost universally ignored by attorneys when filing liability lawsuits.  It is almost universally accepted law that a liability waiver will only protect an owner/operator in the event that a licensee (person using the property with permission) is injured due to the normal use of the property or their own negligence.  Think in terms of paintball facilities.  If a player is running across an open, flat field and trips, the injuries are related to normal use, and the waiver should help.  Or, if the player takes off his protective mask during the course of a game and gets injured, it's his own fault.

HOWEVER (all caps to get attention), every personal injury lawyer out and about knows that you always allege that the owner/operator was negligent in the operation of the business in some manner(s) so that they can jump right past that waiver and get beyond that initial motion to dismiss that cites to the waiver.  Is the waiver useless?  No and yes.  Not useless as it will help to get rid of some claims, but it won't stop you from getting sued.

So, on the rent-a-garage scenario, a waiver will help get rid of the lawsuits from the guy who sues because he smashed a finger while trying to break loose a rusted bolt using his own tools or misusing the shops tools.  But it won't save you from everything.
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« Reply #40 on: January 12, 2017, 07:19:33 AM »

Oh I know that waivers are only worth a few pennies more than the paper they are written on.

Just know that I'll never have the money to actually do this and if I were to do it, it would be done right.
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Brad Johnson
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« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2017, 08:13:33 AM »

A) Harbor Freight is not your friend when it comes to jacks, jackstands, or car ramps, or anything else used to hold something heavy enough to seriously injure or kill you.

B) The Craftsman, Husky, and Kobalt brands seem to be an acceptable compromise of price and quality.

C) Summit and Jegs both sell car stuff made for car people. Check them out. They carry good stuff and the price is right.

Brad
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 11:47:44 AM by Brad Johnson » Logged

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« Reply #42 on: January 12, 2017, 11:36:46 AM »

Let's say you have a car lift, and Joe's under it when the hydraulic line goes and it drops on him.  You're probably liable.


Aren't lifts usually supported by ratcheting gizmos that lock in every few inches?
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charby
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« Reply #43 on: January 12, 2017, 12:20:20 PM »

This makes me think that a business model I've thought of that would be nice to try, just need $$$$$.

Open up a DIY auto repair shop, like the ones you see on a military base.  Have 4-5 bays, a couple with lifts, and then rent them out for a few bucks an hour.

Have a bunch of common tools and then a few of the more special ones that someone might need.

I think those were viable 1950s-1970s when more people did general repair on their vehicles, and for the most part vehicles were simpler to work on and many things were just universal from vehicle to vehicle.

I think less people do their own work on their vehicles now and those that do their own work have the tools and a place to work on them.

I would love to have a place to have a lift to rebuild vehicles, but the rental cost would kill me, because it may be on the lift for 6 months as I work on it in my spare time. Someday I will own a shop with a high enough ceiling for a lift.
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wmenorr67
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« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2017, 12:21:29 PM »

I think those were viable 1950s-1970s when more people did general repair on their vehicles, and for the most part vehicles were simpler to work on and many things were just universal from vehicle to vehicle.

I think less people do their own work on their vehicles now and those that do their own work have the tools and a place to work on them.

I would love to have a place to have a lift to rebuild vehicles, but the rental cost would kill me, because it may be on the lift for 6 months as I work on it in my spare time. Someday I will own a shop with a high enough ceiling for a lift.

Tis my plan.
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There are five things, above all else, that make life worth living: a good relationship with God, a good woman, good health, good friends, and a good cigar.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Bacon is the candy bar of meats!

Only the dead have seen the end of war!
KD5NRH
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« Reply #45 on: January 12, 2017, 02:03:31 PM »

I would love to have a place to have a lift to rebuild vehicles, but the rental cost would kill me, because it may be on the lift for 6 months as I work on it in my spare time. Someday I will own a shop with a high enough ceiling for a lift.

Again, it's not the height of the ceiling, it's the depth of the floor.
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cordex
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« Reply #46 on: January 12, 2017, 02:07:51 PM »

Again, it's not the height of the ceiling, it's the depth of the floor.
rolleyes If all you ever do is change oil that's great.  A trench doesn't help one bit with wheels, brakes, suspension, etc.
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charby
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« Reply #47 on: January 12, 2017, 02:22:06 PM »

rolleyes If all you ever do is change oil that's great.  A trench doesn't help one bit with wheels, brakes, suspension, etc.

Yep, I'm talking about a frame off restoration of vehicles.

I want something like this

http://www.carguygarage.com/lbtwopostfloorp.html
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« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2017, 02:28:14 PM »


Aren't lifts usually supported by ratcheting gizmos that lock in every few inches?

Yes, there is some sort of build in redundant safety in them, at least on the ones that are built after OSHA.
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KD5NRH
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« Reply #49 on: January 12, 2017, 02:49:32 PM »

Yep, I'm talking about a frame off restoration of vehicles.

Once you take the frame out, most of the other pieces are easy to turn over when you need to work on the bottom of them.
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