If you’re looking to upgrade your marina or boatyard with travel lift, then there are several important considerations to be taken into account before finalizing a purchasing decision.
For starters, are you looking to buy a new or used travel lift? There are reputable used equipment sellers out there, but it’s always a good idea to physically see and understand the piece of equipment and its actual condition before making any decision. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but seeing something for yourself not shown in a blurry photo may help prevent you from making a mistake costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.
Some questions to ask: Is disassembly of the unit available? Are loading and trucking available? Is the unit operating now? Have any parts been replaced recently (tires, lifting cables, slings)? Is there any information on how to put it together correctly once it’s delivered? The answer to any of these questions may affect your decision. Some obvious advantages of buying new are: the latest design and components are in use, a relatively low new equipment depreciation rate, a factory warranty on all parts and frame, and usually a factory supervisor is provided to assist with the installation.
Next, you will want to know if the travel lift has powered or manual sling adjustment? To haul the largest variety of vessels, the lifting sling or slings at the front of the machine and the sling or slings to the rear of the machine need to be moved either farther apart for longer boats or closer together for shorter boats. This is accomplished either by hydraulically moving a sling set along a track at the top of the machine frame or by manually sliding lift collars with a sling attached to a horizontal “Lift Bar” pipe system.
Owners of travel lifts equipped with either adjustment system swear by them; an objective pros/cons breakdown of the two systems follows:
Powered Sling Adjust – Convenient for the Operator, requires no extra man on the other side of the lift to hand-slide the other sling half. But, more expensive to build and therefore more expensive to buy, more time to maintain because of extra hydraulic components and pulleys, etc. that allow the system to work.
Manual Sling Adjust – Less expensive to build and therefore less expensive to buy, allows more flexibility regarding both longer and shorter sling adjustment than a powered setup because there aren’t the same movement limitations as there is in a track system, no extra maintenance required, no possibility of an oil leak or loss of sling movement due to a hydraulic adjust component failure. Does require an extra man on the other side of the lift to hand-slide the other sling half, sliding an extremely heavy sling and lifting collar by hand can be cumbersome on larger capacity machines.
The message here is that both methods have their distinct advantages as well as disadvantages, and the final decision should be made only after weighing out all of the preceding and considering your realistic budgetary and functionality requirements.
If you’re ready to take the next step in upgrading your marina or boatyard operation to provide expanded hauling, repair and storage services then consider a highly-adaptable and rugged travel lift. If you already have an older one, then consider an upgrade to a newer or larger capacity model. US Hoists can help you sell you old travel lift, and we have an extensive line of brand new travel lifts for sale! We can help your marina or boatyard purchase the appropriate piece of equipment to fit your customer’s needs. Contact us today!