What Are the Different Types of ATV Lifts?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 October 2019
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ATV lifts are devices designed to lift ATVs, or all terrain vehicles, off the ground for repair and maintenance. The designs of ATV lifts can vary, and the weight capacity of a particular unit will determine what kinds of ATVs can be raised off the ground. Heavier ATVs will need a larger lift capable of lifting heavier weights, while lighter ATVs can use a smaller lift with a lower weight capacity. Sometimes a motorcycle lift can be used to raise the machine off the ground as well, though not all motorcycle lifts will be appropriate for use with an ATV.

Two general types of ATV lifts exist: a drive-up lift and a jack lift. A drive-up lift features a ramp onto which the ATV can be driven; the ramp is connected to a platform where the vehicle can be parked. The platform can be raised or lowered using a hydraulic lifting arm, allowing a mechanic to access the lower part of the ATV without having to bend or sit on the ground. The wheels will rest on the platform, which means they cannot be removed from the ATV while on the lift. In order to remove the wheels so components of the drive system or steering system can be worked on, a jack lift will be necessary.


A jack lift slides underneath the undercarriage of the ATV. Such ATV lifts can then be raised up until they make contact with the frame of the vehicle; once contact is made, the user can continue to raise the jack, which operates using hydraulic arms, until the ATV is lifted off the ground. The user can then remove the wheels of the vehicle and access components of the drive or steering systems, but other components situated underneath the vehicle may be blocked by the lift itself. The user will need to determine what repairs are necessary to find the lift that will work best for the application.

Many ATV lifts are fixed units, meaning they must be installed in one place permanently. Other, smaller units are lighter and portable, allowing a user to remove and store the jack when not in use or transport it to various locations when necessary. Heavier portable jacks often feature wheels or casters that can be locked in place while the jack is in use and unlocked when the unit needs to be moved from one location to another.


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