The big lift

 Workers from the Twin Cities were at the Barron High School tech education garage Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, to install a new “rotary lift” for the school’s automotive class.

The Barron High School technical education department has a new piece of equipment for students in its automotive program.

The new “Rotary Lift” was installed Monday, Feb. 10, 2020 at the high school shop. Priced at $16,000, the unit is capable of lifting up to 14,000 pounds, according to Josh Meissner, tech ed teacher.

‘This is a cable-based hydraulic lift,” Meissner said in an email Tuesday, Feb. 11. “The main difference (from older types of hydraulic lifts) is that (the new unit) is a four-post drive on a lift instead of the more traditional two-post lift.”

The new unit replaces a two-post lift that dates back to the 1990s, he added.

“(The older unit) has needed some repairs over the last few years and was getting to a point where it was no longer cost effective for the district to make repairs,” Meissner said.

“A four-post drive-on lift is much safer for student use,” he added. “This was a huge factor in choosing this lift as a replacement.”

Even if the vehicle is positioned on a poor “lift point” or unknown rust spot, it “should never be able to fall off the lift,” Meissner said.

“The previous lift only had a capacity of 9,000 pounds,” he added. “The average 3/4 ton diesel pickup would be right at the max capacity of the old lift. We now have an additional 5,000 pounds of capacity which allows us to lift larger vehicles.”

The new lift also makes it possible to safely work on longer vehicles, Meissner said.

“In the past, when it came to vehicles with a fair amount of rust on the underside, we could not safely lift them,” he said. “This meant that some students were not able to use their vehicles in class. This new lift will allow us more flexibility in what we can safely utilize in classes.”

Most local automotive repair facilities have at least one lift like the one at Barron High School, according to Meissner.

“We can now expose our students to another real-world piece of equipment for those interested in automotive repair as a career,” he said.

The lift will also be used by other district staff to repair and maintain school vehicles, he added.

“The previous lift did not work for our newer style of school van,” Meissner said. “This lift will allow the district to perform repairs and maintenance. This semester, we have 15 students enrolled in Basic Auto. Throughout the school year we will have about 75 students who will be able to use this lift as part of their classes,” he said.