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Old 04-08-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
revlover
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Default BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

I'm fairly new to the scene here on garagejournal.com, but what I have been seeing numerous times in this forum is the comparisons made between BendPak, Rotary, and Backyard Buddy or similar hobby type designs. Being a BendPak lift owner myself, one might say I am biased; however, I was sold on a Backyard Buddy solely because of its cross-tube design. I backed out of the deal when a friend of mine referred me to this link to an article posted on Metro-Lifts.com: http://www.metro-lifts.com/backyardb...ak_compare.pdf.

As you're reading this, remember that much of the hobby type four post lifts on the market have almost identical design features to the Backyard Buddy. I found this article to be very interest and FULL of information and felt the overwhelming need to expose you guys to this article so that you may come to the same conclusion that I have.
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Old 04-08-2008, 07:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

The file won't open I did a lot of comparison shopping of lifts before I bought one. Backyard Buddy is a good lift. The outside slide design is very safe,but several other lift mfgs's have the same design. I bought an inside slide from Superlifts,but they have an outside slider that is as nice as Backyard Buddy and several hundred dollars cheaper. I chose the inside slider because it won't wear the paint off the outside of the legs,and is just as safe with the way Superlifts builds them. The lock system on Bendpak 4 posts scared me off,but they are otherwise a nice lift to be made in China.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

Sorry to hear the BendPak lock system scared you off. That was my main reason for purchasing my BendPak HD-9-B.

I really liked the idea of having a SECOND safety lock in place in case a cable were to break, become loose, or simply get tangled/caught up on a sheave or bolt? It's my opinion that this has got to be one of the best safety advances in lifts in quite a while. I really think this is something that you'll see as standard on lifts of the future. I'm really surprised that it's not being marketed even more.

Just for clarification for others that are not familiar with the BendPak HD-9 series of lifts and the locks that are used. On almost every lift out there (including the backyardbuddy) there's only ONE set of locks in place at each column. These locks are solely for allowing you to lock the ramps at whatever height you need the car to be raised to.

To lower your lift, you would normally manually turn a lever to disengage the locks so that you can proceed to lower your vehicle. This is where your lift is now solely being supported by the four cables going from the big cylinder to each column.

If during descent a cable breaks at any given corner of your lift, there's nothing in place to stop your lift from distributing the weight of your vehicle towards that particular corner. All 4 post lifts are dependent on each cable supporting the weight of the ramps and your car. If a cable breaks on it's own or is broken as a result of getting "hung up"/tangled you will have a situation where you now have one column that is no longer able to support any weight. When one cable is no longer in working order, then that particular column is now compromised and will simply let the ramp (at only that one corner) fall to the ground.

With the BendPak HD-9 series of lifts, the SECOND safety lock at each column is designed to monitor the slack of the cable. By the way, these SECOND safetly locks never need any type of adjustment and can't be temporarily or even permanently bypassed. You never have any control over these at all.

Anyway, with the BendPak HD-9 series of 4 post lifts, if you were to purposely cut a cable (or if it broke on its own) at any given column, the lock (which is under constant tension as long as there is no slack on the cable) will automatically engage (because the cable now does have slack in it) and lock the ramps at the next lowest locking position (which on the HD-9 lifts is every 4 inches). With the one ramp now locked into the one column you could then lower the rest of the lift (the other three columns) to the same locking position and go buy which ever cable you needed to replace. If the above scenario occured on any lift (not just the backyardbuddy) which doesn't have the SECOND safety locks monitoring your cables, you would surely damage your lift and whatever was on it. Now, before I get flamed here, I'm not knocking any lift purchase any one out there already has that does not have these additional safety locks. Hey, I have old sports cars that don't have ABS or air bags and I still use them. I'm just stating that things do change, some times for the better, so it's worth doing lift research even years later when you're finally ready to buy your lift. I was all set on getting an Autolifters lift many many years ago and even after they went under, I was still sure that I had to have that particular design. A little bit of new research made me consider new advancements in lifts and that's why I recently bought my BendPak HD-9-B.

By the way, the air locks used by the HD-9 lifts are extremely easy to operate. There's no levers to turn or long steel rods to potentially bend and stop the disengagement of locks. To disengage the main locks, you just hook up your air line and then hit the air button to activate the air pistons at each corner (which move your locks away from the columns) and start lowering your lift. In case you are like me and are concerned that an air line might pop out on it's own, let me tell you that I have personally tried to remove an attached hose and it will not come out. To disconnect an air hose you need to press the air line back in to the assembly (you'll have to see these in person some day to see what I mean) while holding down the black "clips" that hold them in place. Honestly, once they're in, they are locked in. Finally, you don't need very much air to operate the air locks. I'm sure you could get by with a mini air pump that you plug in to your cigarette lighter.

Last edited by ovilla; 04-08-2008 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

Quote:
Originally Posted by revlover View Post
....As you're reading this, remember that much of the hobby type four post lifts on the market have almost identical design features to the Backyard Buddy.....
Ummm...yeah.

Have to respectfully disagree here. Anyone who has seen all of the competing products firsthand and more importantly, with a car on them, will come to the same conclusion that I did: There's far more heft (ie, MORE STEEL) involved in the backyard buddy's construction, locking features are more positive and secure, etc... all this translates into a much more stable lift when loaded. Take a look at the way the runnways are constructed. There's a reason that the Backyard Buddy costs a little more than it's competition. There's simply a hell of a lot more metal to it.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

I would like to know why Backyard Buddy has never had any of their lifts certified, like the Bend Pak HD9 lifts are. If amount of steel were a determining factor in safety, then your 1959 Cadillac would be one hell of a lot safer than your 2008 Cadillac! Keeping things in perspective, design is what makes something safer, not adding more steel. Two safety locks will beat a single safety lock hands down in any competition concerning safety. Redundancy is the lynch pin when it comes to safety.
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

Walk in to any small town auto repair shop or national chain (i.e. Midas, Tuffy, Firestone, Merlin, etc.) and look at their brand of lifts. You're never going to see a non-certified lift (like a backyardbuddy) being used. BendPak lifts are everywhere.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovilla View Post
With the BendPak HD-9 series of lifts, the SECOND safety lock at each column is designed to monitor the slack of the cable. By the way, these SECOND safetly locks never need any type of adjustment and can't be temporarily or even permanently bypassed. You never have any control over these at all.
I recently bought a Greg Smith 4 post lift. My lift has a similar "slack cable" safety lock. So BendPak is not the only lift with this system.

While the "slack cable" lock is nice, the lift will fall up to 4 inches before the latch has a chance to catch. I do not know if it would really work, it might just fly by and not catch in the square hole.

I am not really worried about a cable break. The cables are very big and I may run the lift up & down once a week. So how much wear & tear will I really put on this lift? This is the main reason I went with a cheaper lift, it meets my needs without breaking the bank. If I were a shop that used the lift every day, I would have spent more money and gotten a more "heavy duty" lift.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

Guys, Guys! Whoa!

Look at the statement that I was responding to. The statement being made was that: "...much of the hobby type four post lifts on the market have almost identical design features to the Backyard Buddy...."

The Bend-Pak is a top-notch product and is certainly NOT what I was referring to...What I was trying to say is that if you compare the Backyard Buddy to a lot of other "hobby" lifts being offered on the market, many of these just don't compare. There are probably a dozen manufacturers out there making four post lifts under various branding that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. And I will still stand by my statement that the Backyard Buddy is among the best built 4-post lifts available, bar none.

Also, in response to ovilla, Backyard buddy is a small company, serving a totally different market (almost exclusively hobbyist) as compared to Bend-Pak. Backyard Buddy could not even begin to service the needs of giant national chain auto service providers....Bend Pak probably has more field service people, than Backyard Buddy employs in their whole company! LOL... -Rob
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

I find it interesting that Backyard Buddy doesn't post any prices on their website yet they state: "We offer safe and secure online ordering of all of our auto lift products and accessories." How could someone order a lift online if they didn't know what the price is? This is really poor.

Regarding Bendpak, nowhere on the website could I find where the lifts are manufactured or where the steel comes from. I would like to know this information and it should be on their website. They talk alot about "Global this and Global that" but NO specifics.

Information is power and both of these companies are hiding information, especially Backyard Buddy. Are they embarassed to post the prices? The internet is all about information at your fingertips. I don't like companies that hide useful information from potential customers. "Please call for prices". I did call and it wasn't either of these companies that I called.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

twostory - I looked at the ProPark9 as well and did notice the use of the second set of safety locks. The only reason I passed on their product was the lack of certification. If I had not been concerned with that, I may have ended up with their product. I've heard nothing but positive feedback from that compnay too. They're definitely a lot better than a lot of these fly-by-night operators that simply help drop ship lifts and can't offer any real service after the sale.

jimval - I thought that was interesting too that backyardbuddy doesn't post prices. I'd understand if it was a used car that one was buying and there were other factors like trade ins to consider. I mean, what are they going to do, offer a different price to everyone. Makes no sense. If you're telling people to call in for a price, and then you give them that info after they call in, why not just publish it. It's got to be a sales tactic to force the customer to call you, so that you can then kick in your sales pitch. That works fine for some things but we're talking about an automotive product here.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

They don't post any prices because they're ridiculously expensive. More expensive because of better quality? Not necessarily. They're more expensive because they don't sell as many lifts and they have to up the costs.

And BendPak, yeah, I agree with you... should state on the website where the lifts are made... I'm into companies that are up front on where their products come from. But you have to hand it to BendPak... certified lifts, killer warranty, customer service... all adds up to one sweet product.

I hope the article helps.
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

All good comments thus far. I'll chime in with my $.02

I recently went 4-post shopping and ended up going with Greg Smith Equipment for several reasons. First, I heard nothing but great things about them from internet posts as well as guys local to me that have a lift from them. Second, I did my research on them and their lift is a QUALITY lift. Their lift is made in a ISO9001 certified factory. Now that I have it installed, I am VERY impressed with the construction, etc.. Third, their customer service has been fantastic. I had to call them to get a couple broken plastic pieces and a knob for one of the sliding jacks sheared off in shipping and replacements were sent out immediately!

Now for the rest. I searched ALL the brands and companies like Backyard BUddy were immediately crossed off my list b/c they didn't even post prices. I had no desire to call, spend time on the phone with a pushy salesman, deal with them asking for information, etc, etc, etc.. State the price UP FRONT on your website and let the consumer decide if it is even in their budget. DO NOT WASTE MY TIME! I looked at Rotary but the cost was insane for what I was going to use it for.

Bottom line, I am VERY satisfied with my ProPark 4-post lift and the price was fantastic. Construction is excellent. You can read up on their website as they produce VERY DETAILED comparisons, schematics, etc, about their products.

I use my lift for storage and light work on the car. It comes up and down only once or twice a month. Couldn't be happier.

At the end of the day, maybe I would have bought from another company but like others have said, when you don't post prices, state where all or part of the product is made, offer details, etc, you lose business before you even have a chance for a consumer to at least be interested.

Last edited by LVDell; 04-10-2008 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 04-10-2008, 10:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

Man, I must be getting old...I sometimes order things (gasp) over the phone!

We live in a time where as a company, your website is all that anyone cares about. I think websites are great but I'm not one to go on a killing rampage if I need to pick up the phone to get a question answered.

Last edited by rwhite692; 04-10-2008 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 04-10-2008, 11:39 AM   #14
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

I bought my BYB about 5 years ago.
At that time they did post prices on their site.
But later the site stated that because of fuctuating steel prices, they stopped posting the prices and to call for current pricing.
And I have been to their facility in Warren, Ohio and witnessed the lifts being manufactured there.

JMHO

david

P.S.
BTW...the young man I spoke to (Jason) was by no means a pushy salesman.

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Old 04-10-2008, 11:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

And I find it very interesting that Bendpak has to publish a comparison between them and BYB.

david
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:03 PM   #16
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

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Originally Posted by 6t7gto View Post
And I find it very interesting that Bendpak has to publish a comparison between them and BYB.

david
David, I agree.....as the saying goes...Dogs don't chase parked cars!!

Bend-Pak's literature really goes after (attacks, really) Backyard Buddy directly and by name and is is quite maliciously written in tone as well. Nowhere on Backyard Buddys site do they ever name the names of competing products or say that Bend-Pak's product is inferior in any way!They simply make fair comparisons between their products and "others". They are mostly comparing the Backyard Buddy to very cheaply constructed lifts, not Bend-Pak.

So the only reason I can see for Bend Pak attacking Backyard Buddy so directly is that they must be losing significant market share in the segment (hobbyist/storage).

I also found it very amusing that Bend-Pak had to go and pilfer several pictures of a backyard buddy lift being assembled, from Sam Memmolo's website! (Those are Sam's hands and his friend's feet, in those photos)

....I should email Sam, and ask him if he's OK with that. I know that Sam, for one, loves his Backyard Buddy lift.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:12 PM   #17
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

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Bend-Pak's literature really goes after (attacks, really) Backyard Buddy directly...
BendPak's literature? Are you sure? I don't see this posted anywhere on their site...
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

rwhite692 - BendPak is definitely not hurting, especially in this lift segment. When I bought my lift from Brian at www.asedeals.com I asked him how many bendPak orders he gets a week and he said that he easily sells 3-4 lifts each day.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

Even thoough BP are made in China the company is very reputable and their customer service in my experience is excellent. I would buy another lift from them.

"Around the world, value is a key motivator for customers. We are committed to continue providing top quality products at a price level that is competitive in the global marketplace. To achieve price competitiveness in today’s world economy we are forced to examine every business approach, evaluate all manufacturing operations, and explore all purchasing options available to keep operating expenses and manufacturing costs
to an absolute minimum. This direction coupled with other business strategies allows BendPak / Ranger to outdistance our competition."

I think that is tantamount to admitting "Made in China:.

Last edited by tubeman; 04-10-2008 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:24 PM   #20
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Default Re: BendPak Lifts vs. Backyard Buddy (BYB)

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rwhite692 - BendPak is definitely not hurting, especially in this lift segment. When I bought my lift from Brian at www.asedeals.com I asked him how many bendPak orders he gets a week and he said that he easily sells 3-4 lifts each day.
...Never said that Bend-Pak was "hurting". Looking to expand their sales? (like any good company does, and must), definately! and, quite clearly, they see that Backyard Buddy is their competition in this segment and they are on the offensive.

Competition is good, and improves the breed, but what Bend-Pak is doing by directly naming and attacking Backyard buddy in print, is pretty lame IMHO. They should just let their product and satisfied customers do the talking, and that's all. It's a great product and no one, not even Backyard Buddy, would disagree...

For Backyard Buddy, unlike Bend-Pak, the hobbyist/storage segment is pretty much their whole business. Therefore, this whole attack by Bend-Pak illustrates that Backyard Buddy must be selling a lot of lifts into the segment, so it's a desirable chunk of business for Bend-Pak to go after.
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