Compare the American Made Backyard Buddy Automotive Lift to Lower Quality Imported Lifts

Backyard Buddy developed the first 4-post auto lift designed for the home hobbyist almost 25 years ago. Our quality lift operates by using hydraulic pressure provided by an electric pump so it has plenty of power to lift any automobile, standard pickup truck or sport utility vehicle. Backyard Buddy's compact size means it will fit in many home garages where a commercial lift will not, yet it's a tough tool that operates just as well or better than some models costing twice as much. Furthermore, our products are American made using US or Canadian steel and come with a standard 5 year warranty. You can be confident that when you purchase a lift from Backyard Buddy, you will be buying the best lift available and the best value in automotive home garage lifts. Compare the features and construction of our lift to the import car lifts on the market. We have illustrated the differences in construction, quality and safety in the chart below. Better yet, visit our factory showroom.

The Backyard Buddy Difference

The Competition

  • Corner posts are made from lighter gauge metal bent to create a channel. This three sided design is not as rigid as a four sided square tube. Compare the gauge of steel in the photos
  • Anti-spread bolts are needed at the top of each channel to keep legs from spreading open when weight is added to the lift.
  • Holes are stamped in each foot. Lift should be anchored to the floor for stability.

Mounting Foot and Leg Construction

Column Construction Comparison
Backyard Buddy Feet


  • Made from rugged, American made, structural 4 x 4" steel tubing.

  • No need for bolt holes in foot pads. Backyard Buddy lifts are completely free standing.

  • No need for anti-spreading bolt on top as there is no chance of the square tubing legs spreading.

The Competition

  • Leg construction can lead to lift failure as legs can spread when weight of vehicle is applied.
  • Plastic sliders on the inside of the legs wear over time as they rub on metal increasing the possibility of failure.

Slider and Leg Construction

Leg Details


  • Box steel leg surrounded by an exterior steel sleeve ensures positive contact and does not create an opportunity for legs to fail under the weight of your vehicle. Locking tabs are trapped by the sleeve and can't disengage the slot.

  • No chance for leg to spread open.

  • We use only UHMV for our slides. They are very tough and long lasting and don't need lubrication. There are four 12" long guides per corner sleeve.

The Competition

  • The runways are made by bending soft tread plate into shape creating weak points at the bends.
  • No reinforcing structure holding sides together means runway surface can distort under load. See the in-house engineering and structural analysis results.

Runway & Ramp Construction

Tread Compaison
Runway Comparison
Backyard Buddy Engineering Study Results


  • Our runways are built with an angle iron superstructure with the tread plate welded on top.

  • Welded flat stock ties the sides together under the runway surface adding an additional level of support and integrity to the lift.

  • In-house engineering and structural analysis results show exactly how our construction methods improve the integrity and performance of our lift's runway system by exhibiting zero deflection with structural steel as weight is applied.

The Competition

  • Hydraulic hose has no quick disconnect and cannot swivel.
  • L shaped coupler with Teflon tape means that hose can kink and cause a blow-out.
  • No flow restriction means that the lift will instantly slam to the ground in the event of a blow-out.

Hydraulic Connections

Flow Restriction Comparison


  • Quick disconnect fitting allows hydraulic hose to swivel preventing kinks.

  • Built-in flow restriction means that the lift will maintain position even in the event of a problem with the hose.

  • We don't cut corners when it comes to your safety and the protection of you vehicle and property.

The Competition

  • This design has only a 3/4 inch contact area for the locking mechanism. Very unstable when combined with the play in the slider design. Also note the poor quality of the finish and welding.
  • The formed channel leg design creates a pivot point around the short platform slides. This play can cause the lift to sway, especially as the sliders wear. Try pushing on other lifts and you will see how much they move side-to-side.
  • Stop points are made from small tabs welded on the legs.
  • Lock linkage is made of small 1/4" rod that can distort when activating the lock mechanism.

Locking System

Safety Lock Comparison

NEW! We have added back-up safety locks on each corner post that automatically engage in the extremely unlikely event of slack in a cable (it's never happened!).

Backyard Buddy Lift Automatic Safety Lock
Backyard Buddy Linkage


  • 10 positive locking positions are cut into the 4 x 4" structural steel tubing legs. The engagement area is much larger than with the small welded on tabs. Our locks cannot disengage until you raise the lift slightly to release the weight on the locking tabs.

  • There is virtually no lateral movement (sway) because of the large, 12" long, UHMV slides (x4) inside each corner of the sleeve riding on each post. This design gives our lifts the rigidity necessary to be safe when not bolted to the floor (free-standing)

  • Our stop points are slots machined out of the heavy 4x4" steel corner posts. With the weight of the lift resting on the locks trapping them in the slot, they cannot slip out.

  • Our lock linkage uses 3/8 steel rod and precision rod ends to ensure positive locking - no bowing.

Have A Question?

Call a knowledgeable, live person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST by calling (800) 837-9353. Or drop us a line!