Lift Winch Back Saver

As with many of us, we tend to work alone in our shops.  I know that I do, although there are folks in our little industrial complex that will help as needed.  When I got my four-post drive-on lift, though, I realized that “drive on” wasn’t just a descriptor, it was a piece of reality.  Getting a car on the lift meant that you either had to drive it on or push it on.  Trying to push a 2800 pound Porsche up the little ramps onto the lift felt like trying to push a car onto a trailer…possible, but not if you’re alone.

Small Harbor Freight 110v Winch

So since my trailer has a winch, I thought that having a winch setup would be a good idea.  There were some requirements, though.  It had to be easily mounted and removed; it had to be sturdy; and it had to be 110v to plug in the wall.  Searching for such a beast ready-to-use turned up nothing.  So…

Harbor Freight had one 110v winch.  It was capable of 1,500 pounds with sufficient cable, so I got it.  I then got four pieces of diamond-plate steel and welded them into an “E” configuration, with the winch mounted to the top and the bottom two spaced to fit on the crossbar of the lift.  It worked.

Slips on the crossbar – “simple, but dignified”

The whole thing is heavy enough and has close enough tolerances to not want to flip off the lift when pulling a car.  The fifteen hundred pound capacity is plenty as long as the car rolls reasonably well – I would not want to pull a car onto the lift that would not roll.  Since there are no retainers or mounting bolts, the winch simply slides on and slides off.  It can be used at either end.

I found that it is also very useful in taking a car off the lift.  By using the winch, I can control the rate that the car comes off the lift ramps to the floor, making for a much safer situation for me.  Both drama and damage are avoided.

Take a look – if you have questions, email me at


Four pieces of steel welded into an “E” pattern.


Author: Kevin Duffy, Author and Chief Geek

Kevin Duffy is a retired Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Daytona State College in Florida and a dedicated car guy. He now spends his time with Porsche 924S, 944's and 968's in his backyard shop. He is active in the Porsche Club of America, and he concentrates on 924S and the 924S Special Editions, doing rescues and restorations.

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