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, LLC, DeLand, FL

After retiring from a career in Law Enforcement, Kevin Duffy turned his attention to one of his passions, Porsche 944's and 924S's. He owns LLC in DeLand, FL, rescuing and restoring forgotten Porsches, bringing them back to a useful life. He is especially interested in the rare-but-beautiful 924S Special Edition. He can be found at Porsche Club events, including track days, tours and shows, as well as other car-focused events around the southeastern United States.

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