For an automotive mechanic a creeper reduces operator strain and boosts productivity.
If you’re an automotive mechanic whose maintenance tasks involve working under vehicles, you’ll find a creeper to be of great value because of its ability to reduce operator strain while boosting productivity.
This tool is especially useful in shops that don’t have an overhead car lift. Here’s everything you need to know about mechanic’s creepers, including a look at some of today’s leading models.
What is a Mechanic’s Creeper?
As its name suggests, a creeper enhances the action of getting underneath a stationary car by providing a stable wheel-driven platform to support your body and its movements.
Using a mechanic’s creeper to access a vehicle’s underbelly eliminates strain-inducing postures such as kneeling, bending, and crawling during repairs and maintenance.
The best creepers combine functionality and comfort. The tool should not just get you under the car, but should also be comfortable enough to support prolonged tasks while boosting maneuverability.
If you are find the mechanic creeper for your needs, click here to choose the right one.
Why Should You Use a Mechanic’s Creeper?
There are many benefits to gain from investing in a mechanic’s creeper for your automotive maintenance work. Check the top 3.
If you’re going to be working under a vehicle and don’t want to leave the shop with a sore back, you’ll need a creeper to provide comfortable back support. You don’t have to rest on hard surfaces when doing your work.
A padded shop creeper offers a decent degree of ergonomic support for maximization of back comfort. This is especially important because some of the surfaces you’ll be working from could be uneven or rough.
Enhanced Mobility & Flexibility
Without a creeper to rest on, you’d have to crawl your way under a vehicle’s belly every time you needed to access it. And this task would require your hands to power your movements, which means you can’t get under a vehicle while holding onto some tools.
A creeper eliminates these problems while also boosting flexibility. If you need to change positions while working underneath the vehicle, you can capitalize on the tool’s wheels to help simplify such space-constrained movements.
Types of Mechanic’s Creepers
When choosing a mechanic’s creeper for your work, it’s important to be familiar with the different types available. The three main ones are traditional, contour, and folding creepers.
This is, arguably, the most basic creeper, which is essentially a large plank of some hard material such as wood or plastic, with casters fixed at the underside, to provide mobility.
Even though a flat design is not the most comfortable for creepers, the fact that traditional ones lack any elevated or curved parts makes them ideal for reaching tight areas under the vehicle.
You can get more out of this creeper if it offers bed padding or an adjustable headrest for comfortable support.
Countered creepers adopt much of the traditional type’s design, but step it up slightly through the addition of curvatures along the main body.
The curvature is designed to accommodate the body’s natural curve, thus enhancing support by hugging the body in strategic areas.
Although contoured creepers are often made using durable materials such as plastic, their comfort is not guaranteed and may vary wildly across different users. Also, most lack bed padding.
These tend to offer added versatility and robustness, which are embedded in their designs. Folding creepers can transform into a seat or stool.
Because of their folding capacity, you can use these creepers to service the sides of vehicles as you rest comfortably on them.
An aspect of folding creepers that isn’t particularly appealing is their padding thickness, which can make these units chunky and not very ideal for tight spaces.
Tips for Choosing a Mechanic’s Creeper
With very many creeper models to choose from, in the market, here are a few factors to consider and maximize the chances of getting the right fit.
- Height and clearance. If your shop doesn’t have an overhead automobile lift, then it’s vital to consider vehicle clearance and workspace limitations when choosing a creeper.
Creepers with recessed wheels, for instance, will get you closer to the ground and maximize the free space you need for unrestricted body and tool maneuverability.
- Build quality. Getting the backboard right is vital to the creeper’s overall utility.
You should aim for a creeper whose backboard minimizes the stress and pressure exerted on your back muscles.
While most basic creepers feature a backboard made of thin plywood sheets, it may be necessary to get a reinforced padded model to maximize comfort.
Note, however, that additional reinforcements or comfort enhancers can increase the board’s overall thickness and if the operating clearance is limited, then the tool’s usability may be restricted.
Also, ensure that if your creeper’s bed has padding, its material is oil-resistant and chemical resistant to prevent the formation of stubborn stains, and reactions with destructive agents.
- Wheels. Creeper wheels don’t just provide mobility. They have a significant impact on the tool’s performance and comfort levels.
For instance, a creeper with steel caster wheels can make for very rough rides. Also, steel wheels tend to get stuck in cracks, an occurrence that’s not only annoying but tedious to remedy.
Creepers with ball-bearing wheels, on the other hand, are more reliable, comfortable, and less prone to getting stuck.
According to CarCareTotal, Pro-LifT C-9100 is one of the best mechanic’s creepers you can buy today. It is built to handle all the demands of professional automotive mechanics, with its steel frame, foldable design, and superior comfort.
It boasts of a premium 40-inch steel frame, which offers a seat size of 14 inches by 12.25 inches. The strong frame is rated for supporting up to 450 pounds of mass, which is adequate for all users.
Six 3-inch swivel casters are fitted under caster to guarantee full mobility and optimal maneuverability around tight spaces. The wheels adopt a full-bearing design for smooth movement.
And you can work for extended periods while on this creeper thanks to its thick cushion-padded bed which provides extra comfort.
All these premium features of the Pro-LifT C-9100 come at a pocket-friendly price, which makes it a must-have creeper.
A mechanic’s creeper is, without a doubt, an invaluable tool that promises to boost an automotive mechanic’s productivity by a great margin.
It will enhance the accessibility of tight spaces beneath the car while protecting your back from strain and fatigue. Advanced creepers will also boost working comfort, for day-long tasks.