C-Lift FAQs

  • What ground surfaces does the C-Lift work on?

    The ground surface must be solid, stable and compacted. If you have any doubts, test the ground while lifting the container a small, safe, height.

  • How level does the ground have to be?

    The site should ideally be level (within about 2°), however the C-Lift can accommodate ground with a small degree of unevenness. BISON supplies packing that  may be placed under the foot-plates to accommodate height differences at each end of the container.

  • What container types and sizes does the C-Lift lift?

    The C-Lift can be used to lift any length of container; 10’, 20’, 40’, 48’, 53’ and even 60’. BISON supplies rigging and hydraulic hoses for lifting 20' containers as standard. Extension rigging and hoses are available for longer containers.

  • Does it lift high cube containers?

    Yes, the C-Lift can lift 9’6” tall, high cube containers.

  • What is the lift capacity?

    The C-Lift P32 has a rated lifting capacity of 32 tonne (70,000 lb). The C-Lift P10 has a rated lifting capacity of 10 tonne (22,000 lb).

  • How many people are needed to operate the C-Lift?

    The C-Lift can be operated safely and efficiently by two trained operators. Many of the tasks (for example the set up) can be done more quickly if more people are available. It is possible for one person to operate the C-Lift P10, but it would involve some heavy lifting and increases the time to complete a lift. A chain block is a useful accessory for quickly and safely lifting heavier components.

  • How long does it take to set up and lift or lower a container?

    Operating time depends on many factors, including: (i) experience and number of operators, (ii) size of the container, and (iii) site conditions. Generally speaking the full operation will take two trained operators 40 minutes. The steps being to set up the C-Lift (12 mins), lift the container (12 mins), position the vehicle (5 mins), lower the container (5 mins) and dettach the C-Lift (5 mins). Lifting and lowering the full 1.65m (65") involves a series of 5 steps, using BISON's patent pending lift-and-lock mechanism. 

  • How high is the container elevated?

    The C-Lift can lift the container to a maximum height of 165 cm (65 inches). Taller lifting legs can be manufactured and supplied on special request.

  • What is the gap between each leg and the trailer?

    There is a 25 cm (10 inch) gap between each side of the container and the adjacent leg. That is 50 cm (or 20 inches) overall.

  • Is the C-Lift safe?

    The C-Lift is entirely safe provided the recommended operating instructions are followed. Like all material handling equipment, the C-Lift presents risk if not used properly. Safety ultimately turns on the care and competence of the operators. 

    BISON supplies a comprehensive Operating Manual and Instructional Videos (with subtitles that auto-translate in all languages) detailing essential safety information. All legs are made from high strength steel and proof tested to 1.5 times their rated load before leaving the factory. Safety Notices and a Safety Checklist are clearly marked on all legs and the HPU. A sturdy rigging system is integrated into the design, increasing stability. The hydraulics feature abrasion resistant hydraulic hoses and integrated counter balance valves (in the hydraulic cylinders), for protection against a hose burst.

    The C-Lift is CE certified and the design conforms with the following European Union directives and relevant harmonization legislation.

    Applicable Directive Harmonized standards
    Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC EN ISO 12100:2010 (AS/NZS 4024.1201:2004)
    EN ISO 14121-1:2007
    EN 1494:2000+A1:2008
    ISO 4413:2010
     RoHS2 Directive 2011/65/EU EN 50581:2012
  • What is stopping the trailer from hitting the legs?

    Provided the driver is competent and takes reasonable care, the risk of the trailer hitting the legs can be safely managed. The following basic steps are recommended in the operating and training material:

    • Only use the C-Lift on sites where the truck and trailer can line up directly with the elevated container. 
    • Check that the container is sufficiently elevated before moving the vehicle under the container.
    • Make sure no twist locks are protruding from the trailer.
    • Drive slowly.
    • Always use an observer or "spotter", in communication with the driver. 
    • Use reversing aids, such as simple visible lines on the ground and/or reversing cameras if desired
  • Do I need any special training to operate the C-Lift?

    For safety reasons, we recommend that only trained personnel use the C-Lift. BISON provides detailed Operating Manuals and Instructional Videos for training purposes.

  • How is the C-Lift powered?

    The C-Lift is driven by a hydraulic power unit (HPU) and single phase electric power supply. The electrical power source can be a nearby mains supply, or a portable generator. Electrical power can also be taken from the truck batteries, using an inverter to convert the DC power to AC. Alternative power options are possible. Contact BISON to discuss the power options that best suit your application.

  • Can I run the C-Lift off my truck's power take off (PTO)?

    If your truck has a hydraulic pump mounted to the PTO, it may be possible to drive the C-Lift's hydraulic system with this. Contact BISON or your local hydraulics service agent for more information.

  • Can I use a mains power supply?

    Yes, the hydraulic power unit can be run from the mains electrical supply. Hydraulic pump options are available for 230 VAC and 115 VAC.

  • What maintenance is required?

    The mechanical hardware is designed to be tough and durable, and requires very little maintenance. All metallic parts are zinc-plated (silver) for corrosion protection. The hydraulic system should be maintained as per standard practice. Hydraulic seals should be replaced when there are signs of leakage, and hydraulic fluid should be replaced or filtered periodically. The hydraulic hoses may need to be replaced if they are damaged. (For example, if they are driven over with a vehicle.) This maintenance can be performed by your local hydraulics service agent. 

    The C-Lift Operating Manual contains a comprehensive list of maintenance items to monitor: (i) before use, (ii) during operation, (iii) every quarter (or 250 lifts), and (iv) every year (or 1,000 lifts).


  • What is the expected life cycle?

    The design life is 10 years. Provided the equipment is well looked after and properly maintained, it will deliver many years of service.

  • What is the difference between the A Series, P Series and M Series C-Lifts?

    The A Series is automated, with a lift capacity of 32 tonne (77,000 lb) and lift time of 3 - 5 minutes. Set up can take less than 5 minutes. Only 1 operator is required. The A Series is best suited to single site use.

    The P Series is semi-automated, with lift capacities of up to 32 tonne (77,000 lb) and a lift time of 12 - 15 minutes. Set up can take 10 - 15 minutes. 2 operators are required. The P Series is portable and easily transported between different sites.

    The M Series is manually operated, with a lift capacity of up to 22 tonne (48,000 lb) and a lift time of 40 minutes. Set up can take 10 - 20 minutes. 4 operators are recommended. The M Series is also portable and easily transported between different sites.

    Contact BISON for comparative specs and prices for each model.


  • What weighing capacity do BISON scales have?

    BISON Scales have a weighing capacity of 35,000 kg (77,000 lb). Each scale has a weighing capacity of 10,000 kg (22,000 lb).

  • What is the weighing resolution?

    BISON Scales resolve the weight in 1 kg increments, but for OIML certification the total weight is displayed in 50 kg (or 100 lb) increments. This is a tolerance that BISON Scales can easily perform to regarding absolute accuracy and repeatability. It is possible to view the weight results in 1 kg (or 2 lb) increments, where applications require higher resolution and formal certification is not required.

  • How are BISON Scales calibrated?

    All BISON Scales are factory calibrated prior to shipping. Once used, the scales can be re-calibrated with BISON's Calibration Rig and Configuration App. The accuracy tolerance from this method of calibration is better than 1%. A higher accuracy tolerance of better than 0.2% can be achieved by fine-tuning the scales with certified test weights. You can buy your own Calibration Rig and Configuration App, or contact BISON or your dealer to talk about re-calibration service options. 

  • How accurate are BISON Scales?

    The Maximum Permissible Error acceptable for BISON Scales to be 'legal for trade' is ± 75 kg at 35,000 kg, which equates to a accuracy tolerance of around 0.2%. The actual error is typically half of this when the equipment is well calibrated with accurate test weights. For general container weighing applications where 'legal for trade' approval is not required, the scales can be more easily calibrated on BISON's Calibration Rig, and this results in an accuracy tolerance of better than 1%.

  • How often do the scales need re-calibrating?

    How often you need to re-calibrate BISON Scales will depend on what you are using them for, how frequently they are used and the weight of the containers you are weighing. For reliably accurate weighing, re-calibration once per year is recommended.  

  • What approvals do BISON Scales have?

    BISON Scales have OIML R-76 MAA and OIML R-60 approvals, issued by NMi, Netherlands. C-Jacks and C-Legs are type approved and can be certified "legal-for-trade" in Europe, New Zealand and Malaysia. Type approvals are pending in South Africa and Australia. Contact BISON for copies of relevant certificates.

  • What units of measurement do the scales have?

    Kilogram (kg) and pound (lb). The Master Display can be pre-set in either unit. The BISON VGM App can be switched between kg and lb.

  • Are the scales water proof and dust proof?

    Yes. BISON Scales have an IP 64 ingress protection rating. This means the system has complete protection against ingress of dust and there will be no harmful effects from dripping, spraying and splashing water. We recommend inverting the hydraulic bottle jacks after use in wet conditions, to extend their working life by avoiding internal corrosion. A water displacement spray like CRC applied to the piston-rod will also help the longevity of the bottle jacks.

  • What is the expected life cycle?

    BISON Scales have a design life of 10 years. Their actual life will depend on how they are cared for and serviced. However the internal components are very modular, making it easy to replace the load cell, electronics etc and keep your scales operational.

  • What batteries do the scales use?

    Each scale and the Master Display runs on 4 x regular AA batteries. Good quality alkaline or lithium ion batteries are recommended and will give the longest life span. Rechargeable AA batteries may also be used.

  • What is the battery life?

    The batteries have a 45 hour tested life cycle. This life cycle reduces to approx. 20 hours if the scales are used in low light environments and the LCD backlight turns on.

  • How do I know if the batteries need changing?

    There is a battery life indicator on the display of the scales and the Master Display. It will flash when the batteries need to be replaced.

  • What maintenance is required?

    BISON Scales require very little maintenance. The batteries will need to be changed periodically. We supply high quality Japanese-made bottle jacks which have proven to be very robust but can be easily replaced if issues arise. You may also need to re-calibrate and/or re-certify the scales periodically, depending on your application.

  • What warranty does BISON offer?

    Product warranty may vary from country to country. In general, all hardware comes with a one year, limited warranty against defects in materials and manufacturing.

  • What range of temperatures can I use BISON scales in?

    BISON Scales have been tested and certified accurate over a temperature range of -10˚C to 40˚C (or 14˚F to 104˚F).

  • How do the scales round up or down?

    BISON Scales resolve the weight in 1kg increments, and the Master Display and BISON VGM App round up or down to the nearest 50 kg or 100 lb.

  • What do the bar symbols mean?

    The bar symbols on the scales' display show how much weight is on the scale. The OIML standard does not permit the weight to be shown on the individual scale, so the symbol display was used instead. For non-certified applications, the scales can be configured to show numbers.

  • How do I zero the scales?

    Give the yellow button a short press. The display will show ------- for about 3 seconds, and then the zero will be manually reset. A tilda symbol (~) next to the battery symbol will indicate that the zero is set. (Note that the zero can only be manually set by this method if the reading is less than 200 kg. Use the Config App to permanently set the zero. Contact BISON for further details.)

Container Weighing

  • What surfaces can I weigh containers on?

    The ground surface should be firm, compacted and level for weighing. With due care and attention, it is possible to weigh containers accurately on rough (i.e. gravel) and uneven (i.e. pot holed) surfaces. Steel ground plates are supplied with C-Jacks to spread the load at each corner and minimize marks on the ground. The height and tilt adjustment features on C-Jacks and C-Legs assists with accurate weighing on uneven surfaces and helps avoid overloading single corners when weighing heavy containers.

  • Can I weigh containers on a slope?

    The weighing surface should be level. Weighing containers on a slope poses a safety hazard, as the elevated container may have a tendency to slide downhill. It is also important for accurate weighing to keep the scales vertical, as indicated by the “ANGLE” warning on the display.

  • Can I weigh containers from the ends, instead of the sides?

    Yes, you can weigh containers from the ends. As the door end of the container is recessed, BISON can supply a pair of customised plastic blocks - called "spacers" - to fill the gap between the door and the weighing module. The spacers are customised to fit the majority of containers and use magnets to attach to the container. We recommend that care is taken with heavier containers (> 20 tonne) to ensure the loading doesn't damage the container door seals and hinges. The rear of the container is the same as the sides, so spacers are not needed at the rear end.

  • How high do I need to lift the container?

    The container only needs to be lifted just clear of the ground or chassis. Typically the lift height is 2 to 3 cm.

  • How long does it take to weigh a container with C-Legs?

    For an experienced user with good site conditions, it takes one person 8 - 10 minutes to attach, weigh and pack the C-Legs away. The operation can take a little longer when weighing on spring suspension chassis, as the chassis may travel up to a point with the container during lifting. It can take less time if more than one person is involved.

  • How many people are needed to weigh a container?

    Only one person is needed to weigh containers with C-Jacks and C-Legs, but two or more people can work in parallel for a faster operation.

  • What container types and sizes can BISON Scales weigh?

    BISON Scales can be used to weigh any length container up to 35,000 kg (77,000 lb). The scales are compatible with all ISO containers, including tank containers and reefers.

  • Can I use C-Legs with air and spring suspension chassis?

    Yes, C-Legs are compatible with both chassis types. Spring suspension chassis tend to "travel" with the container as it is being lifted until the suspension reaches its maximum height. Air suspension chassis provide a firmer lifting platform, particularly when the trailer is parked and the air-bags are empty. It is also possible to lower chassis with air suspension beneath the container once C-Legs are attached.

  • Can I use C-Legs for weighing grounded containers as well?

    Yes, the scales, bottle jacks and Master Display supplied with C-Legs can be used to weigh containers on the ground. BISON can supply ground plates, a trolley and extra bottle jacks with the C-Legs if required, so you have a complete C-Leg and C-Jack system.

  • Are C-Jacks and C-Legs SOLAS approved?

    In general, yes, BISON Scales are OIML approved and suitable for producing SOLAS VGMs, however there may be specific Maritime Rules and Weights & Measures Regulations of your country. The scales also have EU, New Zealand and Malaysian 'legal for trade' approval, which further satisfies requirements for SOLAS VGM Method 1 weighing in Europe, NZ and Malaysia.

  • Are C-Legs safe?

    Yes, the C-Legs are perfectly safe. Each of the C-Leg stands, bottle jacks and scales are rated to lift and support 10 tonne per corner, and have a conservative safety margin. The container is elevated only a few centimetres above the trailer. The hazard to be most concerned with in practice is the potential pinch / crush point between the container and trailer, although there is absolutely no reason why any body parts should go near this danger zone. BISON can supply a detailed hazard control register for C-Legs, to help users integrate the system into their health & safety procedures. Contact us for more information.

Weighing Terms

  • What is OIML Certification?

    OIML is the International Organization of Legal Metrology (French: Organisation Internationale de Métrologie Légale), is an intergovernmental organization that promotes standardisation of the legal metrology (weighing) procedures. BISON's weighing equipment is independently certified by NMI Certin in the Netherlands to the OIML standards, and this is recognised by around 120 countries. OIML certification is usually a pre-requisite for 'Trade Approval'.

  • What does 'Trade Approval' mean?

    Where a product is sold by weight, it is a legal requirement that weighing equipment must be verified as ‘legal for trade’ or 'trade approved'. In summary, this means that the equipment has undergone a stringent set of tests to ensure it is sufficiently accurate and fit for purpose. This is managed by the governmental "Weights and Measures" authority, and OIML certification is usually one of their pre-requisites.


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