What do you think of when you hear the word ‘creeper’? Do you automatically think of a flat 4 or 6 wheel cart that you can lie on to work underneath a car? (Unless, of course, you have heard of the currently very popular game ‘Minecraft’ (my son’s favorite game), but I digress.)
When people talk about a piece of equipment as a creeper, most often that is what is pictured. Creepers are awfully useful items to have around when you have to work underneath a vehicle. Many standard automotive creepers are now more “ergonomic” and comfortable, as well as offer options such as lights and an elevated reclining back if needed.
Creeper variations are not only limited to these, however. There are lots of creepers that are out there and can help you not only work more safely and comfortably but on occasion may even make it more possible for you to work at all! If you are injured or disabled (or just like the idea of something helpful) there are lots of options to choose from that can help you in many ways, more than just making it easier to move around underneath a car. Let’s look at a couple of these.
The ‘Lift Creeper’ is not meant for working underneath cars, but has a different take. This creeper consists of a seat which is mounted onto a four wheeled cart which can be raised or lowered by use of a lever with pumping action. If the work you do can vary in height from tasks done at a seated level (like a chair) to tasks done low to the ground, this creeper might be for you. Without having to get up you can adjust your height by using the lever. It also is much more stable and mobile than most of the creeper “seats” that are available.
Do you work on vehicles that are outside? Most typical creepers have 4 to 6 small wheels that are designed to use on a flat concrete surface. There are a variety of “all terrain” creepers out there that can take you out of the garage for tasks which require it. The All Terrain Creeper pictured has larger tires that allow for rolling over rougher terrain. The back also will raise in order to work on those higher jobs but still allow you to roll around.
There is a creeper that is designed specifically for working in an engine compartment without having to strain your back while doing so! It is called the ‘Topside Creeper’ and can do wonders if you struggle at all with working in an elevated, bent over position. Even if you aren’t disabled or injured, this creeper can help prevent injuries (especially to the back) if you spend considerable time in an engine compartment.
Soon, we hope to be carrying a new kind of creeper- one that can prevent one of the most common kinds of injuries to mechanics: crushing. This particular creeper will hold up to 30,000 pounds off of you- more than enough if that jack fails or the jackstand fails.
The bottom line is that there are lots of creepers out there that can help you to do your job better, safer, and more comfortably, regardless of disability or injury.